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Updated On: February 16, 2024
Creatine has been the number-one gym supplement for a long time. Recently, however, its popularity has been given a new lease of life with claims that, in addition to supporting strength and hypertrophy gains, creatine increases testosterone production. That claim will make creatine a virtual super supplement if it is valid. If not, it's still an effective supplement, but you'll need to look elsewhere for your testosterone enhancement.
In this article, we'll get to the bottom of the creatine-testosterone link. In doing so, we'll discover, once and for all, if taking a creatine supplement will kickstart your body's natural testosterone production. Here's what we'll cover:
Does Creatine Increase Testosterone?
Where Did The Creatine-Testosterone Link Come From?
What Is Creatine?
What Is Creatine Used For?
Can Creatine Indirectly Help Increase Testosterone?
Other Benefits of Creatine
Ways to Boost Testosterone Levels
Creatine and Testosterone FAQs
The evidence on creatine's ability to boost testosterone levels is conflicting. A single study from 2006 showed a 22% increase in testosterone levels after creatine supplementation combined with exercise.¹ However, other studies have shown no statistically significant improvements. As a result, the generally accepted view is that testosterone does not increase testosterone levels.
It has been shown to increase dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels, which may have led people to believe that it will do the same for testosterone.² Yet, DHT is not the same thing as testosterone. It is a testosterone variant involved in producing hair and skin cells but not muscle tissue. Another hormone that creatine helps to boost is insulin-like-growth-factor-1, which is involved in muscle growth.
The 2006 study previously mentioned looked at the effects of testosterone supplementation on a number of factors, including hormone levels. Thirty-three collegiate football players were randomly put into one of three study groups:
Creatine + beta-alanine
All three groups participated in a strength training program during the ten-week study period. At the end of the study, the creatine group had an average increase in free testosterone from 20.0 nmol/L to 24.4 nmol/L.
The belief that creatine can increase testosterone levels may have its origin in its potential to increase insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). IGF-1 is a hormone that, like testosterone, plays an important role in muscle growth. There is limited research suggesting that creatine supplementation may boost IGF-1 production. This has led to the speculation that it may do the same thing for testosterone.³
DHT is a sex hormone that is created by testosterone. There is some research showing that creatine may increase DHT levels.⁴ However, these studies showed no corresponding increase in testosterone levels. A couple of studies have suggested a possible link between creatine and a natural increase in testosterone when combined with exercise.⁵ However, the reported increased testosterone increases were insignificant, being no more than 1.5 ng/mL.⁶
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic compound that is found naturally in the human body and is involved in energy metabolism. The body converts creatine to phosphocreatine, a readily available energy source for the regeneration of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary energy molecule in cells. Our demand for ATP increases during intense exercise. By taking a creatine supplement, you are able to quickly regenerate that energy source, allowing you to work harder for longer.
There are four main reasons that people take supplemental creatine:
Increased strength and power: By replenishing ATP levels, creatine allows you to potentially push out an extra couple of reps at the end of your set and generate greater explosive force.
Increased muscle mass: Creatine helps to increase water mass within the muscle cell, thereby increasing muscle size. It also helps to promote muscle protein synthesis.
Greater anaerobic capacity: Creatine provides an ideal source of energy for fast, intense, short-duration exercise.
Improved workout recovery: Creatine helps boost workout recovery by promoting muscle glycogen synthesis and restoring energy levels.
Though it is generally accepted that creatine does not directly increase testosterone levels, there is some evidence that it may be able to do so indirectly in the following ways:
Creatine has been shown to improve workout performance, increasing anaerobic endurance so you can push out more reps with more power. Studies show that increased training intensity has a direct correlation to enhanced testosterone release.
Creatine may have the ability to speed up post-workout recovery via increased muscle glycogen synthesis and energy replenishment.
Low testosterone levels have been connected with chronic inflammation; Creatine may possess anti-inflammatory properties. This may help create the environment needed to increase 'T' production.
Even though the evidence suggesting that creatine can boost testosterone levels is dubious at best, there are plenty of other reasons to be taking this supplement, especially if you regularly work out. Here are five reasons to prioritize creatine in your supplement regimen.
