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In the world of health and fitness supplements, creatine is one of the most well-researched, effective, and popular products on the market; and, the best creatine supplements will provide a research-backed dosage of the ingredient.

Transparent Labs Creatine includes not just creatine monohydrate, but also HMB, BioPerine, and vitamin D, which sets it apart from other brands that only include creatine monohydrate with no additives.

In this Transparent Labs Creatine review, I’m using both personal experience and detailed notes from our testers to help you decide if this is the right formula to add to your supplement routine. 

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider. GGR also recommends choosing a product that has been third-party tested for quality.

Real Reviews from Certified Fitness Experts

Here at Garage Gym Reviews, our testers include certified personal trainers, nutritionists, registered dietitians, and even an Olympic weightlifter. When we talk about creatine, we aren’t simply guessing–our team has tested over 40 different creatine formulas—even the best creatine gummies—at the time of writing.

Our testers are certified fitness experts with hands-on experience testing this formula, so we’re writing from personal experience.

Transparent Labs Creatine

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Uses research-backed doses 
  • Available in 10 fruit flavors as well as an unflavored option
  • Free from artificial sweeteners, colored dyes, fillers, and harmful additives

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 10+ flavors, 1 unflavored option
  • Includes B-Hydroxy B-Methylbutyrate (HMB)
  • 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per serving
  • Contains no added sugar, artificial sweeteners, dyes, or fillers

Cons

  • No stimulant (for those looking for pre-workout boost)

Bottom Line

Transparent Labs’ Creatine HMB puts a unique twist on the more traditional creatine monohydrate by adding HMB to more effectively build strength, stamina and recovery.

A Quick Look at Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Transparent Labs, which manufactures a comprehensive line of workout supplements including protein powder, pre-workout and more, has improved your typical creatine formula by adding other ingredients that may improve your performance in the gym. First, they use creatine monohydrate, which is the most tested, proven form, and often the most affordable. Creatine increases strength and performance, which may promote muscle-building and increases lean muscle mass. 

RELATED: Does Creatine Make You Stronger?

The formula also includes 1,500 milligrams of HMB, which may have a positive impact on strength and lean body mass3, and 12.5 micrograms of vitamin D, which helps regulate calcium levels and may support muscle strength4 and overall fatigue5

Finally, this creatine supplement contains BioPerine, a black pepper extract that can help your body absorb and use nutrients6.

The product comes in 14 flavors, including an unflavored variation, and comes in both 30- and 60-serving sizes, with the recommendation to take one serving per day. There are no artificial sweeteners, colored dyes, or unnecessary fillers. 

Before You Buy

  • Transparent Labs Creatine HMB costs more than plain creatine monohydrate, which is still effective even without the added ingredients.  
  • While there are 14 flavors available, our testers preferred to use unflavored creatine, finding some of the flavors a bit unpleasant. 
  • You’ll save $10 if you order the 60-serving size, which is two months’ worth of creatine if you use one serving per day (one serving contains a 5-gram creatine monohydrate dose and 1.5 grams of HMB). 

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Video Review

Is Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Worth It?

The most obvious point to address is the price, as Transparent Labs Creatine is significantly more expensive than most creatine formulas, thanks to the added HMB, Vitamin D, and BioPerine. Each serving costs between $1.35-$1.66 depending on the option you purchase, while the other creatine products we’ve reviewed cost an average of $0.80 per serving.

Transparent Labs claims that HMB significantly increases lean body mass, but they reference studies from 2009. More recent research has shown mixed results for increasing lean mass, though HMB supplementation does seem to be useful for minimizing muscle breakdown1 and supporting muscle recovery. 

While vitamin D is an essential vitamin that’s important for our overall health, a 2021 meta-analysis2 showed that vitamin D did not have any significant impact on muscle growth, and many supplement users are already taking vitamin D from another source. The small amount in this product may not provide much extra benefit.

The creatine monohydrate itself is appropriately dosed and very effective, but there are cheaper ways to get creatine into your daily supplement routine if you’re on a budget. You can purchase high-quality creatine monohydrate alone, and it’s often added to pre-workouts (check out our roundup of the best pre-workout with creatine, by the way) and BCAA formulas.

RELATED: When Is The Best Time to Take Creatine?

Great for:

  • Those looking to increase the anabolic effects of resistance training like increased muscle mass and strength, or increased athletic performance
  • People who want to avoid harmful additives, artificial coloring, or artificial sweeteners.
  • Anyone who needs a third-party-tested product

Not recommended for:

  • Anyone on a budget 
  • Those with pre-existing kidney conditions
  • Anyone with liver disease or high blood pressure

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Specs

Price per serving$1.35-$1.66
FlavorsUnflavored, Blue Raspberry, Sour Grape, Tropical Punch, Peach Rings, Cherry Kiwi, Fruit Punch, Watermelon Black Cherry, Orange, Hawaiian Splash, Peach Mango, Strawberry Lemonade, Blueberry Pomegranate
Key ingredientsCreatine monohydrate, vitamin D, HMB, BioPerine
Serving size1 scoop (9.9g)
Other ingredientsNatural flavors, citric acid, malic acid, stevia extract
SweetenerStevia extract
Third-party tested?Yes

Experience Using Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Two of our expert testers tried Transparent Labs Creatine HMB, and I’ve personally taken creatine monohydrate for years. We like Transparent Labs products, as they utilize clean ingredients, have transparent labels, and undergo third-party testing, so let’s see what our testers had to say about the creatine HMB specifically. 

