Today I’m going discuss creatine side effects. For such a widely used supplement, most people know very little about creatine and how it works. This has lead to some wild rumors flying around about creatine. Some of these rumors are funny, others are simple ridiculous!
As a result of these rumors some people are very vary, or even scared to take creatine. This is a typical example of how misinformation spreads out of control. It’s a pity, because creatine is such a good supplement for explosive power, strength increasing and muscle building.
I have researched the positive and negative side effects of creatine thoroughly, and have written the lists below.
Positive Creatine Side Effects:
- You’ll feel stronger, be able to train for longer, and have a lot more energy available for workouts. Creatine helps you to push out those last few reps in the gym, which leads to more muscle growth.
- Your muscles will get bigger. Creatine is stored in the muscles, and also increases the amount of water stored in the muscles. This makes the muscle look bigger.
- Creatine decreases the amount of lactic acid build up in muscles. Lactic acid causes the burning pain you feel when you’re working out. Less pain also means that you can punch out more reps!
- Weight gain – most users report an almost instant weight gain when starting on creatine.
- More explosive power. This is a huge advantage to those who are involved in strength sports that require instant power. This can be anything from a 100m sprinter, to a powerlifter, or shot putter.
For more positive information about creatine see the creatine benefits post I made.
Possible Negative Creatine Side Effects:
- Bloating is a side effect that some users have reported when taking creatine monohydrate. While this is rare, it is a side effect. Bloating has not been reported with other forms of creatine.
- It’s common knowledge that creatine monohydrate can cause dehydration. Obviously, the simple solution to this is to drink more water. Athletes should be drinking more water anyway, so reports of dehydration are still very few. Again, these side effects have been reported only with creatine monohydrate.
- Some extremely rare cases have been reported where creatine has caused kidney stones. Little is known about exactly how creatine is linked to kidney stones. These cases are very rare.
Little is known about the long term effects of supplementing with creatine. It still is a relatively new supplements, so scientists have not been able to conduct any true long term studies. Users of creatine that are worried about long term side effects can cycle creatine. This means you take creatine for 6-8 weeks, then stop for 2-4 weeks. This means the body is less dependent on supplements for creatine.
The bottom line.
Creatine works. Lifters know it, scientists know it and trainers know it. There are some possible creatine side effects, but these cases are few and far between.
I have always recommended creatine to most athletes I’ve worked with. It’s what I consider an essential supplement for strength trainers. If you have any questions about the creatine side effects feel free to post them in the comments below and I’ll answer them as soon as possible.