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Athlete scooping Blonyx HMB+ Creatine out of the tub

Why Endurance Athletes Should Take Creatine (And Not Be Afraid of It)

Creatine is often associated with bodybuilders and athletes looking to bulk up, but its benefits extend far beyond the weight room.

It offers significant performance benefits for endurance athletes like cyclists, runners and triathletes, but despite its potential, misconceptions about creatine lead many endurance athletes to hesitate—and they shouldn’t.

We’re here to clear the air, address some common concerns, and tell you why (and how) endurance athletes should consider adding creatine to their sports nutrition regimen.


Common Misconceptions Endurance Athletes Have About Creatine

Misconception 1: Creatine is Only Beneficial for Strength Athletes

Creatine is well-known for its strength and muscle mass benefits in resistance training, but it also offers advantages for endurance athletes. Creatine supplementation can improve recovery, which helps you increase the volume and intensity of your training, and it can improve your performance in high-intensity, short-duration activities that are part of endurance training​​.

Misconception 2: Endurance Athletes Should Avoid Creatine Due to Weight Gain

While creatine supplementation can lead to weight gain, it’s important to note that weight gain associated with creatine is often due to water retention within the muscles. However, you can avoid significant water weight gain by skipping the loading phase many strength athletes swear by, opting for a steady daily intake instead.


The Benefits of Creatine for Endurance Athletes

Greater Strength and Power Output

Creatine has been proven to improve muscle strength and power output, which is crucial for endurance athletes as increased strength and power can lead to improvements in overall performance, such as faster sprint finishes in races or more powerful climbs while cycling.

Increased Energy Production

One of the primary roles of creatine in the body is to increase the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which serves as the main energy carrier in the cells. For endurance athletes, higher ATP levels mean an enhanced capacity to perform at high intensities for extended periods. This boost in energy is particularly beneficial during long training sessions or races, where sustaining a high level of performance is critical.

Accelerated Recovery

The ability to recover quickly between training sessions is vital for any athlete. Creatine has been shown to facilitate quicker recovery by reducing muscle inflammation and mitigating the effects of muscle damage induced by intense physical activity. This faster recovery means you can train more frequently and with higher intensity.

Improved Brain Function

Endurance sports are as much a mental challenge as they are a physical one, and creatine's role in brain function is a less discussed but equally important benefit. Supplementation has been linked to improved cognitive functions, such as reduced mental fatigue, better concentration, and enhanced decision-making under stress. These mental benefits can make a significant difference in races where strategic thinking and mental endurance are required for your success.


How to Take Creatine As an Endurance Athlete

Dosage and Timing

Most athletes should take 3–5g of creatine daily to maintain their muscle creatine stores. This amount is sufficient to saturate your muscles over time and realize the benefits of creatine without the need for a loading phase.

The time of day you take creatine has little impact on its effectiveness, but taking it consistently at the same time each day, such as the morning and evening, can help with habit formation and ensure regular intake.

Cycling Creatine

You don’t need to worry about this. The concept of cycling on and off creatine is more common in strength sports and is not necessary for endurance athletes. Continuous use of creatine is safe and can be more beneficial for sustaining the increased energy demands of endurance training and competition. 


Supplements to Take With Creatine for Optimal Endurance Performance and Recovery

Alongside creatine, you can enhance your endurance performance and recovery by incorporating supplements that work in harmony with creatine’s benefits:

  • Beta-alanine buffers lactic acid buildup in your muscles, which delays fatigue. Combined with creatine’s energy benefits, beta-alanine helps you achieve greater endurance performance and overall exercise capacity. The ISSN recommends 6g of beta-alanine per day for maximum benefit, so that’s what we did with our Beta Alanine.
  • Beet juice contains nitrates that dilate your blood vessels and increase oxygen and nutrient flow to your muscles. This raises your VO2 max and improves your endurance. Our go-to beet juice supplement is Beet-It Sport, which is shown to reduce the oxygen cost of exercise by 5% and delay the onset of fatigue by 5-16%. 
  • HMB accelerates muscle recovery by stimulating new protein production and reducing protein breakdown, supporting your body's ability to sustain more rigorous and frequent training. Supplementing with HMB alongside creatine can aid in muscle recovery, strength, and endurance, which is precisely why we developed HMB+ Creatine.
  • Protein helps you recover faster with less soreness, reduce your time between training sessions, and maintain lean muscle mass. A nutritious meal is the ideal way to get your protein, but if you can’t get enough through your diet, a real-food protein supplement like Egg White Protein Isolate is the next best thing.
For more information about how these supplements, including creatine, can fit into your sports nutrition regimen, check out our supplement user guides.


Should You Take Creatine as an Endurance Athlete?

We say yes.

Creatine supplementation offers an array of benefits for endurance athletes, from greater strength, power and energy production to improved recovery and brain function.

Whether you’re a cyclist, runner or triathlete aiming to shorten your race times, enhance your recovery, or boost your overall performance, creatine, along with a well-considered supplementation strategy, will support your training and competitive endeavours.

After all, creatine is the most popular and widely researched supplement there is for a reason—it works.


— And as always, train hard!


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