Is Creatine Monohydrate Vegan?

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If you’re asking this question, I’m going to assume you already know what creatine generally does, and why supplementing creatine can be beneficial for vegans, especially vegan athletes.

The good news is that creatine supplements can indeed be vegan, and most actually are these days.

But not all creatine products are labelled as vegan or not, so you also have to be cautious when choosing a creatine for a few simple reasons I’ll go over as quickly as possible.

How Are Vegan Creatine Supplements Made?

creatine synthesis

Creatine can be made in a lab or extracted from animals.

It’s just a matter of mixing the right amino acids together in a lab, which is a lot easier (and scalable) than extracting the small bits of creatine from animal tissues.

While most products don’t mention how it was made, if you see the phrase “synthetic creatine”, that’s a good sign.

Why Some Creatine Isn’t Vegan

There are basically 2 concerns:

  1. The creatine is extracted from animals
  2. The creatine has been tested on animals

Both of these have become less common over time.

The most popular creatine manufacturer – Creapure – once made non-vegan creatine (or at least that’s what some claimed), but now clearly state on their website that their creatine is vegan.

creapure

SUMMARY

It’s still a good idea to look for a vegan label or contact a manufacturer to make sure a creatine product is vegan, but the majority of creatine is vegan these days.

Is Creatine Tested on Animals?

Like most food products, creatine was tested on animals at a certain point for safety concerns.

These days, it’s rare for a study on creatine to use animal models because the vast majority of research shows that creatine is about as safe as a supplement gets.

If you look for recent studies involving creatine, almost all of them are just simple meta-analysis’ of existing reviews, or involve looking at human subjects.

SUMMARY

At one point creatine was often tested on animals, but these days it rarely (or never) is. It’s an unrealistic argument to most if you say that any product that was at one point tested on animals can’t be vegan.

Where Can You Buy Vegan Creatine Supplements?

You can buy creatine at all the same places you can buy protein powder. Amazon, Bodybuilding.com, and GNC are great if they’re available for you.

To be safe, look for products that are vegan certified, or are known for creating other vegan products.

Here are 3 popular creatine monohydrate powders that are all vegan:

  1. NOW Sports Creatine Monohydrate Powder
  2. Raw Barrel’s – Pure Creatine Monohydrate Powder – Unflavored and Micronized
  3. Creatine Monohydrate Powder Micronized by BulkSupplements

Summary

The easiest way to manufacture creatine is actually in a lab, which is why most modern creatine supplements are vegan friendly.

But if you want to be 100% that products are not tested on animals, stick to the well-known vegan brands like the ones I listed above.

Alternatively, send a quick email to the manufacturer you’re interested in and see if the creatine was synthetically made and if it was tested on animals.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.