To operate at its best, the brain requires a lot of energy. Creatine supplementation may help increase the brain's ATP levels, providing a readily available energy source and promoting proper brain energy metabolism.
Creatine may also have neuroprotective qualities. As an antioxidant and cell membrane stabilizer, it may help defend brain cells from oxidative stress and toxic chemicals. This could help maintain brain health and lower the danger of neurodegenerative illnesses.
According to some research, using creatine supplements may improve mental abilities like short-term memory, reasoning, and IQ. Creatine may even affect the amounts of specific neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are crucial for controlling mood, motivating behavior, and maintaining cognitive function.⁷
Finally, creatine can assist in controlling the fluid levels in brain cells. Brain fluid imbalances can result in cellular swelling and compromised neural communication, so maintaining a correct fluid balance is essential for optimum brain performance.
Creatine supplementation increases phosphocreatine levels in muscle cells. Phosphocreatine is quickly used up to replenish ATP levels when engaging in high-intensity sports like weightlifting or sprinting. The extra creatine boosts the resynthesis of ATP by raising the levels of phosphocreatine, giving you greater energy for brief bursts of intense exercise.⁸
Creatine has the ability to improve muscle strength and power production. It can help athletes to get in those vital extra couple of reps at the end of a set that can make all the difference.
The body's glycogen reserves, which are the primary source of fuel for muscles during severe exercise, are rapidly depleted during a workout. Supplemental creatine has been demonstrated to speed up the replenishment of muscle energy stores by increasing glycogen resynthesis rates during the recovery phase.
Intense exercise can result in damage and inflammation to the muscles. Creatine's anti-inflammatory qualities can help to reduce muscle damage and inflammation after a workout.
Creatine supplementation has been found to improve muscle protein synthesis, which is crucial for muscle healing and repair. More efficient skeletal muscle and protein synthesis helps in the recovery phase's facilitation of muscular growth and the repair of injured muscle fibers.
Creatine has an osmotic effect on the muscle cell, pulling water into it. This helps maintain proper cellular hydration, which is essential for normal cellular functioning and general recovery.
Finally, creatine supplementation can improve an athlete's ability to recover between sets by speeding up ATP replenishment and energy availability.
Creatine is stored in the muscles in the form of phosphocreatine (PCr). Adenosine diphosphate (ADP) is converted back into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) by PCr during intense activity or hard muscle contractions. This process, known as the creatine phosphate system, regenerates ATP, the primary fuel for muscular contractions.
ATP is cells' "energy currency" and is essential for many cellular functions, including muscular contraction. ADP is created when ATP is used up and loses its phosphate group. Through the breakdown of PCr, creatine provides a phosphate group that helps in the regeneration of ATP to increase energy production. This ensures an immediately available energy supply for muscular contractions by enabling ADP to interact with the phosphate group to generate ATP again quickly.
Phosphocreatine (PCr) is more readily available in muscle cells when creatine is added to the diet. PCr acts as a quick energy source for replenishing ATP when working out, which is necessary for muscular contractions. Creatine supplements boost ATP resynthesis and give users extra energy for strenuous workouts by raising PCr levels. This helps people work out more intensely, complete more repetitions, and use heavier weights, all of which can help build muscle mass.⁹
Supplementing with creatine can improve a person's training capacity. As a result, training volume increases. Greater training volume has been linked to an increase in muscle mass.
Creatine causes muscle cells to hold onto more water, increasing intracellular fluid volume (cell volumization). The process of constructing new muscle proteins is called muscle protein synthesis, and this cellular swelling can foster an anabolic environment that encourages it. Increased cell signaling brought on by the increased fluid content may encourage the synthesis of muscle proteins and promote muscle mass.
Creatine supplementation may strengthen anabolic signaling pathways that are involved in muscle building. Molecular pathways like the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), which is essential for encouraging muscle protein synthesis and muscular growth, have been shown to be activated by creatine intake.
Taking a creatine supplement is not a smart strategy if your specific goal is to increase testosterone levels, though it can help indirectly by promoting more efficient workouts and recovery. Here are three more effective testosterone-posting strategies.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is a medical treatment where exogenous testosterone is administered to men with low 'T' levels. This is done under medical supervision and is generally only given to men who have been diagnosed with hypogonadism (low testosterone levels).
