Is creatine a steroid?
Well, Science says, Creatine is not a steroid. It resembles nothing like a steroid, either structurally or by its actions. Yes, Creatine is a PED approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
I have tried to convince people around me about it.
So why do you think Creatine is a Steroid? Because it improves your strength, stamina, endurance, muscle growth, and performance. Even if you don’t take Creatine and are on a Super Health Diet, you’ll find the same results by working out the maximum.
The hardest person for me to convince was my mom! I couldn’t make her believe I am not taking steroids and that you don’t take steroids by mouth. Still, she asked if creatine is a steroid.
Creatine and steroids are two distinct types of supplements. Steroids are synthetic hormones to reduce inflammation, and Creatine is a naturally occurring compound that produces more ATP to enhance muscle strength. Both creatine and steroids have different actions and effects on the body.
In this article, I will conclude the argument, the discussion, and the confusion about Creatine being a Steroid.
What It Takes For A Supplement To Be A Steroid?
You just can’t call any supplement a steroid unless you know what it takes to become a steroid and the classification. A supplement must have a core structure of four fused rings of carbon atoms to be classified as a steroid. The exact arrangement distinguishes steroids from other types of molecules.
Due to this chemical structure, steroids have specific biological effects on the body. Anabolic steroids are often used to mimic the effects of hormones, particularly the male sex hormone testosterone. Steroids can bind to and activate androgen receptors in the body, stimulating muscle tissue growth and other effects.
Not all supplements used to enhance athletic performance or build muscle are steroids.
Take Creatine as an example. It’s a popular supplement used by athletes. But it is not a steroid. Similarly, protein supplements and other types of supplements are not steroids. They simply have other potential benefits for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
Is Creatine a Steroid?
No, creatine cannot be considered a steroid. While both creatine and steroids are forms of PED, they are different in their chemical structure and biological effects.
Creatine is naturally found in meat and fish and can also be produced by the body. It primarily regenerates ATP, the main energy source for muscle contractions. Creatine shows increased muscle strength, power, and endurance during high-intensity exercise.
On the other hand, steroids are a class of organic compounds with specific molecular structures. Steroids can have a range of biological effects on the body, including acting as hormones to regulate various bodily functions.
They can also be used as PED. But they have significant risks and side effects and are often illegal or heavily regulated.
While creatine and steroids may be used for similar purposes to enhance performance, they are two totally different supplements with different effects on the body.
Therefore, creatine cannot be considered a steroid.
Creatine vs. Steroids: Significant Differences
|Intake Method||You can take creatine with water, juices, milk, overnight oats, and even protein shakes.|
Dry scooping creatine is still questionable. But Creatine can be taken by mouth.
|You have to inject it into your body or certain body parts.|
It treats specific areas by administering a high dose of medication directly to the affected spot.
This can be effective for conditions such as tendinitis or bursitis.
|Working Process||Creatine donates its phosphate group to ADP to re-form ATP, which increases ATP stores and allows for harder and longer training.|
This helps maintain a continuous energy supply to working muscles and keeps energy production up.
|Steroids mimic the effect of testosterone on the body, stimulating muscle tissue to grow and “bulk up” in response to training.|
They act at androgen receptors to influence cellular functioning and gene expression.
Activation of androgen receptors produces rapid increases in calcium levels within skeletal muscle, heart, and brain cells.
|Effects on Muscles||Muscles convert creatine into creatine phosphate, which is then converted into ATP and used for explosive exercise.|
Creatine increases strength, but the effects are not immediate.
Creatine is commonly used by athletes involved in high-intensity activities that require rapid recovery during training and competition.
|Steroids build muscle tissue and increase body mass but do not enhance agility or skill in athletes.|
Steroid use can lead to undesirable effects.
Various factors, such as genetics, body size, age, sex, diet, and training intensity, will determine the effects of steroids.
|Chemical Composition||Creatine Monohydrate is the most common and popular type of creatine.|
Creatine is an amino acid with the chemical name methyl guanidine-acetic acid that can be converted into phosphocreatine.
Creatine, in phosphate form, supplies energy to muscle cells for contraction.
When ATP deposits are depleted, creatine phosphate donates phosphate groups toward the fast synthesis of ATP.
|The main feature of steroids is the ring system of three cyclohexanes and one cyclopentane in a fused ring system.|
The steroid core structure has 17 carbon atoms connected with 4 fused rings in a specific way.
|Side Effects and Risks|
Dehydration due to lack of enough fluid intake
Gastrointestinal distress (such as nausea, diarrhea, and cramping)
Muscle cramps and bloating due to water retention
Increased risk of injury due to increased strength
Kidney damage or dysfunction in rare cases (although there is little evidence to support this)
Unknown long-term effects on the body
|Increased risk of heart disease, including heart attack and stroke|
Liver damage or dysfunction
Hormonal imbalances lead to a range of potential health problems
Increased risk of acne and other skin problems
Decreased fertility and testicular shrinkage in menMasculinization (development of male sex characteristics) in women
Mood changes, including aggression, depression, and irritability
Increased risk of tendon and ligament injuries due to increased muscle mass and strength
Risk of addiction and withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use
Is creatine considered a drug?
No. Creatine is a natural substance and isn’t considered a drug by the FDA. You can get creatine without a prescription legally. Many drug stores, supermarkets, and online stores sell creatine, and buying it is easy and safe.
Is creatine better than protein?
If you are striving for a strength goal, such as lifting a certain amount of weight, creatine will give you the energy boost you seek. For long-term results, protein will help rebuild muscle that will continue to increase your strength over time.
If anyone asks me for any suggestions if they do not see any desired result even after working their ass out, I suggest taking creatine with a minimal dose. But every time, I have to go through an explanation that it’s not any kind of Steroid.
Every aspect differs from Creatine, from its molecular structure to the intake process. So for the final time, CREATINE IS NOT A STEROID!!
I have tried to keep it simple and brief to explain every confusion about Creatine and steroids. I hope this helps you and Me!
You can read more about Creatine here.
I am a health and wellness enthusiast working in a Pittsburgh-based wellness clinic. My primary role as a consultant is to tailor a balanced lifestyle for my patients, where positive steps and potent supplements play a synergistic role.