Creatine - how it works, safety

Creatine is a biomolecule of the energy system of the human body (creatine phosphate), capable of quickly producing energy (ATP), which is necessary to maintain cell activity. This is what all its beneficial effects are based on, both in terms of increasing productivity during training, and in terms of neuroprotective functions. It is an absolutely safe and well-studied supplement for athletes.


  • 1 What is the effect of creatine supplements?> 2 How does creatine work?
  • 3 Is Creatine Safe?
  • 4 In what quantities to take creatine?
  • 5 Should creatine be taken in cycles?
  • 6 What happens if I stop taking creatine?
  • 7 Does creatine cause baldness?
  • 8 When should you take creatine?
  • 9 Should I be loaded with creatine?
  • 10 Will I get fat from creatine?
  • 11 What is the best way to take creatine?
  • 12 Can creatine contribute to weight loss?
  • 13 How does creatine affect mental ability?
  • 14 Can Vegetarians Take Creatine?
  • 15 When should it be taken?
  • 16 Does it have other effects?
  • 17 In total

What is the effect of creatine supplements?

Creatine is one of the most common sports supplements that is used primarily to increase muscle growth and muscle endurance. In simple words, it allows you to work with a lot of weight. In addition to the above properties, which made the product popular, creatine supplements have a neuroprotective effect and can be used as cognitive stimulants (for vegetarians) or antidepressants (so far only proven in women). It is not precisely established, however, it is believed that creatine supplements can have a positive effect on cellular integrity (slowing down apoptosis) and contribute to an increase in the average life span of the body's cells. In general, it has many positive side effects.

In a way, a creatine supplement gives cells extra energy and allows them to function better.

How does creatine work?

Creatine is one element of the creatine phosphate system in which creatine and creatine phosphate are interchangeably involved in the addition and detachment of phosphate groups. Creatine is able to supplement molecules with phosphate groups, in particular, convert ADP (Adenosine diphosphate) to ATP (Adenosine triphosphate). ATP is the main " energy source " of the cell. Creatine allows you to transfer the phosphate group of ATP directly, without lengthy processes of decay of other molecules.

Creatine supplements increase the amount of creatine in the cell and contribute to a more active release of phosphates, which allows replenishing ATP reserves.

Is Creatine Safe "> At the moment, there is no clinical data revealing the negative effects of taking creatine supplements. "Clinical" in this case means those related to a negative effect on the human body (for example, harm to the kidneys or liver, which has already been refuted), while the occurrence of creatine supplements is associated with the appearance of several common side effects. Taking too much creatine at a time can lead to diarrhea. This is due to the combination of limited intestinal absorption and intensive absorption of water in the intestine when taking a large dose. However, water absorption can also contribute to indigestion and nausea.

This can be avoided by taking creatine along with copious amounts of water or not taking too large doses at a time.

How much should creatine be taken "> Should creatine be taken in cycles?

There is no point in using cycles when taking creatine. Traditional creatine cycles (1 week of loading, 3 weeks of maintenance, 1-2 weeks without intake) do not have much effect, because the body needs much more time to clear creatine. And, since creatine does not affect any receptors, and because of this there is no "creatine susceptibility", there is no reason to take breaks in its intake.

Products are taken in cycles, mainly due to the fact that the body gets used to them, but this does not apply to creatine supplements.

What happens if I stop taking creatine "> Does creatine cause baldness?

Not so long ago there were rumors that creatine increases the level of dihydrotestosterone - a more powerful androgen, which is involved in the processes of energy production (good), and also contributes to hair loss in a certain category of men and the development of prostate cancer (bad). Those who have plenty of hair on their heads should not worry about increasing the level of dihydrotestosterone, but people prone to baldness can really feel that the rate of baldness when taking creatine supplements increases. At the same time, speaking about baldness and its connection with creatine supplements, it is worth noting that no clinical studies on this topic have been conducted. And let dihydrotestosterone itself be an enemy of hair follicles, the creatine accumulated in them, in this situation, performs a protective cellular function. The specific effect of creatine supplementation on men prone to baldness has not been studied.

It is logical to assume that creatine negatively affects the rate of baldness, but how and how negatively is unclear.

When should I take creatine "> Should I be loaded with creatine?

You don’t need to load with creatine (the word "load" means the first 5-7 days of active creatine intake of 15-20 grams per day, after which there is a period of "maintenance" with the intake of 2-5 grams per day), although there is nothing wrong with loading not. Downloading will allow you to quickly reach the maximum level of creatine in the muscles, while taking 5 grams per day will give the same effect, only for a longer time.

In the long run, it does not make sense to load, however, if your stomach pulls the load, then during the first days of taking positive effects will still appear.

Will I get fat from creatine?

Creatine is not able to make you immense in the bad sense of the word, but there will be more water in the body. This “water” weight is mainly concentrated in skeletal muscle, in the same place as creatine itself, which takes moisture. Therefore, visually, the muscles will likely seem bloated, fat and saggy for weeks.

There is a possibility of bloating and stomach cramps when taking a large amount of creatine. This can be avoided by taking moderate doses or drinking large doses with large volumes of water.

In what form is it best to take creatine "> Can creatine contribute to weight loss?

Creatine does not have a significant effect on weight loss, so it would be correct to assume that there is no connection between creatine and weight loss at all. Studies have shown that consuming creatine without regular exercise does not affect a person’s weight loss.

Creatine only helps you exercise more efficiently, and this can lead to weight loss.

How does creatine affect mental ability?

In conditions of a healthy diet and good sleep, creatine performs a neuroprotective function and is useful for the brain. At the same time, one should not hope for any positive effects in terms of the development of mental abilities. Creatine supplements can smooth out the negative effects of lack of sleep on training results. For vegetarians, creatine can serve as a means to stimulate mental activity.

This category of people, as well as older people, lack creatine due to the lack of meat products in the diet. In this case, creatine may contribute to the development of memory and mindfulness.

Can Vegetarians Take Creatine "> When Should I Take It?

Take creatine at your convenience. Creatine is not a stimulant (but stimulants should be taken at a certain time), it is a product to saturate the body, so if the body is saturated, everything is in order.

It doesn’t matter if you take creatine at night before bedtime, in the morning after sleep or before training, just take it.

Does it have other effects?

Regular studies are being conducted demonstrating the various positive effects of creatine intake. It helps fight depression and neurological diseases, enhances the protective properties of cell membranes, is useful in diabetes and can stimulate mental processes.

For example, the lack of creatine production systems in the body is a serious genetic disease that often leads to mental disability.


Creatine works. He will not make you a super athlete in one night, but you will certainly reap more. Take it regularly and creatine will make you stronger. And at the same time it can help with many other things, including cell membranes, neuroprotection and more.