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Does Creatine Give You Energy?

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Are you wondering, “Does creatine give you energy?” While it does provide energy in a way, it’s not quite so simple.

With consistent supplementation, creatine increases your performance during quick bursts of exercise. This is because it helps increase levels of cellular ATP, which is your main fuel source during anaerobic exercise. With this being said, a single dose of creatine will not give you an acute energy boost in the same way as caffeine.

Keep reading to learn more about how creatine provides energy and the additional benefits of this popular supplement.

Does creatine give you energy? One of the main benefits of consistent creatine supplementation is improving high-intensity exercise performance largely thanks to increased ATP production. However, this does not mean it will give you the same immediate boost of energy that caffeine does.

Does Creatine Give You Energy

Does Creatine Give You Energy?

Creatine is a valuable nutrient for providing energy to your muscles, especially during exercise. This means our bodies use creatine for muscular energy regardless of supplementation, getting some creatine through food, as well as synthesizing it in the body.

Creatine combines with phosphoric acid to create phosphocreatine in your muscles. This is then used to create ATP – a major energy source for the body. When you take creatine consistently, your muscles will become saturated with the nutrient, leading to higher intramuscular creatine concentration, and more ATP as a result.

Because it leads to an increase in ATP, one of the main effects of creatine supplementation is improving performance in short bursts of high-intensity exercise. This makes it an excellent supplement for anaerobic sports like weightlifting and sprinting.

So, because of its role in ATP production, creatine supplementation will provide more energy for anaerobic exercise when your muscles are fully saturated. However, it’s unlikely to improve your energy levels throughout the day in the same way as caffeine, for example.

Caffeine affects your nervous system, increasing alertness and energy. Creatine supplementation, on the other hand, leads to higher levels of ATP in the muscles. Keep in mind that creatine doesn’t have any acute effects, and will only boost your energy levels when taken consistently.

So, while creatine supplementation won’t necessarily lead to an increase in immediate energy, it will still provide a significant boost in performance during short bursts of exercise.

Performing Creatine

What other Benefits does Creatine have Besides Providing Energy?

The benefits of creatine don’t stop at providing energy during short bursts of exercise. It’s also one of the best supplements for increasing strength, improving recovery, and gaining muscle. Keep reading below to learn more about why creatine is such an effective supplement.

✅Increased Strength

Because creatine improves high-intensity exercise performance, it is especially useful if you’re practicing strength training. One study found that 4 weeks of creatine supplementation was associated with a significant increase in athlete’s bench press 1 rep max. So, because of the boost to performance associated with creatine, you will likely notice an increase in how much weight you’re able to lift.

✅Improved Recovery

While creatine mostly affects anaerobic exercise performance, one benefit that will be useful for all athletes is its effects on recovery. This is shown by one study which found that athletes supplementing with creatine experienced reduced cell damage and inflammation after a 30km race. This implies that creatine is a powerful supplement for improving recovery in endurance exercise as well as resistance training.

✅Increased Muscle Mass

Finally, all the benefits of creatine listed above are likely to lead to an increase in overall muscle mass. Because athletes using creatine can perform and recover better, they are also more likely to gain muscle than those not using creatine.

It’s worth noting that much of the short-term weight gain associated with creatine is from water retention instead of muscle growth. You can expect a 2% increase in total body weight as your muscles become fully saturated with creatine.

How long does it take to get Energy from Creatine?

All the benefits of creatine outlined above will only be apparent after about 2-4 weeks of consistent supplementation with 3-5g a day. This is roughly how long it will take for your muscles to become fully saturated with creatine.

Some people decide to do a “loading phase” of creatine to saturate their muscles quicker. This is usually done by taking a 20g dose every day. While this will saturate your muscles quicker, in the long run, it won’t make much of a difference. Especially considering high doses of creatine commonly lead to gastrointestinal distress, we recommend sticking with 3-5g instead.

Also, remember that there are no acute effects from creatine. A single dose is unlikely to do anything, so be sure you’re taking it every day for optimal effectiveness. If you’re looking for an acute boost of energy, you’ll be much better off using caffeine or pre-workout instead.

