Creatine Supplementation and Athletic Performance

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2003 Oct;33(10):615-21. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2003.33.10.615.


Nutritional supplements and other ergogenic aids have gained widespread use among professional, amateur, recreational, and student athletes for their potential to enhance athletic performance and provide a competitive edge. Creatine monohydrate is one of the more commonly used and potentially beneficial supplements that currently is viewed to be safe. Supplementation with oral creatine augments skeletal muscle creatine concentrations in most individuals, which has been shown to promote gains in lean body mass when used in conjunction with resistance training, to enhance power and strength, and to improve performance in intense exercise, especially during repeated bouts. Young athletes, however, must be cautious about taking creatine because its effects on growth and development are unknown and long-term safety has not been established. Variability in research study designs and small sample sizes have left many questions unanswered regarding the safety and efficacy of chronic supplementation. This is an active area of clinical investigation and the results of ongoing and future research should guide the appropriate use of creatine to enhance athletic performance among athletes of all ages.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Creatine / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Task Performance and Analysis*


  • Creatine