Price Per Serving

The 30-serving tub costs $49.99, which means each serving costs $1.66. The 60-serving tub costs $89.99, which is $1.49 per serving. The most affordable option is to set up a subscription for the 60-serving tub, bridging the per-serving cost down to $1.35.

We’ve tested over 40 brands of creatine and the average cost per serving is $0.80, so you’re paying significantly more to get the HMB, vitamin D, and BioPerine. 

Formulation

The formula includes four active ingredients, with clear labeling that tells you exactly how much you’re getting. 

  • Creatine monohydrate: Each serving contains 5,000 milligrams of creatine monohydrate, the most researched and affordable form of creatine. 
  • β-Hydroxy β-methylbutyrate (HMB): HMB is a natural compound created when the body breaks down the amino acid leucine and may help prevent muscle breakdown and improve recovery from training. Each scoop contains 1,500 milligrams of HMB.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that’s often associated with immune health, mood, and bone health. Each serving contains 12.5 micrograms (500IU) of vitamin D.
  • BioPerine: BioPerine is added to supplements to enhance absorption and bioavailability of the other ingredients, which in this case are creatine monohydrate, HMB, and vitamin D. There are 5 milligrams of BioPerine in each serving of Transparent Labs Creatine HMB.

RELATED: Types of Creatine

transparent labs stack

Taste and Solubility 

Although Transparent Labs Creatine HMB comes in 14 flavors, with one of those being unflavored, our testers weren’t impressed with the flavors, and prefer to use unflavored creatine. 

Our testers found that the product didn’t mix very well and still left floaters in the beverage. They also reported that they didn’t love the flavors tested, though other flavors may taste better.

Nicole Davis, senior editor at Garage Gym Reviews, and a CPT, PN1-NC, said: “I tried Black Cherry and I wasn’t a huge fan of the taste of this one—it tasted a bit watered down, even with the right amount of water. Some people may prefer this though!”

Amanda Capritto, certified nutrition coach and personal trainer, also tried Transparent Labs Creatine HMB and wasn’t impressed with the flavor. “I got the Peach Mango flavor and there’s something weird about it,” she explains.“The flavor itself is good and strong enough, but I think the BioPerine, which is a derivative of black pepper, is altering the taste. When you smell it, it smells spicy in a weird way. It’s kind of off-putting. When mixed, it tastes a bit bitter unless mixed with more than the recommended amount of water.”

Website reviews aren’t as harsh about the flavor, but we like to keep it honest over here. 

Side Effects

Our testers didn’t notice any side effects and creatine hasn’t been shown to have any long-term negative side effects, though it may cause gastrointestinal issues. 

According to Dr. Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., “It’s estimated around 5 to 7% of people who take creatine may experience stomach aches; however, taking smaller doses (3 to 5 grams) or using a micronized form of creatine may help reduce gastrointestinal distress. Creatine loading may also lead to an initial weight gain of 1 to 2% body mass in the first few days due to water being pulled into the muscle; however, this is less likely to occur if following a low-dose protocol.”

I’ve tried a creatine loading phase in the past and experienced stomach cramping, but this has never happened when I take a smaller dose of 5 grams per day. 

Third-Party Testing 

All Transparent Labs supplements are third-party tested, and you can look at the Certificate of Analysis for each product by looking up the lot number on your bottle on the Transparent Labs website. This is important because…

Comparison to Xwerks Lift 

Xwerks Lift

XWERKS Lift

GGR Score: 4.25 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Pure micronized creatine monohydrate
  • Unflavored
  • Each bag contains 80, 5-gram servings
  • Mixes into your favorite drink 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • One simple ingredient
  • Easy to digest
  • Combined with strength training it increases the growth of lean muscle

Cons

  • Does not come in flavors

Bottom Line

Xwerks Lift is an affordable, clean, and effective creatine supplement that provides 5 grams of micronized creatine monohydrate per scoop. Anyone looking for a simple and budget-friendly creatine powder may be pleased with Lift.

Let’s take a look at Transparent Labs Creatine HMB next to Xwerks Lift, which contains pure creatine monohydrate in the same dose as Transparent Labs, but with none of the other ingredients. As you can see in the table below, Xwerks is significantly cheaper at $0.61 per serving, compared to Transparent Labs’ cost of $1.66 per serving. If you’re interested in an unflavored, single-ingredient creatine supplement, Xwerks Lift is a better option.

