The solution? Therefore, this is the first systematic review and meta-analysis study that aimed to investigate creatine supplements and their possible renal function side effects. Effects of oral creatine supplementation on muscular strength and body composition, Dietary creatine monohydrate supplementation increases satellite cell mitotic activity during compensatory hypertrophy, Creatine replacement therapy in guanidineoacetate methyltransferase deficiency, a novel inborn error of metabolism, Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update, Effects of creatine supplementation on repetitive sprint performance and body composition in competitive swimmers, 12 weeks of creatine supplementation has no effect on blood lipid profiles. Dehydration 7. Fact: There is no direct evidence that creatine supplementation promotes rhabdomyolysis. Fact: There is no data that shows creatine causes muscle cramps or dehydration. One of the dangers of creatine could arise in the form of muscle pulls. 5777 N Meeker Ave, Boise, ID 83713-1520 USA, The effect of creatine monohydrate ingestion on anaerobic power indices, muscular strength and body composition, Creatine monohydrate supplementation on body weight and percent body fat, International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: Creatine Supplementation and Exercise, Does long-term creatine supplementation impair kidney function in resistance-trained individuals consuming a high-protein diet, Studies on the safety of creatine supplementation, No effect of heavy resistance training and creatine supplementation on blood lipids, Creatine supplementation and health variables: a retrospective study, Long-term creatine supplementation does not significantly affect clinical markers of health in athletes, Micronization of creatine monohydrate via Rapid Expansion of Supercritical Solution (RESS), The Physiological Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Hydration: A Review, Does creatine supplementation hinder exercise heat tolerance or hydration status? (1997). Creatine isn't recommended for people with kidney or liver disease, or diabetes. One product being sold illegally but still available online, mainly from suppliers based outside the UK, is 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP). Several studies have found no adverse effects of creatine supplementation on how well the kidneys filter blood. Short-term creatine studies, however, have convincingly shown it to not only be effective but extremely safe. Moreover, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that chronic supplementation with the recommended creatine dose is detrimental to kidney function.[3]. … Greenwood M, Kreider RB, Melton C, et al. So theoretically, the risk of compartment syndrome may be increased while supplementing with creatine because of fluid retention in the muscle cell and increased overall size of the muscle tissue. But let's be real for a second. Creatine dangers are amongst us. Creatine dangers are often misunderstood and reported irresponsibly by the media. People supplementing with may show increased levels of creatinine (the waste product of creatine metabolism) in urine concentrations. Compartment syndrome is a condition referring to excessive pressure in the muscle compartment. One of the reported side effects of creatine is weight gain. He holds certifications through the ACSM and CISSN. Not to mention the various studies supporting the safety of creatine supplementation on hydration levels and kidney function. There is some truth to gastrointestinal (GI) issues with creatine supplementation, but it's rare. This means making sure that you don’t go overboard with your dosages and keep yourself properly hydrated. Be the first to receive exciting news, features, and special offers from Bodybuilding.com! There is an increased risk of dehydration when creatine is taken with diuretics. In fact, it's reported than only 5-7 percent of people who take creatine experience stomachaches. People supplementing with may show increased levels of creatinine (the waste product of creatine metabolism) in urine concentrations. [26,27] This is likely due to a higher concentration of PCr and ATP stores, allowing for higher training intensities and volume.[1,28]. Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. (For a discussion on cycling, see the How to Take Creatine Page.) This product does not contain additives and uses creatine manufactured by Degussa, a large German company that is well respected for its manufacturing practices. Creatinine helps in giving the right picture of the functioning of the kidneys. Opinion of the Scientific Panel on food additives, flavourings, processing aids and materials … The reason for this is that intake of creatine draws water into the muscles and that reflects as an increase in weight. But let's be real for a second. Dizziness 5. