Creatine is a popular ergogenic aid among athletic populations with consistent evidence indicating that creatine supplementation also continues to be commonly used among adolescent populations. In addition, the evidence base supporting the therapeutic benefits of creatine supplementation for a plethora of clinical applications in both adults and children continues to grow. Among pediatric populations, a strong rationale exists for creatine to afford therapeutic benefits pertaining to multiple neuromuscular and metabolic disorders, with preliminary evidence for other subsets of clinical populations as well. Despite the strong evidence supporting the efficacy and safety of creatine supplementation among adult populations, less is known as to whether similar physiological benefits extend to children and adolescent populations, and in particular those adolescent populations who are regularly participating in high-intensity exercise training. While limited in scope, studies involving creatine supplementation and exercise performance in adolescent athletes generally report improvements in several ergogenic outcomes with limited evidence of ergolytic properties and consistent reports indicating no adverse events associated with supplementation. The purpose of this article is to summarize the rationale, prevalence of use, performance benefits, clinical applications, and safety of creatine use in children and adolescents.
Keywords: athletes; dietary supplement; ergogenic aid; youth.