Monday, October 2

Side Effects of Creatine: Is it Safe? FAQs That You Need to KnowSide effects

  • How it works
  • Cramps and dehydration
  • Weight gain
  • Liver and kidney
  • Digestion
  • Acne
  • Drug interaction
  • Other effects
  • Bottom line

Creatine is the best supplement for sports performance. Some people are hesitant to take Creatine despite its many benefits.

What is Creatine? What is Creatine?

Creatine is the best supplement for sports performance. However, despite the numerous benefits that Creatine has been shown to have, many people don’t take it because they fear it will harm their health.

Some people claim it can cause weight gain, cramping, and problems with digestion, the liver, and kidneys. However, hundreds of studies have supported its safety and effectiveness.

This article presents an evidence-based overview of Creatine’s safety and side effects.

Claimed side effects of Creatine

The side effects of Creatine can vary depending on the person you ask.

  • kidney damage
  • liver damage
  • Kidney stones
  • Weight gain
  • bloating
  • Dehydration
  • Muscle cramps
  • digestive concerns
  • compartment syndrome
  • rhabdomyolysis

Is Creatine considered a steroid?

Some people incorrectly claim that Creatine is an anabolic steroid. They also claim it’s not suitable for women and teenagers.

The International Society of Sports Nutrition considers Creatine extremely safe 

After 21 months of creatine supplementation, 69 health markers were examined in one study. It did not find any adverse effects

Also, Creatine has been used to treat various health issues, such as concussions and diabetes 

Is Creatine safe to use every day?

It is safe to take creatine supplements daily, even if you have been taking them for several years.

High doses of Creatine (up to 30 grams/day) are not known to have any adverse side effects.

Research has shown that creatine supplementation can positively affect athletes .


While some make unsubstantiated claims about Creatine’s safety and side effects, research has not supported them.

How does Creatine function biologically?

Creatine can be found all over your body, with 95% stored in your muscles

It can be obtained from meat and fish and naturally made in the body using amino acids 

Creatinine is not a compound that can be stored in your muscles.

For a person weighing 154 lbs (70 kg), the average store is 120 mmol/kg. However, creatine supplements can increase these stores to 160 mmol/kg

The stored Creatine aids in the production of more energy during high-intensity exercise. This is why Creatine improves exercise performance 

After filling your muscles with Creatine, your liver breaks down the excess and converts it into creatinine. Then, it is released into your urine 


Your muscles store around 95% of your Creatine. It provides more energy for intense exercise and increases your ability to perform high-intensity activities.

Can it cause cramps or dehydration?

Creatine alters the stored content in your body, driving more water into your muscle cells ( 

This may explain the claim that Creatine causes dehydration. This shift in the cellular water content is not significant, and no studies support claims of dehydration.

Three-year studies of college athletes revealed that creatine users had fewer muscle cramps, dehydration, and muscle injuries than those who did not take it. They also missed fewer sessions because of illness or injury 

One study examined Creatine’s effects on exercise in hot conditions, which can cause cramping and dehydration. A 35-minute session of cycling at 99degF (37degC) revealed no adverse consequences for cyclists compared to a placebo

Additional blood tests confirmed no difference in electrolyte or hydration levels. These are critical factors in muscle cramps 

Individuals who have undergone hemodialysis, a medical procedure that can cause cramps, had the most convincing results. The cramping rate in the creatine-treated group was 60% lower 

According to current evidence, Creatine doesn’t cause cramping or dehydration. Creatine may prevent these conditions.


Contrary to popular belief, Creatine does not increase your chances of cramps or dehydration. Creatine may reduce your chances of developing these conditions.

Can Creatine cause weight loss?

Creatine supplements have been extensively researched to cause a rapid increase in body weight.

A study showed that participants gained around 2-6 pounds after consuming 20 grams of Creatine daily for a week 

Studies have shown that creatine users may experience a longer-term increase in body weight than those who don’t take it. This weight gain is not due to increased muscle mass — but body fat

An increase in muscle mass may benefit seniors, people with obesity, and others with certain diseases 


Creatine does not cause weight gain by gaining fat, but rather an increase in water content within your muscles.


