The Truth on Creatine Monohydrate Digestion
Creatine monohydrate has long been a staple in
the supplement regiment of nearly any fitness
enthusiast since it started gaining notoriety
in the 90's. Whether it be EAS's Phosphagen or
Champion Nutrition's Power Creatine, almost everyone
I've ever talked to has at one time or another
taken some form of creatine product.
Some of the positive aspects of creatine monohydrate
· Better muscle pumps
· More endurance
· A slower onset of muscle fatigue
· Strength gains
· More intense workouts
In contrast to this, there are also some negative
side effects of creatine monohydrate that I have
heard from various individuals.
· Stomach cramping
Luckily, in my 15 plus years of using various
creatine monohydrate supplements, I have never
had to deal with these problems. So, you may ask;
what causes these negative aspects of creatine
to happen to these unfortunate individuals?
The answer is fairly simple - poor absorption
of the creatine molecules.
When creatine isn't digested properly, it sits
in your intestines. Still, the creatine will do
what it is supposed to do and draw water to itself.
This influx of water is drawn to your intestines
and interferes with the normal digestion process.
The abundance of water has to be dealt with, and
this is what results in the diarrhea.
As for the bloating and cramping problems, this
could be caused from not having a pure creatine
product. By this I mean one that is mixed with
fillers or lots of sugars. When your body digests
these creatine monohydrate supplements too quickly,
an abundance of gas is produced in your stomach
and Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract. This is where
the bloating problem comes from, as well as the
Many foods and drinks can contribute to bloating
and gas, such as:
· Carbonated drinks and beer
· Foods high in fiber
· Excessive alcohol
· High sugar foods
· Starchy foods
· Many medications
Many supplement companies load their creatine
products with a boat load of creatine "transporters"
which is designed to shuttle the creatine quickly
into your muscles. Their main transporter is usually
dextrose, which is a simple sugar. Simple sugars
are digested quickly in order to cause an insulin
spike, which will then quickly get the creatine
into your muscles. As you just read above, the
quick digestion leads to gas and bloating.
A pure creatine monohydrate supplement should
be properly absorbed by your digestive system
and will help to pull water into your muscles,
which is what you want, thus creating those skin-stretching
If you feel you have a quality creatine product
but you are still dealing with some of these negative
side effects, you may want to look into supplementing
with some digestive enzymes such as Digest Essentials
by Food Science Labs to aid your GI tract, or
possibly some healthy bacteria, such as Nature's
Secret Ultimate Probiotic, to aid your digestive
system when using creatine monohydrate supplements.