You find yourself in an aisle looking over a few different supplements. You are looking for something that has a good amount of studies behind it and some well documented results. You also want that something that won’t give you a ton a side effects, if that is even possible.
After all, who doesn’t want a product that with a record like that? Luckily, GNC is a company that has a brand to uphold. While it isn’t considered a ‘top tier’ brand in the world of supplements, it has tons of products that have been put through a pretty rigorous set of tests and contain pretty decent ingredients.
It makes sense that a company like GNC would offer tons of options when it comes to supplements, but does the GNC line meet expectations, exceed them, or does it bomb when it comes to creatine hydrochloride? Where does it fall in line with quality and effectiveness?
I am going to say that GNC Creatine HCL 189 generally delivers, but like any of their products there are a few drawbacks.
This particular product seems fairly clear of extra additions, like most of the other products in the GNC line. The main ingredients are just creatine and calcium. While calcium seems like a strange addition, it may have something to do with this kind of study.
All of the other extra stuff in Creatine HCL 189 seems to be ingredients needed to make the pill, into a pill. I don’t really see anything in there that is a deal breaker. While it would be nice to just have the creatine and that be all, if you want a pill you need a bit of extra fluff to make take the main product and make it into one.
As a note, the extra mint flavor listed is definitely noticeable. It isn’t overpowering, it’s just there. The mint flavor is a nice touch that keeps the nasty flavor usually accompanying pills pretty far away. It doesn’t really do much else, but it is a nice finisher for a decent product.
The total amount of creatine in one serving of GNC Creatine HCL 189 is 1250mg. To compare against the other GNC products, this line has less of the mainline chemical in it:
AMP Creatine HCL 189:
1250mg / serving
Pro Performance Creatine Chews:
3000mg / serving
Pro Performance Monohydrate Powder:
5000mg / serving
With that said, creatine hydrochloride has been shown to be better absorbed by the body due to its water solubility. So, in this case, less *could* be more. Monohydrate always needs higher levels in order to get the same effect, so this makes complete sense.
I have used this product in conjunction with creatine chews and see no negative difference in strength or appearance when switching between the two for periods of time. When I rotate the variety of creatine that I am taking, I see better results than just staying on one singular product. Cycling products has been known to help with plateaus and stagnancy, after all.
Being pills, these are somewhat more convenient than the powder version. Mobility is a huge plus here, and unless you want to carry around a shaker bottle and a baggy, this form of creatine is a huge plus. Of course they don’t taste as good as the chewable product line, but they are more tolerable than a powder you need to either choke down or mix with something else that tastes decent.
As usual, this GNC product seems fairly clean based on the label. The overall list of ingredients seems to be minimalist as well. That is good news for purists. Why accept any product with more than what you are looking for? I never understood manufacturers that ad a ton of fillers to their lines.
The overall quality of the product and how effective it is seems to be there. As I said before, when I switch between products I don’t see any major loss in strength or appearance. So, unless all of the GNC line is bad, my experience has been that this product seems to be pretty on par with the quality of their other products. Not everyone has the same experiences, but other reviews tend to allude to the same idea.
Currently, this product can be bought through GNC for $29.99/120 tablets. So, you are paying roughly .50/day for this product. That is a bit higher than the average serving cost in powder, but pills are usually a bit more expensive. Of course, these are cheaper than the GNC Creatine chews which are about .83/day.
These pills are huge. And I mean enormous. They are twice the size of the MegaMen vitamins, which are already decently large. If you don’t like big pills, don’t buy these. That is the biggest drawback to this product, especially considering the serving size is 2 pills.
Secondly, as with most GNC products, the line is slightly over priced in my opinion. You can purchase the monohydrate equivalent for a third of the cost ($32.99/200 servings). Overpriced seems to be an issue with most well known brands, though.
As with any supplement, read the label before you take it. If there is anything you or your doctor see on it that could impact your current medications or health, don’t use it.
Is the product worth trying?
Overall, if you don’t mind spending a bit extra this product is worth at least a bottle. The ingredient list is pretty efficient and it is definitely on par with the rest of their creatine line.
GNC AMP Creatine HCL 189 a shot. If you don’t like it, they have at least two other types creatine in the GNC line and tons of other creatine products are for sale.