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

StudyLinkYearType
International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicineLink2017Review
Creatine: a miserable life without itLink2016Review
Beyond muscles: The untapped potential of creatineLink2016Review
Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update.Link2012Review
International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exerciseLink2007Review
Scientific basis and practical aspects of creatine supplementation for athletesLink2004Review
Oral creatine supplementation and skeletal muscle metabolism in physical exerciseLink2002Review
Creatine and creatinine metabolism.Link2000Review
American College of Sports Medicine roundtable. The physiological and health effects of oral creatine supplementationLink2000Review
Creatine: a dietary supplement and ergogenic aid.Link1999Review
Creatine: a review of efficacy and safety.Link1999Review

Athletic Performance and Strength

StudyLinkYearType
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.Link2018Review
Creatine-electrolyte supplementation improves repeated sprint cycling performance: A double blind randomized control study.Link2018RCT
IOC consensus statement: dietary supplements and the high-performance athlete.Link2018Review
Evidence-Based Supplements for the Enhancement of Athletic Performance.Link2018Review
Creatine Use in Sports.Link2018Review
Effects of Creatine and Carbohydrate Loading on Cycling Time Trial PerformanceLink2018RCT
Creatine monohydrate supplementation during eight weeks of progressive resistance training increases strength in as little as two weeks without reducing markers of muscle damageLink2018RCT
A whey protein-based multi-ingredient nutritional supplement stimulates gains in lean body mass and strength in healthy older men: A randomized controlled trial.Link2017RCT
Creatine Loading Does Not Preserve Muscle Mass or Strength During Leg Immobilization in Healthy, Young Males: A Randomized Controlled TrialLink2017RCT
Effect of creatine supplementation during resistance training on lean tissue mass and muscular strength in older adults: a meta-analysisLink2017Meta-analysis
Hematological and Hemodynamic Responses to Acute and Short-Term Creatine Nitrate Supplementation.Link2017Crossover
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.Link2017RCT
The effect of combined supplementation of carbohydrates and creatine on anaerobic performanceLink2017RCT
Are Dietary Supplements and Nutraceuticals Effective for Musculoskeletal Health and Cognitive Function? A Scoping ReviewLink2017Review
Effect of creatine supplementation and drop-set resistance training in untrained aging adults.Link2016RCT
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 MalesLink2016RCT
The use of creatine supplements in the military.Link2016Review
Acute and chronic safety and efficacy of dose dependent creatine nitrate supplementation and exercise performance.Link2016Crossover
Creatine Supplementation and Upper Limb Strength Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis | SpringerLinkLink2016Review
The Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Explosive Performance and Optimal Individual Postactivation Potentiation TimeLink2016RCT
Strategic creatine supplementation and resistance training in healthy older adultsLink2015Parallel
Short-term creatine supplementation has no impact on upper-body anaerobic power in trained wrestlers.Link2015Parallel
Creatine Supplementation and Lower Limb Strength Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses | SpringerLinkLink2015Review
Creatine supplementation and swimming performance; a systematic review and meta-analysisLink2015Review
The effects of polyethylene glycosylated creatine supplementation on anaerobic performance measures and body composition.Link2014RCT
Creatine supplementation post-exercise does not enhance training-induced adaptations in middle to older aged males.Link2014RCT
Creatine supplementation during resistance training in older adults-a meta-analysisLink2014Meta-analysis
Effect of creatine supplementation on physical performance are related to the AMPD1 and PPARG genes polymorphisms in football players.Link2014NRCT
Dietary supplements for aquatic sports.Link2014Review
Creatine monohydrate supplementation on lower-limb muscle power in Brazilian elite soccer players.Link2014Parallel
Creatine but not betaine supplementation increases muscle phosphorylcreatine content and strength performanceLink2013RCT
The effect of creatine supplementation on muscle fatigue and physiological indices following intermittent swimming boutsLink2013RCT
The effects of creatine monohydrate loading on anaerobic performance and one-repetition maximum strength.Link2012RCT
Oral Creatine Supplementation Decreases Blood Lactate during Exhaustive, Incremental CyclingLink2012Single-arm
Effect of creatine plus caffeine supplements on time to exhaustion during an incremental maximum exerciseLink2012RCT
Low-dose creatine supplementation enhances fatigue resistance in the absence of weight gain.Link2011RCT
Effect of Creatine Supplementation on Jumping Performance in Elite Volleyball PlayersLink2011RCT
The effects of creatine supplementation on performance and hormonal response in amateur swimmers.Link2011RCT
Ergolytic/ergogenic effects of creatine on aerobic powerLink2011RCT
The effects of supplementation with creatine and protein on muscle strength following a traditional resistance training program in middle-aged and older men.Link2010RCT
The effects of creatine loading and gender on anaerobic running capacity.Link2010Crossover

Body Composition & Hypertrophy

StudyLinkYearType
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.Link2018Review
A whey protein-based multi-ingredient nutritional supplement stimulates gains in lean body mass and strength in healthy older men: A randomized controlled trial.Link2017RCT
Creatine Loading Does Not Preserve Muscle Mass or Strength During Leg Immobilization in Healthy, Young Males: A Randomized Controlled TrialLink2017RCT
Effect of creatine supplementation during resistance training on lean tissue mass and muscular strength in older adults: a meta-analysisLink2017Meta-analysis
Creatine Supplementation and Skeletal Muscle Metabolism for Building Muscle Mass- Review of the Potential Mechanisms of Action.Link2017Review
Creatine supplementation elicits greater muscle hypertrophy in upper than lower limbs and trunk in resistance-trained menLink2017RCT
Effect of creatine supplementation and drop-set resistance training in untrained aging adults.Link2016RCT
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 MalesLink2016RCT
Creatine Supplementation Increases Total Body Water in Soccer Players: a Deuterium Oxide Dilution StudyLink2016RCT
Strategic creatine supplementation and resistance training in healthy older adultsLink2015Parallel
The effects of polyethylene glycosylated creatine supplementation on anaerobic performance measures and body composition.Link2014RCT
Creatine supplementation post-exercise does not enhance training-induced adaptations in middle to older aged males.Link2014RCT
Creatine supplementation during resistance training in older adults-a meta-analysisLink2014Meta-analysis
Low-dose creatine supplementation enhances fatigue resistance in the absence of weight gain.Link2011RCT
The effects of supplementation with creatine and protein on muscle strength following a traditional resistance training program in middle-aged and older men.Link2010RCT

