Creatine is a well-known supplement used by athletes and bodybuilders to help build strength and muscle. It is also thought to have some other health benefits, such as improving brain function, reducing fatigue, and preventing muscle damage.
However, some people report that creatine can cause digestive issues, including constipation.
In this article, we will explore the research on whether creatine can actually lead to constipation and what you can do if it does.
Can creatine cause constipation?
No. there is no scientific evidence that suggests taking creatine causes constipation directly or indirectly.
First off, let’s look at how creatine works in the body. Creatine is a naturally occurring substance found in foods like red meat and fish that helps your muscles generate energy for exercise or any physical activity.
When you take an exogenous form of creatine (like a capsule or powder), it increases your body’s stores of phosphocreatine, which helps your muscles produce more energy during exercise.
This increased energy production allows you to work out longer and harder than usual, leading to improved performance in the gym.
Now that we understand how creatine works in the body, let’s explore whether or not it can lead to constipation. The short answer is no—there is no scientific evidence that suggests taking creatine causes constipation directly or indirectly.
In fact, one study published in 2017 found no significant differences between those who took creatine supplements compared with those who did not when it came to gastrointestinal health parameters such as the number of bowel movements per day or laxative use.
Creatine and constipation misunderstandings
However, some people may experience digestive discomfort when they first start taking creatine or creatine monohydrate due to its osmotic effects on the gastrointestinal tract, causing water retention.
This could lead to feelings of fullness and bloating, which may be mistaken for constipation, but should subside once your body adjusts to having more water present in the gut after taking this supplement.
Also, if you take a lot of creatine, it may make you have diarrhea because it makes it harder for your intestines to absorb water.
Why do people think creatine causes constipation?
The exact mechanism by which creatine causes constipation isn’t fully understood yet. It’s theorized that creatine increases the absorption of certain electrolytes in the intestines, such as sodium and potassium, which can lead to dehydration.
This can lead to hard stools that are difficult or painful to pass. Furthermore, dehydration can lead to constipation because it decreases the amount of water in the stool, making it more difficult for your body to push it through your system.
Creatine doesn’t cause constipation
However, there isn’t any conclusive proof that creatine causes constipation. Therefore, you can avoid all side effects associated with creatine use by reading the manufacturer’s instructions before using it.
If at any point you feel like you are experiencing digestive discomfort from taking this supplement, then talk with your healthcare professional about ways of mitigating these side effects, such as adjusting dosage amounts or timing them around meals so that they are easier for your body to digest.
Also, make sure you drink enough water while using this product. Dehydration can make you feel worse because it affects digestion, and it can also make you more likely to get kidney stones, which has been linked to the long-term use of high-dose creatine supplements.
Overall, there is currently no scientific evidence suggesting that taking creatine leads directly or indirectly to constipation, but drinking plenty of fluids while using this product will help mitigate potential side effects related to gastrointestinal discomfort associated with its use, such as bloating or diarrhea.
If any of these issues persist for an extended period of time, consult with a healthcare professional who can provide individualized advice based on your specific situation to ensure that proper precautions are taken for maximum health benefits from using this supplement.