If there’s one supplement that has truly passed the test of time, it’s creatine monohydrate.
It has been the subject of hundreds of scientific studies, and the evidence is clear:
- It helps you gain muscle and strength faster.
- It improves anaerobic endurance.
- It enhances muscle recovery.
And moreover, it does it all naturally and safely.
When it comes to improving your body composition and workout performance, creatine monohydrate is basically all pros and no cons.
And in this article, we’re going to talk about why.
By the end, you’re going to know what creatine monohydrate is, how it works, how effective it is, how to take it for best results, and more.
Let’s get to it.
- What Is Creatine Monohydrate?
- How Does Creatine Monohydrate Work?
- What Are the Benefits of Creatine Monohydrate?
- Creatine Monohydrate and Muscle Growth
- Creatine Monohydrate and Strength Gain
- Creatine Monohydrate and Power
- Creatine Monohydrate and Muscle Recovery
- Creatine Monohydrate and Muscular Endurance
- Creatine Monohydrate and Arthritis and Joint Pain
- Creatine Monohydrate and Type 2 Diabetes
- How Does Creatine Monohydrate Stack Up to Other Forms of Creatine?
- Creatine Ethyl Ester vs. Creatine Monohydrate
- Buffered Creatine vs. Creatine Monohydrate
- Creatine Hydrochloride vs. Creatine Monohydrate
- Creatine Magnesium Chelate vs. Creatine Monohydrate
- Creatine Malate vs. Creatine Monohydrate
- Creatine Nitrate vs Creatine Monohydrate
- Micronized Creatine vs Creatine Monohydrate
- Creatine Pyruvate vs. Creatine Monohydrate
- Creatine Citrate vs Creatine Monohydrate
- Liquid Creatine vs. Creatine Monohydrate
- How to Take Creatine Monohydrate
- The Top 9 Questions About Creatine Monohydrate, Answered
- 1. Does Caffeine Interfere with the Effects of Creatine Monohydrate?
- 2. Do You Need to Take Creatine Monohydrate Every Day?
- 3. Do You Need to Cycle Creatine Monohydrate?
- 4. Does Creatine Monohydrate Cause Bloating?
- 5. Is Creatine Monohydrate Bad for Your Kidneys?
- 6. Should Women Take Creatine Monohydrate?
- 7. Should You Take Creatine When You Want to Lose Weight?
- 8. Does Creatine Cause Baldness?
- 9. Does Everyone Benefit Equally from Creatine Monohydrate?
- The Bottom Line on Creatine Monohydrate
Table of Contents
Would you rather listen to this article? Click the play button below!
Want to listen to more stuff like this? Check out my podcast!
Creatine is a natural compound made up of the amino acids L-arginine, glycine, and methionine.
Creatine monohydrate is creatine with one molecule of water attached to it.
The most basic unit of cellular energy is a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
For a cell to use ATP, it must first break it down into several smaller molecules, and this process produces byproducts that are then “recycled” back into ATP to be used again, including one of particular interest here: adenosine diphosphate (ADP).
Creatine is an essential ingredient in the process of regenerating ATP, which is why supplementing with it increases the amount of work that your muscles can do.
Specifically, creatine accelerates the regeneration process by”donating” a molecule of a substance that allows your body to rapidly convert ADP into ATP, thereby significantly increasing your muscles’ functional capacity.
The downside to this system of energy generation, though, is the body’s natural creatine stores are very limited. Once they’ve been depleted, the show is over, and the body has to turn to glucose or fatty acids to continue producing ATP.
When you take a creatine supplement, however, your total body creatine stores rise significantly, with an average increase of 10 to 20% in your muscles.
Creatine’s muscle-related benefits don’t stop there, either …
Creatine is mostly popular with athletes and weightlifters because its biggest benefits relate to physical activities that involves short, powerful bursts of effort.
One of the unique properties of this molecule, though, is that it can also significantly benefit higher-rep training by increasing the number of reps you can complete before reaching complete muscular failure, and there’s some evidence it may even improve endurance performance.
Plus, it has a few unique health benefits that have nothing to do with looking pretty.
Let’s take a look at the science.
There are 2 ways creatine increases muscle growth:
- It allows you to lift heavier weights for more reps, which gives your muscles a stronger stimulus to grow.
- It increases the water content of muscle cells, which positively influences muscle growth in a few different ways.
