Creatine is the most popular and well-studied ergogenic aid used among athletes and normal people for health and workout performance.
The prevalence and use of Creatine make it an important supplement to pay attention to – being used with almost as much popularity as whey protein.
The difference is that it’s a little harder for some people to understand.
But the statistics paint an interesting picture of the world’s favorite performance-boosting pseudovitamin.
Creatine Use Statistics
- Creatine sales are estimated at around 400 million dollars per year worldwide – making it one of the most popular and regularly-used supplements worldwide.
- Around 14% of athletes use creatine supplementation in 1 year, likely with a much higher percentage using them across the lifespan of training. Remember that this is also specific to sports – where some get more benefits than others from Creatine.
- Creatine use is almost seven times higher in teen boys than girls (8.8% vs. 1.8%), as expected from the more muscle-building-focused approach younger men take compared to women.
- Creatine is the world’s most popular and well-studied ergogenic aid and performance booster, with 1000s of recorded studies across various applications and test subjects.
- Creatine is primarily a cell health supplement but has become popular for muscle cells due to its athletic benefits and cheap pricing. This has made it a great choice for health, but most people overlook these benefits.
- 64% of studies on Creatine showed an increase in total lean body mass, making it a great choice for supporting muscle growth and justifying its overall popularity.
Creatine In Sports
Youth athletes use Creatine at higher levels – around 34% of users ascribe the use of Creatine to sports performance and up to 44% across a whole high school sports career.
This is relatively high for young people and seems to be even higher than in mature athletes – who may have more control over their dietary habits.
- Swimming is among the highest proportion of creatine users in high school sports, with 25% of surveyed high school swimmers using Creatine at a given time. Swimmers typically have the perfect timeline in shorter distances where creatine support may match perfectly with their output through heat or training.
- Among Division 1 athletes, usage is higher, at around 28%, though some sports report significantly higher usage rates. This makes sense, as these athletes can control their dietary intake and take the sport more seriously.
- The use of Creatine in the military is common, at around 30-35% in some studies – an application that most people never consider.
- Creatine can be great for improving performance in higher-intensity exercise and under duress from fatigue and heat exhaustion.
Creatine Benefits & Effect Statistics
- Creatine is a swelling cell aid that supports growth and better DNA protection, causing around 40% more cell volume in some rodent studies. This is great for muscle building, too, and may be one of the most important factors for improving muscle gains.
- Creatine only absorbs around 87% of its total weight due to breakdown in the digestion process. This is still very good, but it’s a factor you should consider – and it’s why most people use 3g rather than the “clinically effective” 2.5g.
- Creatine is very easy to absorb – with around 80-100% of any digested supplementation being taken into the system (anywhere from 69.6% to 87% of a dose being absorbed effectively).
- Creatine can improve power output by an extra 78% compared to non-creatine use in some studies, helping get more results from the same workout program.
- In the normal recommended dose (2.5 – 25g), absorption is typically over 99%, making it a great choice regardless of brand or format. This means that any creatine source that is free from contaminants and in your price range will be effective.
- Creatine is quite fast-absorbing, able to increase internal levels by 800% in a single hour – which makes it good for pre-, intra-, and post-workout supplementation. It’s also a great sign that your Creatine will be effective in the short term.
- Taking Creatine with carbohydrates supports carb uptake, boosting glycogen storage by around 40%. This is perfect news for pre-, intra-, and post-workout creatine use when combined with a diluted fruit juice and other support carbohydrates for your workout.
- Creatine can improve muscle glycogen uptake – specifically after exercise, where it protects against a muscle-damage induced limitation to carb re-uptake, helping support exercise recovery.
- Creatine uptake after exercise can increase absorption up to 65% or more, making it a great choice for improving the total effects. This is most likely in the rehydrating process, a key part of post-workout recovery.
- Creatine is an important compound in the brain, which is essential for proper mental development. This is often overlooked but is another reason why Creatine is a great all-around health and performance supplement.
- Your body breaks down around 1.5-2g of Creatine per day (depending on size) – one reason you need to replenish it with food and supplementation. You need to increase your intake if you’re under these numbers from diet and supplementation combined.
- Your first dose of Creatine is often the most effective when frontloading, at around 70% absorption on very high doses, up to 30g – a huge amount.
- Creatine is great for supporting cell health and protecting cell life-cycle by preventing excessive glutamate retention – which can kill cells early. This prevents some of the greater risks of accelerated aging, combatting both stress and environmental contaminants.
- Creatine reduces fatigue experienced in the brain and body alike, even more so in high heat or other stress scenarios, regulating serotonin and dopamine function when using frontloading (20g+) doses.
Creatine and Health Statistics
- Creatine is a major preventative compound in the onset of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases by supporting proper brain energy levels. This makes creatine supplementation a great consideration for older people – as in many other areas.
- Vegetarians with low creatine levels during their teen years can see significant cognitive performance improvements with creatine supplementation. As mentioned above, this needs to be supplemented if daily intake is below the body’s 1.5-2g turnover.
- Elderly people see major mental performance boosts with creatine supplementation, with reduced symptoms of sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss) and dynapenia (strength loss). These are closely related to injury risk and quality of life, making Creatine a superb choice for health as you age.
- Creatine preserves your mental performance when you’re sleep-deprived, protecting you from the worst mental fatigue and exhaustion effects. In these high-stress situations, it is a great support compound for reducing performance loss and protecting health.
- Creatine supplementation has been shown to improve heart health – especially in people with prior heart problems, which may increase function by around 30%. This is another sign that Creatine is not only safe but promotes positive health outcomes in multiple organs.
- Creatine may even improve your cholesterol profile – with some studies showing up to 20% improvements in VLDL (low-density lipoproteins, “very bad cholesterol”) levels. These are some of the most common problems in blood health, blood pressure, and heart disease.
