Creatine is an excellent supplement for athletes and weightlifters looking to take their performance to the next level.

Among other things, creatine can improve exercise performance, muscle strength, and muscle mass.

Creatine is available in powder or pill form, so which one is best? When you take a supplement, you want to be sure you're getting the most out of it.

In the guide below, we will take a look at the differences between creatine capsules and powders.

Creatine is an organic amino acid naturally produced by your body. It combines three amino acids; arginine, glycine, and methionine. These amino acids aren't involved in protein synthesis.

Most of your creatine is stored in your muscles, but there are trace amounts in your kidneys, liver, and brain.

Supplementation is beneficial because we can't saturate our muscles through natural production and food intake alone.

Creatine powders and pills are essentially the same product in different forms.

Taking either supplement will cover your creatine needs and saturate the organic acid inside your muscles so you can reap the benefits.

Concret Creatine Capsules Vs Powder

Here we look at creatine pills vs powder for several categories.

Convenience

The first difference between the two is convenience. When it comes to convenience, it doesn’t get much better than pills.

Pills are an extremely convenient way to bring your health and fitness supplements with you wherever you go.

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For example, taking a creatine capsule with a glass of water is much easier than worrying about mixing creatine powder.

Absorption

The main difference between the two forms is absorption rates. Your stomach will likely have an easier time absorbing a powder. It will take a bit longer to absorb a capsule.

Because of the fast absorption time, the creatine will be processed and delivered to your muscle cells faster.

However, unless you’re a professional athlete, you don’t really have to worry about maximum absorption or how fast amino acids are delivered.

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Choosing One For Your Lifestyle

When it comes down to it, what’s best for you is what suits your lifestyle the best. You should look at it from a convenience point of view.

Some people find it much easier to improve exercise performance by timing a pill than transporting powder and a shaker cup.

Even though the absorption of the pill takes a little longer, all you'll have to do is adjust the timing a bit. Most people really don't need to worry about timing.

If you go through regular creatine loading, powder products will probably be much easier, especially if you don't enjoy taking pills. So it just comes down to personal preference.

Price Differential

Price is another big difference. When it comes to affordability, creatine powder takes the cake.

For instance, about 500 grams of creatine powder will set you back $12 to $15. The same dose of creatine pills will likely be two or even three times as much.

This makes creatine powder the best option for most people. It is far less expensive than taking a creatine pill, gets into your system faster, and makes the loading phase easier.

The only real downside to the powdered form of the creatine supplement is that you’ll have to have a shaker cup with you.

However, if you are already taking whey protein powder, you already have a shaker cup. The extra effort is well worth it for the cost savings and additional benefits that powders offer.

Creatine Powder (Pros And Cons Explained)

Creatine powder is very popular among bodybuilders and fitness pros. It’s easy for people already taking protein powder to add creatine to their shakes.

Close Up View Of Gainful Creatine Powder

The most significant benefits of creatine powders over creatine pills are:


  • More readily absorbed than pills
  • Easy to add to other supplements like protein powder for maximum results
  • Cost-effective

As mentioned above, creatine powder is typically much more affordable than tablets, and they're easier for your body to absorb.

The powder is also easier to take with carbohydrate or protein supplements, improving its effectiveness. However, creatine powders do have some drawbacks, including:


  • Tougher to transport
  • More wastage than pills
  • Potential for inaccurate dosing

You can't just toss your powder in your gym bag without ensuring it won't make a mess.

If you aren't careful, when you add it to your liquid, it's not uncommon for some to get stuck on your container, which inevitably leads to wastage.

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This also means you're consuming less creatine than intended which could limit its effects.

Creatine Pills (Pros And Cons Explained)

Taking creatine pills or tablets is an easy way to increase creatine levels.

You can add them to your daily regime of supplements so they slot nicely into your existing routine. This is an excellent benefit for people taking several supplements each day. 

Creatine Pills

There are more benefits of creatine pills, including:


  • Simple to transport
  • Zero waste
  • You get an exact dosage every time

Creatine in pill form is easy to transport because you can toss a few pills in your bag without worrying about powder spilling everywhere.

When you take creatine in capsule form, you know you are getting the entire dosage every time.

