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Does Creatine Make You Poop? How to Deal With Digestive Problems

Does Creatine make you poop? While not super common, creatine may be causing you some serious gastrointestinal stress. If this is the case, we’re here for you. In this article, we’ll be covering the best way to take creatine to avoid any issues.

Creatine poops are most likely caused by eating food alongside creatine, or by taking large doses of creatine at once. As a result, taking moderate doses of creatine on its own without any food is likely the best way to avoid any issues.

Does Creatine Make You Poop? This is likely because you’re eating food alongside creatine, triggering the gastrocolic reflex. Large doses of creatine may also cause diarrhea. These problems can likely be solved by taking moderate doses of creatine without any additional food.

Does Creatine Make You Poop?

Does Creatine Make You Poop?

When taken on its own in moderation, creatine should not immediately cause you to go to the bathroom. However, in certain cases, creatine may make you need to use the bathroom. As we’ll be covering in more depth below, this is mainly caused by whether or not you eat food alongside creatine, as well as how much creatine you’re taking.

In What Cases Can Creatine Cause the Urge to Go to the Toilet?

In most cases, creatine should not make you need to use the bathroom. However, when taking creatine alongside food, you will likely experience the gastrocolic reflex, which you may then associate with creatine. Also, if you have irritable bowel syndrome or take high doses of creatine, this may very well cause an upset stomach as well.

1. You Always Take Creatine With a Meal

Creatine poops may only be an issue if you take creatine alongside a meal, which triggers the gastrocolic reflex about 20-30 minutes after eating. In short, when the gastrocolic reflex is triggered, the motility of the colon is increased, making you have to use the bathroom. 

So, if you have to use the bathroom every time after taking creatine, understand this may be caused by the food you’re eating instead of the creatine itself. As a result, there’s probably no reason to stop taking creatine alongside food. However, you may want to try taking creatine on its own for a while to see if you need to use the bathroom less after taking it.

Creatine Powder On The Table

2. You Take Creatine With Breakfast

Similar to the point above, the gastrocolic reflex is strongest after breakfast. As a result, if you take creatine in the morning, you may associate creatine with the need to use the bathroom, when it is more likely caused by your breakfast. 

Again, whether or not you take creatine alongside breakfast, you’ll likely need to use the bathroom after eating. Similar to what we said above, this likely means you don’t need to stop taking creatine alongside breakfast. Still, you can consider taking creatine on its own or later in the day to see if this helps the issue.

3. You Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Both the scenarios outlined above will likely be much more significant if you have IBS. This is because IBS makes the colonic response to the gastrocolic reflex stronger, leading to a stronger need to use the bathroom after eating. Similar to the points above, IBS will likely make you need to use the bathroom regardless of whether you’re taking creatine alongside a meal. 

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4. You Take a Large Single Dose of Creatine

If you’re wondering, “Can creatine cause diarrhea?” The main reason creatine on its own may cause diarrhea is if you’re taking especially high doses at once. Research shows that people taking 10g of creatine at once are significantly more likely to have diarrhea than those taking several 5g doses. 

Luckily, there’s no real reason to take more than 5g of creatine at once. So the solution for how to stop diarrhea from creatine is pretty straightforward. We recommend a standard daily dose of 3-5g for virtually everyone.

While 10g doses may help saturate your muscles quicker, we don’t believe this is worth it, especially if it causes diarrhea. If you’re interested in a loading phase of 10-20g a day, consider splitting it into multiple 5g doses throughout the day instead.

Creatine Mixing With Water

What Can Be Done?

If you’re struggling with any gastrointestinal issues when taking creatine, there are a few solutions. Try taking creatine on its own, or take smaller doses. If issues are serious, cease use immediately, and consult with a doctor to figure out the next steps. 

1. Take Smaller Doses of Creatine

Creatine is most likely to cause issues on its own if you’re consistently taking high doses of 10g+. If you’re doing this, remember there’s likely no need to take more than 5g a day. This will likely alleviate most gastrointestinal issues you’re having, so try this first. 

2. Take Creatine on Its Own Without Food

Next, if issues persist, try taking creatine on its own without food. As mentioned, if you need to use the bathroom after taking creatine alongside food, the gastrocolic reflex may be to blame more than creatine itself. By taking creatine on its own, you’ll likely notice that it doesn’t make you need to use the bathroom as much.

