There are many supplements on the market, and creatine is one of them. Athletes typically use it to increase their muscle size and performance, and it has a lot of health benefits. However, some people still experience bloating in the loading phase (when you start using creatine supplements). This article will explain the cause of creatine bloating and how to avoid it.
What Is Creatine?
Creatine is a substance produced naturally by your body from amino acids, glycine, and methionine. It can also be obtained from animal-based foods and supplements. Creatine is known best for increasing exercise performance by giving energy to your muscles. The study also shows it has other health benefits, like promoting brain function and healthy aging.
How Does Creatine Cause Bloating?
Creatine replenishes adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule in your body’s cells that carries energy. During intense activities, your body uses creatine to give your muscles energy. But because of your limited stores, they are quickly used up. When you supplement with creatine, it provides more energy to power ATP.
Creatine often causes bloating during the loading phase. This is when there is usually an upsurge in body weight due to increased water intake into your muscles and increased body mass. This may cause bloating. A study involving thirteen athletes shows that supplementing with 0.01 grams per pound of body weight increases 2.3 pounds in total body water.
The increase in total body water is short-term and typically resolves itself in a couple of weeks after the loading phase. Although not everyone experiences bloating, you could reduce your chances of bloating by skipping the loading phase and taking only three to five grams of daily maintenance doses. The purpose of the loading period is to fill your muscles with creativity so you can experience its benefits faster. If you decide to skip the loading phase, you can avoid bloating. But it will take more time to share its benefits, making it three to four weeks compared to the one week with loading. Still, it is as effective as loading. Studies say that using low doses over extended periods improves muscle power output more effectively.
Creatine is very safe. Although some people claim it may harm the kidney and cause dehydration, no evidence supports that claim. The scientific consensus is that either short or long-term use of creatine is safe and poses no risk to healthy people. But as always, make sure you check with your doctor before taking the supplement to ensure a safer routine.