Creatine is a natural supplement used to boost athletic performance (
Here are 10 science-based benefits of creatine.
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During exercise, ATP is broken down to produce energy.
This is the primary mechanism behind creatine’s performance-enhancing effects.
Summary Supplementing with creatine provides additional ATP energy, which improves high-intensity exercise performance.
Additionally, some research indicates that creatine decreases levels of myostatin, a molecule responsible for stunting muscle growth. Reducing myostatin can help you build muscle faster (
Summary Creatine can stimulate several key biological processes that lead to increased muscle growth and size.
- ballistic power
- sprint ability
- muscle endurance
- resistance to fatigue
- muscle mass
- brain performance
Summary Creatine is the world’s most effective supplement for high-intensity sports. It offers benefits regardless of your current fitness level.
Taking it for as few as 5–7 days has been shown to significantly increase lean body weight and muscle size.
In one study of a 6-week training regimen, participants who used creatine added 4.4 pounds (2 kg) more muscle mass, on average, than the control group (
Similarly, a comprehensive review demonstrated a clear increase in muscle mass among those taking creatine, compared with those performing the same training regimen without creatine (
This review also compared the world’s most popular sports supplements and concluded that creatine is the best one available. Its advantages include being less expensive and far safer than most other sports supplements (
Summary Creatine can increase both short- and long-term muscle mass growth. It’s the most effective muscle building supplement available.
Creatine has been linked to beneficial effects in mice with Parkinson’s, preventing 90% of the typical drop in dopamine levels. However, there is no evidence that it has the same effect in humans (
In one study in individuals with this disease, combining creatine with weight training improved strength and daily function to a greater extent than training alone (
However, a recent analysis of five controlled studies in people with Parkinson’s noted that taking 4–10 grams of creatine per day didn’t significantly improve their ability to perform daily activities (
Summary Creatine may reduce some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease by improving muscle strength and function. However, certain studies observe no effects.
A key factor in several neurological diseases is a reduction of phosphocreatine in your brain (
Since creatine can increase these levels, it may help reduce or slow disease progression.
This restoration of phosphocreatine helped maintain daily function and reduced cell death by around 25% (
- Alzheimer’s disease
- ischemic stroke
- brain or spinal cord injuries
Creatine has also shown benefits against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease that affects the motor neurons that are essential for movement. It improved motor function, reduced muscle loss, and extended survival rate by 17% (
Although more studies are needed in humans, some researchers believe that creatine supplements can serve as a defense against neurological diseases when used alongside conventional medicines.
Summary Animal studies suggest that creatine can reduce the symptoms and progression of neurological diseases, as well as improve life expectancy in those living with them.
Research suggests that creatine supplements may lower blood sugar levels by increasing the function of glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT-4), a molecule that brings blood sugar into your muscles (
A 12-week study examined how creatine affects blood sugar levels after a high carb meal. People who combined creatine and exercise exhibited better blood sugar control than those who only exercised (
Short-term blood sugar response to a meal is an important marker of diabetes risk. The faster your body clears sugar from the blood, the better (
While these benefits are promising, more human research is needed on creatine’s long-term effects on blood sugar control and diabetes.
Summary Some evidence suggests that creatine can help lower blood sugar levels after meals, but there is little data on its long-term effects.
Creatine plays an important role in brain health and function (
Research demonstrates that your brain requires a significant amount of ATP when performing difficult tasks (
As meat is the best dietary source of creatine, vegetarians often have low levels. One study on creatine supplements in vegetarians found a 20–50% improvement in some memory and intelligence test scores (
In older adults, creatine may boost brain function, protect against neurological diseases, and reduce age-related loss of muscle and strength (
Despite such positive findings, more research is needed in young, healthy individuals who eat meat or fish regularly.
Summary Supplementing with creatine can provide your brain with additional energy, thereby improving memory and intelligence in people with low levels of creatine.
In a 6-month study in people with traumatic brain injury, those who supplemented with creatine experienced a 50% reduction in dizziness, compared with those who did not supplement (
Furthermore, only 10% of patients in the supplement group experienced fatigue, compared with 80% in the control group (
Summary Creatine can reduce symptoms of fatigue and tiredness by providing your brain with additional energy and increasing dopamine levels.
Along with creatine’s diverse benefits, it’s one of the cheapest and safest supplements available. You can find a wide selection online.
Summary Creatine is one of the safest supplements available and has been studied scientifically for over two centuries.
At the end of the day, creatine is an effective supplement with powerful benefits for both athletic performance and health.
It may boost brain function, fight certain neurological diseases, improve exercise performance, and accelerate muscle growth.
Try adding this natural substance to your supplement regimen to see whether it works for you.