Pharmacokinetics of creatine

Subcell Biochem. 2007;46:261-73.


Research has demonstrated that creatine supplementation has some therapeutic benefit with respect to muscle function and more recently neurological function. Despite the growing body of literature on the pharmacologic effect of creatine, very little is known about the disposition of creatine after supraphysiologic doses. The movement of creatine throughout the body is governed by transport processes which impact the absorption of creatine from the intestine, clearance of creatine from the kidney, and access of creatine to target tissues. With repeated doses of creatine, it appears that the clearance of creatine decreases mainly due to the saturation of skeletal muscle stores. Insulin and insulin-stimulating foods appear to enhance muscle uptake of creatine but at the same time, high carbohydrate meals may slow the absorption of creatine from the intestine. Little is known about creatine disposition in special populations including the elderly and patients with neuromuscular disease. Knowledge of creatine disposition in these clinically relevant populations can help remove some of the guess work of dose selection during clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Carbohydrates / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Carbohydrates / pharmacology
  • Creatine / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Creatine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Creatine / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / metabolism


  • Carbohydrates
  • Creatine