Creatine supplements help in increasing strength and muscle mass. But does creatine give you gas too? The answer to this comical (albeit serious) problem comes up in the article below.
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Creatine is a natural amino acid produced by your liver and kidneys and stored in your skeletal muscles. Your body usually produces 1-2 grams of Creatine per day which is not enough to protect you from feeling tired if you wish to do high-intensity exercises.
Fortunately, various creatine supplements are available on the market that can boost energy and increase your muscle mass so as not to feel exhausted at the gym. Unfortunately, there is no good thing that does not have a side-effect! For example, many people ask us: does Creatine give you gas?
Yes, it may cause gas if you don’t drink plenty of water after taking creatine supplements. You can also get gas if you mix your creatine supplements with a protein shake or a sugary drink. Additionally, a high protein diet in a day while taking Creatine may cause gas.
This article discusses gastrointestinal problems caused by Creatine. So, you can continue reading the whole article for more information.
Does Creatine Cause Gas?
Yes, Creatine can cause gas in athletes and gym-goers. Here are some reasons why
#1. Mixing Creatine With Sugary Drink
Some people take Creatine with a sugary drink like orange juice and grape juice. Here, the creatine is actually blameless. Sugar is the root cause of causing gas in your stomach.
#2. Mixing Creatine With Protein Shakes
If you mix creatine supplements with protein shakes, it will cause gas. You may think that consuming a lot of protein has caused gas. But in reality, it is not the protein itself, but the additional ingredients found in a protein shake that cause gas. For instance, lactose is present in most protein shakes which cause gas.
#3. Always Choose High-Quality Creatine
You should choose high-quality creatine brands. Low-quality creatine may contain additives and ingredients that cause gas.
Does Creatine Make You Bloat?
It’s normal to experience bloating when you begin to take creatine supplements.
You have to take 20-25 grams of creatine supplements for 5-6 days during the loading phase. After the loading phase follows the maintenance phase, you need to take 3-5 grams of creatine supplements or 0.01 grams per pound of body weight to increase muscle mass.
However, you may experience weight gain during the loading phase because of a sudden increase in muscle mass and water intake in your muscles, which is why you experience bloating.
Many studies have even found that creatine supplements cause bloating mainly during the loading phase. For instance, a study was done on 13 athletes taking 0.01 grams of creatin supplement per body weight for seven days. It was observed that there was an increase in weight of 2.3 pounds in each athlete.
So, you can expect to experience an increase in 1-2 percent of your body mass during the loading phase, which is partially water weight. If your muscles don’t absorb Creatine, it sticks in your body, and finally, they’re removed by kidneys in the form of urine.
Studies say that excess creatine supplements can cause bloating and water retention before being removed from your body. Additionally, constant water retention can cause stress in the kidneys, heart, and blood vessels.
The problem of an increase in total water content in your body after supplementing Creatine is short-term, and it will resolve itself in a few weeks after the loading phase.
If you have experienced bloating or want to avoid bloating during the loading phase, it’s best to skip loading. The only negative is that you will experience the benefits of creatine supplements after 3-4 weeks rather than a week.
How To Get Rid Of Creatine Bloating?
There are various ways to diminish bloating or may not experience bloating during the loading phase. Let us discuss them below.
#1. Drink Plenty Of Water
The first and foremost thing to avoid bloating while taking creatine supplements is to drink plenty of water. I think it sounds contradictory because you may be thinking that consuming more water means more bloating, right?
But no, it does not happen like this. The human body is a marvelous machine. When Creatine pulls a lot of water from your body into muscle cells, you experience two things:
The first thing is that you experience dehydration which can make you feel exhausted after doing light exercises in the gym. Additionally, it can make your bloating worse.
Second, you don’t experience many benefits after taking creatine supplements.So, it’s advisable to drink more water than your daily water intake while taking creatine supplements.
#2. Avoid High Amount Of Carbohydrates
Taking a high amount of carbohydrates like bread and pasta can cause water retention and bloat. So, it’s best to avoid it.
#3. Stay Away From Foods That Contain Lot Of Salt
Table salt consists of both sodium and chloride. The salt binds water inside your body and helps maintain water inside and outside the cells.
