Creatine supplements are popular among athletes and Warfighters trying to enhance their strength and muscle size. This handout from OPSS provides the facts on creatine supplements.
If you would like a copy of this infographic, please use the links below to:
- download a PDF of the handout below.
- order print copies of the handout on the Health Information Products e-Catalog.
- download or order a printed version of the poster on the Health Information Products e-Catalog.
Updated 5 June 2020
Creatine: Just the Facts
Creatine is a compound made by your body and found naturally in some foods, mainly meat and fish.
It’s also a popular ingredient found in dietary supplements.
- Creatine is only effective for explosive, high-intensity activities (such as lifting, jumping, and sprinting).
- Not everyone will experience an improvement in performance. Some people respond better than others to creatine supplements.
- Creatine monohydrate, the most common form of creatine in supplements, is generally safe and effective when used appropriately (~3 g/day – more is not better).
- Creatine monohydrate is generally well-tolerated short-term, but less is known about its long-term safety.
- More than 10 forms of creatine are available in supplements. There isn’t enough evidence to support claims that any other form of creatine is better than creatine monohydrate.
Bottom Line: If you choose to use creatine...
- Look for “creatine monohydrate” as the only ingredient on the Supplement Facts panel. (Supplement Facts panel shows: Serving size of 1 scoop (3g), 100 servings per container, and that the only active ingredient is Creatine monohydrate, with the amount per serving as 3g and % Daily Value as “Daily Value not established.”)
- Choose a third-party certified/verified product. Look for any of these seals on the product label: (BSCG Certified Drug-Free seal, Informed-Sport Trusted by Sport seal, NSF Certified Sport seal, and USP Verified seal)
- Inform your healthcare provider of any supplements you use and discuss how to use supplements safely.
For more information about creatine supplements, visit OPSS.org. Operation Supplement Safety.
Logo: USU Uniformed Services University and CHAMP Consortium for Health and Military Performance.