Is It Safe To Take Creatine Without Working Out?

Is It Safe To Take Creatine Without Working Out? - Lucid™

Creatine is a popular supplement known for enhancing athletic performance and muscle growth. It's typically used as a pre- or post-workout supplement and has become a staple in many athletes' and gym-goers' supplement regimens.

But what if you're using creatine for other reasons, like its potential trial nootropics benefits? Is it safe to take creatine without working out?

Let's dig into what we know about creatine to decide if it fits into a wellness regimen that doesn't include exercise.

Key Takeaways

Creatine supplementation without exercise may still offer cognitive benefits, such as improved short-term memory and reasoning skills.

While taking creatine without working out is generally safe, its muscle-enhancing benefits may be limited compared to when combined with exercise.

Proper hydration and dosage considerations are crucial for safely supplementing with creatine, especially if not engaging in regular physical activity.

Understanding Creatine

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found primarily in the muscles of vertebrates. It plays a crucial role in energy metabolism, particularly during short bursts of intense physical activity, such as weightlifting or sprinting. Recent evidence has found that it may also impact cognitive function.

In fact, the benefits of creatine may include:

  • Enhanced muscle strength and power during high-intensity activities (2021 )

  • Increased muscle mass and hypertrophy ( 2022 )

  • Improved exercise performance, especially in short-duration, high-intensity activities like weightlifting and sprinting ( 2012 )

  • Accelerated post-exercise recovery, reducing muscle soreness and fatigue ( 2024 )

  • Enhance brain function and cognitive performance, particularly in tasks requiring short-term memory and decision-making ( 2023 )

  • Providing potential protective effects against neurological diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, although further research is needed to confirm these benefits ( 2014 )

  • Improved hydration status due to creatine's ability to increase water retention in muscle cells, which may benefit overall athletic performance and exercise endurance ( 2012 )

Your body makes about half of your daily creatine naturally, but the rest should be derived from your diet or supplements. After your muscles have absorbed all the creatine they can handle, excess creatine passes through your body in your urine.

With that in mind, it seems that it would be perfectly safe to take creatine without working out, but what's the scientific verdict? Let's take a look at the science to understand the risks and benefits of taking creatine without working out.

Creatine Research–With and Without Exercise

Scientific studies examining the effects of creatine supplementation without exercise have yielded mixed results. 

Some research suggests that creatine may still offer benefits even in the absence of exercise, but the benefits of creatine may step outside of the realm of muscular enhancement.

For instance, one study found that Creatine supplementation, when not paired with exercise, was not effective for gaining lean body mass. Much greater muscle gains were recorded when creatine was combined with high intensity resistance training.

Research has also found that creatine can be beneficial when taken for reasons other than enhancing physical performance, which means exercise is only one part of the creatine equation. 

In this systematic review of six studies, the authors included that creatine supplementation may improve short term memory and reasoning skills in healthy adults, even when not paired with exercise.

It's also worth noting that although taking creatine without working out will not provide any strength-enhancing benefits, the creatine's potential isn't lost. When you take creatine, your muscles store it to full saturation. 

Any excess creatine passes through in your urine, and the creatine in your muscles is stored until you need it–the next time you participate in high intensity activities.

The Role of Exercise in Creatine Supplementation

Exercise is essential for maximizing the benefits of creatine supplementation. Physical activity stimulates the body's demand for energy, leading to increased uptake and utilization of creatine in the muscles.

Moreover, exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammation can enhance creatine retention, further optimizing its effectiveness in promoting muscle growth and recovery.

So, when not exercising, your body absorbs and stores creatine in the muscles until next time it's needed. That means that creatine supplementation can help provide a steady muscular energy boost during workouts and can lead to enhanced muscle growth, but creatine supplementation without exercise will simply fill your muscle’s creatine storage without utilizing the creatine.

Verdict: Can You Take Creatine Without Exercise?

So, what's the verdict? Is it safe to take creatine without exercise? And if so, what are the benefits?

Ultimately, yes, you can safely take creatine without exercising, but the muscle enhancing benefits may be muted. Instead, you may reap more cognition-enhancing benefits, a therapeutic pathway that's being explored as researchers dive into creatine’s potential nootropic benefits.

With that in mind, though, there are a few more safety precautions to take when using creatine supplements.

Creatine Safety and Dosage (With and Without Exercise)

Taking creatine is generally considered to be safe, and hundreds of studies exist to prove creatine’s solid safety profile. However, there are still some precautions to take when starting creatine supplements:

  • Drink Plenty of Water: Creatine changes the way your body uses water and can lead to dehydration if you don't hydrate properly while supplementing. 

    Aim to drink about half your body weight in ounces of water each day to avoid dehydration.

  • Dose Low and Slow: Because your muscles cannot absorb more creatine once they are fully saturated, there's no reason to take macro doses if you aren't working out. 

    For those following an intense workout regimen, doses of 2-5 grams per day may be beneficial. For those taking creatine without exercise, microdoses of 1 gram or less may provide optimal cognitive benefits.

  • Some People Shouldn't Take Creatine: People who have a pre-existing liver or kidney condition may not be able to take creatine safely. 

    If you suffer from similar conditions or take daily medications, talk to your doctor about whether creatine is right for you.


Creatine supplementation may offer some benefits in the absence of exercise, like cognition enhancement and improved energy levels While some individuals may experience modest improvements in muscle strength and performance, the full potential of creatine is likely realized when combined with regular physical activity.

As with any supplement, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional or certified fitness expert before initiating creatine supplementation, particularly if you are not engaging in regular exercise.

Ultimately, a balanced approach that incorporates both creatine and appropriate exercise is likely to yield the best results in terms of muscle growth, performance enhancement, and overall health.

Lucid beverages contain a blend of brain-boosting nootropics + powerful mushrooms designed to unlock your brain's full potential so you can zone in on what's important. 

Ready to become lucid?  Check out our starter kit. 


  1. “Creatine for Exercise and Sports Performance, with Recovery Considerations for Healthy Populations”

  2. “Creatine Supplementation for Muscle Growth: A Scoping Review of Randomized Clinical Trials from 2012 to 2021”

  3. “Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update”

  4. “The Effect of Prior Creatine Intake for 28 Days on Accelerated Recovery from Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial”

  5. “The effects of creatine supplementation on cognitive performance—a randomised controlled study”,in%20healthy%20individuals%20%5B7%5D .

  6. “A review of creatine supplementation in age-related diseases: more than a supplement for athletes”,%2C%20Alzheimer%27s%20disease%2C%20and%20stroke .

  7. “Creatine Phosphate”

  8. “Influence of age, sex, and type of exercise on the efficacy of creatine supplementation on lean body mass: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials”

  9. “Effects of creatine supplementation on cognitive function of healthy individuals: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials”

Older post Newer post