Home Fitness Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Review (2024)
Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Review (2024)

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Review (2024)


Creatine should be taken by people from all walks of life, especially combat athletes. I’ve been using creatine for a decade and have experimented with various brands.

From my experience, the brand of creatine isn’t as important as ensuring it’s creatine monohydrate and free from impurities or prohibited substances.

Transparent Labs meets these criteria, plus they’ve included additional ingredients aimed at enhancing gym performance. The question remains,  do these extras justify their cost?


  • Every batch undergoes third-party testing for prohibited substances, as verified by the informed sport certification.
  • There’s a clear Certificate of Analysis and Composition, ensuring the label accurately reflects the contents of the creatine.
  • A variety of delicious flavors are available.
  • Including HMB and BioPerine could potentially improve the supplement’s impact, although this is quite doubtful.


  • The cost per serving is more than twice that of many other creatine brands.
  • The scent of HMB is reminiscent of body odor.

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Build more muscle, boost power output, and increase strength endurance.

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Formulation

Creatine Monohydrate5 g
HMB1.5 g
BioPerine5 mg
Vitamin D500 IU

Another Creatine Option To Consider

Before getting deep into the Transparent Labs Creatine review, I want to let you know our #1 creatine of choice is the Lift Big Eat Big 100% Pure Creatine Monohydrate.

It’s sourced from Creapure, the gold standard of creatine monohydrate tested to 99.9% purity – the highest among all creatine supplements.

It’s also half the price per serving than Transparent Labs Creatine.

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Review

Transparent Labs Creatine Benefits


Transparent Labs prioritizes quality and transparency by incorporating ingredients that undergo rigorous third-party testing.

This ensures their supplements are effective and free from harmful contaminants, as evidenced by their Certificate of Analysis (CoA). This certificate verifies the absence of heavy metals and other pollutants in their products.

Their supplements also come with a Certificate of Composition detailing the specific composition of their products. For example, their creatine monohydrate and HMB formula is composed as follows:

  • Creatine Monohydrate: 50.4%
  • HMB: 20.2%
  • Bioperine: 0.1%
  • Flavors and Colors: 29.3%

This detailed breakdown reassures consumers that the formula has no unnecessary fillers. While the creatine used is not Creapure, known for its 99.9% purity, Transparent Labs’ version is still a high-quality creatine monohydrate backed by third-party testing to ensure potency and purity.

Including HMB in their creatine formula is unique, and HMB has been thought to enhance muscle building and recovery.

Dr. Stuart Philips, a renowned protein and exercise research expert, shared insightful comments on this topic on Twitter.

HMB gained significant attention following a 2014 study by Dr. Jacob Wilson and others, with a subsequent study by Lowery and colleagues in 2016 [1][2]. However, these studies have been subject to scrutiny for several reasons.

A key point of concern is the source of funding. Metabolic Technologies Inc., a company that developed various patented HMB supplements used by many brands, including CellTech at that time, provided the funding.

While the issue isn’t the funding itself – as supplement studies often rely on industry funds due to a lack of interest from universities or donors in such specific research – the involvement of Metabolic Technologies Inc. employees as authors in the study raises questions about potential conflicts of interest.

Moreover, the findings from these studies are quite astonishing. Elite Nutrition Coaching has created a graph that effectively highlights the surprising outcomes of these research papers.

HMB Data

This analysis begins with a 1996 study that recorded a 6 kg increase in lean body mass over 10 weeks with the aid of exogenous testosterone (steroids), shown on the far left of the comparison.

To the right are studies focusing on HMB, ATP, or a combination of both. Intriguingly, these studies suggest that HMB and ATP may lead to lean mass gains comparable to, or even surpassing, those achieved with steroids. This raises the question: why hasn’t the World Anti-Doping Agency restricted HMB use?

And why aren’t sports organizations universally advocating HMB supplementation? The answer might be that these results are too good to be true.

Dr. Stuart Philips and several reputable Ph.D. nutritionists have responded to the findings of the Lowery and Wilson studies [3]. They point out anomalies, such as uniform muscle mass increases across subjects, which contradicts the typical varied responses seen in hypertrophy research.

Additionally, despite optimal protein consumption, the placebo group showed no response to intensive hypertrophy training.

Also, the criteria for selecting study participants were vague, merely noting they chose individuals with lean mass from previous resistance training, which doesn’t provide a clear understanding of the participant demographics.

