Updated: Oct 12
Creatine is a great supplement, it is proven and effective.
But what are creatine's benefits?
Click on the following benefit's to see more information or scroll down.
Top 10 Benefits of Creatine:
It is also the worlds most studied supplement and has an excellent safety record. (Source)
A review conducted of the most popular supplements came to the conclusion that creatine was the most beneficial dietary supplement.
What Is Creatine?
Creatine is a compound that is actually found naturally within cells in your body.
It is found in higher concentrations in your muscle cells - around 95% of creatine is found in your muscles and the other 5% is found in the brain, liver and kidneys. (Source)
It is actually very similar to amino acids, your body can also produce creatine from the amino acids; glycine and arginine.
Taking this supplement is very popular among fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders and other athletes.
Further Reading: What Is Creatine
How Does Creatine Work
The main role of creatine is to increase energy production, this role is fulfilled by increasing phosphocreatine stores.
These additional phosphocreatine stores can be used to produce more energy in the form of ATP, which is the bodies primary energy used in high intensity and resistance exercises.
It also has other secondary effects due to this, such as; cell volumization, increased anabolic hormones and improved brain health and function.
Further Reading: How Does Creatine Work
1) Increases Muscle Growth
When taken for as little as 5 days, it is able to increase muscle size and bodyweight.
A comprehensive review demonstrated a clear increase in muscle mass among those using creatine, compared with those performing the same training routine without using creatine. (Source)
This comprehensive review also compared other supplements and the final outcome was that creatine is the best supplement available.
There was also a study of people on a 6-week training program, those who used creatine added on average 4.4lbs (2 kg) more muscle mass than those who did not use creatine. (Source)
Creatine is able to increase short-term and also long-term muscle growth. It is considered the most effective muscle building supplement available.
2) Improves Exercise Performance
Creatine has the following benefits:
Improved Muscle Endurance
Increased Muscle Mass
Improved Sprint Ability
Improved Cognition & Brain Performance
One study found that creatine can improve exercise performance by up to around 15%. (Source)
Because creatine has a direct role in ATP and energy production it can benefit those looking to improve exercise performance.
3) Improves Energy Production
This phosphocreatine is used in the production of ATP, more phosphocreatine means you can produce more ATP which means your cells have more energy at their disposal. (Source)
During exercise, ATP is used as the main source of energy.
Increased energy production is the main reason creatine enhances performance.
Creatine supplementation increases ATP production and therefore improves exercise performance.
4) Supports Anabolic Processes
Creatine can enhance various other pathways and mechanisms in muscle cells that increase muscle growth.
Supplementing with it can alter various pathways.
Decrease levels of myostatin (a muscle growth inhibiting compound) resulting in increased muscle growth. (Source)
Creatine has various effects on muscle cells and alters various pathways within muscle cells resulting in increased muscle growth.
Creatine can stimulate several key biological processes that lead to increased muscle growth and size.
5) Reduces Tiredness & Fatigue
Supplementing with creatine can help reduce tiredness and fatigue. (Source)
Only 10% of those taken creatine experienced fatigue, whereas the number of people experiencing fatigue in the control group was around 80%. (Source)
In one study lasting 6 months, those who took creatine had around a 50% reduction of dizziness compared to those who did not take creatine. (Source)
Creatine seems to be able to reduce fatigue and improve energy levels in those who are sleep deprived. (Source)
It also reduced fatigue in athletes taking a cycling test. (Source)
Creatine can also reduce fatigue and tiredness when exercising in high heat. (Source)
Creatine can increase energy available to the brain and increases dopamine.
Creatine can reduce fatigue and tiredness, supplementing can increase energy and motivation.
6) Improves Brain Health
Creatine is required for optimal brain function. (Source)
Studies suggest that the brain requires a lot of energy when performing difficult tasks. (Source)
Supplementing with creatine can increase the level of ATP and therefore energy available to the brain, resulting in better performance.
In elderly people, supplementing creatine can significantly improve memory and recall. (Source)
Vegetarians typically have low levels of creatine, this is because meat is the main source of creatine in the diet.
