Creatine Research – A Collection of 230+ Studies

Authors
Adam Tzur (Sci-Fit on FB)
Brandon Roberts (FBResearchgateThe Strength Guys)

Studies: 234
Published: 27.05.2018 (updated: 27.05.2018)


Creatine Research Study Collection

Plain Language Summary

About Creatine

Creatine is one of the most well-researched and cheapest performance-boosting supplements in existence. Creatine research covers topics such as endurance training, high intensity training, muscle strength,  hypertrophy, health, brain performance, diseases, and more.

Creatine, Body Composition and Performance

Creatine improves:

  • Athletic performance
  • Muscle strength
  • Fatigability

Creatine increases:

  • Total body water
  • Lean body mass
  • Potentially, long-term hypertrophy via increased satellite cell and myonuclei concentration

Health, Neurology, and Cognition

  • Creatine might have beneficial neurological and cognitive effects
  • Creatine might have a positive effect in treating neurodegenerative diseases and depression

Dosing, timing, loading, and safety

  • Taking carbs with creatine could help muscle creatine accumulation
  • Multiple studies suggest that creatine seems safe for long-term use
  • 5 g per day should be enough to increase and then maintain creatine stores
  • Creatine loading is not necessary, but may saturate creatine stores faster

Other

  • Creatine may increase muscle glycogen storage
  • People with low creatine levels, such as vegetarians, may benefit more from supplementation than meat-eaters. This is because meat contains creatine and vegetarians have low creatine levels.
  • There are non-responders to creatine (they minimally increase their creatine stores during supplementation)
  • Creatine does not degrade rapidly in water with normal pH levels. You don’t have to drink it right after mixing it in water. Refrigerating the water will further slow down the degradation.

Figure by Jäger et al., 2011. Edited for clarity.

 

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General Reviews

Study Link Year Type
International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine Link 2017 Review
Creatine: a miserable life without it Link 2016 Review
Beyond muscles: The untapped potential of creatine Link 2016 Review
Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. Link 2012 Review
International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise Link 2007 Review
Scientific basis and practical aspects of creatine supplementation for athletes Link 2004 Review
Oral creatine supplementation and skeletal muscle metabolism in physical exercise Link 2002 Review
Creatine and creatinine metabolism. Link 2000 Review
American College of Sports Medicine roundtable. The physiological and health effects of oral creatine supplementation Link 2000 Review
Creatine: a dietary supplement and ergogenic aid. Link 1999 Review
Creatine: a review of efficacy and safety. Link 1999 Review