Best Creatine – Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Transparent labs creatine
  • Form: Powder
  • Type: Monohydrate
  • Other Ingredients: HMB, Vitamin D
  • Price per Serving (for 5 g): ~$1.35
  • Servings per Container (for 5 g): 30 or 60 servings
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended by Athletes: Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, Pat Li, PAULINA

With creatine being one of the safest, and well-researched sports supplements available, most people will benefit from it. If you’re looking to try a high-quality creatine supplement, we recommend giving Transparent Labs Creatine HMB a try.

You can expect 5g of creatine monohydrate per serving here, which as we’ve mentioned, will be an optimal dose for most people. This supplement also contains several additional ingredients in the form of HMB and Vitamin D. HMB may specifically have benefits to strength and muscle growth for beginners, but its effects are otherwise fairly limited. However, especially if you’re deficient, Vitamin D supplementation may have a major impact on muscle growth and overall health.

Creatine HMB by TL

This is also one of the few flavored creatine supplements on the market, which is ideal if you’re not a fan of unflavored creatine. Also, despite the flavoring, Transparent Labs doesn’t use any artificial ingredients whatsoever in this formula.

Finally, although this is an undeniably high-quality supplement, it’s worth noting that the price is fairly high for creatine. However, considering the flavoring and additional ingredients, we believe this is still a great choice.

FAQ

Does creatine boost energy like caffeine?

No, creatine provides a sort of energy by improving performance in short bursts of high-intensity exercise. It doesn’t provide the same acute jolt that a strong dose of caffeine will.

Does creatine make you feel awake?

No, creatine will not provide any acute boost of energy when taken, so don’t expect it to replace your morning cup of coffee. Instead, it will provide a boost to high-intensity exercise performance and an increase in recovery.

Does creatine give you energy like pre-workout?

No, although some pre-workouts do contain creatine, taking creatine for energy won’t provide a significant boost. The energy provided by pre-workout comes from high doses of caffeine, which are often 200mg+ per serving.

Does Creatine Make You Sleepy?

You may also be wondering, “Does creatine make you tired?” Although creatine doesn’t necessarily give you a boost of energy, it won’t make you tired either.

Conclusion

While creatine doesn’t exactly provide a boost of energy in the same way as caffeine, it does significantly improve exercise performance and recovery. Although creatine isn’t necessarily an energy supplement, it still has numerous benefits making it a great choice for most athletes.

If you’re interested in trying a high-quality creatine supplement, we recommend giving Transparent Labs Creatine HMB a try, for its excellent formula and vast flavor variety.

Were you aware of the effects of creatine on energy levels? What do you think is more useful, creatine or pre-workout? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

Referenses:

  1. Cleveland Clinic Medical Professionals, “Creatine,” Cleveland Clinic, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/17674-creatine (Accessed Jan. 21, 2024)
  2. The Nutrition Source, “Caffeine”, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/caffeine/ (Accessed Jan. 21, 2024)
  3. Kreider RB, et. al, “International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine.” J Int Soc Sports Nutr. Jun 13;14:18. (2017).
  4. Vollmer, Carson C. et. al, “Effect of 4-week Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation on Absolute Strength in Trained and Untrained Healthy Adults,” International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 14: Iss. 1, Article 61. (2021).
  5. Santos RV, et. al, “The effect of creatine supplementation upon inflammatory and muscle soreness markers after a 30km race.” Life Sci. Sep 3;75(16):1917-24. (2004).
  6. Nissen SL, Sharp RL. Effect of dietary supplements on lean mass and strength gains with resistance exercise: a meta-analysis. J Appl Physiol (1985). Feb;94(2):651-9. (2003).
  7. EA Buck, et. al, “CREATINE SUPPLEMENTATION ON BODY COMPOSITION AND TOTAL BODY WATER MEASURED BY MULTI-FREQUENCY BIOELECTRICAL IMPEDANCE” International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 16: Iss. 2, Article 142. (2023).
  8. Chad M. Kerksick, et. al, “ISSN exercise & sports nutrition review update: research & recommendations” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
  9. Volume 15, – Issue 1 Article 38 (2018).
  10. The Nutrition Source, “Vitamin D”, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/ (Accessed Jan. 21, 2024)

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Camila Parente Santos

Author: Camila Parente Santos
Sports Nutritionist

Experience: 7 years

Camila has worked as a Nutritionist for 7 years. In addition to being a nutritionist, she is an amateur weightlifting athlete for 2 years. Camila has experience at Flamengo’s football base and in a food supplement company and currently provides services at a clinic. At the moment she is coursing a postgraduate study in Sports Nutrition.

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