The best creatine pills have a strict amount of the monohydrate form so that you know you're ingesting enough creatine for your goals.

However, taking creatine pills does have some drawbacks, like:


  • Creatine capsules are more expensive than powder
  • They are absorbed by the body slower
  • You can’t combine them with other complementary supplements

Creatine supplementation with capsules is more expensive than powder. Your costs will add up during the loading phase.

And since it is so compact, it takes your body longer to digest and absorb, so you need to take them earlier than powder.

A creatine supplement is usually more effective when combined with carbohydrates and protein.

Learn More - Can You Mix Creatine With Protein Powder? (Expert Advice)

The International Journal of Sports Nutrition and other studies have found that taking creatine with whey protein helped improve lean body mass.[1]

However, this is hard to do with tablets.

Why Use Creatine Supplementation? (Benefits Examined)

There’s an old saying in the fitness community that says, “if you aren’t taking creatine, you’re doing it wrong.”

This quote applies to creatine powder or tablet form because countless benefits come with creatine supplements.

Each form of the supplement will have the same benefits that come from the extra energy that allows your muscle to perform more work and function better.

For example, certain studies have shown a 5-15% increase in work output as a result of taking creatine supplements.[2]

The extra work output translates to greater adaptations, including greater muscle size and faster sprint times.

Woman Holding Creatine Capsules

When you add creatine pills or powders to your workouts, you can expect to see performance enhancements like:

Increased Strength

Research has found that creatine helps with strength training and can increase strength by 5-15% in the short term. Long-term creatine supplementation will remain around the 5-15% mark.

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Add More Muscle Mass

Anyone who has picked up a barbell or dumbbell wants to build muscle. The best way to do this is to get more volume and progressive overload in your workout program.

Since creatine monohydrate provides extra energy with ATP (adenosine triphosphate), you can knock out more volume.

Some people talk about muscle fluid retention as if it's a bad thing. If you consider that your muscle is 79% water and a hydrated muscle is more anabolic, it doesn't seem so bad.

When you're strength training, building muscle mass is a beautiful thing.

See More - Does Creatine Help With Abs? (Guide From A Trainer)

Prevents Muscle Breakdown

Studies have found that capsules or powdered creatine can improve muscle recovery and muscle repair and promote muscle growth.

It can also help you retain your muscles with or without workouts.

This makes creatine excellent for all types of people, from a serious bodybuilder following a clean bulk workout and diet plan to a mom trying to avoid health issues.

Increases Sports Performance

A major advantage of creatine supplementation is that it can even make resistance training more enjoyable.

Evidence has shown that athletes supplementing creatine experience a 5-15% increase in performance in the long term.

If you take creatine in pill or powder form, you could experience improved power production, top speed, and vertical jumps.

Common Creatine Pills Vs Powder Questions

What's the best time to take creatine powder?

The first dose of powder creatine is best taken 30 minutes before your workout or high-intensity activities.  Powder creatine should also be ingested after your workout when your muscles are growing and rebuilding.

When should I take creatine pills?

Creatine tablets can also be taken shortly before or after you exercise. You can also split your daily dose and take it throughout the day. You start with creatine loading, which involves taking 20–25 grams of creatine divided into 4–5 equal doses for about a week. Then you take 3–5 grams daily to maintain your muscle stores of creatine.

Is creatine monohydrate the best creatine capsule?

Several types of creatine are available, but monohydrate is currently considered the best. The monohydrate is a safe supplement, has the most conclusive evidence, and is as effective as other forms of the supplement.

Verdict – Which Form Of Creatine Is Best?

Do creatine pills work? Yes, and so does powder. Both are excellent for your health, and adding creatine to your regimen will improve your workouts.

However, when it comes down to creatine pills vs powder, the right supplement for you depends on convenience and price.

If you want something easy to carry around, go with the pills. If you want something cheaper that is absorbed a little faster, the powder is what you need.

References: 

  1. https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/ijsnem/11/3/article-p349.xml
  2. https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z
Miloš Lepotic

Miloš Lepotic

Meet Miloš, a certified sports nutritionist and self-taught supplement expert whose pharmacological background and nearly a decade of gym experience make him the perfect guide for optimizing your health and athletic performance through supplement reviews and practical advice rooted in factual, science-backed information.