Should you use creatine for climbing?
Maybe. It could be really useful for certain training phases, like a power phase or a strength phase. It’s well-researched and very safe. (If you have existing kidney disease, check with your nephrologist before using).
Potential pros of creatine:
- Helps you go longer in a training session
- Helps delay fatigue
- Helps lift heavier or get more power than without it
- Useful if you don’t get much creatine in your diet (as with vegans or vegetarians)
- May help with pump and blood flow
- Is potentially anti-inflammatory
- It is safe and one of the most effective and well-researched supplements
Potential cons of creatine:
- May add water weight (about 2-4 pounds). This isn’t a big deal as it’s shed off easily, but could impact climbing if you want to be as light as possible (it could make the difference between winning and losing a speed climbing round). In my opinion, the fear of weight gain with creatine is overblown. We know that climbing ability has very little to do with weight, and a couple of pounds should not make a difference for your climbing ability. BUT the creatine can be incredible useful and could make a very positive difference in your climbing ability!
- Some people do not gain water weight with creatine. In addition, the water weight is usually due to a loading phase (20 g for 5-7 days) which you can skip entirely and just go to the maintenance dose of 3-5 g daily.
- Some people don’t benefit as much
- If you don’t see any benefits, it may just be one more expensive supplement to take
Read our other blog post for more information on creatine, including how it works, how to use it, and references.
~This is general information only and not nutrition advice. Always consult your healthcare provider before undergoing any diet, lifestyle, medication, or supplement changes.
Want to learn more? Check out our course on nutrition for climbers and supplements for sports performance.
And be sure to check out our new book, Nutrition for Climbers: Fuel for the Send. There’s a whole chapter on supplements!
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