What Are The Pros and Cons of Creatine?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

What are the pros and cons of creatine? Creatine is one of the most popular supplements in the fitness industry when it comes to exercise performance and muscle building. It is a natural compound produced in your body from amino acids. Creatine can be consumed from several different sources such as animal sources like beef, chicken or even fish. Or it can be found in a dietary supplement form if you can’t get enough it from food.

Consuming a creatine supplement can help give your muscles the extra fuel and energy it needs to last longer in workouts. The extra energy from creatine supplementation can help you recover from workouts faster and reduce fatigue dramatically. Creatine can be taken in powder or pill form. And if you take it in powder form you can mix it with water or juice.

What are the Pros and Cons of Creatine? photo credit: iStock-designer491

Creatine is most effective when it comes to high intensity sports activities such as basketball, weightlifting, running, sprinting, soccer, swimming, power lifting and track and field events.

Creatine can also help with the progression loss of muscle and strength that comes with aging. And that condition is called sarcopenia.

Sarcopenia is a condition that affects 6 to 15% of adults that are over the age of 60 and older. This condition has been linked to physical disability, poor quality of life and an increased risk of death. That is why taking creatine supplementation has no age limit especially if you combine it with weightlifting.

There have been some studies that have shown that creatine supplementation can increase brain functionality by 5 to 15%. There was also another study that 5 to 20 grams of creatine daily for a period of 5 days to 6 weeks will improve short term memory and reasoning.

If you take too much creatine it can cause unnecessary bloating. And this bloating typically happens during the creatine loading phase which is not really a requirement.  The creatine loading phase is when you take 20 to 25 grams of creatine per day 5 to 7 days in a row.

In this loading phase it pulls a high amount of water into your muscle cells which causes the bloating and weight gain. Some people think after the first week of the creatine loading phase that the illusion is they gained muscle because the number on the scale went up. The reality is that they didn’t gain muscle they are just retaining a lot of water also known as water retention.

The amount of creatine you should take on average is 3 to 5 grams of creatine daily to maintain muscle stores of that supplement compound. There are several different types of creatine on the market such as creatine monohydrate, creatine hydrochloride and creatine nitrate. And you can pick which one is best for you supplementation wise and for your fitness goals.

“If you take too much creatine it can cause unnecessary bloating. And this bloating typically happens during the creatine loading phase which is not really a requirement.  The creatine loading phase is when you take 20 to 25 grams of creatine per day 5 to 7 days in a row.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

The Bottom Line is creatine is one of the most popular sports supplements in the market when it comes muscle building, exercise performance and recovery.

Studies have also shown that it can improve brain function and affect muscle loss among the elderly that is over 60 years of age.

If you have any interest in trying any of our Ethical Supplement products to help you heighten your immune system or assist you with your fitness, weight loss or health goals.

You can get a discount below at this link. ?utm_source=blog


  1. Kreider RB, Kalman DS, Antonio J, Ziegenfuss TN, Wildman R, Collins R, Candow DG, Kleiner SM, Almada AL, Lopez HL. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Jun 13;14:18. doi: 10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z. PMID: 28615996; PMCID: PMC5469049.
  2. 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 Jul 20;9(1):33. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-33. PMID: 22817979; PMCID: PMC3407788.
  3. Ostojic SM, Ahmetovic Z. Gastrointestinal distress after creatine supplementation in athletes: are side effects dose dependent? Res Sports Med. 2008;16(1):15-22. doi: 10.1080/15438620701693280. PMID: 18373286.
  4. Deminice R, Rosa FT, Pfrimer K, Ferrioli E, Jordao AA, Freitas E. Creatine Supplementation Increases Total Body Water in Soccer Players: a Deuterium Oxide Dilution Study. Int J Sports Med. 2016 Feb;37(2):149-53. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1559690. Epub 2015 Oct 28. PMID: 26509366.
  5. Dechent P, Pouwels PJ, Wilken B, Hanefeld F, Frahm J. Increase of total creatine in human brain after oral supplementation of creatine-monohydrate. Am J Physiol. 1999 Sep;277(3):R698-704. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1999.277.3.R698. PMID: 10484486.
  6. Watanabe A, Kato N, Kato T. Effects of creatine on mental fatigue and cerebral hemoglobin oxygenation. Neurosci Res. 2002 Apr;42(4):279-85. doi: 10.1016/s0168-0102(02)00007-x. PMID: 11985880.
  7. Chilibeck PD, Kaviani M, Candow DG, Zello GA. Effect of creatine supplementation during resistance training on lean tissue mass and muscular strength in older adults: a meta-analysis. Open Access J Sports Med. 2017 Nov 2;8:213-226. doi: 10.2147/OAJSM.S123529. PMID: 29138605; PMCID: PMC5679696.
  8. Shafiee G, Keshtkar A, Soltani A, Ahadi Z, Larijani B, Heshmat R. Prevalence of sarcopenia in the world: a systematic review and meta- analysis of general population studies. J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2017 May 16;16:21. doi: 10.1186/s40200-017-0302-x. PMID: 28523252; PMCID: PMC5434551.
  9. Chami J, Candow DG. Effect of Creatine Supplementation Dosing Strategies on Aging Muscle Performance. J Nutr Health Aging. 2019;23(3):281-285. doi: 10.1007/s12603-018-1148-8. PMID: 30820517.
  10. Devries MC, Phillips SM. Creatine supplementation during resistance training in older adults-a meta-analysis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Jun;46(6):1194-203. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000220. PMID: 24576864.
  11. Lanhers C, Pereira B, Naughton G, Trousselard M, Lesage FX, Dutheil F. Creatine Supplementation and Upper Limb Strength Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. 2017 Jan;47(1):163-173. doi: 10.1007/s40279-016-0571-4. PMID: 27328852.
  12. Wang CC, Fang CC, Lee YH, Yang MT, Chan KH. Effects of 4-Week Creatine Supplementation Combined with Complex Training on Muscle Damage and Sport Performance. Nutrients. 2018 Nov 2;10(11):1640. doi: 10.3390/nu10111640. PMID: 30400221; PMCID: PMC6265971.

More great content you may like

More great content you may like

Before you finish your last lap...

Don’t miss any of our great newsletters.