Is Creatine HALAL Or HARAM?
If you've ever taken a protein powder supplement, you've most likely heard of creatine too. Creatine is often used in conjunction with protein to increase performance in the gym, giving you more energy and intensity. But is it halal or permissible in Islam to take?
What is creatine? 🧐
Creatine is a naturally occurring chemical found in the body, and more specifically, in muscle cells. It helps your muscles produce energy during high-intensity exercise or heavy lifting (which is why it's such a staple for bodybuilders). While the body produces some creatine, it's also commonly consumed through dietary sources like red meat and seafood, and is now commonly taken as a supplement.
What are the benefits of creatine? 🏋️
There are numerous benefits of creatine including: increasing muscle energy, contributing to adding muscle mass, improving high intensity exercise, speeding up muscle growth, neurological help (including fighting Parkinson's) and lowering blood sugar levels.
How is creatine made? 🧪
Creatine supplements are typically synthesised in labs from sarcosine and cyanamide. These two compounds undergo a reaction, producing creatine monohydrate. Notably, both sarcosine and cyanamide are non-animal-derived compounds, making the basic production process free from haram substances.
So is creatine halal? ✅
While the basic production process of creatine supplements does not involve haram substances (such as porcine materials or alcohol), there are still several factors to consider when determining the halal status of a creatine supplement:
Ingredients: The creatine itself is generally halal, but supplements often contain additional ingredients. These could include flavourings, sweeteners, or other performance-enhancing compounds, some of which may not be halal.
Cross-contamination: As with any product, there's a risk of cross-contamination if the creatine supplement is manufactured or packaged in a facility that also processes haram substances, like porcine materials.
Packaging: The materials and methods used for packaging can also affect the halal status. For example, certain types of adhesives or inks (like carmine red colouring) might contain haram substances.
Hygiene: The cleanliness of the production facility, and the hygiene practices followed, are important factors in determining the halal status of any product, including creatine supplements.
How to be sure your creatine is halal 🔎
If you're considering supplementing your diet with creatine it's important to firstly vet the ingredients list and scan it for haram materials. Then, you can look to the halal certification. Make sure that you're familiar with all 10 things you need to know about certification. Reputable certifying agencies like The World Halal Trust can give you additional peace of mind.
Are there any natural sources of creatine? 🥩
Yes, you don't need to take a creatine supplement if you're unable to find a certified halal creatine supplement, or if you prefer a more natural approach. Note that this naturally-occurring product can be obtained through dietary sources from foods like red meat, chicken, fish and certain dairy items.
Prophetic advice 💪
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
"Whatever is beneficial for you, do it..." (Sunan Ibn Majah 2155).
If a creatine supplement is beneficial for your health and fitness goals, and it meets all the requirements of being halal, there is no Islamic reason to avoid it. However, it's essential to balance your physical pursuits with your spiritual obligations.
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