A study conducted on creatine supplements in vegetarians found a 20-50% improvement in memory and cognition tests. (Source)
In elderly people, supplementing with creatine may boost brain health, protect against neurological disease, and protect against muscle loss and strength loss. (Source)
Creatine can increase energy available to the brain, therefore improving brain function and cognition, memory and recall.
7) Helps With Parkinson's Disease
Lowered levels of dopamine results in brain cell death and can also cause other symptoms such as; reduced muscle function, tremors and speech impairments. (Source)
In mice creatine is able to prevent 90% of the usual drop in dopamine levels.
However, there is no evidence that this effect is seen in humans. (Source)
A study on individuals with Parkinson's disease found that combining creatine with resistance exercise improved strength and function to a greater extent than training alone. (Source)
Because Parkinson's disease results in loss of muscle strength, this may be a key benefit of creatine.
On the contrary, an analysis of five studies on people with Parkinson’s disease suggested that taking 4-10 grams of creatine per day didn’t significantly improve daily function. (Source)
Supplementing with creatine may be able to reduce some symptoms of Parkinson's disease, however, some studies observe no effect.
8) Helps With Other Neurological Diseases
One of the main factors in neurological disease is a reduction in energy production in the brain. (Source)
Since supplementing with creatine can improve energy capacity and production, it may help with some neurological diseases.
A study done on mice with Huntington’s disease found that creatine supplementation increased the brain’s phosphocreatine stores to around 72% of pre-disease levels, compared with around 26% for the control group. (Source)
This increase in creatine maintained cell function and reduced cell death by around 25%. (Source)
Research suggests creatine may help with:
Brain/Spinal Cord Injuries
Creatine has also shown promise for helping those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease that affects the motor neurons.
Supplementation reduced muscle loss, improved motor function and extended survival rate by around 17%. (Source)
More research is needed in humans, however, some researchers believe that creatine, when used alongside conventional medicine, can improve symptoms of neurological disease and help prevent disease.
Some research suggests that using creatine in those with neurological disease can improve symptoms. It's also suggested that creatine can help prevent neurological disease.
9) Helps With Diabetes
A 12-week study researched the effects of creatine and blood sugar levels after a high carbohydrate meal.
Those who took creatine and exercised had better control over their blood sugar levels than those who did not take creatine and exercised. (Source)
Blood sugar response is a marker of diabetes, the quicker your body clears blood sugar, the better. (Source)
Some research suggests that creatine supplementation may help lower blood sugar levels by upregulating the function of GLUT-4, this is a molecule that brings sugar from the blood into your muscle cells. (Source, Source, Source)
While these benefits of creatine on blood sugar levels are promising, much more research is needed in humans to assess the long term effects.
Some research suggests that creatine can help lower blood sugar levels after meals, but there is not enough data on long term effects to suggest it's use.
10) Proven, Safe & Effective
Creatine is one of the most researched and available supplements
This supplement has been researched for centuries and has hundreds of studies reporting on creatine's benefits and safety.
Clinical trials lasting up to 5 years report no adverse effects in healthy individuals. (Source)
Further Reading: Creatine Side Effects
Creatine has many benefits, it's well researched and is deemed safe for use and effective.
Creatine Benefits Summary
Creatine has many benefits, the top 10 benefits are listed above.
It is safe to use and may have protective effects for the brain and cognition.
It may enhance the body's ability to remove sugar from the blood.
Creatine may reduce tiredness and fatigue, especially in the elderly and those with certain illnesses.
This supplement can also enhance muscle growth, strength and exercise performance.
Overall, the benefits of creatine seem to be vast.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the benefits of creatine?
A: The benefits of creatine are; improved exercise performance, muscle growth and strength, reduced risk of neurological disease and diabetes, improved cognition and brain function in the elderly and many more.
Q: Does creatine make you bigger?
A: Creatine can enhance muscle growth, it can quickly and signicantly increase muscle mass and size, both short-term and long-term muscle growth is enhanced.
Q: Does creatine work immediately?
A: Creatine can increase phosphocreatine stores within 5-7 days and increase cellular water content almost immediately, leading to increased muscle size due to cellular volumization.