Evidence for the first point comes to us from a study published in 2001 by researchers from Skidmore College.
They split 30 people into 3 groups:
- 10 people who took creatine only.
- 10 people took a placebo and lifted weights.
- 10 people took creatine and lifted weights.
The first 2 groups had no significant increase in lean mass, whereas the group that took creatine and lifted weights gained almost 4 pounds of lean mass in 1 month.
Now, some people would say that this extra “lean mass” was nothing but increased water retention, and they wouldn’t be entirely off-base. This also brings me to the second point above.
The primary way creatine increases muscle growth is by increasing the water content in muscle cells. This makes the muscles bigger, of course, but also positively impacts nitrogen balance and the expression of certain genes related to hypertrophy (muscle growth).
Other research suggests that creatine also has anti-catabolic effects, which further helps with long-term muscle gain.
So, the bottom line here is even when you account for the increased water retention, people supplementing with creatine will generally gain muscle faster than those who don’t.
In 2003, scientists from Bloomsburg University analyzed 22 of the highest quality studies on creatine to see just how effective it really is.
On average, people who took creatine were able to lift 20% more weight across all rep ranges, whereas people who took a placebo only improved their lifts by 12%.
In other words, creatine improved their performance by 8% (absolute) in a matter of weeks.
Curiously, creatine was particularly helpful for increasing bench press 1RM, with increases ranging from 3 to 45%.
Here’s what the researchers concluded:
Thus there is substantial evidence to indicate that creatine supplementation during resistance training is more effective at increasing muscle strength and weightlifting performance than resistance training alone, although the response is highly variable.
So, if you want to get strong as fast as possible, then you want to take creatine.
“Power” refers to how quickly you can move a certain amount of weight, whereas “strength” is the absolute amount of weight you can move (regardless of how quickly you move it).
Power isn’t all that meaningful if you just want to get big and strong, but it’s important in many sports.
It’s also possible that creatine may directly improve power output through some other mechanism, as one study found that a single large dose of creatine improved neuromuscular function and increased power output within 24 hours, which is before it would have accumulated in muscle tissue.
Plant-based diets tend to be very low in creatine because the best food sources of creatine are meat, poultry, and fish, so it’s no surprise that plant-based eaters can benefit greatly from creatine supplementation (and that they see the largest increases in power output).
There isn’t much research on how creatine affects recovery, but it does appear to enhance it.
Many people think of creatine as a supplement only for increasing strength and power, but it’s also proven to increase muscular endurance.
Case in point:
Once again, creatine was particularly helpful for increasing bench press performance, with increases of 16 to 43%.
Creatine supplementation also seems to reduce fatigue in endurance exercise, too.
Scientists from the University of Nicosia and the University of Oklahoma found that creatine supplementation significantly reduced perceived effort (how hard exercise feels) during an intense cycling workout.
In one of these studies, though, only people who had relatively low levels of muscle creatine before supplementing experienced these benefits, so it’s possible that those of us starting with normal levels may not notice a reduction in perceived effort.
That’s what a group of scientists from the Division of Rheumatology-University of São Paulo wanted to find out.
They had one group of women take creatine and another take a placebo while doing 12 weeks of lower leg strengthening exercises, and at the end of the study, the results in the creatine group far surpassed the placebo group.
The women who took creatine showed a 52% reduction in knee stiffness, a 45% reduction in pain, and a 41% improvement in overall joint function, whereas the placebo produced a moderate reduction in pain and no significant reduction in knee stiffness or joint function.
The scientists weren’t exactly sure why creatine worked so well, though it’s possible that the benefits were simply due to making the workouts more productive.
Can creatine amplify these benefits?
That’s what scientists from the University of São Paulo found in 2011.
They gave one group of diabetics creatine and another group of diabetics a placebo, and put everyone through the same 12-week strength training program.
By the end, the creatine group saw a significantly larger drop in their HbA1c levels, which is a marker of their average blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. They also experienced a smaller rise in blood glucose levels after a meal, which is a sign of better insulin sensitivity, as well as other biological markers of better metabolic health.
Creatine monohydrate is the simplest and least expensive form of creatine on the market.
It’s been around for decades and is a tried-and-true winner, but it has many challengers to its throne.
Over the years, manufacturers have modified creatine in various ways to make it more effective. How well have these experiments gone? Has anything been able to trump creatine monohydrate?
