Sunday, January 27, 2008

How do you get your Creatine?

When I first started this blog, I was answering lots of odd questions I got from people about being vegan. I haven't had a new one in quite a long time. Well, last night I was at a party and was asked "how I get my creatine since it is only found in fish and meat"? Since I'd never been asked that before and didn't remember reading about it in my vegan nutrition bible, I was stumped.

After pulling out my copy of "Becoming Vegan" by Vesanto Melina I had my answer. I also did a little googling and then replied to the person from last night. Here is the answer in case any of you out there are curious:

Creatine is biosynthesized in the human body from the parts from three different amino acids - arginine, glycine, and methionine. The human body generates enough to meet its needs.

There is actually a lot of controversy surrounding the topic. Body Builders take it because it helps to bulk up muscle, but some studies suggest that it is merely making the muscles retain water which will be lost as soon as the person stops taking the creatine (not actually creating or building more muscle). Vegans tend to have less muscle mass, but not less muscle strength. In addition, creatine supplements have been linked to hypertension, kidney disease, liver disease, muscle cramps, and dehydration. The long term effects are generally not known and the studies showing it to be useful are also pretty suspect.

So, you are better off without it. Your body can take care of building muscles just fine without a supplement.


  1. I've never gotten that question, either... I've actually never even thought about it, even with all the reading I've done on veganism & health/nutrition! I sort of hope I get asked now, so I can show off with this answer. :)

    Also, I won't make a separate comment on the below blog, but good job posting the NYT article on meat consumption!! I read that last night & was so impressed, especially since the author wasn't vegetarian. I always think that gives a veg issue a little more "credence" to the public at large. :)

    I like your blog!!

  2. Thanks for the comment - I haven't gotten too many of those lately. And, I haven't blogged much lately (those 2 things are probably related in some way). Maybe your encouragement will help me get those last few dinner pics of the camera and into blog entries.