If we take a lot of creatine suddenly, it is natural to stress about upsetting the stomach. What if the stomach can’t take it, and you can’t leave it either? While minor stomach problems are common when loading creatine.
But what if things get worse? Does creatine cause diarrhea?
Creatine can cause diarrhea if it isn’t absorbed properly and your body has too much of it. The body tries to remove the excess creatine by mixing it with water extracted from the intestinal walls. Diarrhea can also happen if you don’t drink enough water to counter the issue.
Learn more about creatine and digestive problems, how to avoid it, and the recommended way to take it to prevent diarrhea or similar issues.
Creatine and Diarrhea: Is There a Link?
Creatine is said to cause digestive problems like stomach aches or bloating due to loading with a lot of creatine at once or for the supplement to interact with other medicines. Some consumers have reported suffering from diarrhea while on creatine.
So, it all depends on the amount that your stomach can handle.
Sometimes creatine is not digested properly, drawing in water from intestinal walls. The excess is removed through feces. But if the amount is too high, things can turn into diarrhea and dehydration.
It can also happen if, in the loading phase, you take a lot of creatine but do not drink enough water. Or if you mix creatine with elements that lead to adverse effects like caffeine.
Research showed that even 10g of creatine at once can upset your stomach and cause diarrhea. So, instead, take the recommended 5g throughout the day to make up and prevent diarrhea.
Avoid taking extra creatine if you have forgotten it one day.
Do You Need to Stop Taking Creatine?
You don’t need to stop taking creatine altogether if you have diarrhea. Like various other discomforts, this is also a negative reaction from the initial loading of creatine so that it won’t stay long.
Rather you can take small amounts from the start if you have gastrointestinal issues and gradually increase the dose.
However, if the condition worsens or your medicines interfere with creatine that you can’t skip, then it is recommended to stop creatine or other similar supplements.
Is Diarrhea Serious and Long-lasting?
Diarrhea will lead to water loss, so it isn’t desirable. But it is easy to cure. If diarrhea comes from indigestion of creatine, it shouldn’t last more than two days. Once you control your dose and take other necessary steps, diarrhea will go away.
If not, then you should immediately stop taking creatine and seeks healthcare.
How To Stop Diarrhea From Creatine?
You can stop diarrhea from creatine by incorporating a lower dose with adequate hydration and a suitable creatine mix that suits your body.
Although stomach distress is reported to happen among most consumers, it is quite easy to avoid. So, instead of stopping the supplement, try our guidelines developed by healthcare experts before taking creatine.
A loading phase is necessary with the supplement so that the muscle cells have ample reserves. But this means you need around 20 g of creatine daily, which usually causes stomach troubles, even diarrhea.
You can easily skip the loading phase in case it causes serious problems. Otherwise, take 20 g for a week. Simply divide the amount into 4 or 5 g throughout the day for relief. After that, take only around 3 to 5 g, instead of 10g as many athletes take.
Suitable Creatine Mix
Perhaps the drink that you are using to mix creatine is the problem. This is mostly the case with Pre-workouts, which have caffeine and other elements to trouble the bowels. People take them together for extra benefits, but with diarrhea, they get none.
If you need two supplements at once, like creatine with BCAA or protein powder, let your body adjust before taking them regularly. But when the stomach distress is severe, drink only water.
Regardless of the creatine mix, you need a gallon of water to survive. Keep your loading phase filled with at least 4 liters of water regularly. Drink whenever you can, especially after a workout. You need the creatine to absorb well and not draw water from the body.
Before planning on any creatine, talk to a registered dietician. Tell them about your plans, and they can check whether the elements of a particular brand are safe for you.
They will also ensure that creatine won’t interfere with anything given your circumstances. Whenever you suffer from any problem, consult them right away.
It is also advisable to avoid creatine if you are below 18 years.
Safest Dose of Creatine
Creatine has a loading and maintenance phase. The first one has a dose of around 25, while the rest of the session can range from 2 to 10 g daily.
The best way to determine the right dose is to base it according to body weight. This means you can intake 0.3 g for every kilogram of your weight. Then the loading phase can also feel comfortable with minimal side effects.
Calculate the required amount for the loading phase based on these criteria. You need this amount for a week. After that, 3 to 5 g is good enough for regular intake.
It is not uncommon for people to initially use a larger than usual dose or loading dose. For those with existing GI conditions, better to leave out the loading phase and start with 5 g per day. Then you can gradually increase the dose to 10g every day.
What to Avoid While on Creatine?
Avoid some items to ensure creatine is properly digested and keep the kidneys safe. These are caffeine products, soda, herbal tea, and some vitamins.
Other medicines that can counteract this are antibiotics or antivirals, chemo, drugs for stomach disorders, organ transplant, osteoporosis or arthritis, and even painkillers.
If you have heart or kidney diseases, or diabetes, better not to take creatine at all. But what about the liver? Find out whether creatine is good for the liver.
Can creatine lead to various intestinal problems?
When you are taking creatine initially, it will cause some discomfort, especially if the dose is 10g or higher. Common side effects include nausea, burping, vomiting, stomach pain, etc. But the problems fade or become nonexistent when you split the dose throughout the day with a lot of water.
How do the side effects vary between men and women?
Both men and women go through some common side effects when loaded with creatine. The effects are fairly similar; the difference doesn’t depend on gender. Rather they vary according to health conditions, diet, and medical plan.
Does Creatine Cause Diarrhea? Bottom Line
Creatine can cause diarrhea in some consumers, but the percentage is very low. Digestion problems are always common with anything new that you intake. But once the body adjusts, they don’t exist anymore. The same is true for diarrhea. Simply go through the guideline for taking creatine, and you can easily avoid this from happening.
The benefits always outweigh the drawbacks. But do ensure that the problems don’t arise from existing conditions. It is always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before planning any new diet plan or supplements.
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.