Medically the review by Debra rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT — composed by Joseph Nordqvist top top December 20, 2017

Creatine is a nitrogenous organic mountain that help supply energy to cells throughout the body, specifically muscle cells.

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It occurs naturally in red meat and fish, that is do by the body, and also it can additionally be acquired from supplements.

Supplements are supplied by athletes to enhance their performance, by older adults to boost muscle mass, and to treat difficulties that an outcome when a human body cannot metabolize creatine fully.

Some evidence argues that it might prevent skin aging, act muscle diseases, assist people v multiple sclerosis (MS) to exercise, boost cognitive ability, and more. Extr evidence is required to check these uses.

This write-up will look in ~ the provides of creatine, how it works, and also how safe and effective the is.

What is creatine?

Share ~ above PinterestCreatine is a typical ingredient muscle-building supplements and also sports drinks.
Creatine is developed of three amino acids: L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine. It provides up around 1 percent of the complete volume of human blood.

Around 95 percent of creatine in the human body is save in skeletal muscle, and also 5 percent is in the brain.

Between 1.5 and 2 percent of the body creatine save is converted for use each job by the liver, the kidneys, and also the pancreas.

It is transported v the blood and used by components of the human body that have high power demands, such together skeletal muscle and the brain.

Different creates of creatine are offered in supplements, consisting of creatine monohydrate and also creatine nitrate.

No creatine supplement has actually yet been authorized for usage by the United claims (U.S.) Food and Drug administration (FDA). There space dangers connected with usage of unrestricted supplements.

Source and needs

A human being needs between 1 and also 3 grams (g) the creatine a day. Around half of this originates from the diet, and the rest is synthesized by the body. Food sources incorporate red meat and also fish. One pound of life beef or salmon offers 1 come 2 grams (g) that creatine.

Creatine have the right to supply energy to components of the body where it is needed. Athletes use supplements come increase energy production, boost athletic performance, and to allow them to train harder.

According come the International culture of sports Nutrition (ISSN), larger athletes who train vigorously “may have to consume between 5 and 10 g of creatine a day” to keep their stores.

People who cannot synthesize creatine because of a health condition may have to take 10 to 30 g a day come avoid health and wellness problems.


Creatine is just one of the most famous supplements in the U.S., especially among men who take part in ice cream hockey, football, baseball, lacrosse, and also wrestling.

It is also the most typical supplement found in sports nutrition supplements, including sports drinks.

There are cases for a variety of uses, some of which are supported by study evidence.

Improving strong performance

Athletes commonly use creatine supplements, because there is some evidence that they are effective in high-intensity training.

Share top top PinterestCreatine is well-known with athletes

The idea is that creatine allows the human body to produce more energy. With an ext energy, athletes deserve to work more difficult and accomplish more.

For part participants in some kinds the exercise, raising the body’s creatine pool shows up to boost performance.

In 2003, a meta-analysis published in the Journal of sports Science and Medicine concluded the creatine “may improve performance involving brief periods of extremely powerful activity, especially during repeated bouts.”

The researchers included that no all studies had actually reported the same benefits.

In 2012, a evaluation concluded that creatine:

boosts the effects of resistance training on strength and also body massincreases the quality and benefits that high-intensity intermittent rate trainingimproves endurance performance in aerobic exercise tasks that last more than 150 secondsmay boost strength, power, fat-free mass, daily living performance and neurological function

It seems to benefit athletes participating in anaerobic exercise, but not in aerobic activity.

It shows up to be beneficial in short-duration, high-intensity, intermittent exercises, however not have to in other types of exercise.

However, a study released in 2017 found that creatine supplementation go not boost fitness or performance in 17 young female athletes who used it because that 4 weeks.

Increased body mass

Increased creatine content in muscles has actually been associated with higher body mass.

However, according to the U.S. National Library the Medicine, creatine does not build muscle. The boost in human body mass occurs because creatine reasons the muscles to host water.

One review, released in 2003, notes the “The profit in body weigh observed space likely as result of water retention throughout supplementation.”

It is also possible that muscle mass builds together a result of working harder throughout exercise.

Repairing damage after injury

Research argues that creatine supplements may help prevent muscle damage and enhance the recovery procedure after one athlete has experienced one injury.

Creatine may also have an antioxidant result after an intense session that resistance training, and it may aid reduce cramping. The may have a role in rehabilitation for brain and other injuries.

Creatine and also deficiency syndromes

Creatine is a herbal substance and also essential because that a variety of human body functions.

An mean young masculine weighing 70 kilograms (kg) has a store, or pool, that creatine of approximately 120 come 140 g. The quantity varies between individuals, and also it depends partly on a person’s muscle mass and also their muscle fiber type.

Creatine deficiency is attached to a wide selection of conditions, including, yet not minimal to:

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)depressionmultiple sclerosis (MS)muscle atrophyParkinson’s diseaseosteoarthritis

Oral creatine supplements may relieve this conditions, however there is no yet enough evidence to prove that this is an effective treatment for most of them.

Supplements are additionally taken to boost creatine in the brain. This can aid relieve seizures, symptoms of autism, and movement disorders.

Taking creatine supplements for up to 8 years has actually been shown to boost attention, language and academic performance in part children. However, that does not influence everyone in the same way.

While creatine occurs naturally in the body, creatine supplements space not a herbal substance. Anyone considering making use of these or various other supplements need to do so only after researching the agency that provides them.

Creatine and muscular dystrophy

Creatine may help improve the toughness of people with muscular dystrophy.

A testimonial of 14 studies, published in 2013, uncovered that world with muscular dystrophy that took creatine experienced an increase in muscle stamin of 8.5 percent contrasted with those who did no take the supplement.

“Short- and medium-term creatine treatment boosts muscle stamin in world with muscular dystrophies and also is well-tolerated.”

Dr. Rudolf Kley, of Ruhr college Bochum, Germany

Using creatine every day because that 8 to 16 mainly may boost muscle strength and also reduce tiredness in human being with muscular dystrophy, but not all studies have produced the exact same results.

Parkinson’s disease

In computer mouse models the Parkinson’s disease, creatine was able to prevent the ns of cell that space typically impacted by the condition.

An animal study including a an unified treatment that coenzyme Q(10) and creatine concluded that this might assist treat neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.

However, research published in JAMA, through over 1,700 human being participants, listed that: “Treatment with creatine monohydrate for at the very least 5 years, contrasted with placebo did not boost clinical outcomes.”

Similarly, a methodical review released in Cochrane uncovered that there was no strong evidence because that the use of creatine in Parkinson’s.


In south Korea, 52 women with depression included a 5-gram creatine complement to their everyday antidepressant. They experienced renovations in their symptoms as beforehand as 2 weeks, and also the advancement continued approximately weeks 4 and 8.

A small-scale study uncovered that creatine showed up to aid treat depression in 14 females through both depression and an seeks to methamphetamine.

The results argued that: “Creatine treatment might be a promising therapeutic technique for females through depression and also comorbid methamphetamine dependence.”

Further research study is needed.

Cognitive ability

In 2003, researcher published proof that creatine can an increase mental performance.

After taking a 5-g supplement each day for 6 weeks, 45 participants scored much better on working memory and also intelligence tests, specifically jobs taken under time pressure, 보다 other world who take it a placebo.

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A study released in 2007, concluded that “creatine supplementation aids cognition in the elderly.” Participants took a 5-g supplement four times a day because that a week and then carried out some number and spatial tests. Those who took the supplement did better than those that took just a placebo.