TRT can be taken in the following ways:
There are some risks associated with TRT. These include an increased risk of some cardiovascular health problems, prostate issues, and sleep apnea.
If you're interested in TRT, check out Fountain TRT on how to get the process started.
Testosterone-boosting nutritional supplements are promoted as all-natural compounds that raise testosterone levels. These supplements frequently include a blend of nutrients, including botanical extracts, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. However, these components can be of varying quality and dose in various brands and formulations. Furthermore, it's frequently difficult to pinpoint the precise pathways through which these compounds could affect testosterone levels.
The quality of testosterone-boosting nutritional supplements also varies greatly. When searching for a 'T' booster, check the label for the following ingredients, which have research supporting their inclusion:
Check out our reviews of the best testosterone-boosting supplements on the current market.
A lot of people don't want to use supplements or other means to increase their testosterone levels, so the question usually asked is, how to boost testosterone levels naturally?
Eating a balanced diet consisting of various nutrient-dense foods is vital to support testosterone production. The first consideration is to consume enough calories to meet your energy requirements. Healthy fats should also be prioritized. These may include avocados, almonds, seeds, and olive oil.
Consuming a sufficient amount of protein will facilitate testosterone production. Includes such high-quality protein sources as chicken, fish, lean meats, lentils, and dairy. Essential micronutrients such as zinc (found in meat, shellfish, and legumes), vitamin D (from fatty fish and exposure to the sun), and magnesium (found in nuts, seeds, and leafy greens) all promote testosterone production in the body.
Limiting alcohol intake will help with testosterone production. Overdrinking can play havoc with your hormones, potentially leading to a drop in testosterone levels.
Resistance training has been shown to positively impact testosterone and growth hormone production. High-intensity workouts that feature compound movements and a wide rep range are best. Aim for a well-rounded strength training regimen that works for the major muscle groups twice to three times each week.
There is limited and contradictory evidence that creatine directly impacts testosterone levels. Some studies have seen a small rise in testosterone levels following creatine supplementation, while others have found no appreciable change.
It's important to remember that any potential impact of taking creatine supplements on testosterone levels will probably be indirect. Instead of directly affecting hormone production, creatine mostly influences energy and muscle function. Creatine supplementation can increase muscle growth and strength, which may indirectly impact hormonal balance and perhaps cause moderate increases in testosterone.
Creatine supplements are used to improve sports and exercise performance and muscular development. Regular weight training, which is frequently linked to creatine supplements, can enhance testosterone production on its own. The workout program, rather than the creatine supplementation itself, may cause any reported rise in testosterone levels.
As we have seen throughout this article, there is very little evidence that creatine can increase testosterone levels at all. However, in a 2006 study, testosterone levels were seen to increase by an average of 22%. This study is a bit of an outer, with other studies showing none or very little increase.
No, creatine does not increase testosterone levels in females. It will improve workout energy and recovery ability in women but will have no effect on testosterone levels.
Limited evidence suggests that creatine supplementation may slightly increase estrogen levels. This occurs through a process called aromatization, the process through which the enzyme aromatase transforms testosterone into estrogen in the liver, testes, fat cells, and other body tissues.
The aromatase enzyme, which adds an aromatase group to the testosterone molecule and converts it into estradiol, the main form of estrogen in the body, is responsible for the conversion of testosterone to estrogen.
No, creatine does not lower testosterone levels. There has been quite a lot of research looking into the effect that creatine has on testosterone levels. The consensus from those studies is that creatine supplementation does not significantly impact testosterone levels in healthy people.
It's important to remember that everyone reacts differently to supplements, and some people may notice very small changes in their hormone levels. These changes are normally within physiologically normal ranges and do not point to a drop in testosterone.
Creatine is a superstar among gym supplements. It has the ability to help produce more energy during intense training so you can lift more weight, perform more reps, and recover more efficiently. But it will not directly help your body produce more testosterone. For that to happen, you need to be taking a high-quality testosterone-boosting supplement and combine it with a healthy diet and regular, intense exercise.
Our recommendation is to take creatine as a workout performance enhancer and a separate 'T' booster to encourage greater natural testosterone production.
If this article has made you want to invest in a quality creatine powder, check out the our list of the best creatine supplements.
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February 20, 2024
February 20, 2024
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