Let’s take a quick look at the research on the most popular creations to find out …
CEE was developed in the hopes that it would increase the absorption and bioavailability of the creatine, but research shows it’s a dud.
A direct comparison between CEE and creatine monohydrate shows that CEE can’t even duplicate, let alone surpass, the results seen with creatine monohydrate supplementation.
In other words, it’s completely worthless.
The reason for this is CEE is less stable than creatine monohydrate, resulting in its rapid conversion into a substance called creatinine, which has no beneficial effects in the body.
Buffered creatine is creatine monohydrate combined with magnesium or baking soda to raise its pH value.
In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity of a solution. A pH of less than 7 is said to be “acidic” while a pH greater than 7 is “basic” or “alkaline,” and the more acidic a substance, the more it can react with other substances and cause chemical changes.
The idea behind buffered creatine is to “protect” it against the stomach’s powerful acids, and thereby increase its absorption into the bloodstream.
Unfortunately, research shows that buffered creatine isn’t any better than creatine monohydrate, because stomach acid is too strong to be negated by any buffering agent that you could safely eat.
The good news, though, is creatine is naturally resistant to stomach acid.
Creatine hydrochloride is creatine bound with hydrochloric acid.
As usual, the goal was to increase creatine absorption and efficacy.
Well, it succeeded in improving the powder’s water solubility, but it hasn’t been shown to enhance uptake or performance benefits.
Creatine magnesium chelate is a form of creatine bound to magnesium.
Magnesium plays a role in creatine metabolism, so combining the two could theoretically improve its effectiveness.
There isn’t much research on it yet, but one study found that creatine magnesium chelate is no more effective than creatine monohydrate.
We’ll have to see how it pans out in further research.
Creatine malate is creatine bound with malic acid.
Some research shows that malic acid can increase energy production in cells, which could work synergistically with creatine to further increase performance.
The jury is still out on this one, though, because no studies have directly compared it to creatine monohydrate yet.
Creatine nitrate is a form of creatine bound with chemicals called nitrates, which are abundant in certain foods like beets and spinach.
Research that’s no longer available online indicated that creatine nitrate may be more water soluble than creatine monohydrate, and we know that nitrates can improve performance, but no studies have directly compared creatine nitrate to monohydrate yet.
We’ll have to wait and see what the science says.
Micronized creatine is creatine that has been processed to reduce the particle size of the powder.
Most of the micronized creatine you can buy is creatine monohydrate, and while micronization helps it better dissolve in water, it doesn’t increase absorption or effectiveness.
Your body “micronizes” creatine during digestion by breaking it into smaller particles, so “pre-micronizing” it doesn’t achieve anything special beyond making it easier to drink.
Creatine pyruvate is creatine bound with pyruvic acid.
Research shows it may produce higher plasma levels of creatine than monohydrate, but this doesn’t translate into greater muscle absorption or performance enhancement.
Remember, your body already can absorb a large percentage of the creatine provided by creatine monohydrate, so slightly improving this doesn’t have any significant effect.
Creatine citrate is creatine bound to citric acid.
Its story is familiar:
Creatine citrate is more soluble than creatine monohydrate, but no better in terms of end results.
Liquid creatine is a form of creatine–typically monohydrate–suspended in water.
This was conceived of more as a marketing gimmick than anything else, and studies show it’s far less effective than creatine monohydrate.
The problem is when creatine is mixed with a liquid, it begins to break down into creatinine, which, as you know, delivers none of the benefits of creatine.
So, by the time a liquid creatine product gets into your hands, it’s really not a creatine supplement, but a creatinine supplement.
Oh, and if you’re worried this means the creatine in your post-workout shake isn’t as effective, rest easy.
It takes several weeks for the creatine to break down into creatinine after being mixed with water, so mixing your shake a few hours before your workout is totally fine.
Research shows that supplementing with 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day is optimal.
When you first start taking creatine monohydrate, you can “load” it by taking 20 grams per day for the first 5 to 7 days, and see benefits sooner.
I also recommend you take your creatine monohydrate with your post-workout meals for two reasons:
- Research shows that taking creatine with a moderate amount of protein and carbohydrate increases muscle absorption.
- Studies show that taking creatine after a workout is slightly more effective for increasing strength and muscle gain than taking it before.
Thus, creatine is the perfect supplement to take after a workout, with a meal.
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about creatine monohydrate.
For example, some people say you shouldn’t take it with caffeine.
Others say it causes hair loss, bloating, and kidney damage.