Dr. Stuart Philips further explored HMB in a systematic review, focusing on its effectiveness in muscle gain or loss prevention in aging and clinical groups [4].

The review mostly found either no significant effect or inconclusive results regarding muscle mass, physical function, and strength.

Although HMB’s presence in creatine supplements is not harmful, it may add an unnecessary cost for an ingredient with questionable benefits.

Lastly, the supplement includes BioPerine, a patented substance claimed to enhance nutrient absorption. Its efficacy is a matter of debate.

Some studies indicate it may improve iron absorption, among other nutrients, but its overall impact remains unclear [5]. Nevertheless, including it in the supplement is unlikely to be harmful.


Each serving of this supplement delivers 5 grams of creatine monohydrate, aligning with the daily recommended amount for optimal muscle saturation.

Notably, the provided HMB dosage is only half of what was utilized in the pivotal studies mentioned in the ingredients list.

However, the primary focus of this formulation is the creatine content, which is appropriately dosed.

Third-Party Testing

Third-party testing and the informed sport certification are mandatory for athletes who undergo random drug testing.

Numerous instances exist of athletes failing drug tests due to contaminated supplements, a common defense used in these situations.

The informed sport certification guarantees that each batch is independently tested for impurities that might lead to a positive drug test result. Using supplements without this certification poses a potential risk to an athlete’s career.


Transparent Labs employs natural flavoring in their creatine, sweetening it with Stevia. Normally, I’m not a fan of Stevia’s taste, but in this particular blend, it’s surprisingly enjoyable.

I tried the blue raspberry variant, and it’s remarkably similar to other blue raspberry-flavored supplements I’ve tasted before.

There’s a wide selection of 14 flavors available, with an option for an unflavored variety as well.


Transparent Labs Creatine vs Monohydrate

Pure creatine typically struggles to dissolve effectively in water. However, this particular blend of creatine and HMB shows improved mixability compared to many others, though you’ll need to stir or shake before each sip.

For those opting for the unflavored variant, blending it into your protein smoothies can enhance its mixability.


Transparent Labs’ creatine comes at a higher cost of $1.67 per serving. In contrast, Lift Big Eat Big offers their creatine at a lower rate of $0.80 per serving, and Optimum Nutrition’s version is even more economical at $0.39 per serving.

However, it’s important to note that these other options are plain creatine monohydrate, while Transparent Labs’ product includes additional ingredients and flavors.

Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

The higher price and additional ingredients mean Transparent Labs Creatine with HMB may not be suitable for everyone. It’s particularly well-matched for certain groups:

Athletes Undergoing Random Drug Testing

Competitive athletes need to look for supplements with the informed sport certification. This label guarantees that a third party has tested each batch for banned substances, crucial for avoiding positive drug tests due to contaminated supplements.

Muscle-Building Enthusiasts

While any creatine monohydrate can saturate muscle cells and boost strength and size, those willing to invest more might consider this supplement for the potential benefits of HMB. While research does not favor this supplement, there’s no harm with it being there.

Health and Fitness Innovators

Even though the data on HMB is mixed, experimenting with a supplement that includes HMB and BioPerine could be intriguing for biohackers or those focused on health optimization.

It’s an opportunity to see if these additional ingredients offer distinct health or gym performance advantages.

User Reviews & Testimonials

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB has 4.4/5 stars on Amazon and 4.7/5 stars on their website, with a combined 2,500 reviews. Here’s a couple of 5-star reviews:

“This is my favorite creatine product. The blue raspberry is probably the best flavor, but the tropical ones are pretty good too. I’ve been taking this consistently for the past 2 years.

It helps with recovery and gives a tiny boost to muscle size due to water retention within the muscles.

Workout 3-5 times per week consistently, eat clean, and take creatine daily if you want to maximize your gains from lifting sessions.” – Nicholas L.

“I have a super sensitive stomach every creatine. I’ve tried so far has given me horrible stomach pain. This is the only one that I’ve been able to see results with and keep my stomach cramp free.

I would recommend this to anyone and everyone, especially women, if they want to see results and maintain.” – Kristen S.

Most 1-star reviews revolve around shipping and taste. However, one review is interesting on the change in formulation:

“The Company changed its creatine ingredient from Creapure creatine monohydrate” (The supplement/creatine world’s gold standard of creatine) to a cheaper generic version a couple years ago, without disclosing to consumers, unless you had a very keen eye enough to notice the packaging having a word difference yourself, yet have since raised the price dramatically with competitors (used to be $1 a serving, now 30 servings ~$50+).” – Nikki.

