A vegan-friendly option is generally safe whether it is your ethical lifestyle choice or allergies. While creatine isn’t a food you will describe as vegan or non-vegan, we need to ingest it as a muscle-building supplement.
But is creatine vegan and suitable for vegans and vegetarians?
Creatine comes from animal products and isn’t vegan by itself. But the synthetic versions are artificially made with ingredients from diverse sources. Some brands leave out animal derivatives and make them more vegan. While some might still have animal by-products, most of them are vegan-friendly.
Learn more about creatine’s composition, vegan options, and whether you need it.
Is Creatine Vegan?
Creatine supplements are generally synthesized from non-animal sources and are thus suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Creatine is naturally found in animal-based foods such as meat, fish, and poultry, rich in protein. However, creatine in supplements is usually synthesized from sarcosine (a salt derivative of acetic acid) and cyanamide (an organic compound) through a chemical process.
This means that most of them are vegan-friendly, but not all. So, creatine itself isn’t named vegan; you must check whether the ingredients are vegan-certified.
If you want vegan creatine, avoid capsules, as they contain animal-derived gelatin or bovine tissue. In addition, check if the supplement was tested on animals before manufacture. While they might not be vegan-friendly, all of them are cruelty-free.
What does Creatine Contain?
Creatine is a chemical compound made of three types of amino acids. These are
- L-arginine and
The liver and kidneys produce these amino acids and offer creatine to the body.
Do Vegans Need Creatine?
Whether or not you have a vegan or meaty diet, you only need creatine supplements when you want to make bigger muscles or have a deficiency. It doesn’t depend on the type of diet.
However, a vegan diet contains no animal protein and might be lower in creatine. They also usually suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency which hampers creatine production.
Creatine is rich in foods like poultry, red meat, and seafood. But a vegan or vegetarian diet contains none of these. So, the diet is more likely to decrease creatine stores in the muscles, causing lower creatine in the blood than those with a meaty diet.
A creatine deficiency can cause tiredness, muscle decrease, depression, and lower cognitive abilities. However, this doesn’t mean you must compromise your lifestyle to get more creatine. Simply go for a vegan creatine supplement.
Besides, creatine supplementation is beneficial for vegan athletes and other people. It will offer them more energy and strength, endurance from cell and tissue damage, and compensate for the loss of required creatine.
Compared to other consumers, vegans and vegetarians show significant and faster results from taking creatine.
How much Creatine do Vegans and Vegetarians need?
The recommended dosage for creatine regularly is 3 to 5 g. But those who wish to make muscles can increase the dose to 10 g daily.
Since vegans and vegetarians have a shortage of creatine stores, they might need a higher dose than usual. They need to take 7 to 10 g daily for the loading phase at least four times daily.
They need 5 to 7 g of creatine for the rest of the session. Once the creatine levels become satisfactory, they can reduce the dose slightly for comfort and better absorption.
Sources of Vegan Creatine
Foods rich in creatine are hardly vegan, so finding any vegan-friendly natural source for more creatine isn’t easy.
But some plant-based proteins have a lot of glycine, arginine, and methionine to produce creatine. Check these creatine alternatives without disrupting your diet.
For protein and creatine, you can eat legumes, seeds, nuts, and grains. Foods like pumpkin seeds, peanuts, soybeans, chickpeas, seaweed, watermelon seeds, lentils, etc., are all high in protein.
Vegan Creatine vs Creatine
Most creatine is the same, but vegan ones are free from animal derivatives or animal testing.
|Pure form only in synthetically made creatine.||Found in animal sources.|
|Plant-based proteins only offer elements to help produce creatine||Rich in foods like eggs, red meat, seafood, etc.|
|The powder form is a safe choice.||Available in powder, pills, or gummy forms.|
|Made with alfalfa extracts.||Made with sarcosine and cyanamide.|
Best Vegan Creatine
Above all brands of creatine, creatine monohydrate is the best option for everyone. It shows the desired outcome and is safe to intake for months without much issue. Check out some of the vegan-friendly options in the market for gaining more creatine.
BulkSupplements Creatine Monohydrate
This one has micronized creatine with all vegan-friendly elements. It has 100% creatine with no other ingredients to raise concerns. Besides, it isn’t animal tested either. An affordable and safe option to grow bigger.
Muscle Feast Creapure Creatine Monohydrate
Creapure comes second as a safe and vegan-friendly creatine option. It also has pure creatine with no additional ingredients or flavorants. Besides, Creapure is also proven effective after a few weeks of intake.
SunWarrior’s Vegan Active Creatine
This is also a widely recognized brand for providing pure creatine. A quality product for the price, it offers the desired effects of creatine. It is designed mainly for vegan consumers.
Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder
Another source of vegan-friendly and micronized powder creatine, this one has 100% creatine. You will find no artificial ingredients or flavorings in the list. But most importantly, this brand is well-known for proving its claims of increased muscles.
Crazy Muscle Creatine Monohydrate Pills
Try this one if you want pills and capsules for your creatine instead of powder. While pills are usually made with animal derivatives and gelatin, this isn’t the case for these pills.
They have pure 100% creatine and no animal by-products. Besides, the package is labeled gluten-free and soy-free and a perfect product for vegans and vegetarians. You can also use this for a keto diet.
Vegan Creatine Benefits
There are various benefits of ergogenic creatine for vegans and vegetarians. The effects are long-term and gained the most from creatine monohydrate.
- Increase in the overall performance of heavy training and sports.
- Better contraction and usage of muscles during workouts.
- Increase in strength and muscle size.
- Improved glycogen synthesis and anaerobic threshold.
- Improved breathing and heart rates.
- More energy and endurance to work for longer hours.
- Faster recovery from injuries and damages.
- Improved brain functions and cognition.
Side Effects of Vegan Creatine
All creatine causes the same type of adverse reactions during the loading phase. So, if you take creatine in high doses, you may suffer from the following.
- Water retention and bloating
- Digestive problems like nausea or diarrhea
- Muscle cramps and pain
- Kidney problems
- Increase in body weight
Is creatine plant-based?
The synthetic form of creatine contains sarcosine and cyanamide synthesized to produce it. These don’t have any animal derivatives. This means they are vegan-friendly but not plant-based, as the chemicals don’t come from plants.
How do vegan bodybuilders get creatine?
They can use more carbs and protein based on vegan-friendly sources. Carbs will enhance the absorption of more protein. This will ensure that the bodybuilders get enough protein and creatine to produce more ATP for energy and strength. They can also take vegan-friendly creatine supplements for increasing muscles with heavy workouts.
Creatine supplements widely used by people are mostly made of pure 100% creatine. So, most of them are suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
However, since creatine is an animal product, the concern remains whether or not the supplement is vegan. The best choice is to look for vegan brands on vegan supplement-selling sites. You can also get them in nearby pharmacies and stores.
Vegans and vegetarians have lower creatine levels due to their diet, so a creatine supplement is highly beneficial. It will ensure they have creatine stores and energy for building muscles and remaining fit.
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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.