Is Creatine Natty? The Truth about Creatine

The supplement industry is a billion-dollar industry, with new products being released all the time. One of the most popular products in the supplements market is creatine. 

Creatine is naturally produced in our bodies and can also be found in some foods. It’s also been shown to have various benefits, including improved athletic performance, increased muscle mass, and improved brain function.

Despite its popularity, there is a lot of confusion about creatine. One of the most common questions is: Is creatine natty? In this article, we’ll set the record straight and discuss the truth about creatine – is it natty or not, does it make you unnatural? & more.

What is creatine?

Creatine is an amino acid that can be found in meat and fish. It’s naturally produced in the body and plays a key role in muscle energy production. Specifically, it helps in providing more energy and also helps with muscle growth. 

While it’s found naturally in food sources, it can also be manufactured and sold as a dietary supplement. Creatine has been extensively studied and has been linked to a number of potential benefits, such as improved athletic performance, increased muscle mass, and enhanced recovery time [1, 2]. 

It’s one of the most popular supplements on the market and is often used by athletes and bodybuilders.

Is creatine natty?

Creatine is natty and is not considered or termed “unnatural” by any major sports or health governing bodies till now. It is naturally produced by our bodies and is also found in some common foods.

Various scientific papers have used the terms ‘natural’ or ‘naturally occurring’ along with creatine which proves it is natty (natural) [1, 2, 3, 4].

Creatine” specifically is natural but the supplement form of it cannot always be considered natural. This is because some of the creatine supplements might contain ingredients or certain chemicals which are not natural and thus, those creatine supplements as a whole could not be called natty even though creatine is termed natural.

But, it’s also important to keep in mind that not all creatine supplements have unnatural ingredients mixed, some of the creatine supplements are fully natural and it is recommended to do your research about the natural supplements and the company that provides them, and then choose the best one for yourself.

What does “natty” actually mean? Does taking creatine make you unnatural?

is creatine natty

The term “natty” is short for “natural” and is often used to describe products or ingredients that come from nature. In the fitness industry, “natty” is generally used to describe someone or something as natural.

In the case of dietary supplements, the term is used to describe those supplements that are made with natural ingredients, without the use of any artificial additives or preservatives. In other words, for a dietary supplement to be considered “natty”, it must contain only natural ingredients and be made without any unnatural ingredients.

If we are talking about people, then taking creatine supplements will not make you “unnatty” or “unnatural”. In the fitness industry, a person is considered unnatural or not natty when they take or use banned performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).

Is creatine a performance-enhancing drug (PED)?

Yes, creatine is a performance-enhancing drug (PED). But, that does not mean that you cannot take it. Creatine is not banned and is an approved PED by the major health, and sports governing bodies. Hence, you can take creatine without any worries.

Is creatine considered a steroid?

According to a scientific paper published in 2021, creatine can not be considered an anabolic steroid because the chemical structure of creatine and anabolic steroids is different [5].

Creatine is a natural substance found in foods like red meat, eggs, fish, and more. Creatine has no relation or link with steroids. It is not considered a steroid chemically or even scientifically. So, creatine is not a steroid.

In the fitness industry steroids are usually referred to as anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids are a synthetic version of testosterone, which is used to gain muscle and improve the figure and athletic performance. While the physical and psychological performance outcomes of anabolic steroids might be the same.

Also Read: Does Creatine Make You Hungry? The Reality

How does creatine actually work?

Creatine works by increasing the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the body [6, 7]. ATP is a key molecule that helps the body transform food into energy. 

When ATP levels are increased, the body is able to work more efficiently, leading to improved performance and recovery time. 

Creatine also helps to increase water retention in the muscles. Additionally, creatine is considered very helpful in terms of muscle building.

The benefits of creatine

is creatine natty
Image- Eugeniusz Dudzinski/iStock

Creatine has been linked with a number of benefits. These include improved performance, increased muscle mass, improved brain function, enhanced recovery time, and improved heart health. 

