Explore creatine's effects on testosterone levels, muscle, and health, and debunk common myths in this guide.
As an athlete or fitness enthusiast, you might consider incorporating creatine into your regimen to potentially enhance muscle mass, strength, and exercise performance. Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in your muscles and brain. The most common form you'll find in supplements is creatine monohydrate, prized for its effectiveness and affordability. Understanding creatine's multifaceted role can help you make informed decisions about its inclusion in your health and fitness journey.
The basics of creatine and its mechanisms: how creatine improves energy, muscle, and recovery
Think of creatine as your muscle's very own energy booster, particularly effective during high-intensity exercises like lifting weights or sprinting. It's akin to turbocharging your muscles’ energy supply, allowing you to push harder in your workouts and recover more swiftly. A typical daily dose is quite modest—just about 3-5 grams of creatine monohydrate can make a significant difference.
A study by Antonio and colleagues highlights how creatine ramps up your muscle's ability to produce energy. This boost in energy translates into increased muscle power and endurance, making your workouts more effective. Over time, this enhanced performance can lead to stronger, bulkier muscles. 
In an intriguing study by Samadi and colleagues, 20 military personnel were split into two groups. Each group took a supplement called β-alanine for 28 days, but one group had an extra boost: they also took creatine (0.3 grams per kilogram of their body weight) during the last week, and the results were striking. The latter group not only improved in physical activities (like jumping higher) but also showed quicker mental processing in tasks like math problems. 
These studies underscore a compelling aspect of creatine: it's not just about amplifying your physical strength; it can also subtly enhance your cognitive abilities. Whether you aim to enhance your performance in the gym or gain an edge in your daily tasks, incorporating creatine into your supplement regimen could be a game-changer.
Does taking creatine increase testosterone levels?
Since creatine does wonders for male fitness, it’s natural to wonder what the link is between creatine and testosterone. Testosterone, a key hormone in muscle growth and overall male health, is often a focus of those looking to improve their physical capabilities, so how much creatine do you need to take to boost testosterone? Sadly, according to studies, creatine supplementation does not substantially influence testosterone levels, despite its popularity for enhancing athletic performance.
One study involving 11 male volunteers showed that five days of creatine supplementation (20 g/day) alongside resistance training did not notably affect testosterone levels. Similarly, a study on seventeen men supplementing with creatine (0.3 g/kg body weight per day) during resistance training also reported no significant changes in testosterone levels.  
Another study with elite male rugby players found that daily supplementation of creatine monohydrate (3 g/day) along with HMB, a dietary supplement, for six weeks also had no significant impact on testosterone levels.  These studies collectively suggest that creatine, even when combined with heavy training or another supplement, does not do anything for testosterone levels.
Is it good to take Creatine with Testosterone together?
If you're a man with low testosterone (low T) currently undergoing testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), you might be curious about whether adding creatine to your regimen could offer any benefits. Sadly, based on the insights from the studies discussed above, taking creatine while on TRT is unlikely to provide any additional boost to your testosterone levels.
You can take creatine and testosterone together, the benefit of which can help men recover better after rigorous exercise or weight lifting. Creatine is a good supplement to add while a man is on TRT, while also adding vitamin D and DHEA, increasing protein intake by way of a protein powder and amino acids with a BCAA powder.
What is the difference between Creatine Gummies and Creatine Powder?
Currently, no studies concerning efficacy compare creatine gummies against the more traditional creatine powders. Yet, creatine gummies provide a more convenient way to ingest creatine than its powder form, which can be messy. Furthermore, some creatine gummies will contain a small amount of carbohydrate added into the ingredient jelly to enhance creatine absorption. Some of our favorite brands include Bear Balanced, Create, and Swoly.
Creatine per serving: 3 grams
Nutrition Facts: 15 Calories, 0 Protein, 8 grams Carbohydrates, 3 grams Sugar Alcohol
Ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate, L-Theanine, L-Tyrosine, Vitamin B12, Stevia, Inulin Syrup, Huperzine A, Other natural flavors.
Notes: Bear Balanced includes additional amino acids like L-Theanine and L-Tyrosine. In clinical studies, both L-Theanine and L-Tyrosine have been shown to improve brain function and memory, boost mood, reduce stress, and enhance sleep quality. Huperzine A is often found in pre-workout supplements and may be added to improve cognition and alertness, although a randomized double-blinded trial didn't find much benefit 
Creatine per serving: 4 grams
Nutrition Facts: 15 Calories, 0 Protein, 4 grams of Carbohydrates, 2.5 grams of Sugar Alcohol
Ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate, artificial flavors...
Creatine per serving: 5 grams
Nutrition Facts: 50 Calories, 0 Protein, 12 grams of Carbohydrates, 5 grams of Sugar Alcohol
Ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate, pectin, natural colors and flavoring
What is DHT, and does creatine raise DHT levels in men?
When it comes to the relationship between creatine and DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a more potent form of testosterone, there's some interesting data to consider. DHT plays a significant role in certain body functions, including hair growth and prostate health. While studies like the one by Antonio and colleagues suggest that creatine supplementation does not increase total or free testosterone or lead to hair loss, another study presents a different aspect.
Van der Merwe and colleagues focused on college-aged male rugby players and examined how creatine supplementation affected their DHT levels. The participants underwent a 7-day loading phase with 25 grams of creatine per day, followed by a 14-day maintenance phase with a reduced dose of 5 grams per day. Intriguingly, the results showed a significant increase in DHT levels. After the initial 7 days of creatine loading, DHT levels surged by 56% and remained 40% above the baseline after the 14-day maintenance period. 
So what does this mean? If DHT levels are increased, then can creatine cause beard growth, for example? Indeed, an increase in DHT levels following creatine supplementation could potentially influence beard growth, as DHT is important in developing male characteristics like facial hair. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that taking creatine will definitely enhance beard growth, as many other factors also play a role. Essentially, while creatine primarily boosts muscle energy and performance, any effects on DHT and beard growth would be secondary and not guaranteed.
FAQs: Answering common questions about creatine and testosterone
In their study, Antonio and colleagues pooled insights from research experts about creatine and its use. 
Is creatine an anabolic steroid?
No, creatine is not a steroid. It's completely different from anabolic steroids, which are like synthetic testosterone. Creatine just helps your muscles store more energy.
Does creatine make you gain fat?
No, creatine doesn't cause fat gain. It's all about boosting muscle energy and performance.
Is creatine good for older adults
Yes, creatine can benefit older adults, especially when combined with exercise, by improving muscle strength and overall fitness.
Is creatine only for weightlifting or sprinting?
Not at all. Creatine can help in many different sports, not just in activities like weightlifting or sprinting.
Does creatine cause water retention?
Creatine might lead to a bit of water retention in your muscles initially, but this doesn't last. Over time, it won't make your body hold onto extra water.
Can creatine harm my kidneys?
For most people, taking creatine at the recommended dose is safe for the kidneys. If you have kidney issues, though, it's best to talk to a doctor first.
Generally, creatine is considered safe for most people when used at recommended dosages. But, as with any supplement, if you have specific health conditions or are on medication, it's wise to consult with your healthcare provider before starting creatine.
Discover how creatine can enhance your health and fitness journey with REGENX Health's expert guidance.