You may have also heard that it simply doesn’t work for some people or that its benefits are generally exaggerated.
What’s the story with these and similar claims?
Let’s find out.
It depends on what kind of training you’re doing.
It’s well established that caffeine increases performance, so taking it with creatine should have an additive effect.
That’s not always the case, though, as sometimes these two molecules don’t play nicely together.
We should note, however, that this study included just 9 subjects and the results haven’t been replicated by other research, so we shouldn’t draw any definitive conclusions from it.
This may have been due to the neurological enhancement discussed earlier or some other mechanism not yet understood.
So, at this point, we aren’t quite sure yet what to expect when you take creatine with caffeine before a workout.
If you want to play it safe, take your caffeine and creatine separately, which is a moot point for most of us who take caffeine before workouts and creatine after (which is what you should be doing to get the most benefit from both).
It takes about a week for creatine to accumulate in your muscles once you start supplementing with it, and once it has, it takes some time to return to normal levels once you stop.
A single workout doesn’t use up much creatine, so once your muscles are topped off through supplementation, you can go several days or even weeks before your intramuscular creatine levels return to baseline (depending on your training and diet).
That said, the simplest way to ensure you get the most out of creatine supplementation is taking 5 grams per day, which ensures your body’s creatine stores always remain elevated.
When you supplement with creatine, it’s true that your body reduces its natural production.
Ironically, producing creatine is a demanding process and reducing this burden may even be healthful. And if you cease supplementation with creatine, your body resumes its normal production.
This used to be an issue with creatine monohydrate but since processing has improved, the problem has faded away.
You shouldn’t notice any difference in subcutaneous water levels when you supplement with creatine.
If you take a massive dose (30+ grams), it’s possible you may notice something odd going on in your stomach, but there’s no reason to ever take that large of a dosage.
If you have healthy kidneys, you have nothing to fear from creatine.
And even if you have impaired kidney function, you’re unlikely to experience any problems. In one study, 20 grams of creatine per day caused no harm to someone with one slightly damaged kidney. That said, if you have any kidney issues, check with your doctor before starting supplementing with creatine.
One of the reasons people still believe creatine stresses the kidneys is related to a substance known as “creatinine,” which is produced when your body metabolizes creatine.
In sedentary people not supplementing with creatine, elevated creatinine levels can indicate kidney problems. In people exercising regularly and supplementing with creatine, however, high creatinine levels are to be expected.
Many active people taking creatine don’t know this though and are alarmed by high creatinine levels popping up on a blood test.
Many women shy away from creatine because they “don’t want to get bulky” or are afraid of bloat. Well, weightlifting and creatine do not make women bulky and as you know, bloating is basically a non-issue these days.
In fact I think it’s one of the best supplements you can take when you’re dieting to lose fat because it helps you preserve muscle and strength while in a calorie deficit.
This is the “secret” to not just “losing weight” but optimizing body composition. The more you can lose fat and not muscle while “cutting,” the better your long-term results are going to be.
This fear arose after a study conducted by scientists at Stellenbosch University found that male rugby players taking creatine saw a 40 to 60% increase in DHT levels after 3 weeks of creatine usage.
DHT stands for dihydrotestosterone, which is a hormone that’s largely responsible for male-pattern baldness. If you’re susceptible to hair loss, raising DHT levels is going to cause it to happen quicker.
Thus, people started to worry that taking creatine would make them lose their hair faster.
Other research shows this is unlikely for a number of reasons:
- So far, this is the only study that has associated creatine supplementation with an increase in DHT levels. Random, unrepeatable findings aren’t uncommon in scientific research, and this may be one of those cases.
- The study only lasted 3 weeks, and DHT levels started to decline significantly after the first week when the athletes took a much larger dose of creatine. Therefore, it’s possible that DHT levels would have dropped back to baseline after a few more weeks of usage.
- The researchers didn’t explain what the athletes were eating or how much, or how they were training or sleeping, which are factors that can affect DHT levels.
- DHT levels can vary wildly throughout the day, and the researchers didn’t say whether or not they tested all of the subjects at the same times throughout the study.
- It’s not uncommmon for low-quality supplements to be contaminated with impurities or deliberately spiked with actual steroids to increase their effectiveness, and the study authors didn’t list which creatine supplement they used or who made it.
That last point is the most important one because shenanigans in the supplement industry are more common and severe than many realize.
For example, one study found that trace amounts of the anabolic steroid norandrostenedione in a creatine supplement were enough to make people fail a drug test.
Anecdotally, I’ve also worked with thousands of people and have spoken with dozens of coaches and researchers, and I’ve never heard someone complain of hair loss after taking creatine.
So, in the final analysis, there’s very little reason to believe creatine contributes to baldness.
Research shows that a small portion of the population doesn’t benefit from creatine supplementation, most likely because they already get enough from their diets.
It’s also possible that these people don’t absorb creatine supplements as well as the rest of us.
If you’re worried you may be a “nonrespnder” because you haven’t noticed a big increase in your body composition or workout performance, don’t give it up just yet..
First, remember that the benefits are relatively small and hard to notice in the short term.
For instance, with creatine, you might be able to get 1 or 2 more reps with a given weight or move a little more weight in your heavy sets. This is unimpressive in and of itself, but can definitely add up to significant improvements over time.
Second, it’s possible that other lifestyle factors are masking the benefits of creatine.
For example, if you haven’t been getting enough sleep recently, then the negative effects of sleep loss are going to override any benefits you might be experiencing from taking creatine.
(Or, if you want to look at it the other way, the creatine may be mitigating the negative effects of inadequate sleep–in the gym at least–and you simply don’t know it.)
Third, it takes time for creatine to accumulate in your muscles, so you should take it for at least 4 weeks before you pass final judgement.
If you don’t want to wait, you can “load” it to see benefits faster by taking 20 grams per day for the first 5 to 7 days (followed by a maintenance dosage of 5 grams per day).
This is simply because progress is too slow at that point to notice a significant difference with even the best natural muscle-building supplements (including creatine).
So, if you…
- Are sure that your performance hasn’t increased at all
- Are making sure that you’re getting enough sleep, eating enough calories, and are managing stress well
- Are fully “creatine loaded”
…and you truly don’t notice any difference with or without at least 4 weeks of regular creatine supplementaiton, then you may be one of the few people who simply doesn’t benefit from it.
Creatine is the most studied, proven, and time-tested supplement in all of sports nutrition.
If you’re into weightlifting or athletics of any kind and haven’t tried it, then you’re missing out.
Hundreds of studies have shown that creatine…
- Increases strength and muscle gain
- Improves power output
- Speeds up muscle recovery
And there’s also evidence that it can reduce fatigue during exercise, joint pain, stiffness, and discomfort, and even symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
Plus, it’s safe, cheap, and readily available.
All you have to do to get the benefits of creatine is take 5 grams per day or, if you want to see benefits faster, take 20 grams per day for 5 to 7 days and then reduce intake to 5 grams per day.
If you want to get the most out of creatine, then you may also notice greater benefits by consuming it post-workout and without caffeine.
There’s one thing you need to watch out for, though:
If you’re buying anything other than creatine monohydrate, you’re probably overpaying for the same or lesser benefits.
That’s why it’s still the gold standard by which all other forms of creatine are judged, and the best bang for your buck.
In addition to 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per serving, Recharge also includes clinically effective dosages of L-carnitine L-tartrate and corosolic acid to help you gain muscle and strength faster and recover better from your workouts.
If you want to be able to push harder in the gym, train more frequently, and get more out of your workouts, then you want to try Recharge today.
What’s your take on creatine monohydrate? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
+ Scientific References
- Lamontagne-Lacasse M, Nadon R, Goulet EDB. Effect of creatine supplementation on jumping performance in elite volleyball players. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2011;6(4):525-533. doi:10.1123/ijspp.6.4.525
- Claudino JG, Mezêncio B, Amaral S, et al. Creatine monohydrate supplementation on lower-limb muscle power in Brazilian elite soccer players. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014;11(1):32. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-11-32
- Bird SP. Creatine supplementation and exercise performance: A brief review. J Sport Sci Med. 2003;2(4):123-132. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3963244/. Accessed March 2, 2020.
