Rich Piana Crea-TEN: TEN Kinds of Creatine! WAAAT!

Rich Piana Crea-TEN

TEN forms of creatine?! Is he kidding? No, he’s not… and the formula’s actually got some merits to it

One fun aspect about the supplement market is the product names that squeeze themselves into originality. Let’s face it… creatine is inherently a little tough to modify into a catchy name. Rich Piana’s 5% Nutrition goes the over-obvious route with Crea-TEN.

As PricePlow is a huge advocate on proper dosage, Crea-TEN definitely does not fall short on a full 5g of creatine. The title lets us in on its angle of using TEN different forms of creatine to deliver those 5g.

TEN forms of creatine!! What will they think of next?!

Regardless of whether or not you think this is ridiculous, you must agree that it’s at least a good kind of ridiculous. After all, if you were to start taking this after not taking any creatine, you would see gains. And isn’t that the purpose?

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Rich Piana’s Crea-TEN Ingredients

Let’s list them all and discuss a bit about each one.

Rich Piana Crea-TEN Ingredients

The Crea-TEN Ingredients / Supplement Facts. Thankfully, it has more than just a 5g creatine blend. There’s quite a few nice nutrient partitioners in here too.

  1. Creatine MagnaPower (Magnesium Creatine Chelate)

    Trademarked creatine bonded with a magnesium via a chelated mineral process. Albion Human Nutrition bonds this creatine with the abundant and essential mineral for the purpose of higher absorption. The process to manufacture this version of creatine is arguably the most expensive.

    Albion has their own research page[1], but of course take it with a grain of salt, it’s going to be slightly biased, but is still informative.

    Creatine Magna Power

    Albion’s Creatine Magna Power

  2. Tri-Creatine Malate

    Creatine bonded with malic acid, not unlike the bonding used to manufacture citrulline malate. The tri denotes three creatine molecules in the bond. Malic acid is apart of the citrate cycle, known for basic energy metabolism. Malic acid’s part in the metabolism cycle makes for an excellent escort bond.[2]

  3. Creatine Anhydrous

    Creatine Monohydrate minus the ‘monohydrate’. Removing the water bond provides slightly more creatine per gram and as extremely pure a form as possible, but has not been proven more effective.[3]

  4. Creapure (Creatine Monohydrate)


    Ol’ reliable – the most trusted form of creatine monohydrate (and creatine in general)

    Trademarked, high quality creatine monohydrate. This is the most well-researched, well-studied, proven form of creatine. Strenght, power, gains, muscle, a dash of testosterone even. Do we even need to extol its virtues at this point?

  5. Creatine Citrate

    Creatine bonded with citric acid. In its losing struggle to be different, this bond is only 40% creatine.[4]

    So the question is, if we’re losing out on “creatine weight” here, is the citric acid bringing anything to the table? While it’s critically important in the TCA Cycle (also known as the Krebs cycle) for energy production, we’re not really ever short on it, so we don’t need more. Supplementing it doesn’t seem to do much. Oh well.

  6. Creatine Pyruvate

    Creatine bonded with Pyruvic Acid. This bonds two molecules that are directly involved with the Krebs cycle and ATP process.

    So does pyruvate have any benefits? The answer is some – most are cardiovascular, but it may also reduce fatigue, especially when dieting.[5]

  7. Creatine Ethyl Ester

    Rich Piana


    Ester tied to creatine. This bond caught some popularity early, but eventually proved to be no more effective than creatine monohydrate.[6]

  8. Creatine AKG

    This is creatine bonded into an alpha-ketoglutarate molecule. Like pyruvic acid, alpha-ketoglutarate infiltrates the Krebs cycle. This provides great potential as a creatine transporter and possibly reduces fatigue.

  9. Creatine Ethyl Ester Malate

    Creatine Ethyl Ester additionally bonded to malic acid salt.

    Is that a good thing? We don’t have a ton of human research, but rats had improved stamina with malate.[7]

  10. Creatine Gluconate

    This bond uses fast acting glucose. The unwanted side effect is that using a glucose bond could result in an insulin spike when taken pre-workout. However, this is not so bad a side effect when taken post-workout, which is the ideal dosing time for Crea-TEN. But there’s so little of it here, we don’t really worry about the dash of glucose.

    The drawback is that the actual creatine content in the bond is no higher than creatine citrate.

That’s the end of Rich Piana’s creatine kitchen skink, but it’s not the end of the Crea-Ten Formula!

  • Creatine Accelerate Blend

    In their best effort to get the most out of this ensemble cast, 5% Nutrition includes a Creatine Accelerate Blend (1590mg) aimed towards maximum absorption.

