Running Performance: Do I Need Creatine?

Do I Need Creatine?” is a question we get asked frequently by clients, listeners and also by friends and family!! It is A VERY popular supplement in the world of sport and exercise, in fact it is one of the most popular ergogenic aids used by athletes.

BUT….is it necessary? Do you need to take it? To help answer these questions we will:

1. Outline what exactly Creatine is and how it works

2. Look at the benefits and potential drawbacks from taking Creatine Supplements. Is food enough?

3. Focus on key considerations when choosing a Creatine Supplement



Outlining the definition of Creatine and its key role in the body, which is maintaining energy availability  


Moving on to highlight the therapeutic benefits of this supplement in the ageing population but also in people suffering from certain medical conditions including: Parkinson’s Disease and Ischaemic Heart Disease. 


Highlighting the potential benefits of Creatine supplementation for a runner including: enhanced performance, improved post-exercise recovery, and greater training adaptations


Focusing on the potential drawbacks of Creatine supplementation for a runner including: water retention, weight gain, and a historic concern about kidney dysfunction 


Indicating the Creatine requirements from food (i.e.1-2g per day) and the creatine content of certain meats and seafood. For example: herring contains 1.5g of creatine per 100g serving and chicken contains 0.8g of creatine per 100g serving.  



  1. Both men and women have shown to benefit from Creatine supplementation, however it is thought that women may not see as much gain in muscle strength or mass during training from supplementation
  2. It is thought females may have higher intramuscular creatine concentrations due to the fact that they have lower muscle mass besides men
  3. Endogenous Creatine synthesis and transport is hormonally driven therefore its bioavailability differs at different female life-stages. This is because Creatine Kinase (the enzyme required for Creatine synthesis) is influenced by oestrogen and progesterone. CK levels are increased DURING menstruation but decrease during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause etc.
  4. As a result, Creatine supplementation may be particularly important for women during menses, pregnancy, post-partum (after birth) peri/post menopause. 
  5. Creatine supplementation is thought to have positive effects on muscle quality and bone health in post menopause females when COMBINED with resistance exercise


Delving into Creatine supplements and what to consider before embarking on a protocol with a specific focus on which form of supplement to choose and where the creatine has been produced (Germany or China). Some recommended brands include: Motion Nutrition, Bonusan and Thorne Research


Finally, focusing on dosage and outlining how much Creatine is required per day for someone on a supplement protocol before mentioning ways in which creatine bioavailability may be enhanced. For example; an appropriate stomach acid pH and ingestion alongside carbohydrate and protein rich foods.  



  1. Creatine is synthesised endogenously from the amino acids: Arginine, Glycine and Methionine. But can also be obtained from the diet in meat and fish
  2. The key role of Creatine in the body is to maintain energy availability, hence why it is seen as an effective ergogenic aid for athletes
  3. Many runners may be able to maintain Creatine levels via the diet, however for some, supplementation may be required e.g. vegetarian/vegan, older runners, high training load 
  4. If thinking about supplementing with Creatine we recommend you work with a qualified and registered NT
  5. When choosing a Creatine supplement remember to consider: the form, the brand, bioavailability, and dosage
  6. Discontinue any supplementation after 3 months OR consult with a professional to have a supplement review


Fuelling the Ageing Runner

HWHR: Combating Low Energy

FOOD FOR…Hormone Balance


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and

advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact

your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded female runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.

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Aileen and Karen