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Fitness

Creatine Pros and Cons: a Scientific Approach.

You have probably already heard about such a sports supplement as creatine. You may have a lot of questions about this nutritional supplement. In this article, we will reveal all creatine pros and cons. Tell you about all scientifically proven benefits and possible side effects.

What is Creatine?

Before we start describing the pros and cons of creatine, let’s find out what creatine is. 

We must first realize that this substance is natural and naturally occurring in the human body. Our body synthesizes creatine from amino acids arginine, methionine, and glycine. The primary function of this substance is to participate in energy metabolism in muscle and nerve cells. 

Experts consider supplementing with creatine monohydrate as the most bioavailable option. This form of creatine contains tiny particles that dissolve and digest quickly.  

Creatine can also be obtainable from dietary foods such as meat and fish.

To get enough of this substance from food, cooking it without using too much heat is essential. High temperatures destroy creatine. Ideal examples of dishes are carpaccio or tartar. Steaming is also acceptable. 

But if you do decide to take sports supplements, let’s look at what are the pros and cons of creatine. There are a lot of myths surrounding this supplement. And to be sure that this supplement will actually bring us a lot of benefits and improve our fitness. 

So, let’s get down to the Creatine pros and cons.

Pros of Creatine Consumption:

1. Increase Muscle Mass, Strength and Endurance

Of course, the pros and cons of taking creatine list starts with the point about muscle growth. Indeed, in recent years, creatine monohydrate has become one of the most popular supplements among athletes. 

Creatine is a good supplement for building muscles, getting stronger, and improving athletic performance in young, healthy adults. (1,3)

Another study shows that creatine supplementation increases muscle strength and reduces muscle damage caused by complex training/ (2) 

 Increased muscle mass is not possible without overall weight gain. It is essential to realize that water retention may occur when taking creatine dietary supplements.

This will cause weight gain by increasing the amount of water in the muscles. If you notice this side effect of the supplement, you should not stop taking it. Once you stop taking the supplement, the excess fluid will drain away within one week. 

Scientific evidence is one of many things that show the benefits of creatine monohydrate. 

Many professional and novice athletes speak very favorably about taking the dietary supplement. 

Creatine helps to improve performance, strengthen skeletal muscles, and quickly adapt to high-intensity training. 

2. Faster Recovery After Training

Numerous studies have shown creatine’s ability to increase muscle energy, muscle mass, and exercise adaptation. In addition, there is evidence that continuous creatine supplementation can accelerate muscle fiber recovery and reduce muscle damage during intense exercise. 

As we continue to talk about the pros and cons of creatine monohydrate, let’s look at a few more studies. 

These studies suggest that creatine positively affects endurance, strength, lean mass, and daily performance in young and older adults. (4, 5)

3. Helps to Lose Weight and Reduce Body Fat

There is evidence of fat reduction in people who take creatine and exercise. (10) Creatine monohydrate positively affects energy metabolism and normalizes glucose levels. 

Reducing fat mass is an integral part of the prevention of many diseases. 

The risk of getting obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and many other diseases is directly related to the amount of body fat. 

So, if you are a regular exerciser and want to improve your shape and physical performance, try creatine, and you will see results much faster. 

4. Improves Glucose Metabolism

One study suggests that creatine supplementation combined with aerobic exercise may improve glucose tolerance. (6) However, there is not yet enough data to say whether this supplement benefits diabetes. 

Nevertheless, creatine has been shown to be a highly effective supplement for improving glucose metabolism.

5. Boosts Brain Function

At the beginning of this article, we already mentioned that red meat and fish contain creatine. Vegetarians may have lower creatine levels because their diet is devoid of animal products. One exciting study involving 45 vegetarians found that creatine supplementation dramatically positively affected intelligence and working memory. (7) For 6 weeks, 45 people were given creatine monohydrate at 4 grams. 