Athletic Performance and Strength

Study Link Year Type
Effects of Protein, Essential Amino Acids, B-Hydroxy B-Methylbutyrate, Creatine, Dehydroepiandrosterone and Fatty Acid Supplementation on Muscle Mass, Muscle Strength and Physical Performance in Older People Aged 60 Years and Over. A Systematic Review on the Literature. Link 2018 Review
Creatine-electrolyte supplementation improves repeated sprint cycling performance: A double blind randomized control study. Link 2018 RCT
IOC consensus statement: dietary supplements and the high-performance athlete. Link 2018 Review
Evidence-Based Supplements for the Enhancement of Athletic Performance. Link 2018 Review
Creatine Use in Sports. Link 2018 Review
Effects of Creatine and Carbohydrate Loading on Cycling Time Trial Performance Link 2018 RCT
Creatine monohydrate supplementation during eight weeks of progressive resistance training increases strength in as little as two weeks without reducing markers of muscle damage Link 2018 RCT
A whey protein-based multi-ingredient nutritional supplement stimulates gains in lean body mass and strength in healthy older men: A randomized controlled trial. Link 2017 RCT
Creatine Loading Does Not Preserve Muscle Mass or Strength During Leg Immobilization in Healthy, Young Males: A Randomized Controlled Trial Link 2017 RCT
Effect of creatine supplementation during resistance training on lean tissue mass and muscular strength in older adults: a meta-analysis Link 2017 Meta-analysis
Hematological and Hemodynamic Responses to Acute and Short-Term Creatine Nitrate Supplementation. Link 2017 Crossover
Effects of two pre-workout supplements on concentric and eccentric force production during lower body resistance exercise in males and females: a counterbalanced, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Link 2017 RCT
The effect of combined supplementation of carbohydrates and creatine on anaerobic performance Link 2017 RCT
Are Dietary Supplements and Nutraceuticals Effective for Musculoskeletal Health and Cognitive Function? A Scoping Review Link 2017 Review
Effect of creatine supplementation and drop-set resistance training in untrained aging adults. Link 2016 RCT
Effects of Five Weeks of Resistance Training and Relatively-Dosed Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation on Body Composition and Muscle Strength, and Whole-Body Creatine Metabolism in Resistance-Trained Males Link 2016 RCT
The use of creatine supplements in the military. Link 2016 Review
Acute and chronic safety and efficacy of dose dependent creatine nitrate supplementation and exercise performance. Link 2016 Crossover
Creatine Supplementation and Upper Limb Strength Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis | SpringerLink Link 2016 Review
The Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Explosive Performance and Optimal Individual Postactivation Potentiation Time Link 2016 RCT
Strategic creatine supplementation and resistance training in healthy older adults Link 2015 Parallel
Short-term creatine supplementation has no impact on upper-body anaerobic power in trained wrestlers. Link 2015 Parallel
Creatine Supplementation and Lower Limb Strength Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses | SpringerLink Link 2015 Review
Creatine supplementation and swimming performance; a systematic review and meta-analysis Link 2015 Review
The effects of polyethylene glycosylated creatine supplementation on anaerobic performance measures and body composition. Link 2014 RCT
Creatine supplementation post-exercise does not enhance training-induced adaptations in middle to older aged males. Link 2014 RCT
Creatine supplementation during resistance training in older adults-a meta-analysis Link 2014 Meta-analysis
Effect of creatine supplementation on physical performance are related to the AMPD1 and PPARG genes polymorphisms in football players. Link 2014 NRCT
Dietary supplements for aquatic sports. Link 2014 Review
Creatine monohydrate supplementation on lower-limb muscle power in Brazilian elite soccer players. Link 2014 Parallel
Creatine but not betaine supplementation increases muscle phosphorylcreatine content and strength performance Link 2013 RCT
The effect of creatine supplementation on muscle fatigue and physiological indices following intermittent swimming bouts Link 2013 RCT
The effects of creatine monohydrate loading on anaerobic performance and one-repetition maximum strength. Link 2012 RCT
Oral Creatine Supplementation Decreases Blood Lactate during Exhaustive, Incremental Cycling Link 2012 Single-arm
Effect of creatine plus caffeine supplements on time to exhaustion during an incremental maximum exercise Link 2012 RCT
Low-dose creatine supplementation enhances fatigue resistance in the absence of weight gain. Link 2011 RCT
Effect of Creatine Supplementation on Jumping Performance in Elite Volleyball Players Link 2011 RCT
The effects of creatine supplementation on performance and hormonal response in amateur swimmers. Link 2011 RCT
Ergolytic/ergogenic effects of creatine on aerobic power Link 2011 RCT
The effects of supplementation with creatine and protein on muscle strength following a traditional resistance training program in middle-aged and older men. Link 2010 RCT
The effects of creatine loading and gender on anaerobic running capacity. Link 2010 Crossover

Body Composition & Hypertrophy

Study Link Year Type
Effects of Protein, Essential Amino Acids, B-Hydroxy B-Methylbutyrate, Creatine, Dehydroepiandrosterone and Fatty Acid Supplementation on Muscle Mass, Muscle Strength and Physical Performance in Older People Aged 60 Years and Over. A Systematic Review on the Literature. Link 2018 Review
A whey protein-based multi-ingredient nutritional supplement stimulates gains in lean body mass and strength in healthy older men: A randomized controlled trial. Link 2017 RCT
Creatine Loading Does Not Preserve Muscle Mass or Strength During Leg Immobilization in Healthy, Young Males: A Randomized Controlled Trial Link 2017 RCT
Effect of creatine supplementation during resistance training on lean tissue mass and muscular strength in older adults: a meta-analysis Link 2017 Meta-analysis
Creatine Supplementation and Skeletal Muscle Metabolism for Building Muscle Mass- Review of the Potential Mechanisms of Action. Link 2017 Review
Creatine supplementation elicits greater muscle hypertrophy in upper than lower limbs and trunk in resistance-trained men Link 2017 RCT
Effect of creatine supplementation and drop-set resistance training in untrained aging adults. Link 2016 RCT
Effects of Five Weeks of Resistance Training and Relatively-Dosed Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation on Body Composition and Muscle Strength, and Whole-Body Creatine Metabolism in Resistance-Trained Males Link 2016 RCT
Creatine Supplementation Increases Total Body Water in Soccer Players: a Deuterium Oxide Dilution Study Link 2016 RCT
Strategic creatine supplementation and resistance training in healthy older adults Link 2015 Parallel
The effects of polyethylene glycosylated creatine supplementation on anaerobic performance measures and body composition. Link 2014 RCT
Creatine supplementation post-exercise does not enhance training-induced adaptations in middle to older aged males. Link 2014 RCT
Creatine supplementation during resistance training in older adults-a meta-analysis Link 2014 Meta-analysis
Low-dose creatine supplementation enhances fatigue resistance in the absence of weight gain. Link 2011 RCT
The effects of supplementation with creatine and protein on muscle strength following a traditional resistance training program in middle-aged and older men. Link 2010 RCT

Neurology and Cognition

Study Link Year Type
Effects of creatine supplementation on cognitive function of healthy individuals: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Link 2018 Review
Creatine supplementation enhances corticomotor excitability and cognitive performance during oxygen deprivation. Link 2015 RCT
Creatine supplementation associated or not with strength training upon emotional and cognitive measures in older women: a randomized double-blind study Link 2013 RCT
The influence of creatine supplementation on the cognitive functioning of vegetarians and omnivores. Link 2011 RCT
Skill execution and sleep deprivation: effects of acute caffeine or creatine supplementation - a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Link 2011 RCT