We all need sodium in our diet. The daily recommended intake is 2,300 mg per day. But if you take processed food or any meal high in sodium content, it causes water retention.
Too much sodium in your body causes your body to pull from various areas, and you experience bloating. So, eating less salt is the best idea to avoid bloating.
#4. Select A Trusted Brand Of Creatine
Many companies use faulty manufacturing and marketing strategies to make you think that the product is good for your health. But in reality, it can make your body condition worse.
So, it’s best to look for a company that uses third-party testing to ensure that it will benefit your health.
#5. Avoid Loading Phase
It’s important to realize that the loading phase is not 100 percent necessary for you to experience the benefits of creatine supplements. You can skip the loading phase and start taking your daily dose of creatine supplements according to your body weight.
#6. Experiment With Daily Dose
The daily dosage of creatine supplements depends on the weight of your body. But it does not mean that everyone will not fit in the same mold. So, it’s best to experiment with daily dosage to avoid bloating and other gastrointestinal problems.
#7. Switch Creatine Varieties
If one brand of creatine supplements is causing gastrointestinal problems or bloating, you can switch to other good varieties of Creatine. For instance, you can take micronized Creatine which most athletes and gym-goers usually believe does not cause much bloating.
However, there are other brands like creatine hydrochloride available on the market. You can try it. You can experiment with various brands and select the best one that will not cause bloating.
#8. Avoid Unhealthy Foods
Eating unhealthy foods is difficult to digest and has high chances of producing harmful bacteria in your gut, leading to bloating.
So you should avoid eating processed foods and fast foods while taking creatine supplements. Try to focus on healthy foods like eating vegetables and fruits as much as possible to prevent gastrointestinal problems.
#9. Avoid Foods That Contain Lot Of Sugar
The food which contains a lot of sugar is hard to digest and stays for a longer time in the gut to feed bacteria and consequently causes a build-up of gas in your stomach.
So it’s best to avoid foods that are high in sugar content.
How Long Does Creatine bloating Last?
Creatine bloating usually lasts for one week. Once the loading phase is over, you may get rid of bloating. Well, there are various ways to avoid bloating, like taking a lower amount of creatine supplements in a day or cutting down carbohydrates and processed foods in your diet.
Does Creatine Monohydrate Causes Bloating?
Yes, creatine monohydrate causes bloating.
Creatine monohydrate has been one of the best-selling products in the market for decades. Many studies have reported that creatine monohydrates give athletes and gym-goers excellent results.
But they are not much soluble in water. The insoluble Creatine sits in your stomach and causes bloating and other gastrointestinal problems.
Does Micronized Creatine Cause Bloating?
Micronized creatine is a type of creatine monohydrate, but the molecules are small with a large surface area. So they dramatically reduce the side effects of creatine supplements like bloating.
But remember that taking a micronized creatine requires a loading phase, and they are a bit more expensive than creatine monohydrate.
Answers to More Questions About Creatine and Bloating
#1. Can Creatine Cause Gastrointestinal Problems?
Most gym-goers take creatine monohydrates. But they are not much soluble in water. It remains undissolved in your gastrointestinal tract, and you may have problems like cramps, bloating, gas and others.
The risk of having diarrhea also increases if you take 10 grams of Creatine in a single serving.
#2. Does Creatine give you a belly?
Creatine causes rapid water weight because supplements you take draw water into the muscle cells, resulting in bloating and a belly.
#3. What are the side effects of Creatine?
There are no side effects as long as you are taking Creatine from reliable sources and in recommended dosages. If you start to overdo the dosage, the following things can happen:
Stones in kidney
#4. Why does Creatine make me bloated?
Bloating is usually caused if you take too many creatine supplements or take supplements along with a food rich in carbohydrates and sugar. Additionally, if you don’t drink a lot of water after taking supplements, you have a high chance of bloating.
Creatine supplements help build muscle and give you strength while doing regular exercises. But some people may experience bloating as a side effect. Well, you can avoid bloating by adopting any of the methods mentioned above. It will help you in reducing gastrointestinal problems caused by creatine supplements.
We hope that the information given here was useful in helping you understand why bloating occurs with Creatine, and the ways to avoid it. If you have unanswered questions, feel free to write to us in the comment box below.