Pat Self
October 26, 2014

Is Creatine Bad for You? What About Side Effects?

Is Creatine Bad for YouCreatine is a chemical found in the muscles of the body that provides energy to function properly. Adding more creatine to your body through a creatine supplement is a very popular way to see even more of the benefits of creatine.

If you are an athlete who participates in sports that require short bursts of energy like sprinting, football, or baseball, you may benefit from adding creatine to your diet. It may increase your overall muscular energy levels and allow you to train more so your athletic abilities are enhanced. For endurance athletes, however, creatine is not likely to be very effective, since it only provides the muscles with short energy bursts.

Even though many athletes are using creatine, it has gotten a bit of a bad reputation over the years for its possible side effects. Creatine is the most studied sports nutrition food, however, so there is a lot of information available about the safety and side effects of creatine.

Reported Side Effects

Is creatine bad for you? This is an important question to ask yourself before you commit to using it. Some creatine users report experiencing stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, or muscle cramping after using creatine supplements. However, there have been no studies that have verified any of these side effects. It is likely that the users who experienced these problems after taking creatine were actually experiencing the side effects of other supplements.

Creatine and Your Kidneys

Another common concern that athletes have about creatine is its effect on the kidneys. Those with healthy kidneys have no reason to worry about taking creatine because the kidneys will be able to aid in the use and digestion of creatine. On the other hand, you should definitely not take creatine if you have an existing kidney problem. This is because creatine creates a substance called creatinine, which is impossible for unhealthy kidneys to process. Speak with your doctor to make sure that your kidneys are healthy enough to digest creatine.

Weight Gain

You should be aware that creatine will always cause weight gain. During the first week of use alone, you will gain 2-4lbs from retained water. If you use creatine without working out, you will continue to gain water weight because it pulls water into your cells to stimulate further protein synthesis.

After your first week, you will continue to gain weight from increased muscle mass because the creatine will allow you to lift heavier weights for longer during your workouts. If you do not workout while taking creatine, however, you will only continue to gain water weight.

Effectiveness of Creatine

Unfortunately, creatine doesn’t work for everyone. Based on your genes, you may not see any results from taking creatine. Some individuals just do not respond to creatine. Fortunately, you will know within the first week of use whether or not your body reacts to creatine.

Conclusion

From what we can see of creatine, we think that it is completely safe for most users. For those with kidney problems, stay away from creatine. However, if you are healthy, active, and spend a lot of time in the gym, you can feel comfortable using creatine to help increase athletic performance.

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Comments on "Is Creatine Bad for You? What About Side Effects?"

  1. admin 08/27/2012

    Hey Chris,

    Although Creatine is an anabolic ingredient, meaning that it stimulates the growth of muscle tissue, it doesn’t have any effect on your reproductive organs like some anabolic steroids do.

    Hope this helped!

  2. Mary 03/10/2013

    Protein will really help you out and it isn’t like canitree or steroids or any of that. Protein is good for you, especially as a guy trying to gain weight or muscle. A little protein shake after your workouts will really help. Or if you really don’t want to do that, just eat a lot of protein rich foods (lean meats like turkey, chicken, beans, tuna, fish in gen., eggs)

    • Sylvia 07/03/2014

      Not a beef eater love eggs, chicken, fish.
      I just started on creatine caps. a little worried. Am I ok with this?

  3. Sylvia 07/03/2014

    What are the safety stats on creatine in older women? I am very active. x- military.
    not a gym rat.

    • Pat Self 07/17/2014

      Sylvia,
      Creatine can be used by everyone and at any age. As long as you are working out a little you should be able to benefit from taking creatine. Keep in mind though that some people do not always respond the same to creatine and if you are concerned then you should talk to your doctor to find out if creatine is right for you.

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