Should High School Athletes Take Creatine?

This article will be a quick reaction to a question I get a lot, which is whether or not high school athletes should supplement with creatine. First off, for those who don’t know, creatine is just an amino acid that helps individual cells regenerate their supply of energy faster. This leads to improvements in force production, as well as lean muscle mass. Creatine is probably the most researched and safest supplement available on the market today. As far as the question specifically for high schoolers, I’ll start by saying that if you are an American football player of any age, you should absolutely, 100% be taking creatine. Multiple research studies have shown that creatine supplementation can both decrease the likelihood of concussions, and decrease the long term adverse effects of them. This logic could also be applied to any other sport with high concussion rates, such as soccer and women’s lacrosse.

For any other sport, I usually like to have high schoolers train without creatine for several years, and as they start to see a plateau in their improvements, then we’ll add it in. This is primarily so that these athletes gain thorough understanding of their training and how their body progresses, so they can better understand the improvements that creatine will have on their training. Most people who have just gotten into training wouldn’t recognize the benefits of creatine, and would be better served just sticking with the basics of training to set themselves up for a good future.

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