The Most Misunderstood Supplement in the World?

Creatine is the most researched supplement in the history of Sports Nutrition. Research has proven time after time that creatine is one of the most effective nutritional aids for athletes. It’s safe and it works.

Benefits of Creatine:

  • Increases Strength Levels
  • Increases Power (Speed x Strength)
  • Increases Speed
  • Improves Body Composition
  • Improves Brain Health and Cognitive Function
  • Emerging Evidence in Medical Applications

Not Just for Athletes

Research suggests that creatine supplementation improves the cognitive capacity of the brain as well as protects against traumatic brain injuries. It has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health and bone health. Working memory and even intelligence have been enhanced by supplementing the diet with creatine.

From the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) Position Statement on Creatine:

  • Creatine monohydrate is the most effective ergogenic nutritional supplement currently available to athletes in terms of increasing high-intensity exercise capacity and lean body mass during exercise.
  • Creatine monohydrate supplementation is not only safe, but possibly beneficial in regard to preventing injury an/or management of select medical conditions when take within recommended guidelines.
  • There is no scientific evidence that the short- or long- term use of creatine monohydrate has any detrimental effects on otherwise healthy individuals.

Creatine Supplementation is Safe!
(Within Proper Dosage Of Course)

Over 500 studies have examined the effects of creatine supplementation on muscle physiology and exercise capacity.

Approximately 70% of studies report statistically significant improvements in performance while the rest typically found nonsignificant improvements.

0% of studies reported a significant detrimental effect.

Studies comparing athletes supplementing with creatine have shown no greater risk for cramps and dehydration compared to athletes not using creatine; studies suggest that creatine supplementation may even reduce the risk or cramps. Research has also shown that long term creatine use has no negative effect on kidney function. Of course, athletes should take precaution against dehydration and cramps by hydrating throughout the day as well as before during and after games and practices.

Creatine is a naturally occurring organic compound and is not banned by any major sports leagues, IOC, or NCAA.

How does creatine work?

(Tiukuvaara, 2012) Free phosphocreatine supplies a phosphate to ADP to create ATP, which is responsible for energy production.

Once orally ingested creatine enters the bloodstream, it is transported to target tissues, predominantly skeletal muscle, but also to the brain, heart, and eyes. Most of the free creatine binds with phosphates as Phosphocreatine (PC). PC is very important, as it is able to contribute a phosphate to Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) to make Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), the body’s cellular energy currency that is responsible for producing the energy for high intensity exercise as well as many other important functions. The ATP then lends one phosphate to release the energy required to powerfully contract a muscle, and once again becomes ADP. Having available PC in the muscle allows for ATP to be synthesized efficiently from ADP. This is an important energy pathway for the first energy system, the Phosphagen System (also known as the ATP-CP System) that is responsible for short bursts of energy.

Long term creatine use will not suppress your body’s natural creatine synthesis if you stop using it. Creatine supplementation simply allows for a safe and effective way to increase the creatine pool and allow for energy production.

Recommended Dosage and Timing

Based on the research, we suggest a dosage of 3-5 grams daily. More is not better, and there may be a risk of issues if an athlete is taking 10-20 grams on a regular basis; but 5 grams has been proven to be an effective and safe dosage.

Taking creatine post workout has been shown to produce better results than pre workout on body composition and strength. We suggest taking a shake including 3-5 grams of creatine mixed with 20-30 grams on whey protein within 30 minutes of finishing your workouts. This will be beneficial to any athlete, although your target numbers may change based on your individual goals.

This information is our best synthesis of the research and practical application at the time of this writing. Should new research come out contradicting our information and/or recommendation we will update as soon as possible. With our current knowledge, this information is accurate and recommendations are safe for the vast majority of the population.

Don't take my word for it: The Science Behind Creatine

Buford, T.W., Kreider, R.B., Stout, J.R., Greenwood, M., Campbell, B., Spano, M., Ziegenfuss, T.,Lopez, H., Landis, J., Antonio, J. (2007)
International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand creatine supplementation and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4:6

Athletic Performance and Body Composition

Kreider, R.B. (2003) Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, 244(1): 89-94

Becque, M.D., Lochmann, J.D., Melrose, D.R. (2000). Effects of oral creatine supplementation on muscular strength and body composition. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32(3):654-658.

Dabidi, R. V., Babaei, H., Hosseinzadeh, M., & Arendt-Nielsen, L. (2013). The effect of creatine supplementation on muscle fatigue and physiological indices following intermittent swimming bouts. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 53(3), 232-239.

Krieder, R., Ferreira, M., Wilson, M., Grindstaff, P., Plisk, S., Reinardy, J., Cantler, E., Almada, A.L. (1998). Effects of creatine supplementation on body composition, strength, and sprint performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 30, 73-82

Volek JS, Kraemer WJ, Bush JA, Boetes M, Incledon T, Clark KL, Lynch JM. (1997). Creatine supplementation enhances muscular performance during high-intensity resistance exercise. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,97(7):765-70.

