T Nation

Creatine Side Effects


#1

I tried creatine for the first time today (3 grams). A couple hours later, my stomach was churning, I felt like I was going to hurl, and I had severe diarrhea. Now I'm feeling ok again. So three questions:

  1. Will the side effects eventually go away if I keep taking it?

  2. Is the creatine doing my body any good if my body is rejecting it like this?

  3. Is there anything I can do to reduce the side effects? I tried to be sure it was completely dissolved, etc.

Thanks!


#2

You must be extremely small and have a very slow metabolism if only 3 grams caused that negative a gastrointestinal effect and it took 2 hours for it to happen. Take it with food and get over it.

Food will help slow the digestion, however, if it took 2 hours for this effect, my guess is you do not have your diet and training in order meaning creatine should not be something you are focusing on now anyway. If you can't even eat regularly, supplements should not be your focus.

How many meals a day do you eat now? Don't lie.


#3

Make sure you're getting tons of water.

I would also recommend that you ease into the stuff - when I started, I was told to eat about 1/3 of what was suggested and work my way up as I felt comfortable. It didn't take long, and I was fine.

The only stuff I've ever had trouble with was Triple Fusion from MaxxMuscle. That stuff made me think I was going to puke all through my workout.

CR


#4

You're a doctor and you say this? I've known big, strong lifters that creatine just doesn't agree with. It's not for everybody.


#5

I think creatine ethyl ester might be easier on the stomach. I knew someone who stopped taking creatine because it gave him diahrea. Then again, I don't think he was eating enough either.


#6

Weird. I guess these guys can't eat meat? Or...live?


#7

Thanks for the advice so far. I had 5 tablespoons of creatine for my first dose. Maybe I should start out with 1 tablespoon and gradually increase it? I'll also try to drink more water.

Professor X, you're right on the small part (I'm 5'6", 145 pounds) but not on the inexperienced part. I've been lifting and eating clean for several years. I eat 6 meals a day. My metabolism is good, and resting heart rate is around 60.

I heard it was best to take creatine with my Surge after working out, which is what I did today. Are you saying I should eat it with a full meal instead?


#8

Well, I don't know. Meat has a lot smaller amounts of creatine. Creatine's not an issue for me personally. What I do know is that I've known guys who don't feel well from creatine supplementation who are not small. Go figure.


#9

You would probably be fine and it would probably be ideal to take 5 GRAMS of creatine with your Surge post-workout.


#10

A more important question might be why you are taking creatine at that size after several years of lifting. What are your goals? Do you want to gain mass or just strength? Do you keep your bodyweight low purposely-perhaps for a sport?


#11

Yes, I sure as hell do say that. It wasn't just the fact that it caused stomach upset. That is normal for many. It is the 2 hour lag time and the fact that only 3gr caused this effect when that amount can be taken by many much larger than his stats with no problem. That indicated he probably had a smaller body frame and possibly a slower metabolism which, even though he claims to eat 6 times a day, at his weight, I truly wonder what those meals are.


#12

Funny how you took this long to pick up on that, but thanks for looking out for what I post so closely.


#13

Instead of digging around for the scoop in a fresh bottle, I just measured out 5 tablespoons, which was 3 grams on my food scale.

To answer your question, I want to gain some size without sacrificing too much leanness. My goal for the summer is to have a better defined six-pack, and to increase my chest size. I don't have any weight requirements to worry about from a sports perspective.

Berardi and others have been raving about the health advantages of creatine (cardiovascular, cognitive function, etc.) so I decided to give it a shot.

I've read that the glucose in your PWO can compete with the creatine, and if you get diarrhea it means that the creatine lost the battle. Maybe starting with a smaller dose and working upward will fix that?


#14

I'm following Berardi's Precision Nutrition program right now and getting around 2,000 - 2,200 calories/day.


#15

...and your goals are to gain weight on 2,000cals a day?


#16

You are taking the piss right ? If not you ingested about 80g and your scales are fucking innacurate.


#17

Dude....5 tbsps of creatine=30 grams of creatine.....
I think you have your food scale off.....
1 tbsp creatine = 6 grams creatine


#18

Correction:
1 TSP of creatine = 5 grams.....
No wonder you had GI upset......


#19

I want to gain muscle without sacrificing too much leanness. I'm going to increase cals by 200/day every two weeks, and see how that works.


#20

He would have also felt "stomach upset" in less than 2 hours.