How long can you take Creatine safely? (2024)

  • A question asked by everyone from beginners to the most advanced, as we can find contradictory information on the internet and various sources, which is why we refer to the most recent research to clarify this issue once and for all.
  • Studies have systematically shown that creatine supplementation increases intramuscular creatine concentrations, which may help explain the observed improvements in high-intensity exercise performance leading to greater training adaptation.
  • These studies demonstrate that both short-term and long-term supplementation (up to 30 g/day for 5 years) is safe and well-tolerated in healthy individuals and in various populations.
  • Both athletes and older individuals, or even those suffering from injuries, can use creatine.

Moreover, regular consumption of creatine in the diet (e.g., 3 g/day) throughout life may offer significant health benefits.


  • 1 Can prolonged use for months or years affect my health?
  • 2 Should I take breaks regularly?
  • 3 What happens if I suddenly stop taking creatine?
  • 4 Should I also take creatine on rest days?
  • 5 When do the effects of creatine begin to be noticeable?
  • 6 Conclusion

Can prolonged use for months or years affect my health?

Research has shown that it is safe to consume creatine daily, even for several years. There is no evidence to support any significantly harmful side effects in people who consume high doses of creatine (30 grams/day), even for up to 5 years.

Although some people make false claims about the side effects and safety of creatine, none of them is supported by research.

Should I take breaks regularly?

It is not necessary. However, it can be nuanced. If we are athletes or sportspeople who maintain a regular training scheme, consumption can be continued regularly without any problem.

If, on the other hand, you are going to spend a certain time without exercising due to factors such as vacations, off-season… in such cases, a break can be taken if desired.

If the reason for stopping physical exercise is due to an injury, in such cases, it is recommended to continue consuming creatine since recent studies observe that it can help speed up the injury recovery phase and, most importantly, mitigate muscle mass loss during the convalescent period.

What happens if I suddenly stop taking creatine?

The most common experience will be a decrease in strength, endurance, and/or explosiveness, that is, athletic performance. Fatigue or time to exhaustion may also occur more quickly than if we continued taking creatine.

We must consider that our body produces about 1-2 grams of creatine daily, so if we eliminate the extra 3 grams (sufficient recommended daily dose), we will experience the effects we describe.

It’s also possible that if you are undergoing a cutting phase, and in most cases, the carbohydrate intake is reduced, so muscle appearance may be compromised.

Creatine causes intramuscular water retention, giving a firmer appearance.

As creatine is directly related to protein synthesis, removing it from the equation can slow down this process. Another aspect that can also be experienced is a slight depression, and this is explained as there are creatine deposits in brain tissue – let’s not forget that creatine has a cognitive effect -.

However, “cutting” creatine consumption for a few days will not immediately produce these situations. Now, if you are going to eliminate creatine from your diet for weeks/months, be prepared for it, especially when you are a sportsperson.

How long can you take Creatine safely? (1)

Should I also take creatine on rest days?

Yes, it is recommended to maintain regular creatine consumption, both on training and rest days. The function of creatine when ingested is to saturate muscle cells. This does not happen immediately, but is a gradual process.

On the other hand, it is said that creatine does not act at the blood plasma level, so:

“If you take creatine before your workout thinking you will enjoy its effects, you are mistaken”.

That’s why creatine is known as a “loading” supplement because it requires continued use.

When do the effects of creatine begin to be noticeable?

Just like with training, whose results are not immediately noticeable, the use of creatine also requires a period to start noticing its effects, to increase cellular availability.

By ingesting creatine, what really happens is that the stores of phosphocreatine, a form of cellular energy, are replenished, contributing to the production of a high-availability energy molecule known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

The higher the ATP, the greater the capacity for muscular activity.

Short-term creatine consumption (for example, following a “loading phase”: 20 g/day for 5-7 days) can increase the total creatine content by 10-30% and phosphocreatine reserves by 10-40%.

It is estimated that around 4 weeks is when cellular saturation can be reached and begin to experience the benefits of creatine, starting from a dose of 3 grams per day.

As indicated, athletes sometimes use the known strategy as “loading phase” so that the above process occurs more rapidly.

As the research reveals, it is not necessary to go through this process, and it is recommended for most people starting to take creatine to do so directly with the 3 grams dose.


