Does Creatine Increase Testosterone?

No, Creatine does not increase testosterone levels. It’s a common misconception though, and there are quite a few reasons as to why people may think that. Creatine has a lot of benefits that look similar to increased testosterone, increased energy, increased muscle growth, strength etc. It actually even has a nootropic effect increasing brain energy.

Creatine does also elevate some hormones like DHT (the growth hormone) whilst you exercise, but not whilst at rest.

How Creatine Can Inadvertently Raise Testosterone Levels

An increase in muscle mass can in fact raise testosterone levels, and you’d that’s pretty much about it for creatine. But, there is one other potential factor, because of it’s impact on brain energy, it can also increase recovery period from mental stress as a result of strenuous thought activity [1]. Stress (cortisol) can in fact lower testosterone levels, so it stands to reason that theoretically, creatine could in fact raise test levels in these specific cases. But, we’re really getting into the nitty gritty here. Realistically if you want to look at natural ways to raise testosterone levels you should probably look at a testosterone booster.

What is Creatine?

Creatine is a natural substance that humans do produce in their bodies in a relatively small manner. It’s typically found more commonly in the lean parts of red meat. This actually leads to Creatine supplementation of the typical 5g being more effective for vegetarians as it’s a bigger percentage jump for them. [2] There’s actually even an argument that most vegans and vegetarians should supplement for it, especially if they’re interested in building muscle.

What Does Creatine Do?

So creatine gives you more energy and helps recovery speed. It also makes you retain water, but, here’s the good bit, typically in your muscles. So, in terms of how it effects your aesthetic, it tends to be a winner. As for how creatine works, it increases the amount of energy stored in cells, it helps the body produce more ATP. ATP is functionally the bodies energy store, or rather the quick access energy store, being the store that your body taps into to access energy immediately rather than something that actually requires breaking down and converting first. So, you have more energy in your cells, not just your muscles.

Does Creatine Have Side Effects?

It does, but generally not serious ones, whilst we still can’t say there are no long term effects to taking creatine, we’re pretty certain that the worlds most popular exercise supplement is safe. That said, there have been a few cases of teenagers taking far too much. Usually the recommended max is around 5g, suffer the worst creatine side effects.

These include:

  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Kidney problems
  • Nausea

The most serious issue being potential kidney problems. Due to the fact it makes the body retain water, it’s also important to make sure that you drink enough fluids when taking creatine. As a result of the water retention, it’s not recommended that people with liver of kidney issues take creatine. And taking it with caffeine can increase the risk of issues.


References

1 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3340488/

2 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7246861/


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