It’s something that I know many of you worry about, “Would Creatine Make You Fail a Drug Test?”
I’m sure your reason for supplementing with creatine is nothing more than an innocent way to improve your workouts, and hopefully your physique.
However, for anyone who’s had to take a drug test, you’ll typically be worried about every little substance that goes into your body.
Even something as innocuous as a cold & flu remedy could have you in a panic just before a drug test.
Therefore, the simple fact that you supplement with creatine could leave you feeling anxious.
So, allow me to explain everything you need to know about creatine and drug tests.
Would Creatine Make You Fail a Drug Test?
No, creatine would not make you fail a drug test. Creatine is a completely natural product, which is not only produced in the body, but also found in various foods. During a drug test it is the amount of creatinine that is tested to see whether you have tried to skew the test results. Creatinine is a by-product produced once your muscles have metabolized creatine. Creatinine is then excreted from the bloodstream through urination. Low levels of creatinine could signify that you have tried to dilute the contents of your urine.
1. Creatine is a Natural Product
Firstly, it’s important to note that supplementing with creatine will not make you fail a drug test.
Creatine is a completely natural product that is produced in the kidneys and liver.
Furthermore, certain foods, such as red meat, fish, and dairy also contain creatine.
Therefore, every single person, irrespective of whether they take supplements or not, will have creatine in their body.
In fact, creatine can actually be used to help you pass a drug test (more on this in a moment).
Creatine supplements are used by many weightlifters, bodybuilders, and athletes.
So, it’s not as though creatine isn’t well-known and widely used.
I think the main issue is that creatine is often put in the same category as certain anabolic steroids.
And there are certain performance-enhancing steroids that could be considered illegal, and therefore mean that you fail a drug test.
However, as I’ve mentioned, creatine is a natural product produced in the body and contained in various foods.
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So, there’s no way it would be viewed as an illegal substance or something that you need to worry about.
In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that if it were possible to fail a drug test from taking creatine then the same can be said for eating steak.
And I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that there’s no way you’ll fail a drug test simply because you ate steak.
So, you can stop worrying and rest safe in the knowledge that your creatine supplementation won’t cause any issues whatsoever.
2. The Difference Between Creatine & Creatinine
Now, I’ve mentioned that creatine can actually be used to pass a drug test, so I’ll cover this in more detail now.
It is actually creatinine that is one of the qualifying tests when your urine is sampled during a drug test.
Creatinine is a by-product that is produced once your muscles have metabolized creatine.
In effect, creatinine is a waste product that is excreted from your bloodstream during urination.
Basically, the body can only store so much creatine at any one time.
So, once the muscles have made use of creatine, anything left over will convert to creatinine and be excreted from the body.
The levels of creatinine in your bloodstream will vary from person-to-person.
However, the more muscle mass you have, the more creatine that needs to be metabolized by the muscles, thus meaning that higher levels of creatinine will be produced.
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Males typically have creatinine levels between 20ng/ml and 370ng/ml.
Females will have creatinine levels between 20ng/ml and 320ng/ml.
The higher your levels of creatinine during a drug test, the less you generally have to worry about.
However, if your creatinine levels fall below 20ng/ml you could actually fail a drug test.
The main reason for this is that it will appear that you have potentially tried to dilute your urine sample in order to pass the test.
Now if you are supplementing with creatine this obviously means that you’ll be producing more creatinine.
So, in essence, you could actually increase your creatine dose in order to produce more creatinine in your urine.
This in turn will appear to be the complete opposite of someone trying to dilute their urine in order to pass a drug test.
With that being said, it may also raise suspicion if your creatinine levels are excessively high.
So, how much creatine you’re supplementing with needs to be taken into consideration.
Detecting Urine Drug Test Tampering
3. Take Creatine in the Recommended Doses
Okay, so we’ve established that creatine won’t cause you to fail a drug test.
Additionally, you’re now aware that creatinine levels (a by-product of creatine) in your urine are measured to determine whether you’ve tried to cheat the test.
Look, I’m fully aware that having to take a drug test can be a cause for concern, even if you haven’t done anything wrong.
It’s that natural human reaction, whereby you’re worried you’re going to get into trouble for something, even though you have absolutely no reason to be.
For me, I’ve never seen the point in taking excessive amounts of creatine.
I know many people may view creatine as “more is better”, but this isn’t actually the case.
In truth, I don’t believe that you really need a loading phase with creatine, as your muscles will eventually become saturated anyway.
Furthermore, the vast majority of people can safely and effectively supplement with 3-5mg of creatine per day.
And if you stick to these recommended doses then you’ll never have to worry about high or low levels of creatinine being excreted through your urine.
So, if you simply supplement with creatine in the way that you should then you’ll never have any issues with taking a drug test.
So, as you can see, creatine would NOT cause you to fail a drug test.
Creatine is a completely natural product that is found in the body and various foods.
However, your creatinine levels, which is a by-product of creatine once it has been metabolized in the muscles, is typically measured during a drug test.
Excessively low levels of creatinine could imply that an individual has tried to dilute their urine in order to trick a drug test.
But, the mere fact that your creatinine levels will remain higher through creatine supplementation means that this will never be an issue.
In fact, there are people who only ever take creatine to “illegally” pass a drug test.
This is achieved by increased urination, diluted urine, while maintaining or increasing levels of creatinine in the bloodstream.
With that being said, if you simply supplement with creatine in the recommended doses, you will never have to worry about failing a drug test, or falling under suspicion of trying to skew the results.
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Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.