GNC Pro Performance Creatine Monohydrate 5000 Review — Is Generic Cheaper?

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If you live in the United States, you’re probably familiar with GNC. The supplement giant has over five thousand locations in America, plus they’ve got locations in over fifty other countries.

There’s a decent chance you already buy your supplements from GNC but if you’re like me, you might be wary of picking up the generic, in-house brand products. Is GNC’s creatine just as good as brand name stuff? Is it cheaper? Could their creatine be better? I took a closer look.

GNC Pro Performance Creatine Monohydrate 5000
GNC Pro Performance Creatine Monohydrate 5000
A well priced creatine that's certified GMP and free from artificial ingredients, gluten and soy.MoreLess

GNC Pro Performance Creatine Monohydrate 5000 Ingredients

There’s just one ingredient here: creatine. You get five grams per serving and GNC has gone with creatine monohydrate, which is the most popular and well researched form of the supplement. There are no artificial or natural flavors, sweeteners, or even anti-caking agents. It’s straight creatine.

GNC Pro Performance Creatine Monohydrate 5000 Review
GNC Pro Performance Creatine Monohydrate 5000 Review

GNC Pro Performance Creatine Monohydrate 5000 Benefits and Effectiveness

Creatine has really strong links to not only increased muscle size — it draws water into the muscles — but also improved power output, muscular endurance, and possibly some mental benefits as well.

As mentioned above, creatine monohydrate is always a good choice when selecting a creatine, though some may be disappointed that this creatine isn’t micronized. Micronized creatine disperses a little more easily in water and is less likely to collect in a little pile at the bottom of the shaker. That’s probably not a dealbreaker for most people.

As far as quality control goes, GNC makes all their products in certified Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) facilities. That means they need to abide by regulations outlined by the FDA to ensure product purity.

A lot of people like their supplements to be third party tested as well, and many companies employ organizations like BSCG or Informed Choice to run additional tests to triple check that there are minimal impurities and no banned substances. I called GNC and they said that while they do sometimes work with HFL Sports Science on third party testing, they couldn’t confirm that they do so with Creatine Monohydrate 5000. That’s probably not a big deal for most people but for competitive athletes, this may give them pause.

GNC also promises on its packaging that this product is free from gluten, soy, dairy, and corn, a promise that many creatine companies can’t make because they’re processed in facilities that contain allergens. That could be good news for athletes with extremely sensitive allergies, though it’s worth pointing out that there’s no mention of peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, and crustaceans.

GNC Pro Performance Creatine Monohydrate 5000
GNC Pro Performance Creatine Monohydrate 5000

The biggest downside with this product for me is that the packaging is a bit frustrating. The lid is small — about the size of the bottom of a coffee cup — and it’s hard to reach into the tub and get the scoop, particularly as you start to run low.

GNC Pro Performance Creatine Monohydrate 5000 Price

You can grab 500 grams, or 100 servings, for $44. That comes to 44 cents per serving or 8.8 cents per gram of creatine.

For the in-house brand of America’s biggest supplement store chain, I was expecting a pretty cheap creatine, but that’s more expensive than I expected.

The Takeaway

The real benefit this creatine has over many other similar products is that it’s free from a lot of allergens. Some potential downsides are that the packaging is annoying, and it’s not particularly cheap, though the company says it is free of many common allergens, which could be good for some users.

Per Serving: $0.44
7

Ingredients

8.0/10

Effectiveness

8.0/10

Price

5.0/10

Pros

  • Certified GMP
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Free from gluten, soy, and some other allergens

Cons

  • Expensive
  • May not be 3rd party tested
  • Frustrating packaging

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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.