Is Creatine A Steroid

Is Creatine A Steroid? Setting The Record Straight


Time to read 5 min

"Is creatine a steroid?" Spoiler alert: it's not! But if you're still curious about what creatine is, how it differs from steroids, and why your gym buddy can't stop talking about it, buckle up for an informative ride that's more thrilling than your last squat session.

What is Creatine?

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in our bodies, specifically in our muscles. It's also found in certain foods, such as red meat and fish. Creatine plays a crucial role in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary energy source for our cells, especially during high-intensity exercise.

Creatine supplements are popular among athletes and gym-goers, as they have been shown to improve performance, increase muscle mass, and support overall strength and power.

Is Creatine A Steroid?

No, creatine is not a steroid. It's a natural compound that plays a crucial role in energy production during high-intensity exercise. It is a legal and widely accepted supplement with a good safety profile, unlike anabolic steroids, which are illegal and associated with numerous health risks. When used appropriately, creatine can provide numerous benefits including improved strength, muscle growth, and recovery.

What are Steroids?

In the context of sports and bodybuilding, steroids refer to anabolic steroids, which are synthetic versions of the hormone testosterone. These substances are known for their ability to promote muscle growth, increase strength, and improve athletic performance.

The use of anabolic steroids is associated with numerous health risks and side effects, including liver damage, cardiovascular issues, hormonal imbalances, and psychological problems. Additionally, the use of anabolic steroids is banned in most sports and is considered illegal in many countries.

Creatine vs. Steroids

Now that we have a basic understanding of what creatine and steroids are, let's compare the two.

  1. Composition and function: Creatine is a natural compound involved in energy production, while steroids are synthetic hormones that promote muscle growth and enhance performance. Creatine does not influence hormone levels, and its primary function is to provide a rapid energy source for cells during high-intensity exercise.
  2. Legality and sports regulations: Creatine is a legal supplement and is not classified as a banned substance by most sports organizations. In contrast, anabolic steroids are illegal and prohibited by most sports governing bodies.
  3. Safety and side effects: Creatine is generally considered safe for most people when used according to the recommended dosages. Anabolic steroids, however, are known to cause severe health risks and side effects.

 Attribute Creatine Anabolic Steroids
Composition Natural compound involved in energy production Synthetic hormones that promote muscle growth
Function Provides rapid energy source for cells during high-intensity exercise Enhances muscle growth, strength, and athletic performance
Legality Legal Illegal and banned in most sports
Sports Regulations Not banned by most sports organizations Banned by most sports governing bodies
Side Effects Generally mild (e.g., bloating, gastrointestinal discomfort) Severe health risks and side effects (e.g., liver damage, hormonal imbalances)
Safety Profile Generally safe for most healthy adults Unsafe and associated with numerous health risks

Is Creatine Similar to Other Steroids?

No, creatine is not similar to anabolic steroids. Creatine is a natural compound that plays a role in energy production and is not a hormone. Steroids, specifically anabolic steroids, are synthetic substances that mimic the effects of the hormone testosterone and promote muscle growth, strength, and athletic performance.

While both creatine and anabolic steroids can improve physical performance, their mechanisms of action, safety profiles, and legal status are vastly different. Creatine is a legal and generally safe supplement, whereas anabolic steroids are illegal and associated with numerous health risks.

What is Creatine Used For?

Creatine is widely used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts for a variety of reasons:

  1. Increased strength and power: Creatine has been shown to improve performance in high-intensity, short-duration activities, such as weightlifting, sprinting, and jumping.
  2. Enhanced muscle growth: Creatine supplementation may promote muscle growth by increasing the availability of ATP during exercise, allowing for more intense workouts and faster recovery.
  3. Improved recovery: Creatine has been shown to help reduce muscle damage and inflammation, which can help speed up recovery between workouts.
  4. Neurological benefits: Emerging research suggests that creatine may have potential benefits for brain health and cognitive function, although more studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Creatine Just Got Better 😏

Try our tasty AF creatine gummies today

SWOLY Creatine Monohydrate Gummies

Is Creatine a Steroid with Side Effects?

As previously mentioned, creatine is not a steroid. However, like any supplement, it may cause some side effects. These are generally mild and include:

  1. Gastrointestinal discomfort: Some people may experience bloating, gas, or stomach cramps when taking creatine. These symptoms can often be minimized bystarting with a lower dose and gradually increasing it, or by using a micronized creatine supplement, which is easier to digest.
  2. Weight gain: Creatine can cause weight gain due to increased water retention in the muscles. This is usually a temporary effect and tends to decrease after a few weeks of supplementation.
  3. Kidney concerns: There have been concerns about creatine's potential impact on kidney function, especially in individuals with pre-existing kidney issues. However, research has shown that creatine supplementation does not appear to harm kidney function in healthy individuals. Nonetheless, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional before starting creatine supplementation, particularly if you have any existing health conditions.

Is Creatine a Banned Substance?

Creatine is not considered a banned substance by most sports organizations, including the International Olympic Committee, World Anti-Doping Agency, and National Collegiate Athletic Association. It is completely legal to take and widely accepted as a dietary supplement for athletes looking to improve their workout performance and muscle growth.

However, it's essential to ensure that you're using a reputable, high-quality creatine supplement like our creatine gummies. Some lower-quality products may contain contaminants or undisclosed ingredients that could be harmful or prohibited by sports organizations.

Can Creatine Be Consumed by Everyone?

Creatine is generally considered safe for most healthy adults, however, there are some individuals who should exercise caution:

  • Individuals with kidney issues: Those with kidney problems or a history of kidney disease should consult a healthcare professional before using creatine, as it may exacerbate existing conditions.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women: The safety of creatine supplementation during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been well-studied. It's best for pregnant or breastfeeding women to avoid creatine supplementation.
  • Children and adolescents: Creatine has not been extensively studied in younger populations, and its safety and efficacy in children and adolescents are not well-established. As a result, it's recommended that individuals under the age of 18 consult a healthcare professional before considering creatine supplementation.


What are the negative effects of creatine?

The negative effects of creatine are generally mild and may include bloating, gastrointestinal discomfort, and temporary weight gain due to water retention. These side effects can often be minimized by adjusting the dosage or choosing a micronized creatine supplement.

How safe is creatine?

Creatine is considered safe for most healthy adults when used according to recommended dosages. However, individuals with kidney issues, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and those under the age of 18 should consult a healthcare professional before using creatine.

Is creatine considered a drug?

Creatine is not considered a drug. It is a natural compound found in the body and certain foods, and it is classified as a dietary supplement rather than a drug.

Is creatine better than protein?

Creatine and protein serve different purposes. Creatine helps provide rapid energy for high-intensity exercise, while protein is essential for muscle growth and repair. Both supplements can be beneficial for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, depending on their specific needs and goals.