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Summary sheet: Creatine
Chemical Nomenclature
Common names Creatine, N-Carbamimidoyl-N-methylglycine, Methylguanidoacetic acid
Systematic name 2-[Carbamimidoyl(methyl)amino]acetic acid
Class Membership
Psychoactive class Nootropic
Chemical class nitrogenous organic acid
Routes of Administration

WARNING: Always start with lower doses due to differences between individual body weight, tolerance, metabolism, and personal sensitivity. See responsible use section.

Threshold Common Heavy
0.25 - 1 - 5 - 10 - 20 g
Light Strong
Threshold 0.25 - 1 g
Light 1 - 5 g
Common 5 - 10 g
Strong 10 - 20 g
Heavy 20 g +
Total 30 - 36 hours
Onset 30 - 90 minutes

DISCLAIMER: PW's dosage information is gathered from users and resources for educational purposes only. It is not a recommendation and should be verified with other sources for accuracy.

Creatine (and its derivatives hydrochloride, malate, nitrate, et al.) is a nitrogenous organic acid with nootropic effects that occurs naturally within the body of vertebrates and in some foods such as meat, eggs, and fish. It was identified in 1832 when Michel Eugène Chevreul isolated it from the basified water-extract of skeletal muscle. He later named the crystallized precipitate after the Greek word for meat, κρέας (kreas). Early analysis showed that human blood is approximately 1% creatine.

Creatine helps to supply energy to all cells in the body, primarily muscle. When taken as a supplement within humans, this compound has cognitive enhancing, neuroprotective, cardioprotective and performance enhancing effects which are particularly present during strenuous physical exercise. It is often used by athletes and bodybuilders to increase both power output and lean mass.


Creatine is a nitrogenous amino acid produced endogenously and synthesized for consumption. Creatine is structurally comprised of an acetic acid group, a two carbon chain with both a ketone and hydroxyl group bonded to one of the carbons. This acetic acid group is connected at R2 to a methyl substituted amine group, which in turn is also bound to a carbon atom substituted with one double bonded nitrogen and one single-bonded nitrogen constituent. Synthetic creatine is usually made from sarcosine (or its salts) and cyanamide which are combined in a reactor with catalyst compounds. The reactor is heated and pressurized, causing creatine crystals to form. The crystalline creatine is then purified by centrifuge and vacuum dried. The dried creatine compound is milled into a fine powder for improved bioavailability. Milling techniques differ, resulting in final products of varying solubility and bioavailability. For instance, creatine compounds milled to 200 mesh are referred to as micronized.[1]


Creatine is an endogenous molecule that stores high-energy phosphate groups in the form of phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate). During periods of stress or strenuous exercise, phosphocreatine releases energy to aid cellular function. This is what causes strength increases after creatine supplementation, but this action can also aid the brain, bones, muscles, and liver. Most of the benefits of creatine are provided through this mechanism.[2]

Subjective effects

The effects listed below are based upon the subjective effects index and personal experiences of PsychonautWiki contributors. The listed effects should be taken with a grain of salt and will rarely (if ever) occur all at once, but heavier doses will increase the chances and are more likely to induce a full range of effects. Likewise, adverse effects become much more likely on higher doses and may include serious injury or death.

In comparison to the effects of other nootropics such as noopept, this compound can be described as conferring both physical stimulation and cognitive stimulation.

Physical effects

Toxicity and harm potential

There are no clinically significant side-effects of creatine supplementation acutely. Numerous trials have been conducted in humans with varying dosages, and the side-effects have been limited to gastrointestinal distress (from too much creatine consumption at once) and cramping (from insufficient hydration).

Studies that use a dosage range typical of creatine supplementation (in the range of 5g a day following an acute loading period) note increases to total body water of 6.2% (3.74lbs) over nine weeks, 1.1kg over 42 days,[3]. This effect may be responsible for creatine's capability to increase perceived body weight.

Regardless, it is strongly recommended that one is familiar with harm reduction practices when using creatine.

Tolerance and addiction potential

Creatine is not habit-forming with a low potential for abuse. It does not seem to be capable of causing psychological or physiological dependence among users.

Tolerance to the effects of creatine are not built after ingestion as with most other psychoactive substances. There are many anecdotal reports of people ingesting this substance for prolonged periods of time with no tolerance build up.

Legal issues


This legality section is a stub.

As such, it may contain incomplete or wrong information. You can help by expanding it.

Creatine is freely available to possess and distribute and is approved in most countries as a dietary supplement.


See also

External links


  1. Hezave, A. Z., Aftab, S., & Esmaeilzadeh, F. (2010). Micronization of creatine monohydrate via Rapid Expansion of Supercritical Solution (RESS). Journal of Supercritical Fluids, 55(1), 316–324.
  2. Sahlin, K., & Harris, R. C. (2011). The creatine kinase reaction: a simple reaction with functional complexity. Amino Acids, 40(5), 1363–1367.
  3. Francaux, M., & Poortmans, J. R. (1999). Effects of training and creatine supplement on muscle strength and body mass. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, 80(2), 165–8.