Have you ever encountered the terms creatine and creatinine before? Are you unsure of their differences, or which is better for your health and workout goals? There are significant differences between these two substances. Creatine has long been known to be beneficial for gaining muscle mass, while creatinine plays a vital role in kidney function.

In this article, we’ll explore what creative and creatinine are and their differences. For you to gain critical knowledge about their unique purposes within the body and information on which one might serve you better. Now, let’s begin.

Creatine vs. Creatinine Differences

Creatine and creatinine are two distinct molecules with different functions in the body. Creatinine forms when creatine is broken down.

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in high concentrations in the skeletal muscle. When you are lifting big weights or exercising at a high intensity, it helps your muscles in producing energy.

Creatine supplementation has increased muscle creatine content, improving exercise performance and muscle mass. [1] However, this study also found that creatine supplementation can increase creatinine levels in the blood, which may concern individuals with kidney disease.

On the other hand, creatinine is a waste product produced by the muscles and excreted by the kidneys. According to a study, serum creatinine levels can indicate renal function. As the kidneys are responsible for clearing creatinine from the bloodstream. [2]

Creatine vs. Creatinine Benefits

1. Creatine vs. Creatinine for Improved Brain Function

Besides its athletic performance benefits, research suggests that creatine supplementation may have neuroprotective effects, potentially reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. [3]

Furthermore, some studies have suggested that creatine supplementation may also benefit mood, depression, and sleep quality. Creatine can enhance depressed mood, which may occur in the setting of major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and other disorders in certain people. Some preliminary studies suggest creatine may be useful as an antidepressant. [4]

In another large-scale investigation, adults throughout the country were shown to have a statistically significant inverse association between dietary creatine and depression. Research is needed to examine the function of creatine in depression, especially among women and throughout their lifespan. [5]

While more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of creatine supplementation beyond athletic performance, these findings suggest that creatine may have wider applications for promoting health and well-being. As always, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

2. Creatine vs. Creatinine for Kidney Indicators

It is well known that creatinine levels are an excellent predictor of cardiovascular disease. A higher level of serum creatinine has been linked to an increased risk of death among those who are hypertensive, those who are old, patients who have had a stroke or a myocardial infarction. Those with cardiovascular disease, are the leading cause of death. [6]

Both normotensive and hypertensive individuals with a blood creatinine concentration above the normal range are at a higher risk of developing a cerebrovascular illness. These results lend credence to the hypothesis that mild renal impairment is a risk factor for stroke and point to processes in the pathophysiology of stroke that need additional study. [6]

On the other hand, excessive creatine intake can increase creatinine levels, which may negatively impact kidney function in individuals with pre-existing kidney disease. [2] However, this risk appears low in healthy individuals who consume creatine within recommended dosages.

3. Creatine vs. Creatinine Antioxidant Properties

Recent studies have also suggested that both creatine and creatinine have antioxidant properties that may protect against various diseases. For example, a study found that creatine supplementation can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the heart, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease.

Oxidative stress may contribute in the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases. Many therapies have been developed to reduce oxidative stress, which is crucial in the onset of many forms of heart illness. While some studies have suggested that treating cardiac disease with antioxidants and exercise may improve outcomes, results from human clinical trials are mixed.

Exercising and taking creatine monohydrate reduced overall levels of inflammatory markers in the blood. Creatine monohydrate may improve mitochondrial function and may be useful in treating cardiovascular disease. [7]

4. Creatine vs. Creatinine for Muscle Growth and Boosting Athletic Performance

When used regularly, creatine may help you build muscle quickly and over the long term. Several people benefit from it, from the sedentary to the elderly to professional athletes. [8]

Creatine is by far the best supplement for building muscle. Recent research found that using creatine in weight training significantly increased both leg strength and muscle hypertrophy. [9]

Evidence shows that creatine may boost strength, power, and performance in high-intensity workouts and promote muscle development. Also, it aids in preserving strength and training performance while enhancing muscle mass after prolonged or excessive exercise. [10]

The increased ATP production in your body is the primary source of these changes. For most people, ATP depletion occurs within 10 seconds of vigorous exercise. Creatine supplements, however, enable you to generate more ATP, allowing you to keep at peak performance for a little longer. [11]

Creatine vs. Creatinine: Which is Better?