Transparent Labs Creatine Alternatives

Lift Big Eat Big 100% Pure Creatine Monohydrate

Lift Big Eat Big is pure Creapure creatine monohydrate using the gold standard of creatine. They also provide a Certificate of Analysis as evidence that their product is contaminant-free. This product is unflavored and contains no additional ingredients, solely pure creatine monohydrate.

However, it does not carry the informed sport certification, so drug-tested athletes should choose a different creatine to have the banned substance tick.

The price per serving is half that of Transparent Labs Creatine HMB.

Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate

Optimum Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate

Optimum Nutrition stands out as a renowned name in the supplement world. This brand represents an ideal choice for those seeking a creatine that has been tested for banned substances and is free from fillers, additional ingredients, or flavors.

It’s ?th of the price per serving than Transparent Labs Creatine. However, no flavor options exist, so you must mix it with something.

Transparent Labs Creatine Side Effects

There are no reported or known side effects with Transparent Labs Creatine HMB. None of the ingredients in the formulation have shown negative side effects in clinical research.

I haven’t noticed any adverse side effects when drinking on an empty stomach mixed with water. However, always exercise caution as it may differ for you.

How To Take Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Take Transparent Labs Creatine HMB how you would any other creatine. 5 g daily whenever you remember. It will take up to 28 days to fully saturate the muscles with creatine [6].

If you want faster results, you can creatine load by taking 20 g daily for 6 days. This can be split into smaller doses to make it easier to digest. Then stick to the 5 g per day dose.

Is Transparent Labs Creatine Better Than Creatine Monohydrate?

Transparent Labs creatine isn’t superior to creatine monohydrate. In fact, it is creatine monohydrate. Therefore, its efficacy is comparable. Adding HMB and BioPerine could potentially enhance muscle gain, but the likelihood of this is relatively minimal.

Is Transparent Labs Creatine Worth It?

Transparent Labs creatine is a worthwhile option if you’re interested in a flavored creatine supplement with extra ingredients that might boost strength and size. However, consider other alternatives if your primary goal is to use pure creatine.

A significant advantage of this product is the informed sport certification, ensuring protection against positive drug test results.

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Build more muscle, boost power output, and increase strength endurance.

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB


1. Wilson, J. M., Lowery, R. P., Joy, J. M., Andersen, J. C., Wilson, S. M., Stout, J. R., … & Rathmacher, J. (2014). The effects of 12 weeks of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate free acid supplementation on muscle mass, strength, and power in resistance-trained individuals: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. European journal of applied physiology114, 1217-1227.

2. Lowery, R. P., Joy, J. M., Rathmacher, J. A., Baier, S. M., Fuller Jr, J. C., Shelley, M. C., … & Wilson, J. M. (2016). Interaction of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate free acid and adenosine triphosphate on muscle mass, strength, and power in resistance trained individuals. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research30(7), 1843-1854.

3. Phillips, S. M., Aragon, A. A., Arciero, P. J., Arent, S. M., Close, G. L., Hamilton, D. L., … & Willoughby, D. S. (2017). Changes in Body Composition and Performance With Supplemental HMB?FA+ ATP. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research31(5), e71-e72.

4. Phillips, S. M., Lau, K. J., D’Souza, A. C., & Nunes, E. A. (2022). An umbrella review of systematic reviews of ??hydroxy???methyl butyrate supplementation in ageing and clinical practice. Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle13(5), 2265-2275.

5. Fernández-Lázaro, D., Mielgo-Ayuso, J., Córdova Martínez, A., & Seco-Calvo, J. (2020). Iron and physical activity: Bioavailability enhancers, properties of black pepper (bioperine®) and potential applications. Nutrients12(6), 1886.

6. Hultman, E., Soderlund, K., Timmons, J. A., Cederblad, G., & Greenhaff, P. L. (1996). Muscle creatine loading in men. Journal of applied physiology81(1), 232-237.

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James de Lacey James is a professional strength & conditioning coach that works with professional and international level teams and athletes. He owns Sweet Science of Fighting, is a published scientific researcher and has completed his Masters in Sport & Exercise Science. He's combined my knowledge of research and experience to bring you the most practical bites to be applied to your combat training.