Creatine monohydrate may be one of the most common muscle building supplements available out there, but there are so many questions about it. The most studied type of creatine is creatine monohydrate, and it is widely accepted for its performance and value for money.
One such question is: what form of creatine is best? The most common forms of creatine are powder and capsules. No conclusive evidence exists to say which form is better, but considering that the stomach digests both forms into phosphocreatine eventually, then logically, both should be just as effective.
Although “better” can be relative, we can definitely compare them practically.
Difference Between Creatine Capsules and Powder
The biggest advantage that capsules have over powder is their portability. This can be huge especially for the gym-goer because you can carry a serving of creatine capsules in your gym bag and simply pop them whenever you need to.
The second major advantage of creatine capsules is that they’re more convenient than the powdered form of creatine. Unlike powder, which requires measuring and mixing, capsules only require that you grab the right number. You also do not need to prepare water, juice, or some other liquid to mix creatine powder in with.
However, if you are already consuming other supplements in powder form, you can mix creatine powder together (be it protein powder, BCAA’s, L-Glutamine, etc) into one convenient drink rather than consuming a big pile of pills.
Compared to creatine powder, capsules have a significantly greater cost per serving. Creatine capsules are typically five to ten times more expensive than powder.
Here’s a comparison of creatine capsules versus creatine powder, of the same brand. From the product labels themselves:
|Product:||Optimum Nutrition, Micronized Creatine Powder, Unflavored, 10.6 oz (300 g)||Optimum Nutrition, Creatine 2500 Caps, 200 Capsules|
|Cost Per Serving:||$0.1745||$0.1849|
|Cost Per 5g Serving:||$0.1745||$0.3698|
|Cost for 300g:||$9.95||$22.19|
|Serving Size:||1 Rounded Teaspoon (5.25g)||2 Capsules|
|Servings Per Container:||57||100|
|Amount per serving:||5g of Creatine Monohydrate||2.5g of Creatine Monohydrate|
$5 Discount Code: VHW626
$5 Discount Code: VHW626
At first glance, it looks like the cost-per-serving is roughly similar for powder and capsules. Look closer though, and you’ll realise that each capsule serving gives you only 2.5g of creatine monohydrate, versus 5g for the powder form. That means your cost-per-serving is actually double, making it $0.1849 x 2 = $0.3698. If you want an apple-to-apple comparison, I’ve added in pricing for what 300g will cost you for both capsules and powdered options. You can see that the powdered form costs less than half the capsule form.
3. Serving Size
Another issue with capsules is on the dosage – to consume the recommended 5g of creatine, you will have to pop at least four large pills (depending on the serving size), compared to just one teaspoon for creatine powder.
In the end, there is really no right or wrong choices on the form in which creatine is consumed. It all comes down to what you need. Go for creatine powder if you’re looking for value. And if you’re going for convenience, choose creatine capsules. If you’re getting creatine powder, then definitely get the micronized powdered forms, which dissolve easily and without clumps. A good brand at an affordable price is Optimum Nutrition’s Micronized Creatine Powder (use $5 Discount Code: VHW626).