Does Creatine Mess With Hormones?
Most research has found no significant changes in total testosterone or free testosterone with creatine supplementation. However, some studies suggest a slight increase in DHT levels among men taking creatine. Also, a 10-week study showed testosterone peak due to Creatine and strength training.
Many more factors are related to hormones getting messed up or changed due to Creatine intake. Let’s find out what science has to say about it.
Does Creatine Mess With Hormones?
Creatine is popular for its enhancement of athletic performance and for promoting muscle growth. However, there is conflicting research on its effects on hormonal balance.
Consequently, hormonal imbalances from creatine may lead to health risks. But changes are usually small and temporary.
Let’s find out what type of changes you might face.
Creatine and Testosterone
Creatine does not significantly impact total testosterone, free testosterone, or DHT. Few studies found a slight impact of creatine on testosterone, while most found no significant effect.
In a study published in 2009, resistance-trained men who took creatine experienced a slight increase in testosterone levels initially but not throughout the study. Another study conducted in 2000 found that Creatine supplementation had no significant effect on resting or exercise-induced changes in testosterone.
The benefits of increased testosterone levels for exercise performance include:
- Improved muscle mass
- Strength, and
Can creatine impact the size of your penis? Well, the research on this is not conclusive. However, increased testosterone levels may include potential adverse health effects such as:
- An increased risk of prostate cancer
- Cardiovascular disease
- Hair loss
- Mood changes.
The effects of increased testosterone levels or hormones can vary depending on the individual and their overall health status. So, speak with a healthcare provider before taking any supplements or making significant changes to diet and exercise routines.
Creatine and DHT
Studies have found creatine can increase levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It’s a hormone associated with hair loss and prostate health in men. However, several studies also found no significant changes in testosterone, DHT, or other hormones with creatine consumption.
The increase in DHT levels from creatine supplementation is usually small and temporary.
A study found that taking creatine supplements caused a 56% reduction in DHT levels in rugby players. After two weeks, DHT levels remained 40% above average.
However, DHT is linked to male pattern baldness; rugby players did not experience hair loss during the study. Further research is required to confirm whether creatine causes hair loss or baldness.
Creatine and Cortisol
Cortisol is a complex hormone with crucial physiological functions beyond muscle metabolism. It plays a key role in regulating immune function, blood sugar levels, and cardiovascular health. Maintaining cortisol levels within a healthy range is vital to avoid adverse effects on overall health.
However, the evidence of creatine’s effects on cortisol levels is mixed. Some studies show no significant changes, while other shows slight changes in cortisol levels due to creatine intake.
Some studies suggest that creatine supplementation can lower cortisol levels during exercise. It is unclear whether this translates to improved muscle growth and exercise performance. More research is needed to determine the optimal dosages and duration of creatine supplementation for cortisol regulation.
Creatine and Insulin
Insulin is an anabolic hormone that helps to promote muscle growth and repair.
Studies have found that creatine supplementation may increase insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels. It can improve glucose uptake by muscle cells.
One study found that creatine supplementation in combination with carbohydrate intake can enhance insulin-mediated muscle glycogen storage after exercise. That leads to better recovery and performance. It also helps to replenish glycogen stores and transport amino acids to the muscles for repair.
However, excessive insulin levels can also lead to fat gain and other adverse health outcomes. So make sure to use creatine and manage insulin levels in moderation.
Creatine and Female Hormone
Women’s hormonal patterns affect mood and are dependent on phosphocreatine concentrations. Creatine supplementation benefits women during hormonal changes such as menses, pregnancy, post-partum, and menopause.
Female hormones – especially estrogen and progesterone, can affect creatine bioavailability and the expression of creatine synthesis enzymes. Increased estrogen levels can help regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce PMS symptoms.
Can creatine affect PCOS? Find out.
Creatine supplementation has been shown to enhance cognitive function and reduce mental fatigue. Therefore, taking it throughout the menstrual cycle may mitigate unwanted side effects of hormonal fluctuations on the brain.
A study has found Creatine to improve blood flow to the uterus, supporting the growth and shedding of the uterine lining for a healthy menstrual cycle.
Does creatine impact birth control? Check it out now.
Can creatine lower testosterone?
Creatine does not directly affect hormone levels in the body. However, some studies suggest that creatine supplementation may indirectly affect the hormonal profile by increasing testosterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels.
Does creatine affect sperm?
Low creatine levels in the seminal fluid are linked to reduced sperm motility, while high creatine kinase activity is linked to poor sperm quality. Lifestyle factors, such as smoking and pesticide exposure, can impair sperm bioenergetics, creatine kinase activity, and motility.
Does creatine have any negative impact on female hormones?
There is currently no evidence to suggest that creatine negatively impacts female hormones. In fact, some studies suggest that creatine supplementation may improve muscle strength and endurance in women without causing any adverse effects on hormone levels.
Does creatine affect menstruation?
Some studies suggest that creatine may improve uterine blood flow and reduce inflammation, supporting a healthy menstrual cycle. However, more research is needed in this area.
I noticed my friend behaving a bit weirdly. He was angry about something and got sad all of a sudden. He was craving some food that he wasn’t allowed to eat. It happened after he was taking Creatine for about 4 to 5 weeks.
Our gym instructor asked us to give it a break on Creatine. After about a week, he seemed normal. It was due to a hormonal imbalance that drove him to behave weirdly.
The hormonal imbalance might vary according to an individual’s lifestyle, weight, age, and gender. So don’t worry if you are feeling a bit off. Just give a break from the Creatine intake, and you might feel just fine.
Find more blogs on Creatine.
I started my professional career as a sports medicine consultant in Rola, Missouri. My primary role was to suggest suitable supplements for my patients according to their pre-existing conditions and lifestyle goals. I believe a healthy lifestyle is the most important if you want to make your life really meaningfull.