Is Creatine Safe For Older Adults? (Everything You Need To Know)

If you’ve noticed that your performance in the gym isn’t what it used to be as you get older, you might have started researching ways to boost your strength, muscle mass, and recovery time while working out.

One of the supplements that everyone is talking about right now is creatine.

Creatine has been shown to have numerous benefits when it comes to gym performance and overall health, but it may also have some side effects, which raises the question: is creatine safe for older adults? The short answer is “YES”!

In this article, we will be discussing what creatine is, the benefits of creatine supplements for older adults and the potential side effects so that you can decide whether taking supplemental creatine is a good idea for you.

What Is Creatine?

If you have no idea what creatine is, read this section before moving onto the benefits and side effects of creatine supplements.

Creatine is a chemical that is naturally produced in small amounts by the human body.

It’s primarily found in the muscles (this is where 95% of your body’s creatine gets stored) and also in the brain and heart, but it’s produced by the kidneys and the pancreas at a rate of approximately a gram per day.

Creatine is a natural source of energy for your muscles, so it’s useful if you’re trying to get stronger and build lean muscle mass (see also ‘Top Supplements For Maintaining Muscle Mass In Older Adults‘).

Because creatine provides your muscles with energy, it may also help you to feel less tired after working out, which is beneficial for your recovery period.

While the body does produce a small amount of creatine naturally, the benefits can be magnified by taking a larger quantity of creatine in the form of a supplement.

But is this a good idea for older adults? Let’s find out.

The Benefits Of Creatine For Older Adults

As we mentioned earlier, there are lots of benefits of taking creatine supplements, and many of these benefits can be especially useful for older adults.

For example:

Increases Muscle Mass/Growth

Since muscle fibers tend to deteriorate and get smaller with age, taking creatine can benefit older adults by encouraging the growth of these muscle fibers, leading to increased muscle mass.

Reduces Fatigue

Since creatine is a source of energy for your muscles, taking creatine as an older adult may help you to combat the increased tightness and soreness in your muscles after strength training (this tends to get worse with age because structural changes in muscle tissue and tendons causes more muscle tightness, soreness, and fatigue).

Boosts Gym Performance

Another benefit of the increased energy supply to muscles caused by creatine is that it might help you to perform better during your workouts.

Aging comes with more muscle fatigue for the reasons described above, which can definitely affect your workout, but taking creatine may help your muscles feel stronger, allowing you to perform better.

Combats Health Conditions

Did you know that studies have shown that creatine might help to reduce your risk of several health conditions?

The health conditions that may be controlled by creatine supplementation include type 2 diabetes (more common in people over the age of 40), osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, and Huntington’s disease.

Improves Skin Health

This isn’t technically a benefit for workout performance, but creatine has also been shown to improve the health and appearance of your skin.

Skin changes are one of the biggest insecurities in older adults, so taking creatine may improve your confidence in this respect.

Potential Side Effects Of Creatine

Potential Side Effects Of Creatine

Muscle Cramps

One of the most commonly reported side effects of creatine supplementation is muscle cramps.

Obviously, experiencing muscle cramps while working out is not ideal, so this is also one of the biggest reasons why many adults (especially older adults whose muscle tissue and fiber is already deteriorating) decide that taking creatine is not for them.

Weight Gain

Unfortunately, a lot of people also experience weight gain when they start using creatine supplements.

This can be really frustrating if your goal is to lose weight and get in shape.

If you’re just trying to feel stronger and build muscle, a little weight gain might not put you off wanting to use creatine, but if you’re struggling to manage your weight as it is, bear in mind that creatine might actually make this aspect of your fitness journey more difficult.

Digestive Issues

When you start using creatine to boost your performance in the gym and your physique, you might experience abdominal pain and diarrhea, which is not fun.


In addition to stomach pain and diarrhea, you might find yourself feeling sick to your stomach when you start taking creatine.

This could be a temporary side effect as your body adjusts to the supplementation, but it can definitely be unpleasant.

What You Need To Know Before Taking Creatine?

In addition to the side effects you might experience when you start taking creatine as an older adult, there are some safety considerations that you should bear in mind.

First of all, creatine interacts negatively with caffeine as well as herbal supplements such as Ma Huang or ephedra.

Taking these substances together with creatine has been shown to increase your risk of having a stroke and some studies have suggested that there might be a link between taking creatine along with over 300 milligrams of caffeine per day and Parkinson’s disease.

Also, the effects of creatine will be delayed when you first start taking them, so please don’t take any more than the recommended dosage (see below) because you aren’t seeing results.

It will take about 28 days for your energy levels to go up after you start taking creatine.

You’ll also need to do your own research when it comes to finding the best creatine supplement for your body because this supplement is not regulated by the FDA, meaning that quantity and quality varies greatly between brands.

Finally, you should not take creatine if you suffer from kidney disease, diabetes, or struggle to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Creatine Dosage For Older Adults

Older adults have slightly different recommended dosage requirements for creatine compared to younger adults.

If you’re an older adult, it is safe for you to take either 20 grams of creatine each day for 7 days before lowering your dosage to 10 grams per day over a 7 day period.

Another safe alternative is to take 20 grams of creatine for 10 days and then go down to 4 grams a day over 20 days.

It’s also important to bear in mind that these are maximum dosage recommendations.

You can still see results and experience the benefits of creatine if you take a lower dose.

Final Thoughts – Is Creatine Safe for Older Adults?

Generally speaking, creatine is safe for most older adults without kidney disease or diabetes as long as it is taken at the recommended dosage.

Creatine can help older adults to improve their workout performance and recovery time while building muscle.

However, it can also cause digestive issues, nausea, weight gain, and muscle cramps.

Additionally, creatine does not interact well with caffeine and some other herbal supplements, so you should speak to your doctor before starting a creatine supplement regimen.