After the loading phase, one should be able to take a steady-state amount of 3-5 grams of creatine a day. The information available on supplements' packaging can be confusing (image below). When the labelling seems to refer to the mass of a capsule, are there any common conventions that are assumed for inferring the amount of creatine?

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  • 2
    Note that this patented "buffered" creatine is no better than regular creatine monohydrate. It's just a whole lot more expensive for no benefit. doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-9-43 Sep 20, 2021 at 1:16
  • Huh! I was just following the advice of someone who researches this online. Can you suggest alternatives? Sep 20, 2021 at 4:33
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    Just buy pure creatine monohydrate. It's cheap, simple, and proven. Anything claiming to be a better form of creatine is almost certainly a scam. Sep 20, 2021 at 5:26
  • Okay. Thanks for that Sep 20, 2021 at 6:39

1 Answer 1


There is a standard way to read supplement labels. The linked webpage is a useful visualization. There is an "active" section and an "other" or "non-active" section in a supplement. Usually the ingredients of interest are listed in the first section with their amount.

In this case, each serving of 2 capsules contains 1500 mg of the 'patented' creatine-blend. Therefore, each capsule contains 750 mg of creatine-blend. In some scenarios, the additional non-medicinal ingredients would be in excess of the amount listed (i.e. each capsule might actually weigh 800 mg = 750 mg creatine + 50 mg non-medicinal) but they can also be included. In your case, you can actually look at the patent filed for the creatine-blend and find that:

In capsule form, the capsule includes the following formulation:

Creatine Monohydrate, 1000 mg
Maltodextrin, 200 mg
Magnesium Stearate, 5 mg
Magnesium Glycerol Phosphate, 25 mg
Soda Ash, 5-1000 mg
Natural and/or Artificial Flavors, 20 mg

The method for making capsules is to place 1000 mg of creatine monohydrate in a mixing vessel. The pH is adjusted to be between 7 and 14 by adding soda ash. The maltodextrin, magnesium stearate (a flow agent) and natural and/or artificial flavors are added to desired taste and sweetness. The pH is again checked, and magnesium glycerol phosphate is added to adjust the pH to be between 7 and 14. The mixed powder is then processed by a conventional encapsulation machine which prepares capsules of the powder.

So, in this case you can see that each capsule serving contains 1 g of creatine monohydrate. IMO, this is uncommon to know the makeup of proprietary blends but this is a great example of how labels can be misleading.

I'd gamble that if you were to read the directions they instruct you to take 4 capsules per day to meet the 3 g maintenance phase requirement. However, we can now see that you'd only be getting 2 g of creatine monohydrate.

  • I can see the 1500mg, but how did you infer that it refers to creatine as opposed to all of the materials listed? It does say 4 capsules, but it would be reassuring to know the logic behind the certainty that 1500mg refers to creatine. Sep 19, 2021 at 23:58
  • Maybe it's implied by the thick lines, in contrast to the thin lines. The headings between a pair of thick lines refer to the line items that follow, up to the next pair of thick lines that straddle headings. If so, there is a lot of guesswork there. Sep 20, 2021 at 0:13
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    @user2153235 it says that each (2 capsule) serving contains 1500mg of their patented creatine (which is a mixture of some amount of magnesium in addition to the creatine), plus unspecified amounts of the "non-medical" ingredients. So the other materials listed do not count towards the 1500mg, but that 1500mg is also not pure creatine monohydrate. Sep 20, 2021 at 1:21
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    @user2153235 I edited my answer and looked into it a bit more for you. I was curious myself. Your answer is that usually you don't know, and this is why "proprietary blends" without listed ingredients are not worth your money.
    – C. Lange
    Sep 20, 2021 at 3:06
  • Wow. Your research-fu is strong. Thanks so much! Sep 20, 2021 at 3:13

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