The Science Behind Creatine and Your Bowel Movements

Picture this: you’ve embarked on a fitness journey fueled by determination and a shiny new tub of creatine supplements. Your trainer swore by its muscle-boosting abilities, but a quick online search raises a curious question – “Does creatine make you poop more?”

Scientific evidence doesn’t conclusively link creatine to increased pooping; bowel movement after taking creatine may vary from person to person. However, research suggests that creatine may cause gastrointestinal distress, leading to diarrhea and frequent bowel movements during loading.

Let’s explore whether creatine sends you sprinting to the restroom more often or is just another myth circulating in the fitness world.

Creatine and Increased Bowel Movements: What Research Suggests?

Creatine supplements are popular among athletes and gym-goers for improving physical performance and building muscle mass. However, it’s crucial to differentiate between facts and false beliefs regarding supplements.

One common myth associated with creatine supplementation is that it leads to increased bowel movements. But before we explore it, let’s check the impact of creatine on digestion.

The Science Behind Creatine And Digestion

If you eat foods that contain creatine or take supplements that contain it, your body needs to absorb it in the gut before your muscles can use it. This happens when creatine is absorbed in the intestines and enters the bloodstream. However, the effectiveness of this process can differ from person to person.

The liver and kidneys synthesize creatine, which is then transported to the muscles. In the muscles, creatine is converted into creatine phosphate, which aids in forming adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This ATP serves as a source of energy for muscle contractions.

Once the muscles have used creatine, it becomes creatinine, a waste product. The kidneys then excrete creatinine out of the body.

This is how creatine completes its journey in your body.

Creatine is generally well-absorbed and seldom affects bowel movements. But some people may experience bloating or discomfort if not absorbed efficiently.

So Does Creatine Make You Poop More?

No evidence suggests that taking creatine supplements leads to increased bowel movements. But based on available research, creatine can cause gastrointestinal side effects like stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and nausea.

These side effects may occur during the loading phase when large doses of creatine are consumed at once.

A study examined if top-level soccer players experience stomach problems from taking creatine supplements. The players were divided into two groups: one group took two 5g doses per day, and the other took one 10g daily. Both groups experienced stomach problems, but the group that took a single 10g dose of creatine had a higher incidence of diarrhea (55.6% compared to 28.6% in the group that took two 5g doses).

The study suggests that taking creatine supplements in smaller, split doses (like two 5-gram doses) doesn’t harm the stomach. However, taking a bigger single dose (like 10 grams at once) might increase the chance of having diarrhea.

Creatine is generally safe, but everyone reacts differently. If you experience stomach issues, try a different form, adjust your dosage, or take it with food.

Is it only poop, or does creatine cause more pee? Check out.

Does Creatine Make You Poop?

Other Digestive Effects Of Creatine

Research has shown that taking creatine supplements may lead to several digestive problems.

  • Bloating: Creatine pulls water into your muscle cells, which can cause your stomach to feel bloated.
  • Diarrhea: High doses of creatine during loading can lead to loose stools, a common side effect.
  • Nausea: Some people report feeling nauseous after taking creatine, particularly if they take a high dose or take it on an empty stomach.
  • Stomach Cramps: Creatine can cause stomach cramps, especially when it’s not fully dissolved in water or taken without sufficient water.
  • Gas: Some people may experience increased gas after taking creatine.

Creatine and Dehydration

The common misconception is that creatine supplementation can lead to dehydration and muscle cramping. Creatine has an osmotic effect, drawing water into your muscles. This can lead to dehydration if you’re not drinking enough water, particularly during intense exercise.

However, research does not support the idea that creatine supplementation increases the risk of dehydration or muscle cramps. In fact, a review of studies found that creatine supplementation might reduce the incidence of muscle cramping in athletes.

Proper Use Of Creatine For Optimal Digestive Health

Here’s how you can optimize creatine supplementation for your digestive health.

Start with a Lower Dose

Research suggests that high doses of creatine cause digestive issues like diarrhea and stomach cramps. So, start with a lower dose to see how your body reacts. Most research supports a daily intake of 3-5 grams of creatine monohydrate, effectively increasing muscle creatine stores without needing a loading phase.

Stay Hydrated

Creatine pulls water into your muscle cells, and not consuming enough water can lead to dehydration and increase the risk of gastrointestinal discomfort.

A general guideline is to drink an additional 16-20 ounces of water for every 5 grams of creatine you take. This will help in reducing the chances of bloating and stomach cramps.

Take Creatine with Meals

Take creatine with a meal that has carbs and proteins to improve absorption and avoid stomach issues. Insulin in the meal helps creatine enter your muscles.

Avoid taking creatine on an empty stomach; it may increase the risk of gastrointestinal distress. Instead, take it with or after meals.

Choose the Right Form of Creatine

Choose the form of creatine that suits you most.

Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine monohydrate is the most researched and widely used form of creatine, one of the most gut-friendly forms. If you’re experiencing stomach discomfort with other forms of creatine, switching to creatine monohydrate may alleviate these issues.

Micronized Creatine

Micronized creatine is another option. It’s essentially creatine monohydrate, but the particles are smaller. This can lead to better mixing and potentially less stomach discomfort.

Monitor Your Body

If your digestion still bothers you despite following these tips, consider talking to a healthcare provider or rethinking your use of creatine.

Consult a Healthcare Professional

Before starting any supplementation, it’s always best to consult a healthcare professional. They can guide the appropriate dosage and form of creatine that may suit your health and fitness goals.

What Other Supplements Make You Poop?

Several dietary supplements can have an impact on bowel movements. These include:

  • Probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support gut health. Some strains can help alleviate constipation, while others might increase bowel movements in certain individuals.
  • Fiber Supplements: Supplements like psyllium husk, inulin, and others can add bulk to the stool.
  • Vitamin C: High doses of Vitamin C can cause a laxative effect by drawing water into the intestines, making the stool softer, and encouraging bowel movements.
Which Supplements Make You Poop?


Does creatine make you poop? While some recorded digestive issues like diarrhea, cramp, etc after taking creatine, no conclusive evidence suggests a link between creatine and increased bowel.

Consult a doctor or dietitian if you experience digestive issues when taking creatine supplements. You can also visit our blogs for more creatine info.

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