- Syrotuik DG, Bell GJ. Acute creatine monohydrate supplementation: A descriptive physiological profile of responders vs. nonresponders. J Strength Cond Res. 2004;18(3):610-617. doi:10.1519/12392.1
- Watson P, Judkins C, Houghton E, Russell C, Maughan RJ. Urinary nandrolone metabolite detection after ingestion of a nandrolone precursor. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41(4):766-772. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e31818edaeb
- Guignard MM, Pesquies PC, Serrurier BD, Merino DB, Reinberg AE. Circadian rhythms in plasma levels of cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone, Δ-androstenedione, testosterone and dihydrotestosterone of healthy young men. Acta Endocrinol (Copenh). 1980;94(4):536-545. doi:10.1530/acta.0.0940536
- Green G. Creatine supplementation and DHT:T ratio in male Rugby players. Clin J Sport Med. 2010;20(3):220. doi:10.1097/JSM.0b013e3181df5cad
- Bang HJ, Yang YJ, Lho DS, Lee WY, Sim WY, Chung BC. Comparative studies on level of androgens in hair and plasma with premature male-pattern baldness. J Dermatol Sci. 2004;34(1):11-16. doi:10.1016/j.jdermsci.2003.11.005
- Van Der Merwe J, Brooks NE, Myburgh KH. Three Weeks of Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation Affects Dihydrotestosterone to Testosterone Ratio in College-Aged Rugby Players. Clin J Sport Med. 2009;19(5):399-404. doi:10.1097/JSM.0b013e3181b8b52f
- Rockwell JA, Walberg Rankin J, Toderico B. Creatine supplementation affects muscle creatine during energy restriction. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001;33(1):61-68. doi:10.1097/00005768-200101000-00011
- Banfi G, Del Fabbro M. Serum creatinine values in elite athletes competing in 8 different sports: Comparison with sedentary people . Clin Chem. 2006;52(2):330-331. doi:10.1373/clinchem.2005.061390
- Gualano B, Ferreira DC, Sapienza MT, Seguro AC, Lancha AH. Effect of Short-term High-Dose Creatine Supplementation on Measured GFR in a Young Man With a Single Kidney. Am J Kidney Dis. 2010;55(3):e7-9. doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2009.10.053
- Pline KA, Smith CL. The effect of creatine intake on renal function. Ann Pharmacother. 2005;39(6):1093-1096. doi:10.1345/aph.1E628
- McMorris T, Mielcarz G, Harris RC, Swain JP, Howard A. Creatine supplementation and cognitive performance in elderly individuals. Aging, Neuropsychol Cogn. 2007;14(5):517-528. doi:10.1080/13825580600788100
- Candow DG, Chilibeck PD, Chad KE, Chrusch MJ, Shawn Davison K, Burke DG. Effect of ceasing creatine supplementation while maintaining resistance training in older men. J Aging Phys Act. 2004;12(3):219-231. doi:10.1123/japa.12.3.219
- Cooper R, Naclerio F, Allgrove J, Jimenez A. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: An update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012;9:33. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-33
- Lee CL, Lin JC, Cheng CF. Effect of caffeine ingestion after creatine supplementation on intermittent high-intensity sprint performance. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2011;111(8):1669-1677. doi:10.1007/s00421-010-1792-0
- Doherty M, Smith PM, Davison RCR, Hughes MG. Caffeine is ergogenic after supplementation of oral creatine monohydrate. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002;34(11):1785-1792. doi:10.1097/00005768-200211000-00015
- Vandenberghe K, Gillis N, Van Leemputte M, Van Hecke P, Vanstapel F, Hespel P. Caffeine counteracts the ergogenic action of muscle creatine loading. J Appl Physiol. 1996;80(2):452-457. doi:10.1152/jappl.19188.8.131.522
- Candow DG, Vogt E, Johannsmeyer S, Forbes SC, Farthing JP. Strategic creatine supplementation and resistance training in healthy older adults. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015;40(7):689-694. doi:10.1139/apnm-2014-0498
- Antonio J, Ciccone V. The effects of pre versus post workout supplementation of creatine monohydrate on body composition and strength. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013;10:36. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-36
- Steenge GR, Simpson EJ, Greenhaff PL. Protein- and carbohydrate-induced augmentation of whole body creatine retention in humans. J Appl Physiol. 2000;89(3):1165-1171. doi:10.1152/jappl.2000.89.3.1165
- Bemben MG, Lamont HS. Creatine supplementation and exercise performance: Recent findings. Sport Med. 2005;35(2):107-125. doi:10.2165/00007256-200535020-00002
- Gill ND, Hall RD, Blazevich AJ. Creatine serum is not as effective as creatine powder for improving cycle sprint performance in competitive male team-sport athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2004;18(2):272-275. doi:10.1519/R-13193.1
- Ganguly S, Jayappa S, Dash AK. Evaluation of the stability of creatine in solution prepared from effervescent creatine formulations. AAPS PharmSciTech. 2003;4(2):E25. doi:10.1208/pt040225
- Bailey SJ, Fulford J, Vanhatalo A, et al. Dietary nitrate supplementation enhances muscle contractile efficiency during knee-extensor exercise in humans. J Appl Physiol. 2010;109(1):135-148. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00046.2010
