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Creatine monohydrate has had a rough go over the past several years.
The creatine industry was hit exceptionally hard during the pandemic with one of the biggest manufacturing connections between China and Germany being disrupted.
This disruption meant that at a time when creatine demand was at an all-time high, creatine supply was at an all-time low.
As a result, many companies who had been using creatine in their protein formulas began removing creatine from their products because it was either too expensive to include, or too difficult to get.
That being said, there are still a few whey protein powders that use creatine in their formulas and I expect we will see more in the coming years as the global supply stabilizes.
The best option is Muscletech Nitrotech, which has 3g of creatine monohydrate and 30g of protein. It offers 75% protein per scoop and costs between $0.93 and $1.59, depending on the size you buy (which is a very reasonable price-to-protein ratio). It’s available in 4 flavors, with Milk Chocolate being readily in stock.
An Important Note for Readers
- Some protein products with creatine are considered “mass gainers”. In other words, they have higher calories than most traditional whey protein powders. As such, 2 out of my 6 picks are “mass gainers”, which I’ve clearly outlined in my review below.
- With that said, I’ve still reviewed 4 out of 6 products that are considered traditional whey protein powders (Muscletech Nitrotech being one of them). If you’re not in a bulking phase, I would only look at buying one of these products.
- The effective dosage for creatine is 5g. All of the products below, whether it’s a mass gainer or traditional whey protein powder, require you to take more than a single scoop (often 2 scoops) to reach this effective dose. It’s important to understand that so you’re maximizing your results.
Summary: Our Top 3 Picks
Transparent Labs Mass Gainer
Suitable for Athletes
Cellucor Whey Sport
6 Protein Powders With Creatine
- Best Overall: Muscletech Nitrotech
- Best Gainer: Transparent Labs Mass Gainer
- Suitable for athletes: Cellucor Whey Sport
- Value Gainer: ON Serious Mass
- Budget Friendly: Body Fortress
- Not Recommended: Six Star Nutrition
1. Muscletech Nitrotech – Best Overall
Overall rating: 4/5
Check out our YouTube video reviewing Muscletech Whey Protein.
Muscletech Nitrotech is a blend of whey concentrate, whey isolate, and whey peptides, which is a combination of medium and fast-digesting proteins.
This blend allows it to function as a good post-workout protein option, while keeping the cost per serving lower.
It has 3g of creatine monohydrate per serving and 30g of protein, delivering 75% protein per scoop.
Alongside flavoring and emulsifiers for taste and texture, Nitrotech also has digestive enzymes to break down the protein.
The instructions on the label say:
“For maximum results, consume 4 scoops of Nitrotech daily for a minimum of 6 weeks”
It is my professional opinion as a supplement store manager and nutrition coach, 4 scoops per day is excessive, and would be a waste of money.
This also puts you at increased risk of negative digestive side effects like diarrhea, gassiness, or constipation.
I would recommend staying with 1-2 scoops daily, and spreading the two scoops out over the course of the day.
Nitrotech is available in 2.2lb, 4lb, and 10lb varieties, with the cost ranging from $0.93 per serving to $1.59. It’s available in Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, and Cookies and Cream (though the 10lb size is only available in Chocolate or Vanilla).
If you are looking for a cost-effective and versatile protein powder with creatine, Nitrotech is a good option.
- Want to learn more about other Muscletech whey protein products? Check out my review of MuscleTech Whey Protein.
- 75% protein per scoop
- 3g creatine monohydrate
- Available for as low as $0.93 per serving (for reference, the average cost of whey protein is $1.34/serving)
- Added enzymes increases the digestibility and reduces the likelihood of negative side effects like gas or bloating
- Most studies done on creatine monohydrate use a 5g dose, so you might need to take 2 servings daily or supplement with additional creatine, increasing the cost per serving
- Not third party tested. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but for athletes it’s nice to have the guarantee that what they say is in the bottle is true. Check out Cellucor below if you want a product that is 3rd party tested.
2. Transparent Labs Mass Gainer – Best Gainer
It should be noted that Transparent Labs Gainer is not a pure whey protein powder, it’s a “mass gainer”, which includes all three macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fat).
As such, it will be higher in calories than most whey protein powders, which is great if you’re in a bulking phase and struggle to hit your calorie surplus.
Transparent Labs Gainer uses a blend of organic tapioca maltodextrin as its carbohydrate source, whey concentrate as its protein, and a blend of coconut milk powder and MCTs for its fats.
