4 Reasons to Start Taking Creatine as We Age

Creatine is one of the most popular supplements on the market. It’s perhaps the most effective supplement for increasing muscle mass and boosting cognitive health. This article will explain what creatine is as well as reasons to take creatine as we age. 

What is Creatine?

Creatine is an amino acid that is found naturally in the body’s muscle and brain cells. It’s important for helping muscles create energy in order to carry out physical tasks like heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise.

In the brain, creatine is involved in energy production for a variety of tasks and overall mental acuity. Some studies suggest that creatine can also improve brain function by increasing dopamine levels.

Does My Body Produce Creatine?

Many people consume plenty of creatine through foods like red meat and seafood. Vegetarians or people who don’t eat red meat or seafood should get creatine through supplements.

However, the body can produce about half our body’s creatine stores. The liver, pancreas, and kidneys are able to make approximately 1 gram of creatine daily (1).

The body can store some creatine, too. Most of the creatine is stored in muscles as a compound called phosphocreatine.  When energy is needed, muscle phosphocreatine is converted to creatine.

So yes, while the body can produce a decent amount of the creatine we need, supplementing with creatine can increase the body’s stores of phosphocreatine. With larger phosphocreatine stores, the body is more apt to perform at higher intensities for longer periods of time. Creatine has also been shown to improve recovery time in athletes.

As people age, muscle creatine stores and production tends to decline. A natural reduction in muscle mass, bone density, and strength is largely responsible for the reduction in creatine.

However, there is evidence to suggest that supplementing with creatine can reverse some of these musculoskeletal changes associated with aging. As a result, supplementing with creatine can improve muscle mass, boost energy levels, and increase strength.

Isn't Creatine Just For BodyBuilders?

People typically think of creatine as a supplement for bodybuilders and gym-goers. Traditionally, creatine has been used among that community and is a common topic on fitness blogs, and for good reason. 

When taken before exercise, creatine can help an athlete exercise at higher intensities for longer periods of time, ultimately leading to improved muscle mass, strength, and overall performance. Plus, creatine may help hydrate the muscles and can help prevent injuries. 

However, you don’t have to be an intense fitness enthusiast to reap the benefits of creatine.

People who have lower levels of creatine – like older adults and vegetarians – can benefit from creatine as it can support a healthy musculoskeletal system and improve brain health.

As we age, muscle mass and bone density will naturally decline, but creatine can help slow this process. When it comes to brain health, creatine can improve performance on cognitive tasks and may help improve memory. 

Creatine supplementation can improve overall quality of life and may reduce risk for both musculoskeletal and cognitive dysfunction and disease (2).

In fact, creatine has been so widely studied and its benefits have been evident through research that supplementation is often recommended to all adults over the age of 50. 

Does Creatine Make You Bloated? 

As with any supplement, one of the biggest concerns is potential side effects. Creatine is quite safe and there are few side effects to worry about if consumed in the recommended amounts. 

However, a non-serious, minor concern that people often have with creatine is how it may cause some bloating and unwanted weight gain

You might be wondering how creatine even causes bloating in the first place. 

Creatine is an osmotically active compound, which means that it attracts water. When creatine finds its way to muscle cells, it will pull in water, therefore leading to some fluid retention. 

The muscles will hold onto this water and may cause some puffiness around places where you have a lot of muscle, such as your arms, legs, or stomach.

Ultimately, this is not a harmful side effect and once your body adjusts to the increase in creatinine you may notice a decline in bloating. However, there are some things that may help reduce bloating while you’re taking creatine. 

For one, it’s best to follow a diet that is lower in sodium as sodium can also lead to water retention and bloating. It’s also a good idea to increase your water intake to help de-bloat as well. 


4 Reasons We Should Take Creatine as We Age

By now you should understand that creatine is an important amino acid that the body can make naturally, and we can also get it from food and supplements, namely creatine monohydrate or creatine HCL.  

It’s beneficial for both athletes and aging adults. This next section will list the four main reasons we should take creatine as we age. 

  • Improved muscle mass and function: A loss of muscle mass and strength is normal in aging adults, however, creatine can preserve muscle strength. Older adults who combine resistance training with creatine have significantly greater strength than those who don’t supplement.

  • Reduced risk for falls: Older adults can reduce their risk of falling and fractures by supplementing with creatine, which can support overall independence and a preserved quality of life.

  • Better memory and brain function: Aging leads to a decline in learning, thinking, problem-solving, and memory. However, creatine supplementation has been shown to strengthen memory and overall brain function (3).

  • Improved mood: One of the exciting benefits of creatine for aging is a more positive mood, likely because it enhances dopamine production, which is a neurotransmitter that is associated with feelings of happiness. 


Final Thoughts


Creatine’s list of benefits is quite impressive. Contrary to popular belief, creatine is not just for athletes or those looking to get gains in the gym. 

There is a plethora of studies and evidence to support taking creatine as we age. Creatine can improve muscle mass and bone density, improve strength, and support an overall healthy musculoskeletal system.  

Creatine can also support a healthy brain by boosting memory, mood, and brain function.