Creatine Side Effects and Safety

Oct 10, 2014 by Carl Lowland in Creatine

If you have been remotely involved in the athletic supplement industry during the past few years, chances are you are somewhat familiar with creatine. There are many supplements available to help increase the amount of this naturally occurring element in the body and you may find it difficult to choose the right one for yourself.

creatine-for-bodybuildingIf you have never tried these supplements, you may also be a bit concerned about the safety of them as well as the side effects that you may expect to see when taking them. However, there are many safe options available that have shown very few side effects and that have been used by many athletes, just like yourself.

Creatine is a naturally occurring component in the body and is crucial when providing energy to the muscles. This energy is required to replenish the muscle’s ATP energy; the energy that is used when short, intense workout sessions are completed, such as sprinting or speed weight lifting. These exercises have been shown to provide the most benefit when looking to increase mass and build muscles quickly.

However, without creatine, the muscles must use a different source to replenish the ATP energy. For this reason, those who are working out intensely without the proper amount of creatine are not able to work out to their full potential. For this reason, creatine supplements are extremely popular and are used by a great number of athletes.

Creatine Side Effects

There are some side effects that have been reported, but most of them are very mild and do not cause any major issues amongst those who use the supplements. Some of the most common side effects are stomach pain, diarrhea, muscle cramping and nausea.

Creatine Side Effect: Muscle Cramping

Muscle cramping, one of many creatine side effects.

Although creatine supplements are likely safe, it is important to refrain from taking them under certain circumstances. For example, you should always follow the correct dosing instructions of the particular product that you are using. An excessive amount of creatine could cause issues with kidney, liver and heart functions.

Creatine also encourages the muscles to take water from the rest of the body, so it is important that you drink enough water when using creatine in order to make up for the difference. You should also avoid exercising in the heat because creatine may cause you to become dehydrated. You should note that those who take creatine are likely to gain weight. This is because creatine helps the muscles hold water.

You should also be careful when combining certain elements with creatine, such as caffeine and ephedra. Some studies have shown that there may be an increased chance that you will develop a stroke when these are combined in certain ways. Some have also shown concerned that irregular heartbeats can appear in some people, so this is another concern that you should watch out for.

Although some fear that creatine could cause a skin condition called pigmented purpuric dermatosis, there is little evidence to support this claim, so it is difficult to truly know if this issue is caused by the creatine or by another factor.

One group of people that should not take creatine is women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. There simply is not enough information known about creatine to fully understand the effects that it will have on women and their babies in this situation. It is best to completely avoid it until you have stopped breastfeeding or are no longer pregnant.

If you are suffering from kidney disease or diabetes, you should also avoid using this product because there are concerns that it can make these conditions worse. It appears that those who use creatine may be at a greater risk of developing these diseases as well.

Trusted Source of Creatine Supplements

When you are looking to choose a creatine product for yourself, it is important that you choose one from a trusted source. There are so many to choose from that this may be an issue and the process of selecting one out of the hundreds available may be overwhelming. When it comes time for you to choose a product, be sure to add the following to your list of safe options to compare:

  • Pharmamuscle Creaplus
  • SNI Creatine Ethyl Ester
  • Pharmamuscle Mega Cee
  • Creatine X3 Elite Series
  • BodyTech Creatine Monohydrate

(Read more about Top 5 Best Creatine Supplements)

These options have all been shown effective for many others who use creatine supplements and they are definitely ones that you should add to your list to consider. They are produced from companies who have been in the industry for many years and are well trusted among other athletes who use creatine supplements.