Transparent Labs has added 3g of fiber to their formula (to help with digestion), and use monk fruit and stevia as sweeteners instead of artificial sweeteners.
As a weight gainer, the protein percentage and breakdown of carbs, proteins, and fats is different than we would expect from a typical protein powder. Per 2 scoop serving, Transparent Labs has 790 calories, with 13g of fat, 114g carbs, and 53g of protein.
With independent third party testing and no artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives, Transparent Labs sets the standard for high quality protein products.
In terms of creatine, this product has 3g of creatine monohydrate, which is the same dose as the protein products outlined above.
While it doesn’t have the full, clinically studied dose of creatine monohydrate (5g), if you want a high quality gainer that has creatine in its formula, this is one of the highest quality products available.
For optimal strength and performance, I still recommend supplementing with additional creatine to get you to the 5g daily dose, or eating foods naturally high in creatine (like herring or beef).
- Want to learn more about other Transparent Lab whey protein products? Check out my review of Transparent Labs Whey Protein.
- Third party tested to ensure quality and purity
- No artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives
- Gluten Free
- Only available in one size, in chocolate or vanilla
- The 3g dose of creatine is below the most commonly studied clinical dose of 5g
- High cost per serving ($5.33) because it’s considered a “mass gainer” product not a “whey protein” product
3. Cellucor Whey Sport – Suitable for Athletes
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Cellucor Whey Sport uses a blend of whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate (similar to Nitrotech), which gives you a blend of both fast and medium digestion proteins, making it slightly more satiating.
It has the same 30g of protein and 160 calories per serving as Nitrotech, but only offers 2.5g of creatine monohydrate per serving compared to the 3g that nitrotech has.
Cellucor Whey Sport is NSF certified, which is an advantage that Nitrotech doesn’t have.
The NSF certification indicates that a product has been tested by a highly respected independent third party organization, and the product undergoes regular testing as opposed to just a one time test.
This is a great feature for athletes who go through routine drug testing themselves and need to ensure that the products that they are taking are safe and contain no banned substances.
If you take 2 servings of this product per day, then you can meet the recommended 5g daily dose of creatine. Otherwise, it’s likely that you are going to have to supplement with additional creatine.
Cellucor Whey Sport also contains 2g of glutamine per serving, an amino acid that has been shown to be beneficial for muscle recovery, reducing muscle soreness, and supporting immune health.
Cellucor Whey Sport is only available in an 18 serving size, and only comes in chocolate or vanilla. Because of the small bottles, the price per serving is higher than other protein powders on the market (this is because cost usually comes down when you can purchase in bulk).
- Contains 30g of protein and 75% protein per scoop
- NSF Certified to guarantee third party testing
- Gluten and soy free
- Added glutamine to support muscle recovery
- Only one size available, and only comes in chocolate or vanilla flavor
- The 2.5g dose of creatine is half of the recommended 5g daily dose, requiring you either doubling the servings per day or supplementing with extra creatine. You could go through a single bottle pretty fast if you are doubling the serving size.
- $1.66 per serving, higher than any other proteins mentioned in this article.
4. Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass – Value Gainer
Overall rating: 3/5
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass is much more calorically dense than Transparent Labs Mass Gainer, with 2 scoops providing 1250 calories per serving.
Both products retail for the same price and have approximately 15 servings, so while they have a similar cost per serving, Serious Mass has 460 more calories per serving, making it a much better deal.
If we were to compare them head to head, Transparent Labs Mass Gainer costs around $6.75 per 1000 calories, and Optimum Nutrition comes in at closer to $4.00 per 1000 calories.
Serious Mass has 3g of creatine per serving, and uses a blend of whey concentrate, calcium caseinate, and egg whites.
If your priority in choosing a mass gainer with creatine is to get as many calories as possible for the lowest price, then Serious Mass is a great choice. It offers 50g of protein, 4g of fat, and 253g of carbohydrates.
On the other hand, Transparent Labs has more protein (53g) to fewer carbohydrates (114g) and uses no artificial sweeteners, colors. If your priority is high quality food sources, a higher protein percentage per serving, or having a product that is third party tested, then choose Transparent Labs Mass Gainer instead.
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass also includes 500mg of L-Glutamine, which can support recovery but is far from the recommended daily dose of 5g, and 5mg of an ingredient called PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid), which can improve digestion.
