Medically the review by Debra climbed Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT — created by Joseph Nordqvist ~ above December 20, 2017

Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that helps supply energy to cell throughout the body, particularly muscle cells.

You are watching: Creatine monohydrate what does it do

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

Supplements are used by athletes to improve their performance, by older adults to rise muscle mass, and also to treat difficulties that result when a body cannot metabolize creatine fully.

Some evidence suggests that it might prevent skin aging, act muscle diseases, assist people through multiple sclerosis (MS) to exercise, boost cognitive ability, and also more. Additional evidence is needed to check these uses.

This post will look in ~ the supplies of creatine, exactly how it works, and also how safe and also effective the is.

What is creatine?

Share top top PinterestCreatine is a typical ingredient muscle-building supplements and sports drinks.
Creatine is developed of three amino acids: L-arginine, glycine, and also L-methionine. It renders up about 1 percent the the total volume of human blood.

Around 95 percent that creatine in the person body is stored in skeletal muscle, and 5 percent is in the brain.

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

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

Different forms of creatine are provided in supplements, including creatine monohydrate and also creatine nitrate.

No creatine supplement has yet been authorized for usage by the United claims (U.S.) Food and also Drug management (FDA). There are dangers linked with use of unrestricted supplements.

Source and needs

A human needs between 1 and also 3 grams (g) the creatine a day. Around fifty percent of this originates from the diet, and also the remainder is synthesized through the body. Food sources include red meat and also fish. One pound of life beef or salmon provides 1 to 2 grams (g) that creatine.

Creatine can supply energy to components of the body wherein it is needed. Athletes usage supplements come increase power production, improve athletic performance, and also to enable them come train harder.

According come the International society of sports Nutrition (ISSN), larger athletes that train strongly “may should consume between 5 and 10 g the creatine a day” to maintain their stores.

People who cannot synthesize creatine since of a health problem may must take 10 come 30 g a day to avoid health and wellness problems.


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

It is additionally the most common supplement found in sports nutrition supplements, including sports drinks.

There are cases for a number of uses, few of which room supported by study evidence.

Improving athletic performance

Athletes commonly use creatine supplements, due to the fact that there is some proof that lock are effective in high-intensity training.

Share ~ above PinterestCreatine is popular with athletes

The idea is the creatine allows the body to produce more energy. With an ext energy, athletes deserve to work more tough and achieve more.

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

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

The researchers added that no all studies had reported the very same benefits.

In 2012, a evaluation concluded the creatine:

boosts the impacts of resistance maintain on strength and also body massincreases the quality and also benefits of high-intensity intermittent rate trainingimproves endurance performance in aerobic exercise tasks that last much more than 150 secondsmay enhance strength, power, fat-free mass, day-to-day living performance and also neurological function

It appears to benefit athletes participating in anaerobic exercise, yet not in aerobic activity.

It appears to be helpful in short-duration, high-intensity, intermittent exercises, yet not have to in other species of exercise.

However, a study released in 2017 uncovered that creatine supplementation walk not rise fitness or power in 17 young mrs athletes who offered it because that 4 weeks.

Increased human body mass

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

However, according to the U.S. Nationwide Library the Medicine, creatine go not develop muscle. The boost in human body mass occurs since creatine causes the muscles to organize water.

One review, released in 2003, notes the “The benefit in body weigh observed are likely due to water retention throughout supplementation.”

It is also feasible that muscle massive builds together a result of functioning harder throughout exercise.

Repairing damage after injury

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

Creatine may likewise have an antioxidant impact after an extreme session that resistance training, and also it may assist reduce cramping. That may have actually a role in rehabilitation for brain and other injuries.

Creatine and also deficiency syndromes

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

An mean young male weighing 70 kilograms (kg) has a store, or pool, the creatine of approximately 120 come 140 g. The lot varies between individuals, and it depends partly on a who muscle mass and also their muscle fiber type.

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

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

Oral creatine supplements may relieve these conditions, but there is not yet enough evidence come prove the this is an reliable treatment for many of them.

Supplements are also taken to rise creatine in the brain. This can aid relieve seizures, symptom of autism, and also movement disorders.

Taking creatine additionally for as much as 8 years has been shown to improve 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 are not a natural substance. Everyone considering utilizing these or various other supplements should do so only after researching the firm that gives them.

Creatine and also muscular dystrophy

Creatine may assist improve the toughness of civilization with muscular dystrophy.

A testimonial of 14 studies, published in 2013, uncovered that civilization with muscular dystrophy that took creatine experienced rise in muscle toughness of 8.5 percent compared with those who did no take the supplement.

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

Dr. Rudolf Kley, the Ruhr university Bochum, Germany

Using creatine every day because that 8 come 16 main may boost muscle strength and reduce fatigue in people with muscular dystrophy, but not all researches have created the same results.

Parkinson’s disease

In mouse models the Parkinson’s disease, creatine was able to avoid the ns of cells that space typically affected by the condition.

An animal study involving a combined treatment the coenzyme Q(10) and creatine concluded the this might assist treat neurodegenerative illness such as Parkinson’s an illness and Huntington’s disease.

However, research released in JAMA, v over 1,700 person participants, provided that: “Treatment through creatine monohydrate because that at least 5 years, contrasted with placebo did not improve clinical outcomes.”

Similarly, a organized review published in Cochrane found that there to be no strong evidence for the use of creatine in Parkinson’s.


In southern Korea, 52 women with depression added a 5-gram creatine complement to their everyday antidepressant. They experienced enhancements in your symptoms as at an early stage as 2 weeks, and also the development continued as much as weeks 4 and also 8.

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

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

Further research is needed.

Cognitive ability

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

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

See more: Communist Countries In The Cold War, What Was The Cold War

A study published in 2007, concluded the “creatine supplementation aids cognition in the elderly.” Participants took a 5-g supplement 4 times a day because that a week and also then carried out some number and also spatial tests. Those that took the complement did better than those who took just a placebo.