3. If Serious Gastrointestinal Issues Persist, Cease Use Immediately

Finally, while uncommon, creatine may be causing serious issues that persist even when taking it in more moderate doses. If you experience symptoms like abdominal pain or regular diarrhea, we recommend ceasing use immediately. From here, consider consulting with your doctor to see if they have any recommendations for next steps.

Our Recommended Creatine Supplement

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB
  • Form: Powder
  • Servings per Container: 60
  • Type: Creatine Monohydrate
  • Suitable for Vegans: Yes
  • Other Ingredients: HMB (beta-Hydroxy-beta-Methylbutyrate), Bioperine
  • Price per Serving (9.9g): ~$1.5
  • Company Founded: 2011
  • Recommended by Athletes: Hafþór Júlíus BjörnssonPat LiPAULINA

Overall, creatine is unlikely to cause gastrointestinal distress on its own. If you’re looking to start taking creatine, our top pick is Transparent Labs’ Creatine HMB

Each dose of this supplement contains 5g of creatine monohydrate, which is an optimal daily dose. It also contains HMB, which when compared to creatine, likely won’t have many major effects. However, it may provide some minor benefits in terms of strength and muscle growth, especially for beginners. It also contains a high dose of Vitamin D which has numerous benefits for muscle growth and overall health. 

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Review

Like most Transparent Labs supplements, this is also completely free of all artificial ingredients, coloring, and preservatives. Something unique about this supplement is that it comes in 14 unique flavors, whereas most creatine supplements are unflavored. 

It’s worth noting that this is significantly more expensive than most basic creatine supplements. Because this is a premium supplement with additional ingredients and multiple flavors, it is priced accordingly. If you’re after a more basic supplement, there are plenty of cheaper options available.

FAQ

Why Do I Poop After Creatine?

The 2 major reasons creatine might make you poop are if you take it alongside food, or if you take large doses all at once. 

You’ll likely need to use the bathroom after eating a meal because of something called the gastrocolic reflex. This is true regardless of whether or not you take creatine. Also, diarrhea is a common side effect of taking high 10g+ doses of creatine at once. 

Does Creatine Affect Your Bowels?

Taking creatine on its own at moderate doses of 3-5g a day likely won’t affect your bowels too much. Creatine is more likely to affect your digestion the more you take. Taking 10g+ at a time is likely to cause diarrhea and other issues. Luckily, there’s no real reason to take so much creatine at a single time. 

Does Creatine Make You Gassy?

Gassiness is a common side effect of creatine, even in moderate doses. This will likely be most common when you begin taking creatine, as your body isn’t used to it yet. If gassiness associated with creatine continues for more than several weeks of consistent use, you may want to consult with your doctor to see if there are any underlying issues.

Conclusion

If you’re wondering, “why does creatine make me poop?” It may be more closely related to the food you’re eating, and how much creatine you’re taking at once, rather than creatine itself. As a result, these issues should be pretty easy to solve. We recommend taking creatine on its own, at a moderate dose of 3-5g a day. 

Overall, if you’ve never tried creatine, you shouldn’t worry too much about potential gastrointestinal issues. So, if you’re looking to try a high-quality creatine supplement, we recommend checking out Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Are you a regular creatine user, or are you considering trying it for the first time? Has creatine caused you any digestive issues in the past? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

Refrences

  1. Jordn C. Malone, et. al, “Physiology, Gastrocolic Reflex” National Library of Medicine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov /books/NBK549888/ (Accessed Jan. 20, 2024)
  2. SPHERE Bladder and Bowel Service “Gastro-Colic Reflex”, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, https://www.nhsggc.org.uk/ media/247845/gastro-colic-reflex.pdf (Accessed Jan. 20, 2024)
  3. Segej M Ostojic, et. al, “Gastrointestinal distress after creatine supplementation in athletes: are side effects dose dependent?” Res Sports Med.;16(1):15-22. (2008).
  4. Chad M. Kerksick, et. al, “ISSN exercise & sports nutrition review update: research & recommendations” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition Volume 15, – Issue 1 Article 38 (2018).
  5. The Nutrition Source, “Vitamin D”, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu /nutritionsource/vitamin-d/ (Accessed Jan. 20, 2024)

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Camila Parente Santos

Author: Camila Parente Santos
Nutrition and Sport Nutritionist

Experience: 7 years

Camila has worked as a Nutritionist for 7 years. In addition to being a nutritionist, she is an amateur weightlifting athlete for 2 years. Camila has experience at Flamengo’s football base and in a food supplement company and currently provides services at a clinic. At the moment she is coursing a postgraduate study in Sports Nutrition.

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