Does Creatine Make You Hungry? (It Doesn’t)

September 19, 2023

Creatine is one of the most popular and researched supplements, and studies have consistently shown that supplementation improves exercise performance, muscle building, and training adaptations [1].

However, along with these benefits, some athletes may notice an uptick in their appetite while using creatine for performance, prompting the question: Does creatine make you hungry?

If you’ve found yourself in this scenario, it’s important to note that creatine doesn’t make you hungry. Instead, it is likely a result of being able to engage in longer and more intense workouts, leading to greater muscle mass and, in turn, metabolic rate.

Underlying factors may contribute to an increased appetite when starting creatine supplementation. Understanding these nuances can be valuable if you’re experiencing shifts in your eating habits.

Does Creatine Mess With Your Appetite?

Before discussing whether or not creatine impacts appetite, it’s essential to define what appetite is. Appetite refers to the natural, physiological desire or craving for food. It’s the body’s way of signaling that it needs nourishment to maintain energy levels, support bodily functions, and promote overall health.

Appetite is regulated by a complex interplay of hormones, sensory cues (such as smell and taste), and bodily processes, including communication between the brain’s hypothalamus, organs like the stomach, pancreas, and intestines, and fat tissue.

Feeling full, or satiation, happens when the stomach tells the brain it’s stretched after eating, which makes you want to stop eating [2].

You actually get creatine from your diet as well. Creatine is a non-protein amino acid compound found in food – mainly meat and seafood [3, 4], and an average diet contains about 1 – 2 g per day of creatine [1].

To date, no scientific studies have found that creatine increases appetite.

Why Do You Feel Hungry When Taking Creatine?

Does Creatine Mess With Your Appetite

While creatine itself doesn’t directly lead to increased hunger, there are underlying reasons you might experience a greater appetite while using it.

Remember that the purpose of taking creatine is to enhance exercise performance, increase muscle strength and mass, and improve recovery from workouts. This can lead to higher energy expenditure during workouts, which means you burn more calories than before.

Additionally, if you’ve ramped up your training frequency, either due to a new phase or a concerted effort to improve performance and nutrition, this heightened activity level can also stimulate increased hunger over time [6].

In addition, when using creatine, you will see a potential boost in metabolic rate due to increased muscle mass. In other words, when your muscle mass increases, you will burn more energy at rest, naturally triggering hunger [5].


Does creatine make you hungry? No. However, while creatine doesn’t directly trigger hunger, you may notice an uptick in your appetite when incorporating it into your routine.

Far from a downside, this increased hunger is a sign that the supplement is doing its job, ramping up workout intensity and promoting muscle growth.


  1. Kreider, R. B., Kalman, D. S., Antonio, J., Ziegenfuss, T. N., Wildman, R., Collins, R., Candow, D. G., Kleiner, S. M., Almada, A. L., & Lopez, H. L. (2017). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition14, 18.
  2. Stensel D. (2010). Exercise, appetite and appetite-regulating hormones: implications for food intake and weight control. Annals of nutrition & metabolism57 Suppl 2, 36–42.
  3. Bertin, M., Pomponi, S. M., Kokuhuta, C., Iwasaki, N., Suzuki, T., & Ellington, W. R. (2007). Origin of the genes for the isoforms of creatine kinase. Gene392(1-2), 273-282.
  4. Harris, R. (2011). Creatine in health, medicine and sport: an introduction to a meeting held at Downing College, University of Cambridge, July 2010. Amino Acids40(5), 1267-1270.
  5. Aragon, A. A., Schoenfeld, B. J., Wildman, R., Kleiner, S., VanDusseldorp, T., Taylor, L., Earnest, C. P., Arciero, P. J., Wilborn, C., Kalman, D. S., Stout, J. R., Willoughby, D. S., Campbell, B., Arent, S. M., Bannock, L., Smith-Ryan, A. E., & Antonio, J. (2017). International society of sports nutrition position stand: diets and body composition. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition14, 16.
  6. Stensel D. (2010). Exercise, appetite and appetite-regulating hormones: implications for food intake and weight control. Annals of nutrition & metabolism57 Suppl 2, 36–42.
About the Author

Hanli is a Registered Dietitian with a special interest in sports nutrition. She has a Master's degree and is currently a PhD candidate focusing on adolescent athlete nutrition. She has published research in the Obesity Reviews journal and is a research coordinator at the Sport Science Institute of South Africa.

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