Creatine monohydrate might help with early dementia and improve muscle strength in Parkinson’s patients. (8)


  • Creatine helps to improve muscle growth, strength, and physical performance. It allows you to enhance exercise performance and recover faster from workouts.
  • Creatine helps to lose weight and reduces fat mass. 
  • Lean muscle mass increases without increasing fat. Water retention is often associated with rapid weight gain. Water retention is not harmful. The extra fluid will go away in a week when you stop taking the supplement. 
  • In addition, supplements can improve brain function and have positively affected some neurological diseases.
pro and cons creatine

Creatine Monohydrate Cons:

As we continue discussing creatine monohydrate pros and cons, let’s move on to the cons.

Possible Side Effects if You Have Medical Conditions:

Taking creatine can probably exacerbate mania in people with bipolar disorder. (9)

Creatine can aggravate kidney disease in people who already have kidney disease. If you have any kidney disease, please consult your doctor before using creatine supplements. (9)

Taking creatine monohydrate in recommended doses (about 5 grams daily) does not cause kidney damage in healthy people. 

Using creatine and caffeine together may worsen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. (9)

If you have Parkinson’s disease and are taking creatine, do not use caffeine or use it with caution.

Possible Side Effects in Healthy People:

Stomach problems with creatine usually occur when creatine dosages are significantly overdosed. If you experience this side effect, try reducing the dosage for a while. 

We’ve already talked about creatine’s ability to retain water. Swelling and water retention are joint in short-term supplementation.

Usually, your weight will normalize after some time, and the excess water will go away. It is necessary to wait a while and see if the body adapts. In the long term, creatine does not cause swelling and water retention. 

But there may be exceptions. If you experience negative reactions, such as severe water retention, stop using the supplement and consult a doctor. 

When taking sports supplements, getting enough fluids throughout the day is very important.

Often, many people do not drink even half a serving of the recommended water. Therefore, sometimes a side effect such as dehydration is observed. We recommend adding a few glasses of water to your daily water allowance to avoid this unpleasant condition. For example, if you used to consume six glasses of water a day, now drink about eight glasses. 


  • If you don’t have any health problems, creatine will only benefit you. Please try not to exceed the standard recommended dosages, and you should not have any problems with stomach upset.
  • Water retention is not expected when taking the supplement. Many people taking creatine do not experience water retention. 
  • To avoid dehydration, try to drink enough water throughout the day. 

Creatine Pros and Cons: Most Popular Questions:

Can taking creatine cause acne?

There is a lot of misleading information on the Internet about the harm of creatine and the fact that this supplement causes acne. There is no scientific confirmation of this fact. Acne can likely appear because your workouts have become more effective and prolonged. Consequently, you sweat more, which is how acne can occur.

Another indirect factor could be a slight increase in testosterone. Again, this is because the efficiency and duration of training during creatine use increases. 

Strength training is known to boost testosterone levels. 

We also advise you to choose quality supplements. After all, in addition to creatine monohydrate, the composition of sports supplements can be sugar substitutes, food coloring, and flavorings. Some of them may be of low quality and provoke inflammation on the skin of the face and body.

Can taking creatine cause hair loss?

Based on this scientific evidence, there is no link between creatine supplementation and baldness. (11) 

However, strength training can increase testosterone and dihydrotestosterone levels. This, in turn, can accelerate hair loss. (12) 

Thus, creatine supplementation does not affect baldness or hair loss. The baldness in athletes may be due to increased levels of certain hormones or for other reasons. 

Conclusion

To summarize the topic of creatine pros and cons, let’s reiterate the main point again. 

Creatine monohydrate is one of the most studied and popular supplements for athletes today. This supplement is considered safe for healthy people. 

This article has helped you understand what creatine benefits and cons exist. After all, the most important thing to realize before using any supplement is that it is scientifically approved and will not harm your health.

The founder of Myfitbody.club, fitness blogger, passionate advocate of a wholesome lifestyle, and your personal compass in the captivating realm of nutrition and exercise.

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