Can you take creatine while intermittent fasting

Can You Take Creatine while Intermittent Fasting?

Andrew Brewer - Intermittent Fasting Expert

Written by Andrew Brewer. Updated on January 2023.

Medically reviewed and fact checked by our team.

Can you take creatine while intermittent fasting

Creatine is a popular supplement preferred by the fitness community because it helps the body produce energy during workouts – and who doesn’t like more energy to push through their workouts? Creatine supplements mimic your body’s natural creatine, which is found in your muscle cells. Bodybuilders and athletes often take it to help with strength training and endurance workouts; however, if you’re intermittent fasting, you may wonder if it’s safe to take it without breaking your fast. The short answer is maybe. It’s hard to know for certain.

More research is needed to determine if taking creatine impacts your body’s insulin levels. Initial studies suggest that it may not break your fast, while others suggest that it can vary from person to person. Here’s all you need to know about creatine and intermittent fasting, starting with just what this powerhouse substance is and why it may be safe to take as you fast if you’re willing to take your chances.

What is Creatine?

Creatine is a great energy source because it’s what powers you through very intense, fast-paced exercises. Think of it like the spark that gets your system going, motivating you to push through the initial discomfort. Those first few moments are critical. You know how good you’ll feel on the other side but you need that extra little boost to get there. That’s what creatine does.

Often, you’ll get creatine from food – meats like beef, pork, and some fish, as well as milk and cranberries. If you’re really serious about it, you can take a creatine supplement as a pre-workout to jumpstart your system or as a post-workout to help your muscles recover. Bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts get the best results when taking this supplement. Just keep in mind that increased creatine use can lead to weight gain, especially because your body will start retaining more water. If you’re gaining weight when taking creatine, it’s likely you’re breaking your fast, right? Well, not exactly. 

Does Creatine Break Your Fast?

Creatine is calorie-free, so technically it will not break your fast. Read the nutrition label carefully to make sure there’s no added sugar or protein that would force a metabolic reaction in your body. If not, then you may be in the clear. It’s hard to tell for certain because not a lot of studies have been done on the effect of creatine and insulin production.

One small study done on rats suggested that it did have an impact on your body’s insulin levels, causing a slight elevation. Any impact on your glucose levels technically breaks your fast, even if you’re not consuming calories. In this case, taking creatine supplements does break the fast, and while this test was done on rats, many times it’s done as a precursor to human testing with similar results.

However, that’s not always the case. Another small study done on humans suggested that creatine did not increase fasting insulin levels. No impact was seen on men who took creatine while doing aerobic training. Yet another study on humans suggests that the effects of creatine on your insulin levels vary from person to person. 

With so much unknown about how creatine impacts your insulin level, it’s hard to say for certain that it does or does not break your fast. Because of this, it’s best to avoid taking during your fasting windows. While it does not contain calories, sugar, or protein, it can prompt a metabolic response, particularly raising your body’s insulin and glucose levels. This reaction breaks your fast, even if you’re not eating anything. 

If you plan on taking creatine, do so in your eating windows to be safe.

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer started Fastingapps.com to give people the guidance that he never received when he was first starting. His goal is to make your goals achievable and to offer you only the best fasting apps that the internet has to offer. You're not on your own - Andrew and the entire family of reviewers at Fastingapps.com are here with you every step of the way!