About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Creatine Supplementation – Yes or No?

Written by Anandini Swaminathan, BSc., MSc. (Human Nutrition) | Article Reviewed by Dietitian julia samuel, M.Phil on Jun 11, 2018
Font : A-A+


With improved performance being the main goal of sports people, many of them have turned to supplements and ergogenic aids. Creatine is one of the most popular supplements and enhances energy production, which gives athletes an extra burst of strength.


How does Creatine Work?

In the body, creatine is used as creatine phosphate, which is responsible for producing short bursts of energy. To understand the action of creatine in the body it is essential to know about the basic muscle types and methods of energy production.

  • There are two types of muscle fiber in the body – type I and type II.
  • Energy (ATP) can be produced in the presence of oxygen – aerobically, or in the absence of oxygen – anaerobically.
  • In type I muscle fibers the production of ATP is done aerobically.
  • In type II muscle fibers, creatine is broken down anaerobically to produce quick, short bursts of energy.

When a creatine supplement is used, the creatine stores in the muscles are elevated and this boosts the ability of the muscles to perform high-intensity; short duration workouts.

When and How Should Creatine be Used?

Creatine is most-commonly taken after a workout. The typical creatine supplementation schedule starts with a loading dosage of 20g/day, which is divided into four doses for five to seven days. This is followed by a maintenance dosage of 5g/day. It has been found to be more effective when taken in conjunction with carbohydrates.

As is the case with all supplements creatine also has its share of pros and cons.


Advantages of Using Creatine

  • Research has shown that creatine works best during high intensity workouts, which are of short duration and is not as beneficial for endurance activities.
  • Creatine has been found to enhance the body’s ability to synthesize ATP anaerobically.
  • It helps in muscle building. A process called creatine loading is followed when a creatine supplement is first used. The increase of creatine in the muscle fibers causes water retention leading to thickening of the muscle fibers. This increase of creatine and water in the muscles triggers protein synthesis and lowers protein depletion. Simply put, creatine creates the apt environment for muscle growth.
Advantages of using Creatine

Some studies have suggested that creatine speeds up recovery while others say that it does not and that rest is required for muscle recovery.


Is Creatine Safe?

Being a naturally occurring substance, it is a common assumption that creatine is safe. Although most healthy adults can consume creatine over a long duration without any problem, there is contradictory research.

Dehydration is a common side effect of creatine supplementation and care must be taken to stay well-hydrated.

For those with kidney or liver diseases, creatine is not recommended. Similarly, those on medication for diabetes are advised against using creatine supplements as their interaction or mingling can have dangerous consequences.

Consuming creatine with caffeine and/or ephedra can increase the risk of side effects.

Children under the age of 18 must refrain from using creatine supplements, and also pregnant and lactating women.

Creatine can also have the following side effects in some cases:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rash

The cons seem to outweigh the pros when it comes to creatine but there are many individuals who use it. It is best to consult a health care professional before consuming creatine supplements.


  1. An Overview of Creatine Supplements - (http://www.webmd.com/men/creatine?page=2)
  2. Creatine - (http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/creatine/safety/hrb-20059125)
  3. About CREATINE - (http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/creatine.html)

Latest Publications and Research on Creatine Supplementation

Citations   close

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Anandini Swaminathan. (2018, June 11). Creatine Supplementation – Yes or No?. Medindia. Retrieved on May 21, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/creatine-supplementation-yes-or-no.htm.

  • MLA

    Anandini Swaminathan. "Creatine Supplementation – Yes or No?". Medindia. May 21, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/creatine-supplementation-yes-or-no.htm>.

  • Chicago

    Anandini Swaminathan. "Creatine Supplementation – Yes or No?". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/creatine-supplementation-yes-or-no.htm. (accessed May 21, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Anandini Swaminathan. 2021. Creatine Supplementation – Yes or No?. Medindia, viewed May 21, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/creatine-supplementation-yes-or-no.htm.

Request an Appointment with a Doctor (Nutrition Expert)

Dr. Varsha
Dr.  Varsha
39 years experience
Teleconsult Now View Profile
Mrs. Uma Maheshwari
Mrs. Uma Maheshwari
5 years experience
kadhri Aarogya, Coimbatore
Teleconsult Now View Profile
Ms. Dharanya Ramesh
Ms. Dharanya Ramesh
BSc, Pg
1 year experience
Dt.Dharanya s clinic, Arul Nagar
Teleconsult Now View Profile
View All

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.

Health Topics A - Z

    What's New on Medindia
    Prevent Hacking of Medical Devices: FDA Sounds Alarm
    Black Water: Benefits and Uses
    World Hypertension Day 2022 - Measure Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer!
    View all

    Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

    Most Popular on Medindia

    The Essence of Yoga Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Drug Interaction Checker A-Z Drug Brands in India Noscaphene (Noscapine) Accident and Trauma Care Daily Calorie Requirements Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator Vent Forte (Theophylline) Blood - Sugar Chart

    Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

    © All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

    This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use