Creatine is an amino acid found naturally in the body. It’s been shown to help build muscle and strength.
Creatine’s effectiveness for athletes is due, in part, to helping increase the length of time a person can spend working out, especially in sprinting, lifting weights, and other activities that require short bursts of effort.
Creatine has been shown to reduce cramping and to help protect muscles and joints from injury.
One recent study found that taking creatine after exercise may produce more benefits than taking it before, but the evidence wasn’t particularly strong.
Most of the creatine in our diets comes from meat or seafood. Vegans and vegetarians might need a boost.
Researchers evaluated nine studies concerning creatine levels in vegetarians.
The researchers determined that supplementation helped increase lean tissue mass, muscular strength, and muscular endurance in participants.
“Overall, it appears vegetarian athletes are likely to benefit from creatine supplementation,” wrote the authors of the review, which was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Creatine draws water to the muscles from the rest of the body, potentially causing dehydration.
Drink plenty of water when supplementing with creatine.