Creatine for Vegetarians

Athletes may benefit from supplements.
a young and muscular athlete eating a salad

What is Creatine?

Creatine is an amino acid found naturally in the body. It’s been shown to help build muscle and strength.

Benefits of Creatine for Athletes

  • Creatine Boosts Endurance

    Creatine’s effectiveness for athletes is due, in part, to helping increase the length of time a person can spend working out, especially in sprinting, lifting weights, and other activities that require short bursts of effort. For example, one 2021 study determined that creatine led to increases in both low-speed and high-speed strength, maximal work output, sprint performance, and fat-free mass.

  • Creatine Reduces Soreness

    Creatine has been shown to reduce cramping and to help protect muscles and joints from injury.

  • Timing Creatine Supplementation with Exercise

    One recent study found that taking creatine after exercise may produce more benefits than taking it before, but the evidence wasn’t particularly strong.

Vegetarian Sources of Creatine

Most of the creatine in our diets comes from meat or seafood. Vegans and vegetarians might need a boost.

Creatine Levels in Vegetarians

Researchers evaluated nine studies concerning creatine levels in vegetarians.

The researchers determined that supplementation helped increase lean tissue mass, muscular strength, and muscular endurance in participants.

“Overall, it appears vegetarian athletes are likely to benefit from creatine supplementation,” wrote the authors of the review, which was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Supplementing with Creatine

Creatine draws water to the muscles from the rest of the body, potentially causing dehydration.

Drink plenty of water when supplementing with creatine.

Click to See Our Sources

“Benefits of creatine supplementation for vegetarians compared to omnivorous athletes: A systematic review” by M. Kaviana et al., International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 4/20

“Creatine,”, 2/9/21

“Creatine,” National Library of Medicine,, 10/26/21

"Creatine for exercise and sports performance, with recovery considerations for healthy populations" by B. Wax et al., 6/21; “Timing of creatine supplementation around exercise: A real concern?” by F. Ribeiro et al., Nutrients, 8/21


Alan Siddal

Staff Writer

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