Transparent Labs Creatine HMBXwerks Lift
Price per serving$1.35-$1.66$0.61
FlavorsUnflavored, Blue Raspberry, Sour Grape, Tropical Punch, Peach Rings, Cherry Kiwi, Fruit Punch, Watermelon Black Cherry, Orange, Hawaiian Splash, Peach Mango, Strawberry Lemonade, Blueberry PomegranateUnflavored
Key ingredientsCreatine monohydrate, vitamin D, HMB, BioPerineCreatine monohydrate
Serving size1 scoop (9.9g)1 scoop (5g)
Other ingredientsNatural flavors, citric acid, malic acid, stevia extractNone
SweetenerStevia extractNone
Third-party tested?YesNo

Customer Experience 

Transparent Labs is generally easy to do business with. They offer a full refund or store credit within 30 days of purchase if you’re not happy with your order. All you need to do is email their customer support, and they’ll take care of you. 

Ordering Transparent Labs Creatine

Transparent Labs offers a subscribe-and-save option, which gives you 10% off both serving sizes and free shipping. If you don’t do the subscribe and save option, you’ll have to spend over $100 to get free shipping.  

Customer Reviews

Transparent Labs website reviews of the creatine HMB product are very positive, averaging 4.7 stars with 2058 reviews. Transparent Labs reviewers enjoy the taste, so other flavors may taste better than the ones we reviewed.

Screenshot of positive Transparent Labs reviews

On Amazon, the product has an average rating of 4.4 stars with 292 reviews at the time of writing. The positive reviews said they loved the effects and felt noticeable benefits, though most of the top reviewers use the unflavored edition. 

Amazon positive review screenshot

On the other hand, many of the negative reviews said the product arrived unsealed, which could be a quality control issue from Amazon, and had a bad taste and smell. 

Screenshot of negative Amazon reviews

Final Verdict of Our Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Review

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB has a promising formulation, even though some of the positive effects of HMB and vitamin D on muscle growth may be a bit exaggerated. However, you’ll pay extra for these ingredients, and our testers weren’t impressed by the flavors we were able to try.

That said, the third-party testing and a label that shows full dosing for each ingredient is a good sign, and creatine monohydrate has many proven benefits

Key takeaways:

  • Contains the most well-researched, proven form of creatine that can help improve body composition by supporting muscle and strength gains
  • Accurate labeling and third-party testing
  • The flavors we tested weren’t very good, and the product is fairly expensive due to additional ingredients

Full Rating

Transparent Labs Creatine

Transparent Labs’ Creatine HMB puts a unique twist on the more traditional creatine monohydrate by adding HMB to more effectively build strength, stamina and recovery.

Product Brand: Transparent Labs

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 49.99

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.5

Transparent Labs Creatine Rating

Price per serving – 1
Formulation – 5
Taste – 4
Solubility – 3.5
Side effects – 5
Third-party testing – 3
Customer service – 5
Customer reviews – 4.7
Buy Now

Transparent Labs Creatine: FAQ

Is Transparent Labs Creatine better than creatine monohydrate?

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB contains additional ingredients that may enhance the results you experience, but you’ll pay extra for them.

Is Transparent Labs legit?

Yes, Transparent Labs is a reputable company that third-party tests all of its formulas and provides certificates of analysis for all formulas. 

What is the best creatine on the market?

The most well-researched and proven form is creatine monohydrate, so any product containing creatine monohydrate will be beneficial to use. 

Which brand is best for creatine?

When choosing a brand, look for companies that provide third-party testing, and full label transparency, with no ingredient doses hidden in proprietary blends. 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

References

  1. Rahimi MH, Mohammadi H, Eshaghi H, Askari G, Miraghajani M. The Effects of Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate Supplementation on Recovery Following Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Am Coll Nutr. 2018;37(7):640-649. doi:10.1080/07315724.2018.1451789
  2. Bislev LS, Grove-Laugesen D, Rejnmark L. Vitamin D and Muscle Health: A Systematic Review and Metaanalysis of Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trials. J Endocr Soc. 2021;5(Suppl 1):A281. Published 2021 May 3. doi:10.1210/jendso/bvab048.571
  3. Rahimi MH, Mohammadi H, Eshaghi H, Askari G, Miraghajani M. The Effects of Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate Supplementation on Recovery Following Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Am Coll Nutr. 2018;37(7):640-649. doi:10.1080/07315724.2018.1451789
  4. Chiang CM, Ismaeel A, Griffis RB, Weems S. Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation on Muscle Strength in Athletes: A Systematic Review. J Strength Cond Res. 2017;31(2):566-574. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001518
  5. Roy S, Sherman A, Monari-Sparks MJ, Schweiker O, Hunter K. Correction of Low Vitamin D Improves Fatigue: Effect of Correction of Low Vitamin D in Fatigue Study (EViDiF Study). N Am J Med Sci. 2014;6(8):396-402. doi:10.4103/1947-2714.139291
  6. Fernández-Lázaro D, Mielgo-Ayuso J, Córdova Martínez A, Seco-Calvo J. Iron and Physical Activity: Bioavailability Enhancers, Properties of Black Pepper (Bioperine®) and Potential Applications. Nutrients. 2020;12(6):1886. Published 2020 Jun 24. doi:10.3390/nu12061886

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