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. Weight gain 8. If the level of creatinine increases, it can lead to kidney diseases. There is a common claim that all the weight gained with creatine supplementation is due to water weight. In this way, by allowing the body to resume production by stopping use every couple of months, it is hoped to avoid this and similar potential creatine side effects. Creatine is the number-one sports performance supplement available. Ultimately, that is an individual decision. This temporary effect wears off with continuous exercise. Creatine also increases the risk of kidney damage when taken with cimetidine. There is a lack of … in Kinesiology and is working towards a doctorate. Creatine is an inexpensive and safe dietary supplement that has both peripheral and central effects. Caffeine impairs your body’s ability to use creatine, and it also increases your risk of dehydration. And that extra stuff can be scary. Side effects and dangers of creatine supplements can include: weight gain; muscle strains and pulls; muscle cramps; upset stomach; diarrhea; high blood pressure; dizziness; liver dysfunction; kidney damage. Supplementation with creatine serves to increase creatine stores and PCr availability in the body, resulting in faster ATP formation. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about its side effects and uses. It also increases levels of creatinine in the body, which are a marker of poor kidney function. All of this combined has led to great confusion over the safety of creatine usage. "Other major effects of steroid use include increase in blood pressure, direct kidney and heart damage, liver damage, acne and sexual promiscuity," he says. All rights reserved. Combining this product with these substances may increase your risk of having a stroke or other serious medical problems. Taking the stimulants caffeine and ephedra with creatine can increase the risk of side effects. The effects of creatine supplementation on cardiovascular, metabolic, and thermoregulatory responses during exercise in the heat in endurance-trained humans. Grindstaff, P. D., Kreider, R., Bishop, R., Wilson, M., Wood, L., Alexander, C., & Almada, A. If anything, creatine has been shown to have a beneficial effect on hydration by increasing water retention, lowering body temperature, and reducing exercising heart rate.[25]. Weight loss drug DNP linked to deaths. Kim HJ, Kim CK, Carpentier A, Poortmans JR. Volek JS, Duncan ND, Mazzetti SA, Putukian M, Gómez AL, Kraemer WJ. These are not all of the side effects that may occur. Call your doctor or get medical help if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional prior to beginning any diet or exercise program or taking any dietary supplement. Simply put, creatine helps to combat fatigue during your workouts, allowing you to work out longer and with more intensity, ultimately improving your strength and muscle size. Studies have not shown creatine to be toxic to the kidneys. The 7 Most Worrisome Side Effects Associated With Creatine. (1996). Kreider, R. B., Melton, C., Rasmussen, C. J., Greenwood, M., Lancaster, S., Cantler, E. C., ... & Almada, A. L. (2003). Hile, A. M., Anderson, J. M., Fiala, K. A., Stevenson, J. H., Casa, D. J., & Maresh, C. M. (2006). 2004;152(3):275. [16], Moreover, several studies have found that creatine supplementation can provide performance enhancements in hot and humid environments, and that supplementation has no effect on muscle cramping.[17,18]. In order for a muscle to contract, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) must break off a phosphate group, leaving behind ADP (adenosine diphosphate). Sauret, J. M., Marinides, G., & Wang, G. K. (2002). Rhabdomyolysis refers to a severe breakdown of skeletal muscle due to injury that typically presents with elevated creatine kinase levels and anterior compartment syndrome. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Creatine (sometimes referred to as creatine monohydrate) has been called a “phenomenon” in the bodybuilding community and is among the best-selling supplements to gain muscle.To date, well over 500 research studies have evaluated the effects of its supplementation on muscle growth, metabolism, exercise capacity and many other markers of health. How will we ever grow? Fact: While there may be a transient increase in pressure following high doses of creatine, supplementation at recommended doses does not induce compartment syndrome. The creatine I use and recommend on this site is Optimum Nutrition’s Creatine Powder. Indeed, creatine kinase levels are elevated following supplementation, but these levels are nowhere close to the levels associated with rhabdomyolysis. Several other studies have examined the effects of high dose creatine supplementation and compartment syndrome. It comes down to doing the research and deciding if you feel comfortable with it. If having medical tests performed along these lines, it is a good idea to inform your doctors if you are using creatine. Among serious side effects creatine causes kidney and gastrointestinal disorders. These processes and additives can mean that you are getting more than you know when you set out to supplement. Creatine is a relatively new phenomenon and, as such, long-term studies have not yet been completed. In 2004, Santos and colleagues studied the effects of creatine supplementation on muscle cell damage in experienced endurance athletes running a 30-kilometre race. While studies continue to mount up showing supplementation to be extremely safe, anecdotally there have been reports of some scary health consequences. One of the possible dangers of creatine is a risk of experiencing dehydration when taking creatine in any form. Creatinine is the broken waste molecules of creatine, which is