  • Creatine is widely used by elite athletes and enthusiasts as an ergogenic aid to improve anaerobic exercise performance.
  • It is also related to speeding up post-injury rehabilitation processes and reducing muscle mass loss during this process.
  • Older individuals also use creatine to prevent sarcopenia and, therefore, it may have therapeutic benefits for muscle wasting diseases.
  • Its use is completely safe, even doses much higher than recommended, and used for years, without producing unwanted effects.
  • The known “loading phase” is not necessary, and one can opt to take the maintenance dose directly.

Our recommendation is to maintain a daily use of 3 grams of creatine to benefit from this powerful substance.

Recommended Bibliography

  • Richard B. Kreider, Douglas S. Kalman, Jose Antonio, Tim N. Ziegenfuss, Robert Wildman, Rick Collins, Darren G. Candow, Susan M. Kleiner, Anthony L. Almada, and Hector L. Lopez. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017; 14: 18. doi: 10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z.
  • Eric S Rawson, Mary P Miles, D Enette Larson-Meyer. Dietary Supplements for Health, Adaptation, and Recovery in Athletes. DOI: 10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0340.
  • Richard B Kreider. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. PMID: 12701815.
  • E Hultman, K Söderlund, J A Timmons, G Cederblad, P L Greenhaff. Muscle creatine loading in men. DOI: 10.1152/jappl.1996.81.1.232.

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How long can you take Creatine safely? (2)

How long can you take Creatine safely? (2024)


How long can you take Creatine safely? ›

Doses up to 25 grams daily for up to 14 days have been safely used. Lower doses up to 4-5 grams daily for up to 18 months have also been safely used. Creatine is possibly safe when taken long-term. Doses up to 10 grams daily for up to 5 years have been safely used.

How long should you stay on creatine? ›

The Creatine Cycle

After the loading phase, you should drop to consuming 5 g to 10 g per day. You should continue doing this for another 7 weeks. This means in total you have been supplementing with creatine for a total of 8 weeks. Then it is important to stop taking creatine.

Is creatine safe for long-term use? ›

When used orally at appropriate doses, creatine is likely safe to take for up to five years. As with any dietary supplement, it's important to choose a product that follows recommended manufacturing practices and subscribes to third-party testing to ensure the product's quality.

Do you need to cycle off creatine? ›

To maximise results with creatine, cycling is recommended. Remember to have a break between cycles and increase daily water intake when using creatine.

When should you stop taking creatine? ›

It has been found that taking creatine for a period of longer than eight weeks can cause the effects to plateau. Creatine can actually lose its effectiveness if it's taken consistently over a long period of time. For this reason, many people use a creatine supplement on a cycle to maximize its effectiveness.

What happens when you cycle off creatine? ›

Your body won't be able to manufacture as much ATP if you stop taking creatine, which will result in a reduction in your stamina and endurance. Your muscles won't be able to produce as much power as a result, which might lead to a decline in strength.

Does creatine increase testosterone? ›

Three randomized controlled trials conducted in healthy young men reported that supplementing with creatine for 1–3 weeks produced small increases in the levels of testosterone or dihydrotestosterone (DHT; a highly active androgen converted from testosterone).

How much creatine is safe for the kidneys? ›

Rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue) and sudden kidney failure was reported in one case involving an athlete taking more than 10 grams daily of creatine for 6 weeks. People with kidney disease, high blood pressure, or liver disease should not take creatine.

Do you lose strength after stopping creatine? ›

Stopping creatine supplementation may result in a decrease in muscle mass and strength under certain circ*mstances. But before you panic, recall that the initial weight loss you might experience is largely water weight, not because you immediately lose muscle mass.

Will I look different if I stop taking creatine? ›

When you quit taking creatine, your muscles are less likely to retain as much water as they would when you were taking creatine. So, you can expect some weight loss and muscle mass as you stop your regular creatine dosage. However, it's nothing drastic and definitely not something to be scared of.

Are creatine gains permanent? ›

Creatine's benefits, coupled with consistent training and proper nutrition, can lead to permanent gains in strength, performance, and overall fitness. While the initial water weight surge might be temporary, the true potential lies in your dedication to building muscle and pushing your limits.

Is creatine anti-aging? ›

Creatine is naturally produced by the body & helps to reduce signs of ageing, but as we age this production slows down. Here's why many use it as part of their skin care.

Does creatine affect sleep? ›

Perhaps one of the most profound findings with creatine and sleep suggests that creatine supplementation may reduce the amount of sleep needed to feel rested. Creatine increases the amount of energy available – not only in muscles – but in the brain, too.

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