Creatine is Safe, Offers Wide Range of Benefits, New Published Review Concludes

Washington, D.C., June 13, 2017—Creatine supplementation is not only safe, but has been reported to have a number of benefits in populations ranging from infants to the elderly, according to a new white paper titled “Safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine,” published today in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN).1

This state-of-the-evidence review paper, citing over 200 published studies, concludes that populations from adolescents to older adults demonstrated ergogenic benefits from creatine monohydrate supplementation with no clinically significant or serious side effects, determining that dosages ranging from 0.3 to 0.8 g/kg per day, taken for several years, are safe for those taking the supplement. The short- and long-term studies examined show that creatine is not only beneficial for athletic performance, but can also play a role in injury prevention and enhanced recovery, and may also have potential therapeutic benefits in various clinical populations.

In reviewing the literature, the authors confirmed that creatine supplementation is a “safe and well-tolerated” nutritional strategy to improve exercise performance, and that “no study has reported any adverse or ergolytic effect of short- or long-term creatine supplementation.” Further, they urge that “public policy […] should be based on careful assessment of the scientific evidence […] not unsubstantiated anecdotal reports, misinformation published on the internet, and/or poorly designed surveys that only perpetuate myths about creatine supplementation.” In particular, the authors single out some anecdotal reports that have raised questions about creatine’s effect on renal function and conclude there is no compelling evidence of negative effects in either healthy or clinical populations studied.

According to Mike Greene, senior vice president, government relations, Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), “The paper emphasizes that hundreds of studies have been conducted on creatine monohydrate and results consistently demonstrate that it is ‘well-tolerated’ and safe to consume by healthy individuals. We welcome these conclusions from scientists who have most closely investigated this ingredient, and we plan to share this published paper broadly, particularly with state legislators and policymakers who may not be familiar with creatine’s strong safety profile."

Duffy MacKay, N.D., senior vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, CRN, added, “As is true with all supplements, creatine is intended to supplement a healthy diet, in combination with other healthy habits. It is not a fast pass to peak athletic performance, and it should not replace a smart diet or a reasonable exercise regimen. Having an open dialogue with your healthcare practitioners and athletic trainers—and also parents, in the case of teenagers—should be the first step for anyone interested in incorporating creatine, or any supplements, into their exercise or wellness regimens."

The paper was commissioned by CRN who provided a grant to lead author Richard B. Kreider, Ph.D., Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, as part of the association’s ongoing commitment to support sound scientific research in the dietary supplement industry. Extending additional financial support to academia, CRN has provided the American Society of Nutrition (ASN) with annual education grants for nutrition researchers through the Mary Swartz Rose Awards for nearly a decade. Most recently, CRN provided an unrestricted grant for a study examining the impact of nutritional status on the effect of multivitamin use on cardiovascular disease risk.

1 International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine in exercise, sport, and medicine. Kreider R, Kalman D, Antonio J, Ziegenfuss T, Wildmann R, Collins R, Candow D, Kleiner S, Almada A, Lopez H. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. doi: 10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z. Published 13 June 2017.


Note to Editor: The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing 150+ dietary supplement and functional food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, and companies providing services to those manufacturers and suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements and food in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as to CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit Follow us on Twitter @crn_supplements and @wannabewell and on Facebook.