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Let’s be straightforward here, almost ALL people who wants to step up their athletic performance have come across creatine. What is it all about?
First, you should know that creatine is basically produced in your body by the liver, and it's known as a nitrogenous acid. Usually, creatine is very well known for providing rapid energy to the muscles and the brain and that is why there are so many bodybuilders and athletes out there that use it daily. So basically, when you start taking creatine, you're basically going to help your body get the nutrients it needs to repair muscles and boost muscle recovery.
Now, creatine consists of, including l-methionine, glycine and L-arginine. These are the big guns that make up creatine.
To produce creatine, the body will first need to synthetize these amino acids and convert them into ATP also known as, your body fuel.
PRO TIP: Each body has a different requirement for creatine. We are not created equal (literally!). Most fitness experts will tell you to take more creatine if you wish to improve your strength and performance.
Now, what’s the best creatine out there?
Quality is ALWAYS your top priority!
Across the board, people who are keen with the level of creatine in their body will need to start taking creatine supplements (be sure to opt for the higher quality ones). These products have promised to work fast and increase your body's creatine level in minutes.
You should keep in mind though that because creatine is so popular, there are many vendors that claim to sell high quality creatine supplements, when in fact they may only sell fakes. They also come in pill or capsule form, and powder form.
Know what’s inside that supplement you’re getting!
A wide range of creatine supplements these days use creatine monohydrate and that's because this is by far the best type of creatine out there. Of course, you'll find that there are many other types on the market, including creatine ethyl ester, hydrochloride, nitrate and so forth.
Don't be fooled though by many of the fancy names the manufacturers come up with, since what they're selling is basically the same type of creatine under a different name.
In general, creatine supplements contain very few ingredients (as little as one), but there are also others that add in more than one ingredient. These are usually fillers, so be sure the supplements you get are pure creatine only.
Value for money
Since it's so popular and it can be purchased from almost anywhere, creatine can be quite cheap. However, there are also variants that cost a lot more than what you'd find in most online stores. Because of that, you need to compare the per serving cost and see what you get. If you can afford it and the supplement is worth it, then go ahead and get it.
Consider the brand’s reputation
One of the most important things to be aware of when buying creatine supplements is the brand producing them. You need to learn more about their reputation and read as many reviews about them as possible. Doing so, you'll have a better picture of whether you should get their supplements or not.
Take the time to read product reviews
These days, no matter what you want to buy (be it creatine supplements or a TV), you need to go online to see what others who bought from the company you plan on buying from, said about the product. Make sure that the supplements you want to get have positive reviews and that those who bought them got the results you plan on getting.
HOLD UP, there’s more to life than this supplement…
At the end of the day, the truth is that you'll find a lot of supplements out there, including post workout supplements, protein powders, protein bars, multivitamins, and many others.
So, no matter if your goal is to boost your athletic performance, gain more muscle or lose weight, there are always a few simple rules you need to bear in mind to achieve it. In fact, 3 of the most important things you need to consider when starting to work out are supplementation, diet and of course, discipline.
When it comes to discipline, it helps you not waste time in front of the computer or the TV all day long and instead makes you go to the gym and train. Secondly, eating a healthy diet means that you are supplementing your body with the nutrients it needs to recover fast after you've exercised.
Lastly, where your healthy diet cannot fill the gaps, proper supplementation is going to give your body the extra nutrients it needs to help with muscle recovery and prevent muscle soreness among many other benefits.
Let’s now open a can of worms!
Athletes have been using creatine for many years and these days you'll find that there are many companies out there that make these supplements. In fact, if you ask anyone who takes these supplements about whether he or she benefits from them, they're all going to give you the same resounding answer: Yes.
However, is creatine really that effective and will it help you get bigger, lift more, and improve your strength? Well, yes it does and below we're going to tell you more about it.
Here are the PRO's of Creatine:
- Superior Athletic Performance
If you take creatine supplements, not only will your body's energy levels increase, but you're going to train more effectively because of this as well. Based on information from the SSM, by taking creatine supplements not only will you be able to maximize your performance, but also your maximum power by as much as 15%.
So basically, what happens when you take creatine supplements is that you're going to give your body the energy it needs to fuel muscle contraction. As a bodybuilder, you're fully aware of how important this is since it helps push yourself to the limit, resulting in a boost in muscle mass and strength as well.
