If you suffer from stomach problems, then bloating is nothing new. It can happen whether you eat regular food or take dietary supplements like creatine or BCAA.
Here the problem is with the absorption and digestion of the food or the supplement. However, there are two schools for the bloating issue while taking creatine. One said it did; the other simply denied it.
So, does creatine make you bloated?
Creatine can cause bloating when you take a high amount during the loading phase. Bloating occurs when you don’t take enough liquid, and the stomach has to cover this up by pulling water to help creatine dissolve and absorb in the body. But this doesn’t last long, and regular adequate water intake will resolve the problem.
Learn here more about creatine bloating and the ways to avoid it from happening.
Does Creatine Make You Bloated?
The thing is, creatine can make some people feel bloated. As many have said, it is also a common side effect of creatine. Those who complained of bloating or a bloated feeling in the stomach to make it look bigger were mainly in the creatine-loading phase.
Taking around 30 g of creatine together makes it challenging for your body to excrete, making you slightly bloated.
This happens if the creatine powder isn’t dissolved in a liquid like orange juice, water, milk, or overnight oats. But the bloating will go away as soon as it is absorbed. Your stomach will start to pull extra water into the stomach to dissolve creatine.
This is what makes you bloated. Check for symptoms of bloating like
- Stomach aches
Creatine has a hydration shell that can absorb a large volume of water. Water becomes highly concentrated in the muscles with more glucose. The cells will then have a lot of glycogen storage. More water and glycogen slow the cells’ functions to remove excess water. They are harder to fatigue.
So, it depends on how you make and drink it. The key is to drink sufficient water when you are taking creatine.
But it can also happen if you take a high-calorie or protein diet and creatine.
How Long Does This Last?
The sooner your body absorbs creatine, the faster the bloating will go away. It usually takes a day or two for this to stop happening.
So, you will feel bloated for the time when the stomach tries to pull water to dissolve creatine. It will also depend on factors like your daily creatine dosage, time of taking, workout intensity, regular diet, etc.
Typically, bloating stays for a couple of hours, in case you feel any. It becomes less and less common after the loading phase.
Does Creatine Cause Bloat on Face?
There is little or no chance of looking watery and feeling water under the skin. Only in case you overdose, creatine can make your face look puffy from the bloating in the stomach.
Most consumers who suffer from bloating will have troubles in the gastrointestinal system. So, the stomach is the only part affected by water retention and looks big.
What to Do to Remove Bloating?
Now, if you suffer from bloating as a side effect, you can’t just leave it untreated. You can try something to get rid of it as soon as possible. Help your stomach!
Since you know that bloating happens when creatine isn’t dissolved well, the trick is allowing it to absorb faster. You have to stop the muscle cells from causing water absorption from the surroundings.
So, drink a lot of water for these cells. It will allow the stomach to dissolve, absorb creatine, and help you excrete quicker. The creatine will pass out faster through urine and will give some relief. Besides, creatine won’t be removed before it adds all the benefits to the body once absorbed.
If this remedy doesn’t work and you are still uncomfortable, consult a doctor immediately.
How to Avoid Creatine Bloating?
Instead of removing creatine bloating after it happens, it’s better to prevent it in the first place. Otherwise, the stomach can’t absorb the essential nutrients from creatine due to excess water absorption. Although not all tricks for avoiding this would work, these are worth a try.
The loading phase has 20 to 30g of creatine per day for 7 days, whereas you will need to take 3 to 5 g regularly for the rest of the course for the maintenance phase.
During the loading phase, the muscles will get used to high doses of creatine and saturate the muscles with creatine faster over time. But this can make you bloated if not dissolved properly.
So, you need to ensure the right amount of creatine that is suitable for you to take daily. Not all consumers must maintain the usual 30g or 5g daily dosage. It depends on your stomach condition and what the doctors recommend.
If you are new to using creatine, experiment with small amounts for some days to find the correct dosage.