Skare, O. C., Skadberg, Ø., & Wisnes, A. R. (2001). Creatine supplementation improves sprint performance in male sprinters. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 11(2): 96-102.

Brose, A., Parise, G., & Tarnopolsky, M. A. (2003). Creatine supplementation enhances isometric strength and body composition improvements following strength exercise training in older adults. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 58(1), B11-B19.

Ciccone, V., Cabrera, K., Antonio, J. (2013) The effects of pre versus post workout supplementation of creatine monohydrate on body composition and strength. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10(1):1

Jagim, A. R., Oliver, J. M., Sanchez, A., Galvan, E., Fluckey, J., Riechman, S., Greenwood, M.m Kelly, K., Meininger, C., Rasmussen, C., Kreider, R. B. (2012). A buffered form of creatine does not promote greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, or training adaptations than creatine monohydrate. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1), 43.

Medical and Therapeutic Applications

Brosnan, J.T., Brosnan, M.E. (2007). Creatine: Endogenous Metabolite, Dietary, and Therapeutic Supplement. Annual Review of Nutrition, 27: 241-261.

Gualano, B., Artioli, G.G., Poortmans, J.R., Lancha, A.H. (2009). Exploring the therapeutic role of creatine supplementation. Amino Acids, 38(1):31-44.

Tarnopolsky, M.A., Mahoney, D.J., Vajsar, J., Rodriguez, C., Doherty, T.J., Roy, B.D., Biggar, D. (2004). Creatine monohydrate enhances strength and body composition in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Neurology, 62(10): 1771-1777.

Adhihetty, P.J., Flint Beal, M. (2008). Creatine and Its Potential Therapeutic Value for Targeting Cellular Energy Impairment in Neurodegenerative Diseases. Neuromolecular Medicine, 10(4): 275-290.

Ryu, H., Rosas, H.D., Hersche, S.M., Ferrante, R.J. (2005). The therapeutic role of creatine in Huntington’s disease. Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 108(2): 193-207.

Pearlman, J.P., Fielding, R.A. (2006). Creatine Monohydrate as a Therapeutic Aid in Muscular Dystrophy. Nutrition Reviews, 64(2): 80-88.

Dickinson, H., Ellery, S., Ireland, Z., LaRosa, D., Snow, R., Walker, D. W. (2014). Creatine supplementation during pregnancy: summary of experimental studies suggesting a treatment to improve fetal and neonatal morbidity and reduce mortality in high-risk human pregnancy. BMC pregnancy and childbirth, 14(1), 150.

Gualano, B., DE Salles, P. V., Roschel, H., Artioli, G. G., Neves Jr, M., De Sá Pinto, A.L., Da Silva, M.E., Cunha, M.R., Otaduy, M.C., Leite Cda, C., Ferreira, J.C., Pereira, R.M., Brum, P.C., Bonfa, E., Lancha Jr., A. H. (2011). Creatine in type 2 diabetes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(5): 770-778.


Rae, C., Digney, A.L., Mcewan, S.R., Bates, T.C. (2003). Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 270: 2147-2150.

McMorris, T., Mielcarz G., Harris, R.C., Swain, J.P., Howard, A. (2007). "Creatine supplementation and cognitive performance in elderly individuals." Neuropsychology, Development, and Cognition. Section B, Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition,14: 517-528

Watanabe, A., Kato, N., Kato, T. (2002). Effects of creatine on mental fatigue, and cerebral hemoglobin oxygenation. Neuroscience Research, 42, 279-285.

Flint Beal, M. (2011). Neuroprotective effects of creatine. Amino Acids, 40(5): 1305-1313.

Sullivan, P. G. (2011). Mitochondrial Dysfunction following TBI: Potential of Creatine as a Neuroprotective Strategy. Nutrition and Traumatic Brain Injury: Improving Acute and Subacute Health Outcomes in Military Personnel.


Greenwood, M., Kreider, R.B., Greenwood, L., Byars,A. (2003). Cramping and injury incidence in collegiate football players are reduced by creatine supplementation. Journal of Athletic Training, 389(3): 216-219

Greenwood M., Kreider, R.B., Melton, C., Rasmussen, C., Lancaster, S., Cantler, E., Milnor, P., Almada, A. (2003). Creatine supplementation during college football training does not increase the incidence of cramping or injury. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 244: 83-88

Lugaresi, R., Leme, M., deSalles Nainelli, V., Murai I.H., Roschel, H., Sapienza, M.T., Lancha, A.H., Gualano, B. (2013). Does long-term creatine supplementation impair kidney function in resistance-trained individuals consuming a high-protein diet? Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10:26

Wright, G.A., Grandjean, P.W., Pascoe, D.D. (2007). The effects of creatine loading on thermoregulation and intermittent sprint exercise performance in a hot humid environment. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 21(3): 655-660