    We’re big fans of this mix, due to the glucose disposal agents / nutrient partitioners in here that will improve insulin behavior and help with body composition. More to the muscles, less to the fats. Let’s dig in:

    • Taurine

      The main use of taurine here seems to be cell volumization by increasing cellular hydration. This is a typical pairing with creatine forms.

    • Betaine Anhydrous

      This is the structure of betaine aka trimethylglycine, 2014's hottest supplement. But should you add even more to this?

      This is the structure of betaine aka trimethylglycine, 2014’s hottest supplement. But should you add even more to this?

      The combination of Betaine and Creatine is a growing trend. The MASSive amount of benefits that come from the sum of these parts behave well synergistically.

      Unfortunately, there won’t be nearly enough betaine to get to the clinically-verified 2.5g dose, but some is better than none. It’s still unproven if 2.5g betaine + 5g creatine is better than 5g creatine alone or 2.5g betaine alone. We need more research — they behave similarly, so their effects might not be totally additive.

    • Gymnema Sylvestre Extract

      GS4 has been used to lower blood sugar levels by raising pancreas insulin response. Raising the insulin response allows for increased nutrient uptake.

      This is probably the most important part of the creatine accelerate blend, and users may notice enhanced body composition changes from it.

    • BioPerine

      Patented form of black pepper extract to increase absorption in the intestinal tract.

    • Vanadium Nicotinate Glycinate Chelate

      Another chelated mineral bond from Albion. Vanadium carries the same essential properties as Chromium for blood sugar and insulin control. Albion’s glycine chelates claim to absorb directly into the cell, as glycine gets absorbed into the intestinal wall.

      It hasn’t been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, but it does lower resting blood sugar levels.[8]

    • Banaba Powder

      Banaba leaf extracts contains corosolic acid which helps control blood sugar and insulin. Yet another popular nutrient partitioner, and this one really works.[9]

    • Fenugreek Seed Extract

      Fenugreek gained reputation as a natural testosterone booster. Although it is rich with a number of micronutrients, it also contains 4-hydroxy isoleucine. This amino acid in particular aids further in lowering blood sugar through insulin control.

    After looking at this entire formula, one thing that strikes us is that this can be a great creatine for dieters. Mixing the glucose disposal agents with creatine is a fantastic idea, especially when going for body composition changes and wanting to regulate how your body handles carbs.

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How to take Crea-TEN

Do it Right or Don't Do it AT ALL

When we see underdosed creatine, we post this picture. But in this case, Rich is doing it right… in his own crazy way

Typically, you take creatine any time of the day… some people like it first thing in the morning, others like it post workout, and still others just get it into their pre workout (just watch out for underdosed creatine in pre workouts, which we rail against in our Creatine is Broken… and your Pre Workout is to Blame article).

However, given all of the glucose disposal agents, we’d definitely recommend taking this with one of your carbohydrate containing meals. The label even states this, “To capitalize on the benefits of the Insulin Mimickers and Creatine Accelerators, consume with simple sugars.”

They recommend it post workout, which is fine, but the most important part is to get it in with some carbs.

The Criticism

The immediate issue is another pair of proprietary blends. There is no disadvantage to laying bare all the details with Crea-TEN. Especially when this looks to be a very solid creatine product.

In the product description, Crea-TEN touts the 10 most effective creatine versions on the market. However it does beg the question about why 5% Nutrition has snubbed Creatine HCL across its creatine product and pre-workout. Is there a disagreement about Creatine HCL being an effective creatine? HCL certainly is a better choice than Creatine Citrate.


Are you a 5%er? This may be an expensive product compared to raw creatine, but it at least has some nice merits thanks to the extra blend!

5g makes for a solid dose

The other issue is that all of these bonds in Piana’s Crea-Ten are going to “water down” the actual creatine. But that’s fine, because we’re getting 5g total here, and 3g is the universally studied amount of creatine monohydrate you want. So it’s going to be plenty hefty.

End of the story

Regardless of the “ridiculousness” of this product… we really like it. Rich Piana is a controversial character in his own right, so why not put out a potentially controversial supplement? At the end of the day, it’s gonna work, so sell it however you want.

So we’re just wondering… which came first, the concept or the name? Were they so glued to the name that they had to dig up 10 creatine forms? Or was it the other way around?

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Rich Piana 5% Nutrition Crea-TEN – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

About the Author: Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public.

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  3. Jager,R.,et al., Analysis of the efficacy, safety, and regulatory status of novel forms of creatine. Amino Acids, 2011. 40(5): p. 1369-83.
  5. Kalman, D; The effects of pyruvate supplementation on body composition in overweight individuals.; Peak Wellness; 1999

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