Will Creatine Help Running

As an avid runner, I’ve always been curious about the potential benefits of creatine supplementation for my running performance. Creatine is a naturally occurring compound that plays a key role in the production of energy during high-intensity, short-duration activities, making it a popular supplement among athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts. But will creatine really help improve my running performance?

What is Creatine?

Creatine is a combination of three amino acids: arginine, glycine, and methionine, which are naturally produced in the body and can also be found in certain foods like red meat and fish. It is stored in the muscles and used as a quick source of energy during short bursts of intense activity, such as sprinting and weightlifting. Creatine supplementation aims to increase the body’s stores of creatine phosphate, which can enhance the body’s ability to produce energy during high-intensity exercise.

Creatine and Running Performance

When it comes to running, the primary energy system utilized is aerobic metabolism, which relies on oxygen to produce energy for endurance activities. While creatine may not directly impact aerobic endurance, it could still benefit runners in several ways. First, creatine supplementation has been shown to increase muscle creatine stores, potentially leading to improved muscle recovery and enhanced sprint performance during interval training. This could benefit runners who incorporate speed work and sprint intervals into their training regimen.

Moreover, creatine may also help with overall strength and power, which can contribute to better running economy and speed. Stronger leg muscles can generate more propulsive force with each stride, leading to improved running mechanics and potentially faster race times. Additionally, the potential increase in muscle mass resulting from creatine supplementation could provide added support and stability, which can be beneficial during long-distance runs.

Potential Side Effects and Considerations

While creatine supplementation can offer potential performance benefits, it’s important to note that individual responses to creatine can vary. Some people may experience gastrointestinal discomfort or water retention, although these side effects are generally rare and can often be mitigated by staying well-hydrated. It’s also essential to use creatine as directed and avoid exceeding recommended dosages to minimize the risk of adverse effects.

My Personal Experience

Having personally experimented with creatine supplementation during my training, I noticed an improvement in my sprint performance and felt that my legs were able to generate more power during speed workouts. However, I also made sure to prioritize hydration to prevent any potential issues with water retention. While I didn’t see a significant impact on my long-distance running performance, I believe that the additional strength and power gains contributed to overall improvements in my running economy and form.


In conclusion, while creatine may not directly enhance aerobic endurance, it can still offer potential benefits for runners, particularly in terms of sprint performance, muscle recovery, and overall strength and power. However, as with any supplement, it’s important to approach creatine use thoughtfully and consider individual responses and potential side effects. As always, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or sports nutritionist before incorporating any new supplement into your training regimen.