Natural Standard® Patient Monograph, Copyright © 2014 (www.naturalstandard.com). All Rights Reserved. Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.

Background

Creatine is normally found in meat and fish. Creatine is also naturally made in the human body in the kidney and liver. Creatine is mainly stored in muscles, but about 1.5-2% of the body's creatine is converted to creatinine daily.

The finding that carbohydrates enhance muscle creatine uptake increased the market for creatine sports drinks. Oral consumption of creatine increases the creatine in muscle, which serves to regenerate adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

Creatine supplementation became popular in the 1990s for enhancing athletic performance and building lean body mass. It has also been used in the treatment of chronic heart failure and mitochondrial disorders.

Overall, creatine appears to have modest benefits for intense, repetitive exercise lasting less than 30 seconds. It does not appear to have significant benefits on endurance aerobic exercise.

Caffeine may counteract the benefit of creatine on intermittent exercise performance. Furthermore, creatine in combination with caffeine and ephedra may have adverse effects. However, more research is needed in this area to confirm these interactions.

This evidence-based monograph was prepared by The Natural Standard Research Collaboration

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