- Creatine doesn’t only boost performance but reduces inflammation levels after sprinting workouts and other high-power exercises – protecting muscles and improving immune function.
- Creatine has a modest positive effect on androgen levels in men, specifically DHT, which is why some people worry about creatine-induced hair loss. Most users will never experience creatine-related hair loss, except those with a severe genetic vulnerability.
Creatine Stats & Associations – FAQs
Is Creatine Safe?
Creatine is very safe – it’s one of the market’s most well-studied and healthy supplements.
Creatine is a pseudovitamin with important roles in health and performance – it’s not a major health concern and has no consistent negative effects in otherwise healthy people.
Some people shouldn’t take Creatine due to underlying issues – such as those with kidney failure, who may not be able to safely filter Creatine (and its metabolite creatine kinase) from the bloodstream.
However, this concerns those with major issues and their medical professionals.
For most people, Creatine is extremely safe and important for a wide range of health and performance benefits.
Is creatine supplementation effective?
Creatine supplementation is an effective way for almost everyone to improve health and workout performance – with a small group of non-responders who do not derive benefits.
You may not see benefits with creatine supplementation if your diet is very high in creatine content.
However, this is unlikely since even high meat diets fail to get optimal creatine content in most people.
As a result, creatine supplementation is an effective and cost-efficient way to improve your internal creatine stores and strength-endurance.
Is Creatine scientifically proven?
Creatine has been scientifically proven to be one of the most effective and reliable forms of supplementation on the market for most people. There’s a huge variety of research on Creatine and its applications on PubMed or other search options.
Few people do not respond to creatine – creatine non-responders – who see no benefit.
This could be due to genetic disposition or a diet already rich in food-based creatine sources.
What percentage of people are affected by Creatine?
Around 80% of the population see positive effects from using Creatine, with only around 20% of people reporting a non-response status.
Creatine is an effective and reliable supplement for most of the population.
With around 15% of the population using Creatine, around 13% of people use – and benefit from – Creatine every year.
What percent of athletes take Creatine?
Athlete use depends on the sport, level of competition, and personal preference.
Around 20% of athletes will use Creatine, with some sports using it more often than others and more younger athletes using Creatine than their older counterparts.
More serious sports – like D1 college competition – can also incentivize creatine use, seeing use rates for Creatine around double that of the average population.
Does the average person need Creatine?
The average person would benefit from creatine supplementation – especially vegetarians and vegans who are usually deficient in Creatine.
Creatine turns over at around 1.5-2g per day; you need a minimum of 2g of Creatine per day.
Most people don’t get enough from their diet – which may be estimated at around the 80% of people who see effective benefits from Creatine supplementation.
This means the average person either needs Creatine or sees significant health and performance benefits with creatine use!
Does creatine supplementation damage your kidney?
Creatine supplementation does not cause kidney damage.
Rather, it’s a high-risk supplement for people with kidney damage.
Healthy people can even use high-dose Creatine (25-30g per day during frontloading protocols) without any significant side effects.
Your kidneys are safe with Creatine – ensure you’re drinking enough water and getting adequate fiber intake to maintain healthy digestive tract function.
How much Creatine do you need?
The amount of Creatine that the average person needs per day is around 5g, which is often consumed at least partially from the diet.
For most people, 3g of creatine supplementation improves health and performance with everyday use.
These results typically take a while to show up, leading some people to frontload – taking 8-10 times these doses weekly to saturate their creatine content.
This produces faster results but does have an increased risk of mild side effects (like digestive cramping) and uses around 25g of Creatine per day.
It can be a significant expense for most people, where daily use eventually causes saturation.
For most purposes, you should take 2.5 – 5g of Creatine per day.
How do you increase creatine levels naturally?
Creatine levels are increased through the consumption of Creatine in food, which is found primarily in meat and other animal-derived foods.
Meat is a muscle where Creatine is stored and used in the body.
This is why creatine supplementation is more popular among vegans and vegetarians, where dietary intake is significant – and dangerously – lower than in omnivores.
Creatine monohydrate use in athletes?
Creatine monohydrate is one of the most popular supplements among athletes for its wide variety of performance benefits.
It also has added health benefits – cell health and proper hydration status.
Combining it with glycine also supports better hyperhydration, protects from heat stress, and supports better post-workout recovery.
When was Creatine first used as a supplement?
Supplementation of Creatine started as a medical intervention and was isolated in 1832.
In the early 1900s, Creatine was in extensive use trials for the treatment of chronically low levels of Creatine in the body.
It is effective in post-surgical recovery, muscle-wasting conditions, and old age.
Creatine supplementation for athletes has been around as long as strength and muscle competitions – starting with athletes in 1923.
Creatine was already popular by the 1950s and 60s in bodybuilding circles.
In athletes, its popularity is more recent – gaining traction in power sports in the 1970s and 80s.
Creatine made its way into popular use in the 1990s as television broadcasts of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics brought the minutiae of athletic recovery to the normal person’s home.
Popularity has only increased since – as one of the market’s safest, cheapest, and most effective ergogenics.
Creatine Statistics Infographic
Creatine is a popular and effective supplement with many applications and a significant cost-to-benefit ratio. Its popularity is due to the healthy and effective use of the supplement, as well as the current popularity and ease of access.
Creatine is a healthy and useful supplement for many people and poses no real risks.
All the statistics point to the widespread use of the supplement and the reasons why. While most well-known for performance support, Creatine’s health benefits are significant and varied.
Creatine is more than just a muscle-builder or athlete support.
It is a whole-body cellular support compound, brain health supplement, and pseudovitamin – something healthy that most people don’t get enough of through diet.