- High calorie content (1250 cals) at a low cost per serving
- Contains 25 added vitamins and minerals
- Available in 2 different sizes (6lb and 12lb) and four different flavors (chocolate, vanilla, banana, and chocolate peanut butter)
- Contains 3g of creatine, which may be insufficient for individuals trying to focus on increasing lean muscle mass (it’s tougher to double the serving of a mass gainer to get the effective dose because of how many extra calories you’d need to consume)
- Uses artificial sweeteners
5. Body Fortress – Budget Friendly
Overall rating: 2.5/5
At first glance, Body Fortress Whey Protein looks like the best product combining protein and creatine at the lowest price. It uses the same blend of proteins that Muscletech and Cellucor do (concentrate and isolate).
Body Fortress advertises 60g of protein and 12g of BCAA per 2 scoop serving.
This is on par with the two other protein powders I discussed above; Nitrotech and Cellucor Whey Sport, who have 30g of protein per scoop.
While the cost per serving, around $0.93 per scoop, looks parallel between Nitrotech and Body Fortress who both have 30g of protein, Body Fortress only has 1.5g of creatine monohydrate per scoop, half of what the other proteins offer.
This means that even if you do the recommended 2 scoop serving size, you’re still only getting 3g of creatine monohydrate and will have to supplement with additional creatine. This is a big knock against the product.
Body Fortress Whey Protein also has a lower protein percentage per scoop. Per 30g of protein, it has 200 calories making it only 60% protein per scoop, below our threshold for a reasonable protein source (which starts at 65%).
Body Fortress is NSF certified though, an advantage over the Muscletech protein, which isn’t third party tested.
Alongside creatine, Body Fortress has 1.5g of glutamine and 1.5g of taurine added, to boost muscle recovery.
If your priority is to get protein on a budget, then Body Fortress is an acceptable option. If you want to prioritize the creatine content, then Nitrotech or Cellucor Whey are better options.
It’s important to double check which product you’re ordering, if you choose to go with Body Fortress. On Amazon, they have 2 different whey protein blends which have the same label, but one option has the added creatine and the other formula has added vitamins c & d and zinc, without the creatine.
- Gluten Free
- NSF Certified
- Low cost per serving ($0.93)
- Added glutamine and taurine for muscle recovery
- Has lower creatine content than other similar products (1.5g)
- Low protein percentage per scoop (60%)
- Is only available in one size (5lb) and one flavor (chocolate)
6. Six Star Nutrition Protein + Creatine – Not Recommended
Overall rating: 2/5
Let me start by saying that I am not confident that this product will be available much longer, but it was included on nearly every list of “Protein Powder and Creatine Blend” that I came across, so I included it for that reason, and that reason alone.
But being a supplement store manager, I have a different take on this product versus other websites that have reviewed it, and here’s why:
Currently, I can only find the Six Star Nutrition Protein + Creatine on the Canadian Amazon page.
When I started writing this article, it was still available on Bodybuilding.com, but it was only available in the strawberry flavor. Between then and now, the product has completely sold out on bodybuilding.com with no indication of if or when it will be coming back.
I could not find this Six Star Protein on the US Amazon page or on the Six Star Nutrition website.
This leads me to believe that this product is likely being phased out.
Six Star Nutrition Protein + Creatine uses a blend of whey concentrate, whey isolate, and whey hydrolysate providing 30g of protein per scoop. With 180 calories, Six Star’s protein powder comes out to 67% protein, lower than Muscletech and Cellucor, but higher than Body Fortress.
Six Star whey has 2.5g of creatine monohydrate, so taking 2 scoops per day would give you the full clinically studied 5g dose.
This protein also includes added BCAAs and glutamine, as well as some digestive enzymes to improve digestion.
On Bodybuilding.com, it was listed at $26.99 for 18 servings, making it $1.50 per serving and on the more expensive side of proteins mentioned in this article.
- Want to learn more about other Six Star whey protein products? Check out my review of Six Star Whey Protein.
- Added BCAAs and Glutamine for enhanced recovery
- Meets our criteria for an acceptable protein percentage per scoop (at least 65%)
- Gluten Free
- Extremely limited availability
- One scoop has less than the minimum recommended dose of 3g
Key Criteria: How To Choose The Best Protein Powder with Creatine
Since 5g of creatine monohydrate is the dosage and type of creatine most frequently studied, we gave our products a rating based on how many grams of creatine they had.
For instance, a product with 3g of creatine got a 3/5 rating.
