Can UFC Fighters Take Creatine? | Easily Explained

When USADA became the UFC's official anti-doping agency in 2015, many previously allowed supplements became banned overnight.

Was creatine one of them?

In this page, we will explain if UFC fighters can take creatine.

Table of Contents

Can UFC Fighters Take Creatine?

UFC fighters are allowed to take creatine as it is not prohibited under USADA's ruleset. Creatine can aid in strength, lean muscle mass, and recovery which makes it a popular supplement for athletes. However, some fighters refuse to take it as creatine also can make the body hold water, making weight cuts more difficult.

scoop of creatine powder

Searching For Creatine on the USADA Site

USADA has a public database where fighters can search for a product or an ingredient of a product, to check if it is banned before ingesting it.

When I put 'Creatine' in the search or  'Creatine Monohydrate', I receive the message that "Your search did not return an exact match".

creatine usada allowed item

When I input its official name of 2-[Carbamimidoyl(methyl)amino]acetic acid, no luck either.

Brand Name Search

However, I noticed on the USADA site, it states that brand names are able to be entered as well.

In the [Search for] field, you may enter a brand name or an individual active ingredient.

I went a step further to input different well known brand names of products that sell creatine such as 'Thorne' and 'Optimum Nutrition', and received the same message.

Banned Substances Search

However, when I inputted substances that I knew were banned such as 'Testosterone', results were immediately available.

testosterone banned usada

Once clicked on, USADA stated that this was banned in both in-competition and out-of competition.

Argument For Creatine

According to WebMD:

Creatine is thought to improve strength, increase lean muscle mass, and help the muscles recover more quickly during exercise. This muscular boost may help athletes achieve bursts of speed and energy, especially during short bouts of high-intensity activities such as weight lifting or sprinting.

In a sport where a fighter has to be good everywhere including in Boxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Jiu Jitsu..

They'll put their bodies under consistent tremendous stress through grueling training in order to improve.

They will gladly take every (legal) advantage that they can get in terms of recovery, strength, cardio, and agility, as that means that they can get more repetitions in and possibly even prevent injuries.


Argument Against Creatine

There are some fighters against taking creatine such as UFC veteran Joe Lauzon, who has been in the UFC since 2006.

Lauzon points out that he would never take creatine, as this supplement makes you hold water, which in turn will make you heavier, and could put you in a bad position for a weight cut.

In a sport where weight matters tremendously, and fighters will cut 30 lbs to obtain a size advantage, he makes a valid point.

weight scale

Tainted Supplement Risk

A very real risk that fighters take when they take supplements is that the supplement can be tainted with a banned substance.

A tainted supplement is a supplement that contains ingredients that aren't in the label or advertised in any manner by the company for that product.

Fighters Who Have Tested Positive For Tainted Supplements

Most notably, former UFC fighter Yoel Romero tested positive for a tainted supplement, and was suspended by USADA for 6 months.

An investigation later proved that the substance Romero tested positive for was present in the supplements made by Goldstar, despite not being listed on the label.

Romero ended up suing and being awarded $27.45 million in damages, which sounds great right?

However, as Forbes reported, Romero is unlikely to see any of that money as the defendants failed to show, which means:

The no-show is a sign the defendant has no defense, means, and/or intent on paying the damages. According to Berry, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy would be one escape of sorts if the business is folding.

How Do Tainted Supplements Happen?

According to Joe Rogan, a co-founder of his own supplement company Onnit,

People were buying creatine from China. Well, you are getting the same lab that’s putting them together might also be making steroids. You can get tainted creatine or tainted supplements.