Difference Between Creatine and Protein

Main Difference – Creatine vs protein

Creatine and protein are two amino acid-derived compounds used in the functioning of body muscles. Hence, both creatine and protein can be used as dietary supplements to increase muscle mass and strength. Nevertheless, both creatine and proteins are produced inside the body as well. Creatine is involved in the supplement of energy required by the muscular actions. Proteins are important in building structures and functioning of the body. The main difference between creatine and protein is that creatine is an amino acid which boosts the performance of muscles whereas protein is a macronutrient which helps to recover muscles after hard work.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Creatine
      – Definition, Supplement, Importance
2. What is Protein
      – Definition, Source, Supplement, Importance
3. What are the similarities between Creatine and Protein
      – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the difference between Creatine and Protein
      – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: Amino Acids, ATP, Creatine, Creatinine, Muscle Mass, Muscle Strength, Phosphocreatine, Protein, Whey ProteinDifference Between Creatine and Protein - Comparison Summary

What is Creatine

Creatine is an amino acid produced in the human body by the liver, kidney, and pancreas. Glycine, methionine, and arginine are involved in the production of creatine in the body. Creatine is also a naturally-occurring amino acid in meat and fish as well. Hence, creatine can be considered as a non-essential, dietary protein derivative.  It is one of the most popular supplement for mass gain. Creatine is transported into the skeletal muscles through the blood and is stored as phosphocreatine in the skeletal muscles. Phosphocreatine is a high energy molecule since it contains an attached high-energy phosphate group. It is converted into ATP during highly intense short duration exercises like sprinting and weight lifting. Creatine is converted into creatinine by non-enzymatic degradation. The biological half-life of creatine is three hours.

Main Difference -  Creatine vs  Protein

Figure 01: Creatine

Creatine supplements may increase lean muscle mass and enhance athletic performance. The supplements of creatine may also decrease the levels of triglycerides, lowering the risk for heart diseases. The low creatine amounts in muscles may lead to muscular dystrophy. Creatine is shown in figure 01.

What is Protein

Protein is a macronutrient which is involved in building structure and functioning of the body. It is found in muscles, bones, hair, and skin, and is involved in building body structures. Proteins serve as enzymes and hormones, catalyzing and regulating chemical reactions in the body. An adult requires 0.8 g of proteins for every kilogram of the body in order to maintain proper conditions in the body. The building blocks of proteins are amino acids. Most amino acids in the body are made by using starch and other compounds. The body is incapable of producing a few types of amino acids which are known as essential amino acids. These essential amino acids should be included in the diet. Different sources of dietary proteins are shown in figure 2.

Difference Between Creatine and Protein

Figure 2: Different Dietary Protein Sources

Healthy protein sources are fish, red meat, beans, and nuts. High protein foods play a role in disease prevention and weight control. However, eating red meat on a regular basis may increase the risk of heart diseases like stroke. Whey protein is used as a protein supplement to achieve daily protein requirements of the body. Whey protein is one of the two proteins found in milk.

Similarities Between Creatine and Protein

  • Both creatine and protein are involved in the building and functioning of muscles in the body.

  • Both creatine and protein are used as weight gain supplements to produce lean muscles and increase the strength of the muscles.

  • These compounds can be produced inside the body.

Difference Between Creatine and Protein


Creatine: Creatine is a compound formed during the protein metabolism, and is involved in the supply of energy for muscular contractions.

Protein: Protein is a nitrogenous organic compound composed of one or more long chain amino acids and is essential for the building of structural components of the body and the functioning of the body.

As a Supplement

Creatine: Creatine supplements should be taken in post-workout.

Protein: Proteins supplements should be taken in pre-workout.


Creatine: Creatine helps to put more weight during the muscular performances.

Protein: Protein helps to build big muscle fibers, increase muscle mass and strength.

Amount of Supplement

Creatine: An adult should take 2 g of creatinine per day.

Protein: An adult requires 0.8 g of protein per one kilogram of the body.


Creatine and protein are two compounds formed in the body. Both of them are involved in the functioning of muscles. Creatine is produced primarily in the liver and transported into muscles through blood. Creatine is converted into phosphocreatine, a molecule with high energy phosphate group in muscle for storage. Phosphocreatine is used in the production of ATP during high intense muscular actions. Proteins are components of the body structures such as muscles and bones. Proteins such as enzymes, antibodies, and hormones are also important for the functioning of the body. The main difference between creatine and protein is the role played in the action of muscles in the body.

Image Courtesy:

1.”Creatine neutral” By Edgar181 – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Protein (1)” –  National Cancer Institute, an agency part of the National Institutes of Health (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia


1. “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Creatine.” Muscle & Fitness. N.p., n.d. Web. Available here. 27 June 2017. 
2. “Protein.” The Nutrition Source. N.p., 27 Feb. 2017. Web. Available here. 27 June 2017. 

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things. She has a keen interest in writing articles regarding science.

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