- Improved endurance
Your muscles use creatine phosphate to produce ATP. ATP is especially important for your muscles since it provides the energy, they need to function properly. When the amount of creatine phosphate in your muscles decreases, you're going to feel fatigued. Creatine supplement does otherwise when you take it regularly with other supplements.
- Increased muscle size and strength
If you're someone who has been training for quite a while, then you're probably aware of the fact that when your endurance and strength increase, your muscle strength and size increase as well. When it comes to creatine, it always boosts muscle strength in the short and long run. What you need to keep in mind is that creatine supplements don't grow your muscles. They only provide you the energy you need to train harder so that you can gain more muscle mass and improve your strength and endurance.
- Shorter recovery time
Since it contains many amino acids and because muscles are made of protein, this ingredient is vital to helping you reduce recovery times and boosting your overall strength and muscle mass. Also, it's important to note that taking creatine does indeed help improve energy levels, but it's not that useful when it comes to minimizing muscle soreness.
And for the CON's of Creatine…
These are more likely the potential side effects of taking creatine. It is equally important to seek help from a professional medical practitioner if you happen to be pre-disposed or might have suffered in any of the conditions mentioned below:
- Cramps and stomach aches
There's a good chance that if you take creatine that you may experience stomach aches and cramps. In fact, only five to seven percent of those that take this type of supplements are going to experience these side effects, so as you can see, that's a pretty low number. The good news though is that there are things you can do to lower your chances of experiencing cramps or stomach aches. For one, you shouldn't take creatine supplements if you haven't eaten anything and secondly, you need to always take them in the recommended dose.
When you take creatine, you'll force the muscles to take water from other organs and this means that you may eventually get dehydrated. To prevent this from happening, you should increase your water intake.
- Bloating and weight gain
These side effects are temporary, but still, they can be uncomfortable to deal with for some people. Given the fact that your muscles are going to hold water, your weight is going to increase. However, your body will go back to normal in just a few weeks after you started taking the supplements.
- Kidney issues
Many people believe that creatine negatively affects the kidneys, but it seems that recent studies have denied that. In fact, creatine is safe if it's taken by healthy individuals. On the other hand, if you're someone who has various kidney problems, then you shouldn't take these supplements.
In more ways than one, one question might be bugging you. And this is, when should I get these creatine supplements poppin’?
If this is the first time you take creatine, then you'll first need to take it to saturate the muscles. So, in the first week that you're going to take creatine, you'll gain about fifteen grams of weight per day. Be sure though that you split your daily intake into four to five doses and always take it with a meal for better results. Taking it on an empty stomach may cause cramps and stomach aches. After going through the loading phase, you'll move on to the maintenance phase.
This phase means that you'll need to take about five grams of creatine per day and continue doing so indefinitely if that is your choice. One thing to bear in mind though is that there are many types of creatine supplements out there and each of them contains different ingredients. Because of that, you need to follow the instructions on the packaging when taking it.
If you're the type who would also like to combine your creatine supplements with other supplements, you need to make sure that they don't interact negatively with one another. If you're looking for convenience and a fast way to do this, then be sure to get a BlenderBottle. It'll change the way you take your workout supplements.
PRO TIP: You may have heard that some people like to take creatine in the morning, others at noon and others before going to bed. However, there's no ideal time to take your creatine supplements, since whenever you take it, your body is going to absorb it the same way.
The potential game changer, the CREATINE CYCLING!
Some people have this personal preference of taking creatine supplements for a while and will suddenly stop. You may think that they're on to something, but it seems that this process is highly debatable. According to some, cycling makes it a lot easier to prevent creatine becoming ineffective, while others say that cycling doesn't do anything for them.
However, according to medical professionals, it seems that taking creatine is safe regardless of if you do it daily and for a long period of time. On the other hand, we must admit that cycling does have a few benefits.
One of them is the fact that if you consider it, then you'll easily be able to see results. That's because when you take creatine, your muscles are forced to store more water and as a result, your muscles are going to appear bigger. On the other hand, if you take a break from taking creatine, then those effects are going to disappear very soon. When they do, you're going to have the real picture of how far you've progressed in terms of fitness level.