As a mother, your top priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of your precious little one. Whether you’re an athlete or just looking to stay healthy, taking supplements like creatine can be tempting. But before you start using this popular supplement, you must learn if you can take creatine while breastfeeding.
It’s wise to avoid creatine while breastfeeding as it can pass into breast milk and affect your nursing baby. According to a study, breastmilk supplies about 9% of the baby’s daily creatine requirements. Excess creatine will lead to a raised serum creatinine converted from creatine, altering the infant’s kidney function.
Let’s dig deeper into the matter and see what consequences you may face for taking creatine while nursing your baby.
Can You Take Creatine While Breastfeeding?
Taking creatine while breastfeeding may not be wise as creatine can pass to the infant’s body through the milk. Human milk already has creatine that fulfills around 9% of your baby’s daily needs. Now, if you take creatine, that will raise the creatinine level of your baby.
Creatine usually converts into creatinine in your body, a waste product excreted by the kidneys. With increased creatine levels, breast milk may increase the infant’s serum creatinine. It may affect the kidney function of the baby.
According to a study on a 3-month-old infant, creatinine from the milk may increase creatinine excretion up to 5.3-28.4%.
However, more conclusive research is needed on the effects of creatine on nursing mothers and infants. Most studies on creatine have been conducted on non-pregnant adults, and there is a lack of information about how creatine affects breast milk production and the health of breastfed infants.
But, to keep your baby safe, it’s wise to avoid taking creatine while nursing.
Learn if creatine is good or bad for you.
4 Downsides of Taking Creatine While Breastfeeding
Here are some potential downsides of taking creatine while breastfeeding.
Creatine increases water retention in muscle cells, which may lead to dehydration if water intake is not increased. Further, breastfeeding mothers may be at an increased risk of dehydration because of the high demands of producing breast milk. So adding a supplement that increases water retention could worsen the problem.
Check the link between creatine and hydration levels.
Creatine is transformed into waste product creatinine, which your kidney cleanses. If your blood contains high creatine levels, it indicates impaired kidney function.
Nursing mothers supplementing creatine may elevate creatinine levels in a baby’s blood. It can lead to impaired liver function and kidney damage.
Discover the differences between creatine and creatinine.
Breast Milk Production
Since creatine works by increasing the amount of water retained in muscle tissue, it could reduce the amount of water available for lactation. Additionally, creatine supplementation may increase energy expenditure, further impacting breast milk production.
Besides, creatine may have a small impact on reducing prolactin levels that stimulates milk production. However, the evidence is not conclusive.
Interaction with other supplements or medications
Breastfeeding mothers who take creatine supplements may experience interactions with other supplements or medications they are taking. For instance, creatine supplements could interact with diuretics, drugs that help manage high blood pressure and heart failure.
Learn if you can take creatine and Accutane together.
Alternatives to Creatine for Breastfeeding Mothers
As a breastfeeding mother, your health and well-being are crucial for you and your baby. While creatine may not be the ideal choice for breastfeeding mothers, there are several natural and safe alternatives that you can consider.
Regular exercise is a great way to naturally increase your energy and muscle strength. Whether it’s brisk walking, yoga, or strength training, finding an exercise routine that works for you can make a significant difference. However, don’t forget to check with a professional dietitian before starting any new exercise routine to ensure it’s safe for you and your baby.
Eat a balanced diet
A balanced diet is crucial to provide your body with the energy and nutrients it needs to maintain muscle strength. Include a variety of nutrient-dense foods – lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. They are all excellent choices to keep you fueled throughout the day.
To fulfill your creatine requirements, you can take foods high in creatine, like salmon, tuna, red meat, etc.
Drink plenty of water, preferably at least 8 glasses per day, and other fluids that can hydrate the body, such as coconut water. Remember, staying hydrated can help ensure the mother’s body has enough fluids to produce breast milk and support her and the baby’s overall health.
Get enough rest
Getting enough sleep is crucial for maintaining both physical and mental health. Sleep affects numerous bodily functions, including the production of hormones, immune system function, appetite regulation, cardiovascular health, and breathing. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and try to rest when your baby is napping.
3 Alternative Supplements While Breastfeeding
You can take these 3 supplements as an alternative to creatine to keep you and your baby safe and healthy. However, always consult your physician before taking any supplements.
- B-vitamins – Breastfeeding mothers may benefit from B vitamins, specifically B12 and B6, as they help support energy metabolism and increase energy levels. Further, B vitamins can help combat fatigue and promote overall health and well-being.
- Magnesium – As magnesium plays a crucial role in muscle function, Breastfeeding mothers may benefit from magnesium consumption to improve muscle strength.
- Adaptogenic herbs – Adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha and rhodiola may help improve energy levels and reduce stress while breastfeeding.
Can I take a pre-workout while breastfeeding?
Pre-workout supplements usually contain caffeine and other stimulants that can pass through breast milk to your baby. It can cause adverse effects, such as irritability, restlessness, and trouble sleeping. So, talk to a registered dietitian about safe and appropriate options to support your fitness goals while breastfeeding.
Is it safe to take creatine while pregnant?
Although creatine may have potential benefits for the fetus and newborn, it is not recommended to take it during pregnancy without a doctor’s advice. Pregnancy involves increased metabolic activity, and the placenta is a significant source of free radicals. So, consult a healthcare provider before taking any supplement.
So, can you take creatine while breastfeeding?
Creatine is not recommended while breastfeeding. While creatine may seem harmless, the effects on your baby’s health are uncertain. Remember, your baby’s safety is priceless, and seeking professional advice before taking any supplements is a small price to pay.
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I am a health and wellness enthusiast working in a Pittsburgh-based wellness clinic. My primary role as a consultant is to tailor a balanced lifestyle for my patients, where positive steps and potent supplements play a synergistic role.