Dangers of Creatine – Some of the Reported Side Effects

Dangers of Creatine

Often thought of just a bodybuilding supplement, years of research show that Creatine is more than just a sports supplement. There’s benefits not just to workouts, but brain function, heart health and more recently, potential benefits to arthritis.

But what is Creatine exactly?

Creatine is a nutrient naturally found in all our bodies. It is a combination of 3 amino acids; arginine, glycine and methionine. Creatine helps provide the energy our muscles need to move, particularly quick and explosive movements. Muscle contraction is initially fueled by ATP (adenosine-triphosphate ).

Nevertheless, like every other non-FDA sanctioned properties, there are concerns that Creatine is unsafe.

Dangers of Creatine:

Some of the reported dangers of creatine are:

  • stomach pain
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • muscle cramping
  • harm to kidney, liver, or heart functions
  • stroke risk when combing with caffeine or herb ephedra (also called Ma Huang)
  • skin condition called pigmented purpuric dermatosis
  • dehydration
  • water weight gain
  • increase the production of formaldehyde

After reading the short list above, you might think Creatine is the most unsafe supplement on the planet and how could or would anybody want to take this?

Because the dangers of creatine as listed above are non-conclusive and no studies prove the linkage from the use of Creatine to the above reported side effects.

The Dangers of Creatine by Will Brink

While it is true you will gain some water weight while on Creatine, that is because the cells are retaining more water with the usage. That’s not a negative. It’s also true that you can experience some stomach discomfort and/or diarrhea if you take too much of the product. Stick to the recommendations. More is not better.

But did you know there have been some deaths from Creatine supplementation?

There have been some reported deaths from the use of Creatine. In one case, the person took significantly more than the recommended amount for an extended period of time and in the others the individuals had pre-existing kidney (renal) problems.

  • If you have kidney problems or diabetes, Creatine supplementation is not recommended.
  • If you do not want to drink fluids (water) and keep properly hydrated, Creatine supplementation is not recommended.
  • If you cannot or will not follow dosage recommendations, Creatine supplementation is not recommended.

Otherwise, this is one of the most beneficial and safe supplements next to protein and water. While roughly 30% of the population is non-responsive to Creatine supplementation, the benefits far outweigh the reported dangers of creatine which have little to no research behind them. In fact, many have been disproved but are still listed as side effects of taking Creatine on thousands of websites.

Download Your Free Creatine Report

I am  giving away a 43-page special report, ‘The Creatine Report’. You will learn: what creatine is and how it works, and what it may do for you. This excellent free report exposes the facts and fiction of Creatine, and details it’s effects on the brain, heart, the body’s production of growth hormone, anti-aging effects, fatigue, muscle atrophy, Parkinson’s disease, and much more!

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This Creatine report by Will Brink will cover much of what creatine has to offer as a safe and inexpensive supplement with an exceptionally wide range of potential uses.

Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding

Creatine Facts

Creatine Facts

Today I received somewhere around the 100th question (comment) regarding Creatine.  It went something like this …

“Never mix Creatine with protein and or Glutamine it is actually bad for you and if you don’t believe me look it up”

As a matter of fact, I did look it up in the resource I purchased about a year ago called Creatine: The Practical Guide.

This guide, written by Alfredo Franco-Obregón, PhD is by far, the best single resource on Creatine and research behind it and how to properly use this bodybuilding supplement.

While there is even more promising research beyond just muscular aspect of this dietary supplement, it’s a timeless guide that will answer 99% of your creatine questions.

I beg you to stop looking up creatine on the Internet and taking advice.  99% of people don’t even put forth the same effort into supplement research as they do setting up their Facebook accounts.

However, if you MUST and refuse to buy anything like the Creatine guide I mentioned above, then check out this free resource by Mark McManus.

What is Creatine and How Does it Work?

If that’s not enough, you can find more information about this dietary supplement, including FAQ’s, ebook downloads and tons of informative articles on a website I dedicated to the subject.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Creatine

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”

Can Creatine Cause Kidney Damage?

Creatine Causes Kidney Damage?

Creatine Causes Kidney Damage?

Hopefully you are familiar with the sports supplement Creatine.  If not, you can learn more on how to use creatine.

Update 1: I will post any studies related to this post here.  I won’t leave anybody left wondering.

Update 2: There are a few documented cases.  It involved those with pre-existing conditions of kidney (renal) issues known or unknown and one case of misuse of the product and taking too much.  No matter, they qualify as documented cases of creatine induced kidney damage.

Here’s some references:

Pritchard, N. R. & Kalra, P. A. (1998) Renal dysfunction accompanying oral creatine
supplements. Lancet, Volume 351, pages 1252-1253.

Greenhaff, P. (1998) Renal dysfunction accompanying oral creatine supplements. Lancet,
Volume 352, page 233.

Pritchard, N. R. & Kalra, P. A. (1998) Renal dysfunction accompanying oral creatine
supplements. Lancet, Volume 352, pages 233-234.

Poortmans, J. R. & Francaux, M. (1998) Renal dysfunction accompanying oral creatine
supplements. Lancet, Volume 352, page 234.

Poortmans, J. R. et al. (1997) Effect of short-term creatine supplementation on renal
responses in men. Eur J Appl Physiol, Volume 566, page 566-567.

Juhn, M. S. & Tarnopolsky, M. (1998) Potential side effects of oral creatine
supplementation: A critical review. Clin J Sports Med, Volume 8, page 298-304.

Koshy K. M. et al. (1999) Interstitial nephritis in a patient taking creatine. N Engl J Med,
Volume 340, page 814-815.

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”

Creatine Dosage: A Simple Formula For Creatine Cycles

Creatine Dosage Calculator

Do you ever wonder what your creatine daily dose should be?  The magical 5g every site seems to list?

In order to calculate your creatine dosage according to the original research,you’ll first need to convert your body weight into kilograms. This won’t require a math degree. If it did, I wouldn’t be able to post this or even explain it!

Simple divide your current body weight in pounds by 2.2 to obtain your weight in kilograms. For example, if you weight 190 lbs then your kilogram weight is ~86 kilograms (190 / 2.2 = 86).

Next, multiple your weight in kilograms for the appropriate dose. The recommended loading dosage is 0.3 grams per kilogram of body weight. The maintenance phase is even less at only 0.03 grams of creatine per kilogram of body weight.

Example: 86kg person starting a loading phase would require 25.8 grams of creatine per day for 5 days divided up into 4 equal parts during the day. The maintenance phase of an 86kg person would be 2.58g of creatine per day.

Creatine Dosage Worksheet:

Step 1: Your body weight in pounds

Step 2: Body weight in kilograms
body weight in pounds divided by 2.2

Step 3: Find your Loading dose
body weight in kilograms multiplied by 0.3
divide into 4 equal parts; take 1 part every 4 hours

Step 4: Find your Maintenance dose
body weight in kilograms multiplied by 0.03

It appears that the creatine loading dose phase will saturate your muscle stores with creatine quicker but there’s little difference in a person who does or does not do the loading phase. Except it might take longer to reach full muscle saturation. Many references today (2008) report the loading phase as unnecessary. Others make comments that a loading phase is only there to go thru the products quicker so you’ll need to purchase more creatine.

The loading phase can be done or not, it doesn’t appear there will be any final outcome differences.

General maintenance phases of Creatine Monohydrate are between 3-5 grams. The references above will get you a more personalized approach to your creatine dosage vs. just the recommendations based on the average person.

If you’d like to learn more about Creatine, take a look at Creatine: A Practical Guide.

Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding