Consider Creatine in MREs, US House Committee Suggests to Department of Defense

In late May, 2024, the Committee on Armed Services in the U.S. House of Representatives published its National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) report, suggesting that the Department of Defense consider adding creatine to MREs (Meals Ready to Eat).[1]

On pages 213 and 214, the report states:[1]

Consideration of Including Creatine in Meals Ready to Eat

The committee recognizes that creatine is a popular nutritional supplement because of its long history of improving strength and muscle health. A broad body of clinical research has shown that creatine can enhance muscle growth, physical performance, strength training, post exercise recovery, and injury prevention. The committee encourages the Department of Defense to consider including creatine supplementation by the Defense Logistics Agency in Meals Ready to Eat.[1]

Creatine in MREs? Natural Products Association Weighs In

House Suggests Creatine in MREs

The US House Committee on Armed Services published its National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) report, suggesting that the Department of Defense consider adding creatine to MREs. The benefits of creatine are a perfect fit for service members using creatine!

Dr. Daniel Fabricant, President and CEO of the Natural Products Association (NPA), stated that “This is a terrific move by the committee, as our nation’s freedom hinges upon American servicemembers having the resources they need to keep our nation safe. Creatine is one of the most extensively studied ingredients on the planet when it comes to safely increasing strength and recovery time, both critical to the success of our servicemembers.”[2]

Language heads to the Senate

The NDAA authorizes funding and authority for the U.S. Military on an annual basis. The package now goes to the Senate. If the language on creatine stays, the Department of Defense can begin studying the cost and risk merits for including creatine in MREs or powdered drink mixes.

Creatine’s Many Benefits – A Perfect Match for Service Members

We cover the benefits of creatine frequently on the PricePlow Blog, below is a very brief recap. Although some organizations (like Harvard’s STRIPED) have attempted to vilify it by putting it alongside illegal drugs, creatine is a naturally-occuring compound that’s been shown to be incredibly safe and effective in numerous studies.[3-5]

Creatine Mitochondria ADP ATP

A study published in 2011 does a fantastic job showing creatine’s role in the production of ATP in the mitochondria.[6]

It supports cellular energy production, and is stored as creatine and phosphocreatine in muscle tissue.[7,8] Creatine’s a critical molecule because it contains phosphate groups, which are shuttled to create the body’s molecule of energy, ATP.[6,9]

The body can create creatine itself, but it’s quite metabolically-expensive to do so, so it’s best to get it in through food (meat) or supplementation.[10]

Muscle, cognition, and sleep deprivation support!

Jose Antonio of ISSN on PricePlow Podcast #137

Want to learn more about creatine and its history? The legendary Jose Antonio, co-founder of the ISSN (International Society of Sports Nutrition), joins PricePlow for Episode #137 to get hyped for ISSN 2024 and tell us about the true beginnings of the sports nutrition, including some crazy battles over creatine!

This makes its supplementation beneficial for numerous effects, and it’s been studied extensively with several meta-analyses and systematic reviews supporting use for muscle health[11-15] and cognitive health.[16,17]

Recently, a study demonstrated that a single dose of creatine could even support better cognitive performance in sleep-deprived individuals![18]

These are all critically important benefits that the US Military can — and should — be taking advantage of. Especially for any members of the service that are nutrition-deprived vegans and vegetarians, for which there are additional reasons to use it.[19-22]

So our take? Creatine is a cost-effective, slam-dunk way to support service members who are in the field – especially when they can’t get enough meat-based protein.

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More from the NPA: Fulfilling a Commitment to Servicemembers

Also from Dan Fabricant: “Providing for our national defense is the most consequential responsibility that The U.S. Constitution granted Congress – the NDAA remains a vital part of fulfilling that commitment to our servicemembers and our nation, we’re grateful to have played a role in getting this important study as a part of that commitment.”

Natural Products Association (NPA) Logo

The Natural Products Association (NPA) is the nation’s leading trade association for dietary supplements and natural health products. See the NPA’s Action Center

We also kicked off Episode #100 of the PricePlow Podcast with Dr. Fabricant by joking about why people continue to demonize such a harmless substance, and for a more recent update from our trip to Washington DC, see Episode #139 with a star-studded cast.

You can sign up for PricePlow’s Natural Products Association news, and see our previous articles mentioning creatine on the PricePlow Blog.

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About the Author: Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public. Mike is currently experimenting with a low Vitamin A diet.