Creatine and creatinine serve different bodily functions and cannot be compared to which is better. Nothing is better than the other. While creatine can benefit athletic performance and muscle growth, creatinine is an important indicator of kidney function and overall health.

Creatine vs. Creatinine Side Effects

Creatine and creatinine have different side effect profiles, as they serve different functions in the body. Creatine is safe when used within recommended doses, but high doses may cause gastrointestinal distress, muscle cramping, and dehydration.

In contrast, elevated creatinine levels in the blood may indicate kidney dysfunction and lead to symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, and edema. However, creatinine is not known to have any direct side effects within normal levels.

Hence, it is important to use creatine within recommended dosages and to monitor creatinine levels to indicate renal function to prevent any adverse reactions.

Creatine vs. Creatinine Risks

When taken properly, creatine is considered safe for most individuals. Creatine supplementation has been linked to several negative side effects, including diarrhea, cramping muscles, and dehydration.

Taking high amounts of creatine supplements may potentially cause liver and renal damage, especially for those with liver or kidney problems.

Yet, high creatinine levels are also related to muscular diseases, including muscle degeneration, which may lead to further difficulties like kidney injury.

Although while creatine is considered safe for most people, it is still necessary to take them properly and under the supervision of a healthcare expert, especially if you have any preexisting health concerns or are using any other prescriptions.

Bottomline: Creatine vs. Creatinine and Their Differences

Creatine and creatinine are two different substances with distinct roles in the body. Creatine is involved in energy metabolism in muscle cells. As a result, it can benefit athletic performance, while creatinine is a waste product of creatine metabolism and indicates kidney function.

Creatine supplementation is safe and effective within recommended doses. High creatinine levels in the blood may indicate kidney dysfunction and lead to negative health outcomes. Therefore, it is important to use creatine responsibly and to monitor creatinine levels to ensure optimal health and performance.

To avoid potential side effects, you should always follow recommended dosages when using creatine supplements. As with anything related to your health, you must consult your doctor before changing your diet or lifestyle.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

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  • Gounden V, Bhatt H, Jialal I. Renal Function Tests. [Updated 2022 Jul 18]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507821/.
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  • Bakian, A.V., Huber, R.S., Scholl, L. et al. Dietary creatine intake and depression risk among U.S. adults. Transl Psychiatry 10, 52 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-0741-x
  • Taegtmeyer H, Ingwall JS. Creatine–a dispensable metabolite? Circ Res. 2013 Mar 15;112(6):878-80. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.113.300974. PMID: 23493302; PMCID: PMC3646410.
  • Wannamethee SG, Shaper AG, Perry IJ. Serum creatinine concentration and risk of cardiovascular disease: a possible marker for increased risk of stroke. Stroke. 1997 Mar;28(3):557-63. doi: 10.1161/01.str.28.3.557. PMID: 9056611.
  • Valaei K, Taherkhani S, Arazi H, Suzuki K. Cardiac Oxidative Stress and the Therapeutic Approaches to the Intake of Antioxidant Supplements and Physical Activity. Nutrients. 2021 Sep 30;13(10):3483. doi: 10.3390/nu13103483. PMID: 34684484; PMCID: PMC8540093.
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  • Brose A, Parise G, Tarnopolsky MA. Creatine supplementation enhances isometric strength and body composition improvements following strength exercise training in older adults. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2003 Jan;58(1):11-9. doi: 10.1093/gerona/58.1.b11. PMID: 12560406.
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  • Shaira Urbano, Licensed Pharmacist

    Shaira is a licensed pharmacist (Bachelor of Pharmacy) and an experienced content writer. She enjoys inspiring and informing her readers through research-backed, comprehensive health content. Shaira draws from her personal experience working with real-life patients in a hospital setting and is currently pursuing her passion in writing.


Shaira is a licensed pharmacist (Bachelor of Pharmacy) and an experienced content writer. She enjoys inspiring and informing her readers through research-backed, comprehensive health content. Shaira draws from her personal experience working with real-life patients in a hospital setting and is currently pursuing her passion in writing.