In this review we’ll take a look at Optimum Nutrition’s Creatine Monohydrate. Optimum Nutrition has an excellent reputation in the supplement world especially for their protein powders which many consider to be the best money can buy. They have a full range of supplements outside of the protein line from BCAA to vitamins to the focus of this review – creatine.
Optimum’s primary creatine product is the Micronized Creatine Powder which is also their best seller when it comes to creatine. They use a brand of creatine called Creapure which is a German manufactured creatine that can be found in other supplements as well. For the sake of this review we’ll call it Optimum’s creatine but in reality they are re-packaging Creapure and selling it.
Does their creatine live up to their high standard as a supplement company? We’ll take a look in this Optimum Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate review.
I ordered the 2.6lbs package which runs about 228 5g servings according to the package for $30 off of amazon. Doing the math that rounds to about $0.13 a serving which means a pretty good value for creatine.
Pretty standard packaging on the bottle, it’s small enough to store in cupboards as well as being full compared to the size of the packaging. One my complaints about some of the Optimum Protein powders is that some of their bottles are only half full which makes them a waste of space when trying to store them.
After digging through the bottle for a good 10 minutes I came to the conclusion that there was no scooper included in the bottle which is disappointing. The serving size should be 5g which not many people would know how much that is by eyeballing it.
Luckily I have a baking measuring spoon that is in grams so I have to use that to portion it out. Would it be too much for Optimum to include a scooper in their creatine bottles?
On the back of the bottle you’ll find the instructions, warnings, ingredients and a message about the creatine. I find it amusing how they list other ingredients: none to remind you that this is pure creatine and nothing else.
Taste & Texture
Optimum’s approach to their creatine monohydrate is no frills, simple creatine monohydrate with no flavoring at all. When you mix the creatine with water it gets a slightly tangy taste to it but really no flavor at all. I like mixing it with my post workout protein shake (which is Optimum protein powder) and is tasteless.
Many others mix their creatine with juice and report that there is no taste to it as well.
Creatine is not very good at dissolving in water so there will always be some particles in whatever liquid you put it in. When mixing the creatine with anything you will still have a little grittiness to it because of the creatine particles that aren’t completely dissolved.
Optimum used micronization which makes it much less gritty than regular non-micronized creatine but you still know that it’s in there. Overall it does a good job with mixing in with whatever you’re taking it with which includes water.
What Does Micronized Mean?
You’ll notice the term Micronized in the title of the creatine – what exactly does that mean? Micronization is the process to in simple terms, make something smaller.
The creatine particles when produced are on the larger side which makes it more difficult to dissolve into water for for our bodies to absorb. Optimum uses a micronization process to shrink the size of the creatine particles making them more soluble in water and easier for our bodies to absorb.
This video below does a good job at showing the difference between the two:
Effect on Workouts
These reviews are meant to take a look at the creatine from a taste, texture, price and value perspective but we can’t ignore looking how creatine works and what it’s suppose to do – have us perform better in the gym. This section is far from scientific but will contain my opinion on how it has benefited my workouts.
I started taking this creatine supplement about 2 months ago and jut finished my first cycle off. My supplement stack is pretty simple – no pre-workout supplements just a post workout protein shake with creatine. My workout routine consists of Crossfit 3-4 times per week plus usually 1-2 days of running or road biking so I’m pretty much active every day of the week.
Initially after my loading phase I did add a couple of pounds of water weight which one of the expected side effects of creatine. During the next 8 weeks I was very happy with my results in the gym as I consistently hit PRs in lifts – clean + jerk and back/front squat to be exact.
I always caution that creatine will not be the magical supplement where you get stronger without putting in any hard work, in order for it to truly be effective you have to put in the hard work in the gym.
With that said I would definitely say that since starting this creatine supplement I’ve been able to hit PRs more consistently and generally feel stronger all around when taking it. I’m about to start a second loading phase after taking about 2 weeks off so let’s hope that the PRs in the gym continue!
Wrap Up & Rating
Overall I have been very happy with Optimum Nutrtion’s Creatine Monohydrate, I would recommend it to anyone out there who is looking to gain some more out of their workouts in the gym. It’s one of the cheaper creatine supplements out there along with being as pure as you can get it with the Creapure name behind it. The taste, texture and benefits from taking it are all on par with the rest of the supplements out there.