Updated: Jul 10, 2020
What is creatine?
Creatine is a manmade form of a chemical that is normally found in the body. It is also found in meat and fish. Most creatine in the human body is stored in the muscles. Creatine is a source of energy for muscle contraction and is also involved in muscle growth. Creatine has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid for enhancing athletic performance. Creatine has also been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. However, research has shown that it may not be effective in treating these conditions. Other uses not proven with research have included treating high cholesterol, depression, bipolar disorder, or certain muscle diseases.
Creatine has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of this medication may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination. Drink plenty of fluid while taking creatine. Although it has not been proven, dehydration, heat-related illnesses, muscle cramps, reduced blood volume, and electrolyte imbalances are expected to be more likely to occur while taking creatine.Follow all directions on the product label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine - You should not use creatine if you have:
kidney disease; or diabetes or Heart Disease.
Creatine may not be as effective in improving strength or building muscle in people over 60 years old.It is not known whether creatine will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this product if you are pregnant. Creatine may pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product if you are breast-feeding a baby.Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without medical advice.
How should I take creatine?
If you choose to use creatine, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label. High doses may cause harmful effects on your heart, kidneys, or liver.
Some athletes have used a "loading method" of taking creatine by using large doses for 2 to 5 days, followed by smaller "maintenance" doses. This method has been used by athletes seeking a short-term increase in athletic ability, such as before a sporting competition.
For athletic performance: Many different dosing regimens have been used; however, most use a short-term "loading dose" followed by a long-term maintenance dose. Loading doses are typically 20 grams daily for 4-7 days. Maintenance doses are typically 2-10 grams daily.
For muscle strength: Many different dosing regimens have been used; however, most use a short-term "loading dose" followed by a long-term maintenance dose. The most common loading doses are typically around 20 grams daily for 5-7 days. Maintenance doses ranging from 1 to 27 grams daily have also been used.
Age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia): Many different dosing regimens have been used; however, most use a short-term "loading dose" followed by a long-term maintenance dose.