Skip the Loading Phase
To ensure that the body isn’t overloaded with creatine, avoid the loading phase, even if this would increase muscle mass. To do this, you can also use creatine HCL which doesn’t need a loading phase.
Besides, the loading phase can be optional as well. Or you can have a lower dose in the loading phase instead of 20 to 30 g.
So, you can try taking the suggested daily dose in the maintenance stage. This will also give you adequate creatine saturation, similar to the loading phase.
Change the Creatine Brand
Creatine brands are countless, and you need the perfect brand, like the correct dosage. Creatine monohydrate is the most commonly taken one, but there are others like creatine hydrochloride, citrate, malate, etc.
Check the differences between Creapure and Creatine to find which is better for stopping bloating.
There is no proven evidence that buffered creatine monohydrate, Kre-Alkalyn, is easy to absorb and free from bloating. Always opt for creatine monohydrates or certified ones.
Lifestyle and Habits
Be active when taking creatine to increase blood circulation and ease digestion.
Food and Water
Whenever you are taking creatine, ensure that your diet has some essential nutrients to help absorb and utilize creatine.
Firstly, drink a lot of water, at least 100 ml per gram of creatine. So, for 5g daily, you will need to drink around half a liter of water. Creatine should only pair with protein-rich foods or more greens.
Choose High-quality Creatine
This doesn’t depend only on a popular or expensive brand but on the ones with better reviews. But never go for versions of creatine to save some bucks. You might find some that are said to be a replication of creatine, like HCL or buffer. They might be effective but don’t have solid evidence or certification.
So, the best choice for you is creatine monohydrate, like Naked Nutrition’s Naked Creatine Monohydrate. Check brands with this as the sole ingredient, not loads of other elements.
But above all, remember that bloating is a common side effect of creatine. Ironically, if this happens, it means that the supplement is working. After taking it regularly, bloating will slowly diminish if you maintain your diet and perform regular training and exercises.
You need to stop taking creatine for a few days or talk to your health specialist when it doesn’t stop.
Creatine and Belly Fat
A common misconception is that creatine can make you gain weight since you are building muscles. But this isn’t true since creatine only works with muscles.
If your belly looks bigger than usual, it can happen if you are bloated. Bloating in the stomach makes the muscles swollen from excess water absorption and puffs the stomach walls. This is in no way belly fat.
Due to the hydration shell, they also get full of water when taking a lot of creatine for the muscles. When bloated, the muscles will temporarily look big until the kidneys remove excess water via urine.
So, water retention occurs in the body. You will have a spongy feel. Water retention can make you look puffy and gain around 1.5 to 3 pounds. This can make you worry that you are gaining weight. But this goes away easily after the body adjusts to the creatine doses.
However, if the water retention becomes consistent and you suffer from bloating more frequently, this can cause severe kidney and blood vessel problems. Seek healthcare to avoid this from happening, which can later lead to severe diseases.
Can Creatine Make You Gassy?
Creatine doesn’t make you gassy. If you are bloated from taking creatine, you will also feel an acidic reflux or gassiness in the stomach. Mainly this can happen if you already have existing digestive conditions. However, in the initial stages, creatine is said to cause digestive disorders, including acidity. This is temporary and goes away the same way as bloating.
Do females experience bloating from creatine?
Both males and females experience the same benefits and drawbacks from creatine. So, they might also suffer from bloating. Women might also stress about gaining weight from bloating. While it will make you gain some pounds from water retention, try to remove bloating as much as possible. In the long run, creatine will benefit you greatly with more energy and muscles.
If you are taking creatine, be aware of any cases of bloating. The key is to drink a lot of water with the supplement for better digestion. Bloating will cause discomfort, but fortunately, it doesn’t last long. Besides, you can easily eliminate different side effects if you choose a great brand and take the right dose.
Since this is a long-term supplementation, the best practice is to consult with a nutritionist or healthcare professional. They will help you to find the correct dose and type of creatine. Then you can also decide whether to take creatine at all.
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.