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Does Creatine Benefit Professional Athletes? (Explained)

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

Evidence-Based. Scientifically Reviewed by Michael Sharpe, MSc.


TL;DR: When it comes to strength-based training, creatine is beneficial to everyone. This advantage, however, seems to be less apparent in professional athletes than in beginners.

When it comes to determining whether or not a supplement may improve sports and exercise, the initial set of research is usually typically performed on individuals who are untrained or just minimally trained.


This is because this group of individuals will benefit anyhow once they begin to exercise, and any supplement interaction will be more noticeable to the researchers.


It is only afterwards that researchers turn their attention to professional or highly-trained athletes who are more resistant to dietary supplements.


It's not unusual for a supplement to help beginners but fail to help highly-trained athletes.




Supplementing with creatine has been proven to help top athletes in a variety of sports, including the following.


  • Soccer (football) (1, 2)

  • Volleyball (3)

  • Wrestling (4)

  • Swimming (5)


However, there are a few occasions where creatine supplementation isn't beneficial to elites, typically when they aren't linked to bursts of strength, such as long-term endurance sports.


Finally, the degree of benefit seems to be diminished, with studies in professional athletes reporting modest anti-fatigue benefits and improvements in strength, in contrast to supplementation encouraging significant strength gains in beginner athletes.


Though, it is likely useful for any athlete no matter the sport, it is safe and effective, and is fully legal to use in most professional sports.


professional athlete

References

This section contains links to research, studies, and sources of information for this article, as well as authors, contributors, etc. All sources, along with the article and facts, are subjected to a series of quality, reliability, and relevance checks.

Real Muscle primarily uses high-quality sources, such as peer-reviewed publications, to back up the information in our articles. To understand more about how we fact-check and keep our information accurate, dependable, and trustworthy, read more about us.

This evidence based analysis on if creatine supplementation benefits professional athletes features 5 references, listed below.

1. Claudino JG, Mezêncio B, Amaral S, Zanetti V, Benatti F, Roschel H, Gualano B, Amadio AC, Serrão JC. Creatine monohydrate supplementation on lower-limb muscle power in Brazilian elite soccer players. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2014, Jun 18) ✔

2. Yáñez-Silva A, Buzzachera CF, Piçarro IDC, Januario RSB, Ferreira LHB, McAnulty SR, Utter AC, Souza-Junior TP. Effect of low dose, short-term creatine supplementation on muscle power output in elite youth soccer players. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2017, Feb 7) (Randomised Controlled Trial)

3. Lamontagne-Lacasse M, Nadon R, Goulet E DB. Effect of creatine supplementation on jumping performance in elite volleyball players. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. (2011, Dec) (Randomised Controlled Trial) ✔

4. Koçak S, Karli U. Effects of high dose oral creatine supplementation on anaerobic capacity of elite wrestlers. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. (2003, Dec) (Clinical Trial) ✔

5. Juhász I, Györe I, Csende Z, Rácz L, Tihanyi J. Creatine supplementation improves the anaerobic performance of elite junior fin swimmers. Acta Physiol Hung. (2009, Sep) (Randomised Controlled Trial)

Citations with a tick indicate the information is from a trusted source.

 

The information provided in this article is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a physician or other competent professional before following advice or taking any supplement. See our terms and conditions.



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