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  1. United States House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services. “Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement and National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2025. Report.” 118th Congress, 2nd Session.
  2. Natural Products Association. “House Appropriators Call for Department of Defense to Study Creatine to Strengthen Our Troops”. 31 May 2024.
  3. Poortmans, Jacques R., and Marc Francaux. “Long-Term Oral Creatine Supplementation Does Not Impair Renal Function in Healthy Athletes.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, vol. 31, no. 8, Aug. 1999, pp. 1108–1110, doi:10.1097/00005768-199908000-00005.
  4. Jäger, Ralf, et al. “Analysis of the Efficacy, Safety, and Regulatory Status of Novel Forms of Creatine.” Amino Acids, vol. 40, no. 5, 22 Mar. 2011, pp. 1369–1383, doi:10.1007/s00726-011-0874-6.
  5. Kreider, Richard B., et al. “Bioavailability, Efficacy, Safety, and Regulatory Status of Creatine and Related Compounds: A Critical Review.” Nutrients, vol. 14, no. 5, 28 Feb. 2022, p. 1035, doi:10.3390/nu14051035.
  6. Wallimann, Theo, et al. “The Creatine Kinase System and Pleiotropic Effects of Creatine.” Amino Acids, vol. 40, no. 5, 1 May 2011, pp. 1271–1296, doi:10.1007/s00726-011-0877-3.
  7. Greenhaff, P. L., et al. “Effect of Oral Creatine Supplementation on Skeletal Muscle Phosphocreatine Resynthesis.” American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 266, no. 5, 1 May 1994, pp. E725–E730, doi:10.1152/ajpendo.1994.266.5.e725.
  8. Hultman, E., et al. “Muscle Creatine Loading in Men.” Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 81, no. 1, July 1996, pp. 232–237,, doi:10.1152/jappl.1996.81.1.232.
  9. Ydfors, Mia, et al. “Modellingin Vivocreatine/Phosphocreatinein Vitroreveals Divergent Adaptations in Human Muscle Mitochondrial Respiratory Control by ADP after Acute and Chronic Exercise.” The Journal of Physiology, vol. 594, no. 11, 4 Feb. 2016, pp. 3127–3140, doi:10.1113/jp271259.
  10. Brosnan, John T., et al. “The Metabolic Burden of Creatine Synthesis.” Amino Acids, vol. 40, no. 5, 1 May 2011, pp. 1325–1331,, doi:10.1007/s00726-011-0853-y.
  11. Chilibeck, Philip, et al. “Effect of Creatine Supplementation during Resistance Training on Lean Tissue Mass and Muscular Strength in Older Adults: A Meta-Analysis.” Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. Volume 8, Nov. 2017, pp. 213–226, doi:10.2147/oajsm.s123529.
  12. Burke, Ryan, et al. “The Effects of Creatine Supplementation Combined with Resistance Training on Regional Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis.” Nutrients, vol. 15, no. 9, 1 Jan. 2023, p. 2116, doi:10.3390/nu15092116.
  13. Forbes, Scott C., et al. “Meta-Analysis Examining the Importance of Creatine Ingestion Strategies on Lean Tissue Mass and Strength in Older Adults.” Nutrients, vol. 13, no. 6, 2 June 2021, p. 1912, doi:10.3390/nu13061912.
  14. dos Santos, Ellem Eduarda Pinheiro, et al. “Efficacy of Creatine Supplementation Combined with Resistance Training on Muscle Strength and Muscle Mass in Older Females: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Nutrients, vol. 13, no. 11, 24 Oct. 2021, p. 3757, doi:10.3390/nu13113757.
  15. Wu, Shih-Hao, et al. “Creatine Supplementation for Muscle Growth: A Scoping Review of Randomized Clinical Trials from 2012 to 2021.” Nutrients, vol. 14, no. 6, 1 Jan. 2022, p. 1255. doi:10.3390/nu14061255.
  16. Avgerinos, Konstantinos I., et al. “Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Cognitive Function of Healthy Individuals: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Experimental Gerontology, vol. 108, July 2018, pp. 166–173, doi:10.1016/j.exger.2018.04.013.
  17. Prokopidis, Konstantinos, et al. “Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Memory in Healthy Individuals: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Nutrition Reviews, vol. 81, no. 4, 19 Aug. 2022, doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuac064.
  18. Gordji-Nejad, Ali, et al. “Single Dose Creatine Improves Cognitive Performance and Induces Changes in Cerebral High Energy Phosphates during Sleep Deprivation.” Scientific Reports, vol. 14, no. 1, 28 Feb. 2024, p. 4937, doi:10.1038/s41598-024-54249-9.
  19. Rae, Caroline, et al. “Oral Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation Improves Brain Performance: A Double–Blind, Placebo–Controlled, Cross–over Trial.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences, vol. 270, no. 1529, 22 Oct. 2003, pp. 2147–2150, doi:10.1098/rspb.2003.2492.
  20. Benton, David, and Rachel Donohoe. “The Influence of Creatine Supplementation on the Cognitive Functioning of Vegetarians and Omnivores.” The British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 105, no. 7, 2011, pp. 1100–5, doi:10.1017/S0007114510004733.
  21. Blancquaert, Laura, et al. “Changing to a Vegetarian Diet Reduces the Body Creatine Pool in Omnivorous Women, but Appears Not to Affect Carnitine and Carnosine Homeostasis: A Randomised Trial.” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 119, no. 7, 23 Mar. 2018, pp. 759–770, doi:10.1017/s000711451800017x.
  22. Kaviani, Mojtaba, et al. “Benefits of Creatine Supplementation for Vegetarians Compared to Omnivorous Athletes: A Systematic Review.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 17, no. 9, 1 Jan. 2020, p. 3041, doi:10.3390/ijerph17093041.

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