Can Creatine Increase Testosterone?

I’ve been covering sports nutrition for years, and I’ve been an active consumer of sports supplements going back even longer. In fact, I’m old enough to remember the Creatine boom of the late 1990s. During that time, some people talked about it in hushed tones, like it was a steroid. Other people talked about it sprinkling it on their corn flakes.

Fast forward almost thirty years, and it’s safe to say the science is in. Now we all know creatine is safe, effective, and widely available. But what exactly is it doing? And more to the point, is it actually boosting our testosterone?

Key Takeaways

  • There is some evidence that Creatine use is associated with testosterone increases in athletes, post-exercise.
  • These results aren’t fully clear, as exercise in and of itself can increase testosterone.
  • Strong results have shown that Creatine, though, can improve exercise performance, which may help with further testosterone increases.
  • None of the mechanisms for Creatine action or metabolism indicate a direct relationship with testosterone.

Where Creatine Has Increased Testosterone

In a study of amateur swimmers, researchers found a substantial increase in testosterone after workouts and after taking Creatine. Researchers also found that there was no change to cortisol, a hormone that’s known to wreak havoc on healthy testosterone levels.

Another study of active men found that testosterone increased in men after performing intense leg workouts. It should be noted, though, that there were no increases after bench press. Interestingly, a study of rugby players didn’t find any testosterone increases, either. All of the studies found that exercise was the key to the testosterone increases: Creatine itself didn’t boost the hormone.

This plays right into a popular theory that Creatine doesn’t directly increase testosterone, but it does help with exercise–and the more exercise, the better testosterone levels. In each of the successful studies, the larger the muscle groups (legs versus pecs, rugby versus whole-body swimmers), the better the testosterone results. 

How Does Exercise Increase Testosterone?

Study after study has shown the health benefits of exercise. It can lower blood pressure, reduce body fat, and improve mood. A lot of these benefits are part of what scientists call a positive feedback loop.

The Feedback Loop of Exercise

It can seem really simple, but like a lot of simple things, increasing testosterone through exercise can be one of the hardest things to do. The basic concept is that as we exercise more, our body sends thousands of messages, from releasing “good” hormones like testosterone, to cutting back on “bad” hormones, like cortisol. When this happens, it makes it easier for us to keep exercising. Anyone who’s lost weight knows it gets easier to go for a run after a few months of good weight loss. 

How to Help the Cycle

There are a number of ways to help this cycle move forward. In fact, you can probably tink of a few things without really trying. But in case you want a cheat sheet, here’s a few tips.

Staying Active

It sounds a little pedestrian, no pun intended, but try a few of these ideas to get yourself moving throughout the day.

  • Take a five or ten minute walk during your lunch hour. Increase the speed and intensity throughout the week, going easy on Monday, and trying a bit of a speed walk by Friday.
  • Every hour or so, stand up from your desk or couch, and do some basic stretches. Stretches release pent up toxins in your muscles, and make way for oxygen and hormone rich blood.
  • First thing in the morning, do a few push ups, squats or lunges, and jumping jacks. You don’t have to make a full workout of it, just get the blood flowing. 
  • Find Alternatives for Cravings

    We all get cravings–and they’re natural! But as we increase our activity, we’ll have an increased appetite. If our cortisol’s coming down, we’ll want less sugar and salt–but our habits may thwart that.

  • Take all your sugar snacks, and give them away. Trust me. It helps to just get rid of them.
  • Buy lots of fruit! Fruits and nuts have all the sugar and fat you need, but they’re bound up in fiber and vegetable cellulose, which literally makes your body work harder to get them out.
  • Now the Cycle is Jumpstarted…

    Now that you’re active and laying off of the bad foods, just keep monitoring your body. As you lose weight, increase your exercise load. By constantly moving the goal-posts on your muscles, they’ll start demanding more testosterone from your body. But if we stay plateaued, and don’t up our game, our muscles won’t up their game, either.

    How Does Creatine Actually Work?

    Okay, you’re thinking, so I want to increase my testosterone, I’ll give it a try through exercise. Where does Creatine come in, exactly? Well, the exact mechanisms of Creatine are still not totally clear. A lot of websites can say this or that–but we’re here to deal in truth and science.

    The best theories, published in the last year, indicate that Creatine helps individual muscle fibers to not only trigger faster–through a process called the ATP cycle–and can even increase and stimulate muscle growth.

    These powerful indicators are propped up by a number of studies. In fact, every time the science is updated, we find that there is more and more evidence that Creatine supplementation can increase not only physical performance in the weight room, but even endurance activity, and high intensity workouts now in vogue (HIIT, for instance). 

    Creatine–Now You Know

    Like I mentioned at the top, there’s no direct link between testosterone and Creatine. It doesn’t tell the body to increase testosterone production, or help keep free testosterone from getting converted to other hormones.

    But we have seen that Creatine is a proven, effective, and safe supplement for increasing exercise outcomes and performance. And these things do directly increase testosterone. There are things we can do to help our bodies out, and well we should. Healthy exercise can improve our hormonal balance, and that can have far reaching effects into the rest of our lives.


    How Safe is Creatine?

    According to every literature and study source we can find, Creatine is safe for nearly every adult. Some scientists recommend adolescents and young adults should consult a sports nutritionist, and pregnant women should stay away. If you have any questions, consult your physician.

    Can Women Take Creatine?

    Absolutely! It isn’t clear what the interactions of Creatine are with other hormones, but current studies indicate that Creatine is as safe for women as for men.

    Are There Supplements that Help Creatine?

    Definitely, yes. There is something called the pancreatic insulin response, and how it breaks down is that taking Creatine with protein or carbohydrates can greatly increase its benefits. Other studies have shown that caffeine and Creatine can increase the speed that this supplement is taken to the target muscles.

    What is Creatine “Loading”?

    People taking Creatine preach about the effectiveness of “loading.” This basically means taking larger doses in the first week or so, and then reducing that dose during “maintenance” phases. I’ve also encountered this with certain herbal supplements such as Turmeric. The principle is sound. Loading helps build up a deposit in our muscles that triggers better results.

    People Also Read...

    Recent Articles

    About the Author

    Sam is a passionate health and fitness enthusiast who has been interested in supplements, fitness, and wellness for over 10 years. He is the founder of Great Green Wall - the health and wellness brand and has completed multiple fitness certificates, including personal training and nutrition certifications. Sam has been working as a personal trainer for the past three years and is dedicated to helping his clients achieve their fitness goals and lead healthier lifestyles. He believes that a healthy lifestyle is crucial to a happy and fulfilling life and is committed to sharing his knowledge and passion with others.

    {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}