Do vegan athletes need creatine supplements?

Why is creatine good for building muscle mass?

Creatine is an amino acid, well-known for enhancing exercise and sport performance. It supplies muscles with energy. Also, it enhances glycogen storage in muscles.

It’s a popular supplement for bodybuilding, as it’s particularly beneficial for short-term high-intensity anaerobic exercises, such as weightlifting or sprinting. Above all, creatine supplements can significantly increase strength and workload!

On the contrary, endurance athletes don’t benefit from taking creatine supplements. Long-term endurance exercises, such as running don’t depend on the ATP energy system in which creatine plays a key role.

Furthermore, creatine supplements are beneficial for vegan bodybuilders and other athletes, as it may enhance post-exercise recovery and injury prevention. Most noteworthy, creatine may help athletes of bodybuilding or weightlifting to tolerate heavy training loads.[1]

Also, vegan and vegetarian athletes should consider taking taurine supplements. Taurine is also an amino acid that vegans have a high risk of deficiency!

How much creatine can the body synthesize daily?

The body synthesizes about 1 g of creatine per day. Mainly in the liver and kidneys from the amino acids, glycine, arginine, and methionine.[2] Hence, consuming foods containing these amino acids is good for optimum creatine synthesis.

Certainly, eating vegan foods containing complete protein is the best way to increase the natural synthesis of creatine. For instance, vegan foods that are complete protein are hemp seeds, chia seeds, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, or pumpkin seeds.

Are there vegan foods containing creatine?

Vegan and vegetarian athletes could benefit the most from taking creatine supplements. Supplements are the only vegan creatine sources, actually. Plants don’t contain any creatine.

How much creatine do vegan athletes need from supplements?

Adults have about 120g of creatine in the body. Although the body can synthesize creatine, only taking higher amounts of creatine from supplements can improve athletic performance.

Vegan bodybuilders and other athletes that want to increase muscle mass and strength could benefit the most. Vegans have lower levels of creatine in their muscles than meat-eaters, as they don’t get any creatine from dietary sources.

Daily creatine dosages up to 5g are enough for vegan bodybuilders who follow a well-balanced diet.

Creatine supplements & adverse effects

Creatine supplements are considered pretty safe actually.

A possible adverse effect may be weight gain, as creatine increases water retention. Especially, if you take creatine supplements without following short-term intense exercises, such as weight lifting.

Hence, vegan runners or swimmers won’t benefit from taking excess creatine doses.

According to many studies, even high creatine dosages of 30g are considered pretty safe for short-term use. Furthermore, healthy adults can take daily creatine dosages up to 3g for years, safely.[1]

Are creatine supplements vegan?

Nowadays, creatine is created synthetically in laboratories without the use of animals. Hence, creatine supplements are vegan. Only creatine capsules may contain bovine gelatin. Hence, creatine monohydrate powder is the safest option for vegans.

Compare prices of creatine supplements on Amazon.