Creatine, a popular supplement among athletes and fitness enthusiasts, is renowned for its potential to enhance muscle strength and performance. However, amidst its touted benefits, questions arise about its potential to induce fatigue.

While creatine is primarily known for its role in energy metabolism, some individuals report experiencing fatigue as a side effect. Understanding the mechanisms behind this phenomenon is essential. Factors such as individual response variability, dosage, hydration status, and concurrent use with other substances may influence fatigue.

Exploring anecdotal evidence and scientific research can provide insights into whether creatine can lead to tiredness, shedding light on its nuanced impacts on human physiology.

What is Creatine?

To understand the possible associations between creatine and fatigue, it is crucial to first discuss what creatine is and how it works.

Creatine is a naturally occurring substance found mainly in skeletal muscle cells. It plays a vital role in producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary energy source for cellular function. ATP is rapidly depleted during intense physical activity, resulting in fatigue and reduced exercise performance.

In muscle growth and maintenance, ATP is continuously regenerated through the creatine phosphate pathway. Creatine supplements aim to increase the availability of creatine in muscle cells, thereby enhancing energy production and promoting performance.

Supplementing with creatine can increase the amount of stored creatine phosphate, allowing for a more prolonged supply of ATP during high-intensity exercises. This mechanism is why athletes widely use creatine to improve muscle strength and power output.

Scientific Evidence

While anecdotal claims of creatine-induced fatigue exist, scientific studies have shown mixed results.

A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined the effects of creatine supplementation on fatigue. The analysis concluded no significant difference in perceived fatigue levels between participants who took creatine and those who did not.

On the other hand, a study by the University of Sao Paulo found that creatine supplementation increased fatigue during high-intensity resistance training. However, the participants in this study were untrained individuals, and it is not known whether trained athletes would experience similar effects.

Can Creatine Make You Tired?

From the available evidence, it is difficult to make a definitive statement on whether creatine can make you tired. Some individuals may experience fatigue as a side effect of creatine supplementation, while others may not. The individual response variability and other factors mentioned earlier play a significant role in this.

Here are some possible explanations for why some individuals may feel tired after taking creatine:

Dehydration And Electrolyte Imbalance:

Creatine supplementation can lead to an increase in total body water, which can cause dehydration if fluid intake is not adequately increased.

Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances are known to cause fatigue. Brain health and function also rely on proper hydration levels, which can be disrupted by creatine supplementation.

Taking creatine supplements without proper hydration can potentially lead to fatigue. Amino acids present in creatine supplements may also impact electrolyte levels and contribute to fatigue.

Insufficient Dosage:

Research suggests that creatine supplementation with a loading phase of 20-25 grams per day for 5-7 days, followed by a maintenance dose of 2-5 grams per day, is most effective.

Lower doses may not have the desired effects, leaving individuals fatigued. Creatine monohydrate is the most studied and recommended form of creatine for supplementation.

Sleep Disturbance:

Some people report trouble sleeping after taking creatine. Poor sleep quality can lead to fatigue and reduced exercise performance. Athletic performance and support brain health rely on adequate sleep, and disruptions in sleep patterns can impact these areas.

Increasing muscle mass and other factors associated with creatine supplementation may also lead to changes in sleep patterns. Physical performance and recovery during sleep are linked, so any disturbances can lead to feelings of fatigue.

Interactions With Other Substances:

As with any supplement or medication, interactions with other substances can occur. For example, caffeine intake has been shown to reduce creatine absorption, potentially leading to reduced effectiveness and increased fatigue.

It is essential to consult a healthcare professional before taking creatine if you are currently on any other medications or supplements.

These are just some possible explanations, and more research is needed to determine the exact relationship between creatine and fatigue. However, creatine increases muscle endurance, supports the growth of lean muscle mass, and improves overall exercise performance in many athletes.