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What does it do to your liver and kidneys?

Creatinine levels can be slightly increased by taking Creatine. The most common way to measure creatinine in your blood is to diagnose kidney and liver conditions

However, just because Creatine increases creatinine does not mean it is causing damage to your liver or kidneys

No evidence has shown harm to these organs from creatine use in healthy subjects 

Long-term studies of college athletes showed no side effects on the liver or kidneys. Other studies that measured biological markers in urine showed no difference after creatine intake 

Another long-running study, lasting four years, concluded that Creatine does not cause any side effects 

In another well-known study, kidney disease was reported in the media by a male weightlifter who took creatine supplementation 

However, more evidence is needed. There were many other factors involved, including supplements 

If you have any kidney or liver problems, it is essential to be cautious about taking creatine supplements. You can consult your healthcare professional to determine if Creatine is suitable and appropriate for you.


Recent research shows that Creatine is not harmful to the liver or kidneys.

Does it cause digestive concerns?

Excessive doses of supplements or medications can cause problems with the digestive system.

A 2008 study found that a 5-gram dose, taken twice daily, caused diarrhea in 29%. This was not significantly different from the placebo. A 10-gram dose, taken once daily, increased the risk of diarrhea by 56% 

The recommended serving size is 3-5 grams. The loading protocol of 20 grams is broken down into four 5g servings over a day 

There is no evidence to suggest that Creatine can cause digestive problems, despite some reports 

Ingredients or contaminants can cause problems 

It is recommended to purchase high-quality, trusted products.


When the recommended dosages are met, and the loading guidelines are adhered to, Creatine does not cause digestive problems.

Does Creatine give you acne?

Creatine is not known to cause acne. Creatine can increase your exercise intensity and duration, which may lead to more sweat. While sweating may lead to acne, Creatine is not.

Research has shown that topically applying Creatine to your skin can improve wrinkles, aging, and damage 


Current research does not support the idea that Creatine causes acne. Some studies have shown that Creatine can reduce wrinkles, aging, and skin damage.

What is the interaction of Creatine with other drugs?

Before you begin any diet or supplement, consult a doctor.

If you are taking any medication that hurts your liver or kidney function, creatine supplements may be something you should avoid.

Creatine can interact with some medications, so check with your doctor before supplementing.

Creatine can improve blood glucose management. If you’re taking medication that affects blood sugar, talk to your doctor 

You should consult your healthcare professional if you are pregnant, nursing, or have other severe conditions such as cancer or heart disease.


Creatine can cause problems if you take certain medications, such as those that affect blood sugar.

Side effects

Creatine may cause compartment syndrome, where excessive pressure builds up inside an enclosed space. This can usually be found in the muscles of the legs or arms.

One study showed that heat training could increase muscle pressure by up to 2 hours. However, it was not Creatine that caused this.

Researchers concluded that the pressure was insignificant and short-lived.

Some believe creatine supplements can increase your risk for rhabdomyolysis. This condition is where muscle breaks down and releases proteins into the bloodstream. This idea is unsupported by evidence.

This myth was created by a marker in your blood called creatine Kinase. 

This is quite a difference from the high levels of creatine kinase associated with rhabdomyolysis. Some experts suggest that Creatine may be able to protect against this condition Creatine is often confused with anabolic steroids. This is another myth. Creatine, a legal and natural substance, can be found in your body and food — such as meat — without any link to steroids

There is also the misconception that Creatine is only suitable for male athletes. However, there is no evidence that Creatine is unsuitable for older adults or women 

Unlike most other supplements, Creatine has been administered to children to treat conditions such as neuromuscular disorders and muscle loss.

Studies that lasted as long as three years showed no adverse effects on Creatine in children ( 


Creatine’s safety profile has been consistently demonstrated by research. It is not known if it causes compartment syndrome or rhabdomyolysis.