Neurology and Cognition

StudyLinkYearType
Effects of creatine supplementation on cognitive function of healthy individuals: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials.Link2018Review
Creatine supplementation enhances corticomotor excitability and cognitive performance during oxygen deprivation.Link2015RCT
Creatine supplementation associated or not with strength training upon emotional and cognitive measures in older women: a randomized double-blind studyLink2013RCT
The influence of creatine supplementation on the cognitive functioning of vegetarians and omnivores.Link2011RCT
Skill execution and sleep deprivation: effects of acute caffeine or creatine supplementation - a randomized placebo-controlled trial.Link2011RCT

Health & Safety

StudyLinkYearType
Creatine Use in Sports.Link2018Review
Hematological and Hemodynamic Responses to Acute and Short-Term Creatine Nitrate Supplementation.Link2017Crossover
Effects of creatine supplementation on cardiac autonomic functions in bodybuilders.Link2017NRCT
Acute and chronic safety and efficacy of dose dependent creatine nitrate supplementation and exercise performance.Link2016Crossover
Creatine for women: a review of the relationship between creatine and the reproductive cycle and female-specific benefits of creatine therapy.Link2016Review
Creatine supplementation and glycemic control: a systematic review. Link2016Review
Creatine supplementation alters homocysteine level in resistance trained men.Link2015RCT
28 days of creatine nitrate supplementation is apparently safe in healthy individuals.Link2014RCT
A review of creatine supplementation in age-related diseases: more than a supplement for athletesLink2014Review
Creatine supplementation.Link2013Review
Does long-term creatine supplementation impair kidney function in resistance-trained individuals consuming a high-protein diet?Link2013RCT
Studies on the safety of creatine supplementation.Link2011Review
Exploring the therapeutic role of creatine supplementation.Link2010Review

Timing, Dosing, & Forms

StudyLinkYearType
Plasma Creatine Kinetics After Ingestion of Microencapsulated Creatine Monohydrate with Enhanced Stability in Aqueous Solutions.Link2017RCT
Creatine and creatine forms intended for sports nutrition.Link2017Review
Timing, Optimal Dose and Intake Duration of Dietary Supplements with Evidence-Based Use in Sports Nutrition.Link2016Review
Strategic creatine supplementation and resistance training in healthy older adultsLink2015Parallel
Comparison of creatine supplementation before versus after supervised resistance training in healthy older adults.Link2014RCT
Creatine supplementation.Link2013Review
The effects of pre versus post workout supplementation of creatine monohydrate on body composition and strength.Link2013RCT
A buffered form of creatine does not promote greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, or training adaptations than creatine monohydrate.Link2012RCT
Analysis of the efficacy, safety, and regulatory status of novel forms of creatine.Link2011Review

Other Studies

StudyLinkYearType
Practical Issues in Evidence-Based Use of Performance Supplements: Supplement Interactions, Repeated Use and Individual Responses.Link2017Review
Manipulation of Muscle Creatine and Glycogen Changes Dual X-ray Absorptiometry Estimates of Body CompositionLink2017Parallel
Creatine Fuels the Thermic Effect of Feeding: Cell MetabolismLink2017Review
Caffeine Potentiates the Ergogenic Effects of CreatineLink2017Parallel
Whole body creatine and protein kinetics in healthy men and women: effects of creatine and amino acid supplementation.Link2016Single-arm
Effects of Creatine Monohydrate Augmentation on Brain Metabolic and Network Outcome Measures in Women With Major Depressive DisorderLink2016
Role of creatine supplementation in exercise-induced muscle damage: A mini review.Link2015Review
Effects of short term creatine supplementation and resistance exercises on resting hormonal and cardiovascular responsesLink2015RCT
Creatine and Caffeine: Considerations for Concurrent SupplementationLink2015Review
Short-term Creatine Supplementation Suppresses the Cortisol Response to a High-Intensity Swim-Sprint WorkoutLink2014RCT
Contribution of creatine to protein homeostasis in athletes after endurance and sprint runningLink2013Crossover
Effects of creatine supplementation on oxidative stress and inflammatory markers after repeated-sprint exercise in humansLink2013RCT
Effects of creatine supplementation in taekwondo practitionersLink2013Crossover
A pilot dose-finding clinical trial of creatine monohydrate augmentation to SSRIs/SNRIs/NASA antidepressant treatment in major depressionLink2013Parallel
Phosphocreatine interacts with phospholipids, affects membrane properties and exerts membrane-protective effects..Link2012Other
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 disorderLink2012
Elevated plasma creatinine due to creatine ethyl ester use.Link2011Review
Effect of caffeine ingestion after creatine supplementation on intermittent high-intensity sprint performanceLink2011Crossover
The effect of short-term creatine loading on active range of movement.Link2010RCT
Effects of oral creatine and resistance training on serum myostatin and GASP-1Link2010RCT

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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