Steps to Counteract the Effects of Creatine-Induced Fatigue

If you do feel tired after taking creatine, here are some steps you can take to counteract its effects:

Stay hydrated: Drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated and prevent potential dehydration from creatine supplementation.

Adjusting Creatine Dosage And Timing: Experiment with different dosages and timings of creatine intake to find what works best for your body. Dosage can vary based on weight, training intensity, and other factors.

Ensure Adequate Sleep: Ensure you get enough sleep each night to allow your body to recover properly. Muscle cramps and fatigue may be signs of inadequate rest. Dietary supplements can't replace a good night's rest!

Limit Caffeine Intake: If you consume caffeine, try limiting or spacing out its consumption from your creatine supplementation. Creatine supplement manufacturers often include caffeine in their products, so be mindful of your total caffeine intake.

Monitoring And Evaluation:

  1. Consistently monitor your energy levels and performance to determine if creatine is indeed leading to fatigue or if other factors may be causing it.
  2. Watch your diseases, like kidney disease and thyroid conditions, which can increase the risk of side effects.
  3. Consult a healthcare professional if you experience any adverse effects from creatine supplementation.

These steps may help alleviate any fatigue experienced while taking creatine. As always, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or making significant changes to your diet and exercise routine.

Should You Stop Creatine If It's Making You Tired?

The decision to stop taking creatine if it's making you tired ultimately depends on the individual and their circumstances.

If the fatigue negatively impacts athletic performance or daily activities, it may be worth considering stopping creatine supplementation. However, if other factors, such as hydration levels or dosage, are adjusted and the fatigue persists, it may be beneficial to consult with a healthcare professional for further advice.

Additionally, it is essential to consider the potential benefits of creatine supplementation and whether they outweigh any adverse effects experienced.

Ultimately, listening to your body and making informed decisions with the guidance of a healthcare professional is the best way to determine if creatine supplementation is suitable for you.

Is It Better to Take Creatine in the Morning or Night?

The timing of creatine intake can vary based on personal preference and desired effects. Some individuals may prefer to take it in the morning to start their day, while others may find it beneficial to take it before or after a workout.

However, research suggests that taking creatine before bed may lead to better absorption and potentially improve athletic performance.

It is essential to experiment with different timings and monitor how your body responds to determine the best time for you to take creatine. As always, consult with a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations.

Because creatine supplementation does not have a standardized dosing and timing protocol, it is essential to find what works best for each individual.


Does creatine increase fatigue?

There is no clear consensus on whether creatine supplementation can lead to increased fatigue. Some individuals may experience fatigue as a side effect, while others may not. It is essential to monitor your energy levels and performance while taking creatine to determine the impact it has on you personally.

Can dehydration from creatine cause fatigue?

Dehydration can potentially contribute to feelings of fatigue, so it is essential to stay hydrated when taking creatine. However, studies have not shown a direct link between dehydration from creatine and fatigue.

Does creatine lower energy?

Creatine is often used as a supplement to boost energy and athletic performance, so it is unlikely that it would lower energy levels in most individuals. However, each person may respond differently to creatine supplementation, and factors such as dosage and timing can also play a role.

Is creatine bad before bed?

There is no evidence to suggest that taking creatine before bed is harmful. In fact, some studies have shown that it may lead to better absorption and improved athletic performance. As with any supplement, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations on timing and dosage.


In conclusion, whether creatine can induce tiredness warrants careful consideration. While creatine is celebrated for its potential to enhance muscle strength and performance, anecdotal reports and some scientific studies suggest a potential association with fatigue.

However, understanding the intricacies of individual variability, dosing protocols, hydration status, and potential interactions with other substances is crucial. Despite these reports, the consensus on creatine's impact on energy levels remains nuanced. Further research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms underlying these effects comprehensively.

Whether creatine truly induces tiredness or if other factors play a significant role requires continued investigation. Nonetheless, individuals should remain informed and attentive to their responses while considering creatine supplementation for their fitness goals.

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