Considering Taking Creatine as a Vegan? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

On This Page

    Creatine is an effective and popular athletic supplement. But is it vegan-friendly? Read on to learn more.

    Why vegans should take creatine

    Creatine is a hugely popular athletic supplement – and for good reason. It’s essentially a source of energy for your cells. It gets stored in your skeletal muscles as phosphocreatine; the phosphocreatine is broken down during exercise and provides energy for muscle contractions. Increasing the creatine stores in your muscles also helps you replenish your adenosine triphosphate (ATP) cells during and after workout. ATP is a crucially important molecule responsible for carrying energy within cells and driving muscle contractions. Creatine is often used to support athletic performance, prevent injuries, increase strength, and grow muscle mass, as well as to decrease the recovery time between workouts.

    Creatine is a combination of three amino acids – glycine, L-arginine, and L-methionine – and is naturally produced in our liver and kidneys.

    Creatine supplements are especially important for people who eat a vegan diet. That’s because the main food sources of creatine are seafood and red meat, foods unavailable to vegans. Vegans, therefore, tend to have lower muscle creatine stores as a baseline. They’re also more likely to have a vitamin B12 deficiency, which can impair creatine production in the body. That’s why a creatine supplement can be a big help.

    Creatine for vegan athletes

    If you’re vegan – and especially a vegan athlete – you may want to consider such a supplement, since it can help you offset nutritional gaps in your diet and boost your performance. This study showed that creatine supplementation can increase creatine stores in vegetarians and vegans and enhance performance in high-intensity exercise. Another study found that creatine supplementation boosted weight training performance among vegetarian subjects.

    And yes, there are creatine supplements specifically for vegans.

    Is creatine already vegan-friendly? It depends.

    Is creatine plant-based?

    Some may be wondering: Isn’t creatine already vegan? Well, that depends. Some creatine contains bovine tissue. Be sure to check the label. Capsulated products, in particular, contain bovine gelatin.

    Which creatine supplements are vegan-friendly?

    Creatine monohydrate is the most popular form of creatine supplement and is a good option for vegans. Care/of’s creatine powder is single ingredient and vegan. You mix it with protein in water – and water alone.

    Indeed, the vast majority of creatine supplements are vegan-friendly. Still, some aren’t – more on those supplements below.

    Why some creatine isn’t vegan-friendly

    Supplemental creatine is typically made by synthesizing sarcosine and cyanamide. As these don’t contain any animal-based products, most supplemental creatine is vegan. However, when creatine comes in capsule form, it typically contains bovine gelatin. If you’re seeking a vegan-friendly option, you’d be better served by seeking a powder form of creatine monohydrate. To be sure your supplement is plant-based, check your package for a vegan certification or label.

    Are creatine supplements cruelty-free?

    Yes, the vast majority of creatine supplements are vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. Check the your packaging to be sure that your supplement was made without any animal testing.

    Food creatine sources for vegans

    Unfortunately, there are no foods containing creatine that are permissible for vegans to eat. However, vegans can still enjoy some protein-rich foods that are naturally high in arginine, glycine, and methionine, which all support the body’s natural production of creatine. Some of these foods include: legumes, grains, nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds, soy beans, peanuts, spirulina, chickpeas, lentils, watermelon seeds, seaweed).

    Meet Care/of’s creatine

    Care/of’s vegan creatine powder – “The Muscle Maker” – is an easy and effective way to pursue your health and wellness goals. Designed for maximum absorption and scientifically proven to promote athletic performance, our creatine comes in five single-serving packets. You can use it before, during, or after a workout, depending on your particular approach. Our creatine contains creatine monohydrate, consistently considered to be the best and most reliable form of creatine supplement. It’s safe and effective for vegans and non-vegans alike to develop muscles and have more effective workouts. According to a recent study, creatine can also help manage homocysteine levels, promote vascular function, and increase folic acid levels.

    Key Takeaways

    Creatine is produced naturally by the body in our liver and kidneys and is used to provide fuel for our muscles. However, people who eat vegan diets can have lower baseline creatine levels because of the fact that none of the creatine-rich foods available are vegan-friendly. That’s why vegans may stand to gain from adding a creatine supplement to their routine. Fortunately, most creatine supplements are vegan-friendly, including Care/of’s creatine powder. Vegans should watch out for creatine supplements that come in capsule form, since those can contain gelatin, which is made from animal parts.

    You're unique. Your supplements should be too.

    Take the quiz
    Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
    Medical Content Manager
    Dr. Montrond-Correia is a licensed naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). She holds degrees from University of Bridgeport, Georgetown University, and University of Saint Joseph, and supplemented her education with internships in the health and wellness space. She's focused on research, herbal medicine, nutrigenomics, and integrative and functional medicine. She makes time for exercise, artistic activities, and enjoying delicious food.
    Our Editorial Staff
    Freelance Contributor
    The Care/of Editorial Team is made up of writers, experts, and health enthusiasts, all dedicated to giving you the information you need today. Our team is here to answer your biggest wellness questions, read the studies for you, and introduce you to your new favorite product, staying up to date on the latest research, trends, and science. Each article is written by one of our experts, reviewed both for editorial standards by an editor and medical standards by one of our naturopathic doctors, and updated regularly as new information becomes available.