Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in the body, primarily stored in the muscles. It plays a crucial role in energy production by aiding in the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s main source of cellular energy. While traditionally, the supplement form of creatine has been taken as a powder added to shakes or drinks, newer and more convenient forms have emerged. One of the newer forms on the market is creatine gummies. 

Creatine gummies may offer some benefits, like convenience, ease of application, taste, and as a result of all of these: improved adherence to supplementation.

Understanding Creatine

Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that occurs naturally in the body, primarily in the form of phosphocreatine. It is produced in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas and is also obtained through dietary sources such as meat and fish.

ATP synthesis is a vital process for energy production in cells. Creatine helps facilitate this process by donating a phosphate molecule to ADP (adenosine diphosphate), transforming it back into ATP. This recycling of ADP to ATP allows for an increased supply of energy during physical activity.

pathway showing creatine being used to form ATP

Essentially when the muscle contracts ATP loses a phosphate. The breaking of this phosphate bond yields energy, ADP (adenosine Diphosphate) and a separate phosphate group. 

ATP → ADP + Pi + energy

Creatine in the body is actually Creatine Phosphate (sometimes called Phosphocreatine), so it is able to donate a phosphate back to ADP and restore it to ATP.

 ADP + PCr → ATP + Cr

Creatine supplementation gained popularity in the sports and fitness industry in the 1990s. Various studies have shown its effectiveness in improving athletic performance, muscle strength, and power output, leading to widespread use among athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

Traditional Creatine Sources vs. Creatine Gummies

Traditionally, creatine has been available in forms such as powders and capsules. These options may require measuring and mixing, which can be inconvenient for some people. Powders need to be dissolved in liquid, while capsules may be challenging to swallow for individuals who struggle with pills.

Creatine gummies offer a more palatable and convenient alternative. The gummy form eliminates the need for mixing or swallowing large capsules, making it easier to incorporate into daily routines. Additionally, the taste and texture of gummies are generally more enjoyable, potentially increasing adherence to supplementation.

creatine gummies, supplements on demand

Creatine supplementation has long been associated with myths like concerns about kidney damage, bloating/weight gain, and causing strains/pulls or rhabdomyolysis. However, extensive research has debunked these claims, demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of creatine supplementation when used appropriately.  Creatine can cause some water retention initially resulting in small weight gain, but long term creatine use has actually shown reduction in body fat.

Cons of Creatine Gummies

While creatine gummies offer convenience, they do come with limitations in terms of dosage flexibility. Unlike powdered forms, which allow for precise dosage adjustments, gummies often come in fixed doses. This may not be favorable for individuals who require specific dosages based on their body weight or training goals. However, creatine doses don’t vary dramatically and most gummies contain ~ 2500 mg per gummy. The usual dose is 5g per day, so loading phases of 20g or larger athletes like football lineman and body builders could see gummies as a nuisance or unnecessary cost.

Speaking of cost, creatine gummies are not nearly as cheap as the powder version. Coming in at around $20-30 dollars for a month supply, that same cost investment can land you around 100 servings of the powder.

Some commercially available creatine gummies may contain added sugars or artificial ingredients. This may be of concern for some people who like to focus on minimal sugar intake or who prefer to avoid non-nutritive sweeteners.  Also, gummies often are not vegan and contain gelatin.  Shop around to find a gummy that fits your dietary preferences or stick to the powder. Also, I have yet to come across any that are third party tested by NSF or Informed Choice. This makes them a no-go for NCAA and professional athletes who get tested for banned substances.

Finally, texture differences from gummy to gummy can vary. I’ve tried a number of vitamin gummies and they seem to range from fruit snacks to Jujubes and everything in between. Personal preferences vary, and some users may not enjoy the chewy nature of gummies. It is crucial to try different products and find a brand that provides a texture and consistency to your liking.

How to Choose the Right Creatine Gummies

When selecting creatine gummies, several factors should be taken into account such as the creatine content per serving, additional ingredients, and the sugar content. Opting for products with high-quality ingredients and minimal added sugars can help users make the best choice. It is essential to read labels carefully when choosing creatine gummies. Understanding product claims and verifying them through reliable sources ensures that users make informed decisions. Third-party certifications or testing can provide added assurance of product quality.

gummy electrolyte supplements

Gummies offer a convenient and potentially delicious way to incorporate creatine into daily routines. Their portability and possibility of improved adherence make them an enticing choice.  While creatine gummies have numerous advantages, it is essential to be aware of their limitations. Dosage flexibility, added sugars or artificial ingredients, and personal preferences regarding texture should be considered when selecting gummies.

For the moment, creatine gummies seem like a viable option for fitness enthusiasts. Many of the brands I looked at contain the most commonly researched dose in two gummies. They do appear to offer convenience/portability and taste improvement compared to traditional powders. However, cost, ingredients, and texture concerns land solidly in the cons category. Lastly, they are not recommended for any athletes with banned substance testing concerns.

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