Creatine in daily use by Seniors

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creatine for seniors

Creatine supplementation has been extensively researched and proven to be a safe and effective way for men over 50 to maintain and even increase muscle mass, strength, and overall physical performance. Additionally, it offers potential cognitive benefits and may help mitigate age-related health conditions.

Creatine is generally considered safe for most people to take orally, including older adults. Studies have shown that taking up to 20 grams of creatine per day for 10 months to 5 years has no harmful health effects. 

Muscle Mass and Strength

As men age, they naturally experience a decline in muscle mass and strength, a condition known as sarcopenia. This can lead to decreased mobility, increased risk of falls and fractures, and a lower overall quality of life. Numerous studies have shown that creatine supplementation, when combined with resistance training, can significantly improve muscle mass and strength in older adults.The primary ways creatine affects muscle mass and strength in men over 50 are:

  1. Increasing muscle protein synthesis: Creatine supplementation has been shown to increase the water content in muscle cells, activating cellular signaling pathways associated with muscle protein synthesis.
  2. Boosting anabolic hormones: Creatine can increase levels of testosterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which are crucial for muscle growth and repair.
  3. Improving muscle recovery: Creatine increases phosphocreatine levels in muscles, providing a source of energy during high-intensity exercise and aiding in recovery.

A meta-analysis by Forbes et al. found that both high (5g/day or 0.1g/kg/day) and low (1g/day) doses of creatine, with or without a loading phase, can improve lean muscle mass in older adults. However, higher doses with a loading phase (20g/day for 5-7 days) were required for significant increases in upper and lower body strength.

Cognitive Function and Memory

In addition to its physical benefits, creatine supplementation has been shown to enhance cognitive function and memory in older adults. A meta-analysis by Avgerinos et al. found that creatine supplementation improved memory in adults aged 66-76, regardless of dose, sex, or geographical origin.The proposed mechanism behind this cognitive enhancement is that creatine provides energy to brain cells, improving communication and protecting against oxidative stress, which can lead to memory issues and cognitive impairment.

Age-Related Health Conditions

Creatine supplementation may also offer protection against various age-related health conditions, such as osteoporosis, low testosterone, fatigue, and depression.


Several studies have suggested that creatine, combined with resistance exercise, can increase bone density and potentially reduce the risk of osteoporosis in older adults.

Low Testosterone

A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that combining creatine supplementation with strength training led to significantly higher testosterone levels in older men compared to strength training alone. Higher testosterone levels can help combat age-related declines in muscle mass, libido, and overall well-being.

Fatigue and Depression

Creatine has been shown to reduce both physical and mental fatigue, as well as improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression in older adults. This may be due to its ability to provide energy to brain cells and reduce oxidative stress.

Safety and Dosing

Numerous studies have confirmed the safety of creatine supplementation for most populations, including older adults, at doses up to 30g/day. However, individuals with kidney disease should consult with a healthcare professional before supplementing with creatine.The recommended dosing protocol for older adults is similar to that for younger populations:

  • Loading phase: 20g/day for 5-7 days, divided into smaller doses throughout the day.
  • Maintenance phase: 3-5g/day, which can be taken all at once or divided into smaller doses.

It’s important to note that creatine should be taken consistently to maintain elevated muscle creatine levels and maximize its benefits.

Is it safe for people with Hypertension?

Yes, creatine supplementation is generally considered safe for people with high blood pressure, but there are some important caveats:Several studies have found no significant effect of creatine supplementation on blood pressure levels in healthy individuals. However, the research on its effects specifically in those with hypertension (high blood pressure) is limited and inconsistent.Some experts theorize that creatine may cause temporary increases in blood pressure by promoting water retention in muscle cells, increasing blood volume. However, most studies suggest any elevations in blood pressure from creatine fall within a normal range.Individual responses can vary based on factors like age, underlying health conditions, dosage, and duration of supplementation. Those with uncontrolled or severe hypertension may be at higher risk for adverse effects.To mitigate potential risks, it is recommended that individuals with high blood pressure:

  • Consult their doctor before starting creatine, especially if taking blood pressure medications as creatine may interact with some drugs.
  • Start with lower doses during a maintenance phase rather than a loading phase.
  • Stay well-hydrated to offset potential fluid retention.
  • Monitor blood pressure regularly while supplementing with creatine.

Overall, while creatine is likely safe for most people with high blood pressure when used prudently, medical supervision is advisable, especially for those with complicating health factors. Proper dosing, hydration, and monitoring can help minimize risks.

Is it safe for people with Kidney disease?

Based on the search results provided, creatine supplementation may potentially affect kidney function and interact with certain blood pressure medications, especially in individuals with pre-existing kidney disease or hypertension. Here are the key points:Kidney Function:

  • Creatine supplements can increase the body’s production of creatinine, a waste product that needs to be filtered out by the kidneys. High levels of creatinine over a prolonged period may strain the kidneys, particularly in those with existing kidney issues or inadequate hydration.
  • Some doctors believe creatine may cause kidney damage in certain individuals, though more research is needed to confirm this.

Interactions with Hypertension Medications:

  • Creatine may interact with diuretics (water pills) and increase the risk of dehydration and kidney damage. Proper hydration is crucial when taking creatine along with diuretics.
  • Taking creatine with cimetidine (Tagamet) may increase the risk of kidney damage.
  • Creatine use along with any medication that affects the kidneys, such as certain blood pressure drugs, may raise the risk of kidney issues.
  • One study found that a >30% increase in serum creatinine levels after starting blood pressure medication was associated with a higher risk of adverse outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes, regardless of the intensity of blood pressure treatment. However, the study did not specifically examine creatine use.


  • Individuals with hypertension or kidney disease should consult their doctor before taking creatine supplements, as they may be at higher risk for adverse effects.
  • Regular monitoring of kidney function and blood pressure is recommended for those taking creatine, especially if also taking blood pressure medications.
  • Proper hydration and following dosage guidelines are important to minimize potential risks.

While creatine is generally considered safe for most people, caution is advised for those with hypertension or kidney issues due to potential interactions and added strain on the kidneys. Medical supervision is recommended to ensure safe supplementation.

For men over 50, creatine supplementation offers a safe and effective way to combat age-related muscle loss, maintain strength and physical performance, and potentially improve cognitive function and overall well-being. When combined with resistance training, creatine can help older adults preserve their independence, reduce the risk of falls and fractures, and enjoy a higher quality of life as they age.While more research is still needed to fully understand the long-term effects of creatine supplementation in older adults, the current body of evidence strongly supports its use as a valuable tool in the fight against sarcopenia and age-related declines in physical and cognitive function.

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