For athletes, creatine has been shown to improve workout and training performances. Research has found that athletes who take creatine can perform better and harder in workouts and certain exercises [2]. 

In addition, taking creatine has been shown to increase muscle mass, allowing athletes to build strength and size. 

Creatine has also been shown to improve brain function. Studies have found that taking creatine can improve memory, cognitive processing, and focus [8]. 

Additionally, creatine has been linked to improved recovery time, allowing athletes to recover faster after workouts. 

Finally, creatine has also been linked to improved heart health, as it can help to reduce cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure.

The side effects of creatine

While creatine is generally considered one of the safest supplements, it can still have some potential side effects. These include weight gain, dehydration, nausea, cramping, and bloating [9]. 

Additionally, taking too much creatine can lead to kidney problems, particularly in those with pre-existing kidney conditions. 

It’s always important to consult with a doctor before taking any supplement and to follow the recommended dosage. This will help to ensure that it’s taken safely and with minimal side effects.


Creatine is an amino acid found naturally in food sources. It’s also available in supplement form. 

When talking about “creatine” specifically then it is totally natty. But, the supplement form of creatine may or may not be natural, as some of the creatine supplements are fully natural while some others might have some unnatural ingredients added to them which stops them from being totally natural.

With respect to people, taking creatine supplements will not make you “unnatural” or “unnatty” as creatine is an approved substance and is not banned by any sports or health governing bodies.

Creatine has been linked to a number of potential benefits, including improved performance, increased muscle mass, improved brain function, and enhanced recovery time. 

However, it is recommended to consult with your doctor before taking any supplement as everyone is different and there can be some potential side effects of creatine.

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  1. Kreider, R.B., Kalman, D.S., Antonio, J. et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 14, 18 (2017).
  2. Cooper R, Naclerio F, Allgrove J, Jimenez A. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Jul 20;9(1):33. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-33. PMID: 22817979; PMCID: PMC3407788.
  3. Mendes RR, Tirapegui J. Creatina: o suplemento nutricional para a atividade física–conceitos atuais [Creatine: the nutritional supplement for exercise – current concepts]. Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2002 Jun;52(2):117-27. Portuguese. PMID: 12184144.
  4. Kreider RB, Stout JR. Creatine in Health and Disease. Nutrients. 2021 Jan 29;13(2):447. doi: 10.3390/nu13020447. PMID: 33572884; PMCID: PMC7910963.
  5. Antonio J, Candow DG, Forbes SC, Gualano B, Jagim AR, Kreider RB, Rawson ES, Smith-Ryan AE, VanDusseldorp TA, Willoughby DS, Ziegenfuss TN. Common questions and misconceptions about creatine supplementation: what does the scientific evidence really show? J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2021 Feb 8;18(1):13. doi: 10.1186/s12970-021-00412-w. PMID: 33557850; PMCID: PMC7871530.
  6. Kurosawa Y, Hamaoka T, Katsumura T, Kuwamori M, Kimura N, Sako T, Chance B. Creatine supplementation enhances anaerobic ATP synthesis during a single 10 sec maximal handgrip exercise. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):105-12. PMID: 12701817.
  7. Casey A, Greenhaff PL. Does dietary creatine supplementation play a role in skeletal muscle metabolism and performance? Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Aug;72(2 Suppl):607S-17S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/72.2.607S. PMID: 10919967.
  8. Roschel H, Gualano B, Ostojic SM, Rawson ES. Creatine Supplementation and Brain Health. Nutrients. 2021 Feb 10;13(2):586. doi: 10.3390/nu13020586. PMID: 33578876; PMCID: PMC7916590.
  9. Poortmans JR, Francaux M. Adverse effects of creatine supplementation: fact or fiction? Sports Med. 2000 Sep;30(3):155-70. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200030030-00002. PMID: 10999421.

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