Health & Safety

Study Link Year Type
Creatine Use in Sports. Link 2018 Review
Hematological and Hemodynamic Responses to Acute and Short-Term Creatine Nitrate Supplementation. Link 2017 Crossover
Effects of creatine supplementation on cardiac autonomic functions in bodybuilders. Link 2017 NRCT
Acute and chronic safety and efficacy of dose dependent creatine nitrate supplementation and exercise performance. Link 2016 Crossover
Creatine for women: a review of the relationship between creatine and the reproductive cycle and female-specific benefits of creatine therapy. Link 2016 Review
Creatine supplementation and glycemic control: a systematic review. Link 2016 Review
Creatine supplementation alters homocysteine level in resistance trained men. Link 2015 RCT
28 days of creatine nitrate supplementation is apparently safe in healthy individuals. Link 2014 RCT
A review of creatine supplementation in age-related diseases: more than a supplement for athletes Link 2014 Review
Creatine supplementation. Link 2013 Review
Does long-term creatine supplementation impair kidney function in resistance-trained individuals consuming a high-protein diet? Link 2013 RCT
Studies on the safety of creatine supplementation. Link 2011 Review
Exploring the therapeutic role of creatine supplementation. Link 2010 Review

Timing, Dosing, & Forms

Study Link Year Type
Plasma Creatine Kinetics After Ingestion of Microencapsulated Creatine Monohydrate with Enhanced Stability in Aqueous Solutions. Link 2017 RCT
Creatine and creatine forms intended for sports nutrition. Link 2017 Review
Timing, Optimal Dose and Intake Duration of Dietary Supplements with Evidence-Based Use in Sports Nutrition. Link 2016 Review
Strategic creatine supplementation and resistance training in healthy older adults Link 2015 Parallel
Comparison of creatine supplementation before versus after supervised resistance training in healthy older adults. Link 2014 RCT
Creatine supplementation. Link 2013 Review
The effects of pre versus post workout supplementation of creatine monohydrate on body composition and strength. Link 2013 RCT
A buffered form of creatine does not promote greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, or training adaptations than creatine monohydrate. Link 2012 RCT
Analysis of the efficacy, safety, and regulatory status of novel forms of creatine. Link 2011 Review

Other Studies

Study Link Year Type
Practical Issues in Evidence-Based Use of Performance Supplements: Supplement Interactions, Repeated Use and Individual Responses. Link 2017 Review
Manipulation of Muscle Creatine and Glycogen Changes Dual X-ray Absorptiometry Estimates of Body Composition Link 2017 Parallel
Creatine Fuels the Thermic Effect of Feeding: Cell Metabolism Link 2017 Review
Caffeine Potentiates the Ergogenic Effects of Creatine Link 2017 Parallel
Whole body creatine and protein kinetics in healthy men and women: effects of creatine and amino acid supplementation. Link 2016 Single-arm
Effects of Creatine Monohydrate Augmentation on Brain Metabolic and Network Outcome Measures in Women With Major Depressive Disorder Link 2016
Role of creatine supplementation in exercise-induced muscle damage: A mini review. Link 2015 Review
Effects of short term creatine supplementation and resistance exercises on resting hormonal and cardiovascular responses Link 2015 RCT
Creatine and Caffeine: Considerations for Concurrent Supplementation Link 2015 Review
Short-term Creatine Supplementation Suppresses the Cortisol Response to a High-Intensity Swim-Sprint Workout Link 2014 RCT
Contribution of creatine to protein homeostasis in athletes after endurance and sprint running Link 2013 Crossover
Effects of creatine supplementation on oxidative stress and inflammatory markers after repeated-sprint exercise in humans Link 2013 RCT
Effects of creatine supplementation in taekwondo practitioners Link 2013 Crossover
A pilot dose-finding clinical trial of creatine monohydrate augmentation to SSRIs/SNRIs/NASA antidepressant treatment in major depression Link 2013 Parallel
Phosphocreatine interacts with phospholipids, affects membrane properties and exerts membrane-protective effects.. Link 2012 Other
A randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial of oral creatine monohydrate augmentation for enhanced response to a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor in women with major depressive disorder Link 2012
Elevated plasma creatinine due to creatine ethyl ester use. Link 2011 Review
Effect of caffeine ingestion after creatine supplementation on intermittent high-intensity sprint performance Link 2011 Crossover
The effect of short-term creatine loading on active range of movement. Link 2010 RCT
Effects of oral creatine and resistance training on serum myostatin and GASP-1 Link 2010 RCT

Exclusions

We have excluded the following types of studies:

  • Animal
  • In vitro
  • Disease (except for reviews, which we have included)

Licenses and Attributions

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