Creatine And Pregnancy: What Every Expectant Mother Should Know About Creatine

At her favorite gym, a soon-to-be mom overheard whispers about creatine magic. Memories of her pre-pregnancy workouts, powered by creatine’s boost, flooded back. Now, with a baby on the way, she wondered: Is creatine still her ally? Turns out, she’s among the 15% of expectant mothers in the U.S. asking the same.

So, can you take creatine while pregnant?

Let’s dive into this intriguing intersection of pregnancy and supplementation.

Pregnancy and the Need for Supplements

During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes changes that increase the need for nutrients. Sadly, according to a study, over 50% of pregnant women in North America have at least one form of nutrient deficiency, even with a balanced diet.

But pregnancy requires lots of energy and nutrients for the baby’s growth and to prepare the mother’s body for childbirth and lactation. So, each stage of pregnancy demands nutrients such as Folic Acid, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin D, etc.

But why supplements?

While the ideal scenario is to derive all nutrients from whole foods, it’s not always feasible for several reasons –

  • Dietary Restrictions (vegetarian or vegan mother)
  • Digestive Complications (morning sickness, nausea, etc.)
  • Multiple Pregnancies

This is where supplements come into play. It can provide you with the essential nutrients you lack in your food.

But remember, always include any supplements in your diet under the guidance of professionals for a safe pregnancy.

Can You Take Creatine While Pregnant?

There is limited research on the safety and efficacy of taking creatine supplements during pregnancy. But some animal studies hint at potential advantages for expecting mothers and their little ones.

Here’s what some of these studies suggest: creatine might be a shield for the baby, protecting vital organs like the brain, diaphragm, and kidneys when there’s limited oxygen. It also supports the placenta, enhancing its function and improving blood flow.

The cherry on top? Both the mother and the baby might experience reduced oxidative stress and inflammation.

But there are potential flip sides to consider. For starters, it could increase mom’s water retention, possibly playing havoc with blood pressure and body balance. And while creatine’s interaction tales with gym supplements are well-known, its mix with typical prenatal supplements and medications isn’t.

Given this mix of promise and caution, any expecting mother curious about creatine should first chat with her doctor.

As of now, creatine isn’t the talk of prenatal classes, but who knows? As science delves deeper, it could be a game-changer in nurturing maternal and fetal health.

Can You Take Creatine While Pregnant?

Potential Benefits Of Taking Creatine While Pregnant

These are some of the potential benefits of creatine supplementation for pregnant women.

Protection From Hypoxic-Ischemic Injury

Lack of oxygen and blood flow during or after birth can cause a hypoxic-ischemic injury in babies. It can lead to brain damage or death.

Creatine, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, may help prevent or reduce this damage by providing an alternative energy source for brain cells.

Improvement in The Placental Function And Blood Flow

Some research suggests that creatine might help the baby get more nutrients and oxygen through the placenta. Also, it could lower inflammation and stress in the placenta. It might help the baby grow better, especially in cases where the baby is smaller than expected for its age in the womb.

Improvement in Maternal Health And Performance

Pregnancy can be challenging for women, but with the help of creatine, they can maintain their strength, endurance, and exercise capacity. Not only does this prevent muscle loss and pain, but it also supports maternal brain function, mood, and cognition.

With creatine, pregnant women can feel empowered to stay strong and healthy throughout their journey.

Development in Fetal Brain

Some studies suggest that creatine might provide neuroprotective effects to the fetus. By bolstering the energy supply during periods of low oxygen, creatine could help prevent neurological impairments.

Reduced Fatigue

Given its primary function of energy provision to muscles, creatine might assist in combating the fatigue and weakness often associated with pregnancy.

Concerns About Taking Creatine While Pregnant

These are some of the possible risks of creatine supplementation for pregnant women.


Creatine may increase water retention in the muscles. It may lead to dehydration or electrolyte imbalance if you don’t drink enough water.

Kidney Issue

Taking creatine can cause the creatinine level in your blood to rise. This increase could affect the diagnosis or treatment of kidney issues.

It can also lead to preeclampsia, a condition that happens during pregnancy. It causes high blood pressure and protein in the urine.

Interaction With Other Supplements Or Medications

During pregnancy, taking creatine can affect how the body absorbs and processes other supplements and medications. This includes folic acid, iron, caffeine, and anti-diabetic drugs, which may not work as well or could cause negative side effects.

Digestive Discomfort

In some individuals, creatine can lead to bloating, diarrhea, or upset stomach. It can compound pregnancy-related gastrointestinal issues.

Unknown Long-Term Effects On The Baby’s Health

Creatine supplements may affect your baby’s creatine levels if taken during pregnancy. It could impact their growth, development, and overall health in the long run.

Besides, comprehensive studies detailing the long-term effects of creatine supplementation during pregnancy are scarce.

Dosage And Recommendation

There is no clear direction on the optimal dosage and timing of creatine supplementation for pregnant women. However, experts and animal studies can provide general recommendations.

The dosage of creatine supplementation should be moderate and consistent. A lower dosage of 3 to 5 grams daily throughout pregnancy may be sufficient and safer to achieve the desired effects.

The last few weeks before birth are crucial for fetal brain development. So, creatine is more effective for fetal brain development and protection during the second or third trimester than during the first trimester of pregnancy or after birth.

However, more research is needed to determine the optimal timing and duration of creatine supplementation for pregnant women.

Creatine And Pregnancy

Alternatives to Creatine During Pregnancy

If you’re considering alternatives to creatine during pregnancy, here are some options.

  • Dietary Protein: provide essential amino acids that support muscle health and energy.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: support brain and eye development in the fetus and can help improve maternal mood.
  • Iron: supports the baby’s growth and development and helps prevent anemia in the mother.
  • Folate: Essential for preventing neural tube defects.
  • Calcium: essential for the baby’s bone development and maternal bone health.
  • Vitamin D: assists in calcium absorption and supports immune function.

Natural Creatine Sources for Expectant Mothers

Pregnant women can get creatine from natural dietary sources too. Here are some of the options.

  • Fish – Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring
  • Lean Red Meat – beef, lamb, etc.
  • Poultry – Chicken, turkey
  • Dairy Products – Milk and certain cheeses
  • Eggs

Can You Take Creatine While Breastfeeding?

While creatine is often supplemented for athletic performance, its safety during breastfeeding remains unclear due to limited research. It is unknown how much supplemental creatine transfers to breast milk and its potential impact on an infant’s developing kidneys.

Some suggest creatine might have neuroprotective benefits, but potential risks for breastfeeding mothers cannot be ignored. Using creatine while breastfeeding may affect the baby’s kidney function by increasing their creatinine level, a waste product from creatine.

So, consult a pediatrician or lactation consultant before considering creatine or any supplement during breastfeeding. The best option is to use natural sources like red meat and fish to boost creatine.


The use of creatine during pregnancy is not well-documented, making its safety ambiguous. Pregnant women should consult healthcare professionals before supplementation and might consider natural food sources a safer approach.

Visit our blogs for more on safe supplementation.

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