The most common side effect reported for most of these creatine supplements is stomach upset and related intestinal discomfort or some cramping. There have been a few reports of headache or sore throat. Some users complain about bloating or water retention while using this product.
If you are worried about retaining the water you might consider using Creatine Ethyl Ester Malate or Creatine Ethyl Ester. Both of these metabolize differently than other Creatine so you will reduce the amount of water being retained. If you are worried about consuming higher levels of carbohydrates, it might be best if you look at using Creatine HCL or Creatine Gluconate. Because of how these are actually bonded their rates of absorption appear more enhanced so, in theory, your body won’t need as many carbohydrates during the process of delivering nutrients to your muscle cells and liver.
Like we mentioned before, creatine is the number one sports supplement, and there are many reasons why it takes that spot. Despite all of this, there are people who are afraid to take it because of their health. Some people claim that it causes weight gain, kidney damage, liver problems, cramping, and digestive issues. Other people say that creatine is an anabolic steroid, unsuitable for women and teenagers, or that it should only be used by pros and athletes.
The International Society of Sports Nutrition regards this supplement as a very safe one, praising it for its benefits. Some doctors even use creatine to treat certain disorders, such as diabetes, neuromuscular conditions, and muscle loss. Now let’s see whether creatine can cause dehydration or cramps. It’s a fact that creatine will affect your body’s stored-water since it increases the amount of water you have in your cells (muscle). This fact is probably the one behind the thought that creatine enables dehydration. But this change in the stored liquid is small, and there is no evidence that supports the theory that creatine causes dehydration. Actually, a three-year study based on college fitness enthusiasts concluded that the people who took creatine had fewer incidents of dehydration, cramping, and even muscle injuries compared to those not taking creatine. One study even tested creatine in hot weather, known to cause cramping and dehydration, and found that creatine had no role to play here. There was even one research conducted on patients undergoing hemodialysis, a medical treatment known for causing cramps. The creatine they took actually reduced the occurrence of cramping by as much as 60%!
Creatine has also been blamed for weight gain. After just one week of a high-dose load (20 grams/day), the weight increased by 2-6 pounds. But this weight gain is contributed to the increased water content in your muscles, and the standard daily dose should not exceed six grams per day, so the “weight gain” won’t even be so drastic. Your body weight will also increase the more you use creatine, but this is because of muscle growth, not body fat increase. This is the very reason why people take creatine in the first place, so weight gain is nothing bad.
And now, the more serious stuff – liver and kidney damage. Creatine can slightly raise the levels of creatinine found in the blood. Creatinine is the measurement taken to diagnose liver or kidney problems. But just because creatine raises creatinine levels doesn’t mean that it’s bad for your kidneys or liver. There are a lot of studies that suggest creatine does not harm your liver or kidneys, even in the long run. But if you suffer from any kind of kidney or liver disease, approach creatine with care and consult your physician before taking it.
The only real problem with creatine is digestive issues. Creatine has been known to cause diarrhea. But this only happens if the recommended daily dose is exceeded, which is about 5-6 grams a day, and no more. Just by taking 10 grams a day, the risk of having diarrhea increased by almost 40%. It’s possible that the fillers, additives, or even contaminants found in the supplement cause those digestive issues, so we cannot attribute them to creatine directly. So you must make sure that you buy a trusted, high-quality product, and you will not experience digestive issues.