Looking to get swole but wondering, “does creatine cause gyno?”
Well, I’ve been on creatine for seven years at this point, and my pecs are as firm as ever.
So, unless your desired course of action is to avoid creatine and all its glorious benefits, I urge you to stick around for a while because we’re about to bust this “creatine man boobs” discussion open. Let’s begin.
Can Creatine Actually Cause Gyno?
No, creatine cannot cause gyno.
Creatine is an amino acid naturally present in your skeletal muscle cells in the form of free creatine and phosphocreatine.
There’s also some of it in your brain. Our body, more precisely our liver, pancreas, and kidneys, produce a small amount (about a gram) of this amino acid daily.
While a gram is more than enough to support all your bodily functions that require creatine, it is not enough to properly boost muscle growth or cognitive function in athletes or gym-goers.
That’s why we supplement creatine in the first place.
The role of creatine in our body is relatively straightforward - it provides a steady supply of energy to your muscles by replenishing ATP reserves.
This is achieved through a simple “exchange” of phosphate groups (high-energy molecules) between creatine and adenosine.
Essentially, the human body burns phosphates as intracellular fuel, effectively turning ATP (adenosine triphosphate) into ADP (adenosine diphosphate). Unfortunately, this happens faster than our bodies can reverse the process.
However, once you add creatine (or, in this case, phosphocreatine) to the mix, the phosphate group bound with creatine breaks off and attaches to ADP, turning it back to ATP so it can further fuel your muscle cells.
Now, back to the question: can creatine cause gynecomastia, and why not?
Creatine has been EXTENSIVELY studied over the past several decades, and ZERO evidence suggests that it can affect hormones or cause hormonal imbalances, so there’s no reason for concern.
As you’re about to find out, it is not creatine that will cause your breasts to grow or sag…
In fact, there aren’t that many causes for gyno.
Gynecomastia Overview: What It Is & Common Causes
Gynecomastia is a condition that causes enlarged breast tissue (in one or both breasts) in males. It affects a large number of men, causing emotional distress and many other issues.
It can occur in newborns, during puberty, or later in life due to hormone imbalance or the use of certain drugs.
You can probably see where we’re going with this…
The main reason why your favorite fitness influencer or everyone's favorite hunk, The Rock, has undergone gyno surgery isn't because they were taking creatine or protein supplements or because they performed too many chest exercises.
It is because they are juicing
The primary cause of gyno in athletes or bodybuilders is hormonal imbalances due to anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids affect your hormones. Profoundly.
They raise your testosterone levels to an ungodly plateau so you can maintain extra muscle mass while keeping your body fat levels in the single digits. Any person taking them will tell you the same.
What also happens when testosterone levels skyrocket is your estrogen follows
Our body keeps the hormones in balance. You can’t have your testosterone sky-high and keep your estrogen low because all that circulating testosterone will eventually turn into estrogen.
While estrogen is essential for maintaining healthy bone density levels and sexual function, high levels aren’t without its side effects.
One of the side effects of high estrogen or, more precisely, high estradiol (the most potent form of estrogen) levels is that it can cause gynecomastia. Aside from that, gynecomastia occurs in:
What’s common in all those men is that their hormones aren’t balanced.
Newborns receive estrogen in the womb, teenage boys have a natural hormone disbalance, testosterone production slows down with age, and obesity is a major factor behind high estrogen levels.
You also have to consider other factors, like medical conditions (hyperthyroidism, for example), that could be an underlying cause of gynecomastia.
And if that’s the case, you’re much better off consulting a medical doctor rather than a blog post.
Does Creatine Make Man Boobs Worse?
No, creatine does not make man boobs worse.
We've already established that taking creatine can't lead to gynecomastia because it doesn't affect hormone levels. It is not a factor in this equation, and it can't make gynecomastia worse.
Whether we’re talking about long or short-term creatine supplementation, it will not cause enlarged breasts.
The only breast tissue you’ll see grow are your pecs!
Tips To Prevent Gyno Man Boobs From Worsening
Just as there are things to make gyno worse, there are also things you can do to make to make it better.
What Exercises To Do?
While it might seem logical, you don’t need to exercise your chest five times a week to prevent gyno. Any form of exercise will work.
As long as you adhere to a proper schedule and train multiple times a week without relying on performance-enhancing drugs, you shouldn't have any issues with gyno or make gyno worse.
Stimulating muscle with proper training will not only make the muscle grow but also help you burn fat, resulting in less noticeable gynecomastia.
Which Diet Should You Follow?
There isn’t a strict diet you should follow that would help with gynecomastia.
As long as you don’t have any underlying medical condition that would prevent you from consuming certain foods, eating a healthy, balanced diet of meats and veggies should be more than enough.
That said, you should eat at a maintenance level, meaning consuming the right amount of calories to prevent gaining weight. If you don’t, the excess fat around your breast could cause the gyno to appear worse than it actually is.
You could also eat in a caloric deficit, resulting in weight loss and even less fat in the chest area.
Having The Right Posture
There is no evidence suggesting that a bad posture would cause gyno. It’s not like your boobies would sag if you slouch forward.
That said, maintaining a proper posture would definitely cause gynecomastia to appear less prominent. A correct posture would help to “stretch out” your chest muscles, making them look more toned and defined.
Which Supplements Should You Take?
When it comes to supplements, these are presumed to help with gynecomastia:
However, research on these is limited (almost non-existent), and to say any of them will be effective in treating gynecomastia is not something we’d do. A lot more research is needed to make such bold claims.
That said, anecdotal evidence does seem to suggest that any of these could be beneficial.
Still, as is the case with any other supplement, regulations surrounding them aren’t strict.
We strongly urge you to do extensive research or consult a doctor before using any supplements (or any other drugs) to treat medical conditions such as gynecomastia.
To this day, surgery is the most effective way to treat gyno.
That said, certain medications could address the imbalance in hormones and potentially help, but if we’re talking about bodybuilders or athletes with gyno, surgery is usually the best course of action.
One thing to note is this surgery is usually not covered by insurance providers.
Most patients undergoing male breast reduction surgery end up paying out of their pocket.
Creatine And Gynecomastia FAQs
No, taking creatine does not cause puffy nipples.
It is unclear if you can take creatine after gyno surgery. Some medical professionals suggest guys wait for at least four weeks before continuing with creatine or supplements of any kind. So, it would be best to consult a doctor before taking a creatine supplement post-op.
Gynecomastia is very common in bodybuilders using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. It is believed that almost 65% of middle-aged and older men suffer from some form of gyno, so it’s safe to assume that the percentage of bodybuilders experiencing the same issue is similar.
Creatine can’t mess with your health and is mostly free of any serious side effects. While many claim that creatine could lead to liver failure, kidney failure, or even heart problems, research suggests that if you avoid high doses of creatine, you shouldn’t experience any side effects, including the common ones like water retention.
Can You Get Gynecomastia From Creatine? (Final Verdict)
So, does creatine cause gyno? No, absolutely not.
It was proven time and time again that creatine can’t have a profound effect on your hormones, so creatine can’t cause gynecomastia.
So, if you’re worried about it - you may relax. It’s fine.
In fact, creatine is one of the best supplements you can take to support your health and fitness journey, and there is almost no reason for you to be fearful of it.