Creatine and creatine forms intended for sports nutrition

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Jun;61(6). doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201600772. Epub 2017 Mar 30.


Creatine is a popular ergogenic supplement in sports nutrition. Yet, supplementation of creatine occasionally caused adverse effects such as gastrointestinal complaints, muscle cramps and an increase in body weight. Creatine monohydrate has already been evaluated by different competent authorities and several have come to the conclusion that a daily intake of 3 g creatine per person is unlikely to pose safety concerns, focusing on healthy adults with exclusion of pregnant and breastfeeding women. Possible vulnerable subgroups were also discussed in relation to the safety of creatine. The present review provides an up-to-date overview of the relevant information with special focus on human studies regarding the safety of creatine monohydrate and other marketed creatine forms, in particular creatine pyruvate, creatine citrate, creatine malate, creatine taurinate, creatine phosphate, creatine orotate, creatine ethyl ester, creatine pyroglutamate, creatine gluconate, and magnesium creatine chelate. Limited data are available with regard to the safety of the latter creatine forms. Considering an acceptable creatine intake of 3 g per day, most of the evaluated creatine forms are unlikely to pose safety concerns, however some safety concerns regarding a supplementary intake of creatine orotate, creatine phosphate, and magnesium creatine chelate are discussed here.

Keywords: Adverse effects; Creatine; Orotate; Safety; Supplements.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Creatine / administration & dosage*
  • Creatine / chemistry
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Models, Animal
  • Muscle Cells / drug effects
  • Muscle Cells / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / administration & dosage*
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / chemistry
  • Phosphorylation
  • Sports Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*


  • Performance-Enhancing Substances
  • Creatine