Creatine is an organic compound found naturally in our bodies, often used by bodybuilders to improve physical performance. This substance is present in various foods such as meat, fish and milk, but is not found in plant-based ingredients. This is why it is so important for vegan fitness enthusiasts to add this supplement (alongside vegan protein powder) to their diet. But is creatine vegan-friendly?
What is creatine?
Creatine is an organic Non-protein present in our body. About half of it is produced by our liver and kidneys from certain amino acids, while the other half comes from the food we eat.
Creatine supports our muscles in producing energy during high-intensity exercise.
It helps us lift more weight and increase our endurance, the key to long-term muscle growth. Creatine supplements come in three main forms: monohydrate, micronized, and alkaline. The former is slowly absorbed by our body and tends to be cheaper. This supplement is made outside of our body from sarcosine and cyanamide.
Micronized creatine is creatine that has been reduced in size to make it easier for us to absorb. Similar to creatine monohydrate, this supplement is manufactured in a laboratory. Finally, alkaline creatine has a high ph, can be easily absorbed and is stable for long periods in liquid solution.
What are the concerns about creatine and veganism?
Half of the creatine in our body comes from what we eat. Unfortunately, however, a plant-based diet does not include foods containing creatine. But do not despair! In fact, supplementing with this substance is not essential for vegetarians, and people who choose to add this compound to their diet are mainly athletes who want to maintain optimal physical performance.
But are creatine supplements vegan-friendly? Simply put, in most cases the answer is yes.
actually, Although most creatine comes from animal products, the ones used for supplements are made in laboratories. This compound can easily be made by synthesizing sarcosine and cyanamide, a process that does not involve animals or animal-derived products. But there is one thing. Some forms of creatine are sold in capsules that are sometimes made from bovine gelatin and tissue. In this case, creatine, obviously, should not be used by vegetarians.
Is Creatine Vegan-Friendly?
As we mentioned earlier, most creatine supplements are vegetarian-friendly. however, Some capsules may be made from bovine productsSo be sure to avoid them and opt for a creatine powder instead.
But vegans don’t necessarily need supplements to boost their creatine levels. If you paid attention to what we mentioned earlier, you probably remember that half of the creatine in our body is produced by our kidneys and liver. Actually, this compound Whenever we supply our system with the three amino acids glycine, arginine and methionine our bodies can easily synthesize.
They are present in several foods, viz Seeds, nuts, and beansAs well as several others Vegetables and fruits including greens, asparagus, kiwi and bananas. Despite this, supplements will help a lot if you want to provide your body with optimal levels of creatine
Benefits of vegetarian creatine sources
Because creatine is found in red meat and fish, vegans and vegetarians are deficient in this compound. That’s why supplementing with this substance, if you’re on a plant-based diet, can be so beneficial. Creatine gives us more energy during workouts, as well as improves our endurance and muscle mass. This compound is also Beneficial for cell signaling, helping our muscles repair faster.
Choosing a vegan-sourced supplement, rather than choosing a capsule supplement made from foods like meat and fish or bovine-derived products, will benefit not only our bodies, but the environment as well. A 2018 Greenpeace report found that if we want to keep on track with the Paris Agreement, we need to cut the world’s meat and dairy production in half, an international agreement aimed at combating climate change. Similarly, an article published by the Guardian points out how almost 60% of all greenhouse gases from food production come from meat. This is why it is so fundamental for all of us to do our best to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle.
How to Choose a Vegan-Friendly Creatine Supplement
Nowadays, there are different types of creatine in the market. From creatine monohydrate to ethyl ester, anhydrous, citrate and phosphate, the choices are endless. So, what should you consider when buying this supplement?
As a rule of thumb, while some brands may claim that their products have other incredible benefits, the truth is that, in most cases, more research is still needed. Creatine monohydrate is currently the most popular form of creatine on the market due to its many health benefits and low cost. So, if in doubt, opt for this one. Here are a few additional things to keep in mind when purchasing creatine.
- Form: Creatine comes in different forms, such as powder, capsule, tablet and liquid. Capsules often use animal-derived products such as gelatin, so be sure to avoid them. Studies also show that liquid creatine is unstable and breaks down in our blood, so it’s not the best choice.
- Price: Some creatine supplements cost more because brands add nutrients like sodium, magnesium, and other electrolytes to their products. In fact, these substances can be good for your exercise performance; They do not enhance the effects of creatine. So you don’t have to pay extra money.
- Quality: A good way to check that you have purchased high-quality creatine is to check that it is well dissolved. If you get residue at the bottom of your glass after drinking, you may want to try finding a different brand.
Some of the best vegan creatine supplements on the market today
Kion Creatine: This creatine brand uses the purest creatine monohydrate available with a 95% absorption rate.
Whether you want to increase your physical performance or simply maintain optimal health, creatine is sure to be a great ally. If you decide to add this supplement to your diet, make sure to choose a powdered supplement because the capsules use animal-derived products.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is creatine and where does it come from?
Creatine is a natural compound found in a variety of foods such as meat, fish and milk and can be synthesized by our liver and kidneys.
Is creatine usually derived from animal sources?
Creatine is found in a variety of animal products, however, creatine supplements are manufactured in a laboratory.
Can Vegans Take Creatine Supplements?
Yes! But be sure to avoid capsules that may be made from bovine-derived products.
Are there any vegetarian sources of creatine?
Unfortunately not. However, our body can synthesize this substance from three amino acids, glycine, arginine and methionine, which are present in various vegetables, nuts and beans.
What are the benefits of taking creatine as a vegetarian athlete?
Creatine can boost your energy levels, helping you improve your endurance, overall strength, as well as muscle recovery time.
How can I make sure the creatine I’m taking is vegan?
Powdered creatine supplements are mostly vegetarian. However, be sure to check the ingredients on the label when in doubt.
Are there any side effects of taking creatine supplements as a vegetarian?
Creatine has some Minor side effects such as abdominal pain, as well as muscle cramps, strain and tension. However, they tend to be extremely rare, so you shouldn’t worry too much about them.