generated during metabolism of muscles. On the contrary, creatine supplementation has been proposed to increase total body water, helping to maintain hydration status. [9] Bottom line: Creatine does not cause damage to the liver, kidneys, or any other organ for that matter. Schroeder, C., Potteiger, J., Randall, J., Jacobsen, D., Magee, L., Benedict, S., & Hulver, M. (2001). Kidney and Liver Damage – This remains one of the legitimate potential creatine dangers although its risks are often misinterpreted and overstated. [2,15], However, while an initial weight gain may be a result of an increase in water, research consistently shows that creatine supplementation, in addition to resistance training, results in an increase in lean body mass and a decrease in fat mass, leading to improvement in body composition. One case of acute kidney failure was reported, involving an athlete taking large doses (over 10 grams per day) for 6 weeks. Dehydration can cause many problems ranging from crystals forming in the liver to headaches and inability to concentrate. Understanding the potential side effects and the potential benefits… Should I use creatine. We hate spam. Kidney and Liver Damage – This remains one of the legitimate potential creatine dangers although its risks are often misinterpreted and overstated. Learn the facts about creatine. See all the articles from the Guide to Muscle Building Supplements, About | Contact | SitemapPrivacy Policy | Affiliate Disclosure | Disclaimer, Copyright © 2002-2016 JP Clifford, www.gymJP.com, All Rights Reserved. Here's a look at six common myths about creatine, and the real truth behind them. Compartment syndrome is a condition referring to excessive pressure in the muscle compartment. The increased levels of creatinine in those supplementing will correlate with their increased muscle creatine levels.Studies have not shown creatine to be toxic to the kidneys. The working muscles utilize the chemicals, for producing the energy. This goes a ways to explain not only the media’s approach to creatine but that of the conservative medical establishment. It is not a cause. Kern, M., Podewils, L., Vukovich, M., & Buono, M. (2001). Negative Effects of Creatine. The suggestion that creatine supplementation induces rhabdomyolysis has no backing in scientific literature. A systematic review with meta-analyses, The effects of creatine loading on thermoregulation and intermittent sprint exercise performance in a hot humid environment, Effects of creatine on thermoregulatory responses while exercising in the heat, Creatine supplementation during resistance training in college football athletes, Physiological response to exercise in the heat following creatine supplementation, Physiological responses to short-term exercise in the heat after creatine loading, Creatine supplementation during college football training does not increase the incidence of cramping or injury, Acute quadriceps compartment syndrome and rhabdomyolysis in a weight lifter using high-dose creatine supplementation, The effects of creatine dietary supplementation on anterior compartment pressure in the lower leg during rest and following exercise, Creatine supplementation and anterior compartment pressure during exercise in the heat in dehydrated men, When exercise goes awry: exertional rhabdomyolysis, Exertional rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure in marathon runners. Creatine is a hot topic these days. Stockler, S., Hanefeld, F., & Frahm, J. Buying the cheapest creatine on the market is not a good idea as it can present additional side effects. However, like I said before, when I pay for creatine I want creatine, not sodium. As with all dietary supplements, buy at a reasonable price from a trusted manufacturer. Gastrointestinal disturbances and muscle cramps have been reported occasionally in healthy individuals, but the effects are anecdotal. Perhaps the confusion comes from elevated levels of creatinine (a marker used to diagnose kidney problems), which occurs following supplementation with creatine. With the explosion of the supplements popularity, many manufacturers have sought cheaper manufacturing processes to gain a price advantage over their competitors. For older adults who are looking to prevent muscle loss a short term dosage of 20 grams is given for about 4-7 days followed by 2-10 grams daily. Creatine products such as creatine monohydrate can and do vary in purity, with significant differences in the amounts of potentially toxic impurities present. The premise of micronization is particle-size reduction to increase solubility of the substance, potentially reducing GI distress. The effects of pre versus post workout supplementation of creatine monohydrate on body composition and strength. This also calls into need the importance of drinking lots of water to help the body eliminate the extra creatinine. Mendel RW, Blegen M, Cheatham C, Antonio J, Ziegenfuss T. Bemben MG, Bemben DA, Loftiss DD, Knehans AW. It may also allow for a quicker mix and faster absorption.[10]. Putting the myth of creatine supplementation leading to muscle cramps and dehydration to rest. Creatine is a natural nutrient found in our bodies. Does it cause weight gain? You can do a lot to limit this risk by, again, drinking sufficient water. 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