Use of creatine and other supplements by members of civilian and military health clubs: a cross-sectional survey

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2000 Sep;10(3):245-59. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.10.3.245.


A survey was used to collect anonymous cross-sectional data on demographics, exercise habits, and use of creatine and other supplements by exercisers in civilian (C) and military (M) health clubs. M (n = 133) reported more aerobic training and less use of creatine and protein supplements than C (n = 96, p <.05). Supplement users (SU, n = 194) and nonusers (SNU, n = 35) engaged in similar frequency and duration of aerobic exercise, as well as number of resistance exercise repetitions, but SU completed more sets for each resistance exercise (x- +/- SE, 5 +/- 1) than SNU (3 +/- 1, p < or =.05). Significant (p < or =.05) associations were observed between SU and resistance training goal of strength (as opposed to endurance), as well as greater frequency of resistance training. Male gender, resistance training goal of strength, lower frequency and duration of aerobic training, and use of protein, b-hydroxy-b-methyl butyrate, and androstenedione/dehydroepiandrosterone supplements were all associated with creatine use (p <.05). For creatine users, the dose and length of creatine supplementation was 12.2 +/- 2.7 for 40 +/- 5 weeks. Popular magazines were the primary source of information on creatine (69%) compared to physicians (14%) or dietitians (10%, p < or =.0001). This study underscores two potential public health concerns: (a) reliance on popular media rather than allied-health professionals for information on creatine, and (b) use of creatine, a popular supplement with unknown long-term effects, in combination with other anabolic supplements of questionable efficacy and/or safety.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Communications Media / statistics & numerical data
  • Creatine / administration & dosage*
  • Creatine / adverse effects
  • Creatine / pharmacology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dietary Supplements / statistics & numerical data*
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Fitness Centers*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Military Personnel
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects
  • Physical Exertion / drug effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Creatine