Is creatine for sensitive stomach okay?
Many fitness buffs turn to creatine supplements to elevate their strength and athletic performance. However, the supplement’s notorious reputation for causing stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea leaves those with sensitive stomachs hesitant to try it.
In this article, we’ll explore the facts and myths surrounding creatine and its effects on digestion to help you make an informed decision.
Creatine For Sensitive Stomach: Myth Or Make Sense?
Research suggests that taking creatine may result in gastrointestinal issues such as stomach upset, belching, and diarrhea. So if you have a sensitive stomach, your gut may put extra effort into digesting creatine. And this can lead to digestive discomfort.
However, it doesn’t mean people with sensitive stomachs must avoid creatine altogether.
Certain studies propose that creatine suits most people if taken in the recommended amount. But I you have a sensitive stomach, you may need to take some measures to avoid unwanted side effects. With these, professional advice is a must before starting to take creatine.
Why do Creatine Supplements Cause Digestive Discomfort?
The exact cause of digestive discomfort from creatine supplements is not entirely clear. However, there are several possible explanations.
- Dehydration – Creatine supplements may cause the body to retain water, which can lead to dehydration if you don’t drink enough fluids. Dehydration may cause digestive discomfort, including nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
- Low-quality supplements – Low-quality creatine supplements may contain impurities or fillers that are difficult to digest. It can cause digestive discomfort.
- Improper Dosage – Taking too much creatine may lead to digestive discomforts, such as bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The recommended dose of creatine is typically 3-5 grams per day.
- Taking On Empty Stomach – If you take creatine on an empty stomach, you may face digestive discomfort like gas, nausea, vomiting, etc.
Can Creatine Cause Stomach Ulcers?
There is currently no evidence to suggest that creatine causes stomach ulcers. Stomach ulcers are typically caused by a bacterial infection or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
So, if you have symptoms like stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting while taking creatine, it’s best to see a doctor to find out what’s causing them and get the right treatment.
How To Avoid Stomach Problems With Creatine? Proven Tips
Here are some tips to help avoid stomach problems with creatine.
- Ensure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially before and after taking creatine.
- Avoid taking creatine on an empty stomach; take it with food (carbs and protein) for better absorption.
- Start taking creatine supplements with a low dosage and gradually increase the amount over time, with the guidance and recommendations of a qualified dietitian.
- Look for a reputable brand of creatine that is pure and free of contaminants. This can help reduce the risk of stomach problems and other side effects.
- If you have a past medical record of stomach disorders or digestive problems, consult your healthcare provider before taking creatine supplements. They can evaluate whether it is safe for you to consume and offer further suggestions on preventing any potential stomach issues.
Which Creatine Is Easiest On The Stomach?
Creatine monohydrate is the most common and researched form of creatine that is safe and absorbed easily. However, buffered creatine might also be good for sensitive stomachs for its added alkaline powder. It’s supposed to be more stable in the stomach and cause fewer side effects like bloating and cramps.
However, a study suggests no differences in effectiveness and side effects between monohydrate and buffered creatine.
Based on my personal experience, I suggest creatine monohydrate. I’ve been taking it for a while now, and it has worked wonders for me without any adverse side effects.
However, everyone’s body reacts differently, so you should listen to your body and consult a healthcare professional.
How to Choose Creatine Supplements for Sensitive Stomachs?
If you have a sensitive stomach or are prone to digestive issues, choose creatine carefully to avoid unpleasant side effects. Here are some tips.
Look For Micronized Creatine.
Micronized creatine has a smaller particle size compared to regular creatine, which can improve its solubility and absorption in the body. Thus, it can reduce the amount of creatine in the stomach, potentially reducing digestive discomfort.
Avoid Added Ingredients
Some creatine supplements may contain added ingredients, such as caffeine, stimulants, or artificial flavors. It can irritate the stomach. So, look for pure creatine supplements without any added ingredients.
Choose A Reputable Brand
Look for a creatine supplement from a reputable brand that has been third-party tested for purity and quality. Brands that use high-quality raw materials and follow strict manufacturing practices are less likely to contain contaminants or impurities that could irritate your stomach.
Will Creatine Always Upset Your Stomach?
Creatine doesn’t always upset the stomach. While some people may experience gastrointestinal discomforts, such as bloating and diarrhea, others may be totally fit and fine. It depends on the individual, the dosage, and how well people tolerate the supplement.
But, if you continue to have issues, it may be best to discontinue use or speak with a healthcare professional for further advice.
Is Creatine Okay For People With IBS?
There’s not enough conclusive evidence on the impact of creatine on IBS. It mostly depends on person to person. While you may have severe conditions, others with IBS may have no adverse effects after taking creatine.
However, if you have IBS, start with a lower creatine dose and gradually increase the dosage. Also, avoid taking it with sugar or caffeine, as it may worsen your symptoms.
How Long Do Creatine Stomach Cramps Last?
The duration of stomach cramps or other gastrointestinal discomfort caused by creatine supplementation can vary from person to person. For most people, these symptoms usually subside within a few hours to a day after taking the supplement. However, in some cases, the symptoms may persist longer.
To prevent stomach cramps and other gastrointestinal issues, stay hydrated and avoid other substances that may irritate the digestive system, such as caffeine or alcohol.
How To Stop Diarrhea From Creatine?
According to research, the most common gastrointestinal complaint associated with creatine supplementation is diarrhea, reported in 39.0% of cases. However, there are several steps you can take to manage it.
Stop taking creatine
The first step is to stop taking creatine until your symptoms have resolved. This will help prevent further digestive system irritation and allow your body to recover.
You can also try taking half the recommended dose and gradually increase it to see if it helps.
You should stay hydrated when you have diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration. Drink plenty of water, sports drinks, or other fluids that contain electrolytes to help replace fluids and minerals lost through diarrhea.
Eat bland foods
If you’re experiencing diarrhea, you might find relief by following the BRAT diet, which consists of easily digestible and binding foods. These foods, such as bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, are low in fiber and can help firm up your stool, thus alleviating diarrhea symptoms.
Avoid certain foods and beverages.
Avoid foods that worsen diarrhea, such as high-fat or spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners.
If you are still confused about taking creatine for sensitive stomach – well, I won’t blame you, as it may cause gastrointestinal side effects. However, you can take creatine even with a sensitive gut. All you need is to follow some measures to avoid unwanted incidents – use high-quality supplements, take the right dose, and maintain hydration and a proper diet.
Remember: with a little know-how and a lot of determination, you can overcome any obstacle on your journey to success. For safe supplementation, visit our blogs.
I started my professional career as a sports medicine consultant in Rola, Missouri. My primary role was to suggest suitable supplements for my patients according to their pre-existing conditions and lifestyle goals. I believe a healthy lifestyle is the most important if you want to make your life really meaningfull.