- Why you should care: It’s important to know whether you are getting the full clinical dose from a single serving of your product, or whether you need to supplement with additional creatine
For the protein powders, it was easy to compare them straight across the board since they all offered 30g of protein. We simply found the cost per serving, and then assessed whether the creatine content varied. For the weight gainers, we broke it down based on cost per 1000 calories since they varied greatly in their calorie content.
- Why you should care: It’s important to assess the cost per serving so that you can know whether you’re saving significant time and money by buying two products together, or if you are better off buying them separately.
To assess protein percentage, we take the total grams of protein in a product and multiply that by 4 (protein has 4 calories per scoop). We divide that by the total number of calories in the product to find the protein percentage per scoop.
- Why you should care: If your goals involve increasing strength, building muscle mass, or improving body composition, you don’t want to sacrifice protein content for creatine
Different products mentioned in this article have different added ingredients to offer benefits like enhancing recovery, offering immune support, or improving digestion. We’ve added points to a product’s score for having functional added ingredients, like glutamine or vitamins.
- Why you should care: When all things are equal (like protein content and creatine content), those small additions can set one protein powder apart from another.
Should You Buy Protein Mixed With Creatine or Buy Them Separately?
Optimal creatine dosage is 0.1g/kg of bodyweight daily, but is more commonly prescribed at 3-5g daily.
If you are more petite in stature (less than 120lb or 54.4kg), then 3g as a daily maintenance dose is likely sufficient.
Between 120 and 200lbs, a 5g dose is recommended. For individuals weighing greater than 200lbs, then a daily 8g serving is recommended.
I give you this info, because as you’ve seen through this article, most protein powders with creatine added dose at 3g or less.
For some individuals, this may be a sufficient daily dose making it more convenient to buy protein mixed with creatine.
For others though (i.e. people weighing more than 120lbs), then the amount of creatine found in protein powders is not going to be a sufficient dose and you will have to supplement with additional creatine anyways.
In this case, it’s more cost effective to buy protein powder and creatine separately.
Benefits of Taking Protein Powder With Creatine
- More convenient: You don’t have to measure and carry around two separate products
- Cost effective: The cost is not significantly higher than purchasing both products separately
- Improved strength and performance: Supplementing with both protein and creatine have been linked to increases in strength and fat-free mass when combined with resistance training
- Improvements in body composition: Since higher protein intake can lead to increased satiety, taking protein and creatine at the same time can result in higher daily protein intake and increased feelings of fullness, leading to fewer calories consumed throughout the day
Cons of Taking Protein Powder With Creatine
- Fewer options available (compared to buying a protein powder you really like, and adding unflavored creatine)
- Combination products generally have creatine levels below those which have been studied and proven effective
- Could result in less overall water intake compared to mixing and drinking the products separately
- In some individuals, creatine has been linked to digestive upset like diarrhea or cramping
Our Testing Methodology Explained
For this article, I drew from my professional experience as a supplement store manager over the past 10 years, and my personal experience in using the brands mentioned in this article.
My number one recommendation, Muscletech Nitrotech, has been the most popular protein and creatine product requested by customers in my store.
I feel confident recommending this product above all due to customer feedback in store, paired with my personal experience as a user, and sorting through reviews online.
Other brands mentioned in this article, like Transparent Labs, have been extensively tested and reviewed by the Feastgood.com team, and we feel confident recommending them to you because they are third party tested and have a reputation for being among the highest quality products.
Companies like Cellucor and Optimum Nutrition have been in the supplement industry for decades, and manufacture some of the most popular products available on the market like Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey and Cellucor C4 Pre workout.
I have tried other Cellucor proteins in the past, and trust Cellucor’s quality. They are backed up by certifications like NSF and Informed Sport, which mean that their products undergo third party testing for quality and purity.
While I haven’t used Body Fortress personally, the fact that it is NSF certified is reassurance that the product meets label claims, and it does come very highly rated on Amazon (4.6/5 based on over 15 thousand reviews, which is a great sample size). I do recommend the other brands over this one though, based on protein percentage and creatine content.
Six Star Nutrition is manufactured by Muscletech and likely uses the same quality ingredients, and does have a 4.56/5 star rating on bodybuilding.com. Based on my experience in using other six star products, I still recommend the other brands over this one due to protein percentage and product availability.
About The Author
Jennifer Vibert is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Nutrition Coach, and supplement store manager. She has a Bachelor of Kinesiology with a major in Fitness and Lifestyle and a minor in Psychology from the University of Regina. She is a Certified Nutrition Coach through Precision Nutrition, with a passion for helping clients learn the fundamentals of nutrition and supplementation in order to build healthy, sustainable habits.