- Bendahan D, Mattei JP, Ghattas B, Confort-Gouny S, Le Guern ME, Cozzone PJ. Citrulline/malate promotes aerobic energy production in human exercising muscle. Br J Sports Med. 2002;36(4):282-289. doi:10.1136/bjsm.36.4.282
- Selsby JT, DiSilvestro RA, Devor ST. Mg2+-creatine chelate and a low-dose creatine supplementation regimen improve exercise performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2004;18(2):311-315. doi:10.1519/R-13072.1
- Brilla LR, Giroux MS, Taylor A, Knutzen KM. Magnesium-creatine supplementation effects on body water. Metabolism. 2003;52(9):1136-1140. doi:10.1016/s0026-0495(03)00188-4
- Jäger R, Harris RC, Purpura M, Francaux M. Comparison of new forms of creatine in raising plasma creatine levels. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007;4:17. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-4-17
- MacNeil L, Hill L, MacDonald D, et al. Analysis of creatine, creatinine, creatine-d3 and creatinine-d3 in urine, plasma, and red blood cells by HPLC and GC-MS to follow the fate of ingested creatine-d3. J Chromatogr B Anal Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2005;827(2):210-215. doi:10.1016/j.jchromb.2005.09.011
- Purchas RW, Busboom JR, Wilkinson BHP. Changes in the forms of iron and in concentrations of taurine, carnosine, coenzyme Q10, and creatine in beef longissimus muscle with cooking and simulated stomach and duodenal digestion. Meat Sci. 2006;74(3):443-449. doi:10.1016/j.meatsci.2006.03.015
- Jagim AR, Oliver JM, Sanchez A, et al. A buffered form of creatine does not promote greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, or training adaptations than creatine monohydrate. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012;9(1):43. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-43
- Giese MW, Lecher CS. Non-enzymatic cyclization of creatine ethyl ester to creatinine. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009;388(2):252-255. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.07.151
- Spillane M, Schoch R, Cooke M, et al. The effects of creatine ethyl ester supplementation combined with heavy resistance training on body composition, muscle performance, and serum and muscle creatine levels. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2009;6:6. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-6-6
- Gualano B, De Salles Painneli V, Roschel H, et al. Creatine in type 2 diabetes: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011;43(5):770-778. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181fcee7d
- Pesta DH, Goncalves RLS, Madiraju AK, Strasser B, Sparks LM. Resistance training to improve type 2 diabetes: Working toward a prescription for the future. Nutr Metab. 2017;14(1):24. doi:10.1186/s12986-017-0173-7
- Neves M, Gualano B, Roschel H, et al. Beneficial effect of creatine supplementation in knee osteoarthritis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011;43(8):1538-1543. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182118592
- Malliaras P, Cook J, Purdam C, Rio E. Patellar tendinopathy: Clinical diagnosis, load management, and advice for challenging case presentations. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2015;45(11):887-898. doi:10.2519/jospt.2015.5987
- Smith AE, Walter AA, Herda TJ, et al. Effects of creatine loading on electromyographic fatigue threshold during cycle ergometry in college-aged women. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007;4:20. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-4-20
- Hadjicharalambous M, Kilduff LP, Pitsiladis YP. Brain serotonin and dopamine modulators, perceptual responses and endurance performance during exercise in the heat following creatine supplementation. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008;5. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-5-14
- Santos RVT, Bassit RA, Caperuto EC, Costa Rosa LFBP. The effect of creatine supplementation upon inflammatory and muscle soreness markers after a 30km race. Life Sci. 2004;75(16):1917-1924. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2003.11.036
- Bazzucchi I, Felici F, Sacchetti M. Effect of short-term creatine supplementation on neuromuscular function. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41(10):1934-1941. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181a2c05c
- Candow DG, Chilibeck PD, Burke DG, Mueller KD, Lewis JD. Effect of different frequencies of creatine supplementation on muscle size and strength in young adults. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(7):1831-1838. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181e7419a
- Koçak S, Karli Ü. Effects of high dose oral creatine supplementation on anaerobic capacity of elite wrestlers. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2003;43(4):488-492. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14767410. Accessed March 2, 2020.
