As a regular gym-goer, I always look for ways to enhance my workouts and build muscle more efficiently. I decided to take creatine supplements to boost strength and endurance during high-intensity exercise.
However, after a few days of taking creatine, I started experiencing intense thirst and dry mouth, leaving me wondering: does creatine make you thirsty?
Creatine can make you thirsty, which may occur from intracellular water retention. This hydrophilic supplement draws more water into muscle cells from interstitial sources – outside muscles and between the organs. Thus you feel more thirsty and dehydrated.
But, no evidence supports that creatine causes dehydration.
Dive into the full article to hydrate your brain with all the juicy details and expert insights on whether or not creatine makes you thirsty.
Does Creatine Make You Thirsty?
Creatine supplementation has been shown to increase thirst in some individuals. Creatine pulls water into the muscles, which may cause dehydration and an increased need for fluids.
However, you may experience thirst if you take a large dose of creatine. With a short-term supplementation, the dehydrated effect is insignificant.
In many people, water retention may not directly cause increased thirst. Generally, when using creatine, dehydration can happen if the body loses more fluids than it takes in due to factors such as sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, or not drinking enough water. Later, this can lead to symptoms like thirst, dry mouth, fatigue, and dizziness.
Eating carbs with creatine may also increase the thirst for many due to removing fluids caused by insulin secretion.
So, drinking enough water while taking creatine is wise to avoid thirst, dry mouth, and dehydration.
Check the link between creatine and hydration levels.
Does Creatine Make You Bloated?
Creatine can sometimes make you bloated and may make you feel a bit puffy or swollen. The reason is creatine draws water into your skeletal muscles, which can also cause an increase in total body water (TBW) levels. It mostly occurs in the loading phase when you start taking creatine or if you take too much creatine.
However, not everyone experiences bloating when taking creatine, and it tends to be a temporary side effect that goes away once you stop taking the supplement.
Learn more about bloating from creatine.
Does Creatine Make You Pee?
Yes, taking creatine can sometimes cause an increase in urination. Creatine draws water into your muscles, increasing total body water (TBW) levels. As a result, your body may need to eliminate more water through urination to maintain balance.
However, this side effect is generally mild and temporary and should not cause concern. But consult your physician if you experience other symptoms, such as pain or discomfort during urination.
Click here to learn about creatine and increased urination.
How To Manage Thirst While Taking Creatine?
To manage thirst while taking creatine, stay hydrated and maintain electrolyte balance. Here are some tips to help manage thirst.
Drink plenty of water.
Adequate hydration is essential when taking creatine. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, and more if you are engaging in intense physical activity.
Keep track of how much water you drink each day and adjust your intake based on your activity level and any signs of dehydration, such as thirst, dry mouth, or dark urine.
Discover the proper water intake with creatine.
Creatine supplement with added electrolytes
Some creatine supplements contain added electrolytes – sodium, potassium, and magnesium. It can help maintain proper fluid balance and reduce the risk of dehydration. But be sure to consult with a professional consultant before taking any new supplements.
Further, consuming foods such as bananas, avocados, spinach, nuts, and seeds can help maintain electrolyte balance in the body.
Avoid taking drugs like diuretics, which increase urine output and can lead to dehydration. So, avoid diuretics such as caffeine, alcohol, and certain medications while taking creatine to prevent dehydration.
Listen to your body
If you experience excessive thirst, dehydration, or any other concerning symptoms while taking creatine, consult with a doctor to determine whether creatine supplementation is right for you.
What Happens If You Don’t Drink Enough Water While On Creatine?
Neglecting water intake while taking creatine can trigger unpleasant consequences on your body.
When you don’t drink enough water, it can cause dehydration due to water retention. It can decrease your physical and cognitive performance – particularly problematic for athletes and bodybuilders who rely on their performance to achieve their goals.
Not drinking enough water can cause painful muscle cramps and interfere with athletic performance. It occurs because when the body is dehydrated, it cannot properly regulate the minerals and electrolytes in the muscles, which leads to cramping and spasms.
Kidney and Liver Disease
If you consistently don’t drink enough water, it can eventually result in kidney and liver diseases. When you’re chronically dehydrated, your kidneys struggle to work and can become impaired over time. As a result, you may experience kidney disease and kidney failure and possibly require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Increased risk of injury
Insufficient water can lead to dehydration and may increase the risk of injury. It can cause the body to become more susceptible to strain and damage. Besides, dehydrated muscles and joints are more likely to become injured or inflamed, leading to pain, stiffness, and limited mobility.
Dehydration may trigger headaches, which may be especially troublesome if you’re prone to migraines or other headaches.
Dizziness and lightheadedness
You may also experience dizziness and lightheadedness, especially when driving or handling heavy equipment. Your blood pressure may decrease, resulting in various symptoms, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting.
Insufficient water intake might lead to digestive issues such as constipation, bloating, and stomach cramps.
Dehydration interferes with your body’s digestion and waste disposal process, resulting in several uncomfortable and potentially risky symptoms.
Learn the pros and cons of taking creatine.
So, does creatine make you thirsty?
Creatine may cause thirst as it attracts more water from your body to the muscle cells. Your muscle will gain enough mass; however, the process may cause excessive thirst in some people. So, it’s crucial to drink sufficient water while on creatine.
For more on the effect of creatine, 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.