Creatine is one of the most used supplements among bodybuilders, athletes, and sportsmen and that’s for a good reason. Creatine is not only one of the most used supplements, its one of the most overall studied supplement as well and it’s studies include creatine and testosterone and creatine and DHT.
Creatine increases testosterone by a good amount but that’s not what creatine is known for, rather its known for increasing DHT, the most potent androgen. There ain’t a lot of things, if any, that increase DHT to the amount creatine does. Creatine increases testosterone by up to 22% and DHT by up to 56%. Aside from androgens, creatine is a decent IGF-1 booster and a solid strength booster as well, with multiple pieces of evidence proving so.
Creatine and Testosterone Research
There’s plenty of research out there on creatine and testosterone and most of it is consistent and conclusive.
- During sleep deprivation free testosterone is higher in a group taking 100 mg/kg of creatine than in a placebo group (study).
- Creatine increases resting testosterone concentrations (study).
- In this experiment done on overtraining, testosterone and free testosterone were continuously higher in the group taking creatine.
- In swimmers supplementing with creatine consistently increases testosterone and by at least 15% (study).
- Athletes who report using creatine for up to 4 years have a trend of increasing testosterone (study).
Creatine and DHT Research
There’s one experiment conducted in 2009 that contributed to creatine’s blow up on the market. It without a doubt is an eye-catching experiment though I wouldn’t take everything word by word and number by number since its the only experiment there is on creatine and DHT.
This well-known experiment had some rugby players load up with creatine for 7 days (25g a day), then maintain for 14 more days (5g a day), and then they even looked at DHT levels after the 14 days of maintenance.
- After the 7 days of loading with 25g of creatine a day DHT levels shot up 56% while testosterone didn’t change.
- After the 14 days of maintenance DHT levels were still 40% up over baseline while testosterone still had no change.
- The ratio of DHT:T increased by 36% after the 7 days of loading with creatine and remained 22% up over baseline after the 14 days of maintenance.
Creatine and IGF-1 Research
There’s some evidence out there on creatine and IGF-1, however not as much as the evidence on creatine and testosterone.
- Creatine significantly increases the IGF-1 mRNA level (study).
- Another experiment found out that creatine increases the IGF-1 and IGF-2 mRNA levels.
- IGF-1 increases with resistance training, however it increases significantly more with creatine on top of resistance training (study).
Creatine and Strength Research
There’s A LOT of research on creatine and strength, power output, and performance. A lot more than the research on creatine and testosterone.
- Creatine induces a significant increase in athletics performance and reduces oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation (study).
- Creatine improves repeated block jump height capability (study).
- Creatine increases power output in squats and bench press (study).
- Creatine reduces knee stiffness (52%), pain (45%), and physical function (41%) (study).
- Creatine followed by caffeine increases intermittent high-intensity sprint performance (study).
- Study, study, study, study, study, study, study, study, study, study, study, study.
Creatine Dosing Protocols
There are a couple different ways creatine can be used. There’s no guaranteed saying to which way is superior but from the creatine experiment done on rugby players it looks like a loading protocol is effective.
This creatine loading protocol is based on the experiment done on rugby players.
25g of creatine spread out through the day daily for 7 days followed by 5g of creatine for 14 more days and then assumingly a few weeks off creatine completely. Rinse and repeat.
Another loading protocol based on the theory of creatine adding up and eventually reaching peak creatinine levels.
10g of creatine daily spread out into two doses of 5g for 2 weeks followed by a few months of maintaining peak creatinine levels with 5g of creatine a day.
This is the simplest creatine protocol out there. Just 5g of creatine a day for as long as you want – one year, three years, or just a couple months.
This is a protocol based on my own theory. If it sounds logical to you then try it out. The theory is that after a while of maintaining creatinine levels with 5g of creatine a day creatinine levels start to drop and they’re not at peak levels. So the protocol uses a light loading phase done monthly.
First load with creatine for 7 days of 25g of creatine a day in spread out doses. Then after 7 days of loading maintain creatinine levels with 5g of creatine a day, but only for a month. After a month do a light creatine load of 10g of creatine for a week and then continue to maintain. Repeat every month and if coming off creatine completely and starting again start with the 7 day heavy loading phase.
- Day 1-7 25g of creatine a day
- Day 7-37 (one month) 5g of creatine a day
- After the one month 7 days of 10g of creatine a day
- After the light loading phase 5g of creatine a day for another month
- Rinse and repeat starting from #3
As you can see creatine is no joke. Creatine and testosterone, creatine and DHT, creatine and IGF-1, and creatine and strength ALL neatly go hand in hand. Pick yourself up the purest, cheapest, and yet most effective form of creatine – creatine monohydrate.
Credit due – Examine.