- 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;96(3):325-336. doi:10.1556/APhysiol.96.2009.3.6
- Lee CL, Lin JC, Cheng CF. Effect of caffeine ingestion after creatine supplementation on intermittent high-intensity sprint performance. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2011;111(8):1669-1677. doi:10.1007/s00421-010-1792-0
- Rawson ES, Volek JS. Effects of Creatine Supplementation and Resistance Training on Muscle Strength and Weightlifting Performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2003;17(4):822-831. doi:10.1519/1533-4287(2003)017<0822:EOCSAR>2.0.CO;2
- Tang FC, Chan CC, Kuo PL. Contribution of creatine to protein homeostasis in athletes after endurance and sprint running. Eur J Nutr. 2014;53(1):61-71. doi:10.1007/s00394-013-0498-6
- Pakise G, Mihic S, MacLennan D, Yakasheski KE, Tarnopolsky MA. Effects of acute creatine monohydrate supplementation on leucine kinetics and mixed-muscle protein synthesis. J Appl Physiol. 2001;91(3):1041-1047. doi:10.1152/jappl.2001.91.3.1041
- Safdar A, Yardley NJ, Snow R, Melov S, Tarnopolsky MA. Global and targeted gene expression and protein content in skeletal muscle of young men following short-term creatine monohydrate supplementation. Physiol Genomics. 2008;32(2):219-228. doi:10.1152/physiolgenomics.00157.2007
- Arciero PJ, Hannibal NS, Nindl BC, Gentile CL, Hamed J, Vukovich MD. Comparison of creatine ingestion and resistance training on energy expenditure and limb blood flow. Metabolism. 2001;50(12):1429-1434. doi:10.1053/meta.2001.28159
- Anomasiri W, Sanguanrungsirikul S, Saichandee P. Low dose creatine supplementation enhances sprint phase of 400 meters swimming performance. J Med Assoc Thail. 2004;87(SUPPL. 2). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16083193. Accessed March 2, 2020.
- Camic CL, Hendrix CR, Housh TJ, et al. The effects of polyethylene glycosylated creatine supplementation on muscular strength and power. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24(12):3343-3351. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181fc5c5c
- Casey A, Constantin-Teodosiu D, Howell S, Hultman E, Greenhaff RL. Creatine ingestion favorably affects performance and muscle metabolism during maximal exercise in humans. Am J Physiol. 1996;271(1 PART 1). doi:10.1152/ajpendo.1996.271.1.E31
- Schlattner U, Tokarska-Schlattner M, Wallimann T. Mitochondrial creatine kinase in human health and disease. Biochim Biophys Acta - Mol Basis Dis. 2006;1762(2):164-180. doi:10.1016/j.bbadis.2005.09.004
- Guzun R, Timohhina N, Tepp K, et al. Systems bioenergetics of creatine kinase networks: physiological roles of creatine and phosphocreatine in regulation of cardiac cell function. Amino Acids. 2011;40(5):1333-1348. doi:10.1007/s00726-011-0854-x
- Wallimann T, Tokarska-Schlattner M, Schlattner U. The creatine kinase system and pleiotropic effects of creatine. Amino Acids. 2011;40(5):1271-1296. doi:10.1007/s00726-011-0877-3
- Groeneveld GJ, Beijer C, Veldink JH, Kalmijn S, Wokke JHJ, Van Den Berg LH. Few adverse effects of long-term creatine supplementation in a placebo-controlled trial. Int J Sports Med. 2005;26(4):307-313. doi:10.1055/s-2004-817917
- Eckerson JM, Stout JR, Moore GA, et al. Effect of creatine phosphate supplementation on anaerobic working capacity and body weight after two and six days of loading in men and women. J Strength Cond Res. 2005;19(4):756-763. doi:10.1519/R-16924.1
- Volek JS, Ratamess NA, Rubin MR, et al. The effects of creatine supplementation on muscular performance and body composition responses to short-term resistance training overreaching. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2004;91(5-6):628-637. doi:10.1007/s00421-003-1031-z
- Branch JD. Effect of creatine supplementation on body composition and performance: A meta-analysis. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2003;13(2):198-226. doi:10.1123/ijsnem.13.2.198