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GNC Amplified Creatine 189 has a recommended serving size of 2 tablets, which supplies your muscles with 1250 mg of GNC’s PEG-Creatine system (creatine hydrochloride).
But how does this compare to pure creatine monohydrate powder?
In this review we’ll take a look at the science behind creatine hydrochloride, how it affects your muscles during training, and whether 1250 mg is a safe dose to start with (no recommended loading phase).
We’ve also compared GNC Amplified to other top rated creatine powders and capsules, to help you find the best supplement to support your strength and endurance goals.
This includes dosages, ingredients (types of creatine, vitamins BCAAs, etc.), price, and a summary of the hundreds of customer reviews already on Amazon.
If you want to use GNC creatine as part of your bodybuilding, powerlifting, or CrossFit program, we’ve also added some highly effective supplement stack suggestions.
GNC Amplified Creatine ingredients
Creatine hydrochloride (HCL) is somewhat of a rarity in the supplement world, with only a handful of companies making pure HCL products. This includes Bulk Supplements, Body Fortress, Con-Cret, and of course, GNC.
It’s even been left of the ingredient list for creatine blends like BPI Sports Best Creatine and Beast Sports Creature. So is it more affordable than monohydrate?
Unfortunately not. In fact, GNC Amplified 189 is one of the most expensive creatine supplements we’ve come across, with a cost per serving of $0.37 at the time of writing this review.
That’s compared to an average of $0.10 for a 5 g serving of monohydrate from companies like Now Foods and Optimum Nutrition.
So it’s more expensive, but maybe there’s science showing it’s more effective?
Is creatine HCL backed by science?
Creatine monohydrate isn’t just the most studied creatine in strength training, it’s also pretty much the only creatine to be studied. We couldn’t find a single piece of research into creatine HCL.
This is disappointing considering the claims GNC have printed on the bottle’s label. GNC’s PEG-Creatine System can apparently increase muscle creatine absorption by 189% (hence the name), and provide the same power as 5 g of creatine monohydrate.
Although GNC refer to a clinical study on their website, they also admit they were the ones that tested it (not an independent study), and don’t provide links to the original research or findings.
As with most creatine HCL supplements, GNC 189 claims to require a lower dosage than creatine monohydrate, but this another claim that has not been tested.
Health benefits of creatine
For a comprehensive list of creatine health benefits, we recommend taking a look at our Creatine Buying Guide.
Post-workout or pre-workout?
Consult your physician prior to using Amplified Creatine 189 if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, under 18 years of age, or have a medical condition. Discontinue two weeks prior to surgery.
GNC Amplified 189 vs. Dymatize Creatine
GNC Amplified 189 vs. BSN Creatine DNA
What size is the best value?
With a serving size of 2 tablets, each bottle provides you with 120 servings. Following the recommended daily dose of 1 serving per day, this should last you up to 4 months/120 days.
At the time of writing this review, each serving was priced at $0.37. We always recommend calculating the average cost per serving, across all sizes, before making a final buying decision.
Who are GNC?
GNC (General Nutrition Centers) produce a wide range of vitamins and supplements designed to support heart health, protect your joints, boost your mood, and assist with weight loss.
Their current product line features multivitamins for men, women, and children, in addition to their fish oils and omega fatty acids.
Some of their current bestsellers are the GNC Burn 60 thermogenic fat burner, Mega Men 50 Plus multivitamin, and the Amplified Mass XXX weight gainer protein powder.
To guarantee high quality formulas, scientists at GNC meet with university researchers, doctors, nutritionists, and other health care experts.
Each year they spend millions of dollars on nutritional research to stay on the cutting-edge of new scientific discoveries.
In addition to their online presence, GNC supplements can also be found in more than 9,000 physical locations around the world. This includes more than 6,500 in the United States.
Overall, we’re not particularly impressed by GNC Amplified Creatine 189. Unfortunately the delivery system is tablets, which are certainly convenient, but it doesn’t give you the freedom to mix them with a pre- or post-workout protein shake.
Also, the dose is very low, even for a 2-tablet serving. Of all the creatine studies we’ve seen, none recommend a daily dose as low as 1.25 g. They typically involve a 20 g/day loading phase for 1 week, followed by 5 g per day as a maintenance phase.
Another problem is that these recommended doses are creatine monohydrate, not creatine hydrochloride. That’s because the effects of creatine hydrochloride haven’t been studied or proven in enough independent clinical studies.
So the dose is low and there isn’t enough proof to say this form of creatine works as well as monohydrate. But it’s also an incredibly expensive supplement, priced at $0.37 per serving at the time of this review. That’s nearly 4 times the price of Optimum Nutrition Creatine, for a quarter of the dose.
In summary, we wouldn’t recommend GNC Creatine 189. There isn’t enough scientific proof to say it’s better than monohydrate, and if we train hard to increase our strength and lean muscle mass, we only want to put our trust in proven ingredients.
Two excellent alternatives are Optimum Nutrition Creatine, and Integrated Supplements Creatine.
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