Anyone else wondering, “Why Does Creatine Make Me Fart?”
This appears to be a fairly common issue among lifters.
In fact, there are even those who have had to stop taking creatine as it was becoming a source of embarrassment.
So, is there a specific reason that creatine is making you fart?
And what can you do about it?
Allow me to reveal all.
Why Does Creatine Make Me Fart?
Creatine is unlikely to make most people fart. Creatine can cause gastrointestinal problems in some individuals, although this is extremely rare. It’s more likely what you’re mixing creatine with is causing you to fart. This is especially true if you are adding it to a sugar-based drink or consuming it along with a protein shake. Furthermore, if you are currently on a high-protein diet this could contribute to the source of your flatulence. Plus, be wary of low quality creatine products which may be to blame.
1. It’s Unlikely that Creatine is Causing Flatulence
Now, even though “creatine farting” is said to be a fairly common occurrence among lifters, it’s highly unlikely it’s actually the creatine that’s causing your flatulence.
Okay, creatine has been known to cause gastrointestinal upset in some individuals, but this is fairly rare.
Possibly around 5% of people will experience a stomach ache from consuming creatine.
And the percentage is even lower when it comes to diarrhea.
I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but just not very often.
Creatine is a mixture of three amino acids – Arginine, Glycine, and Methionine.
All three are naturally produced by the liver, kidney, and pancreas, and can be found in the muscles.
Creatine is also naturally found in red meat and fish.
However, this is at much lower levels than the powder form you generally consume.
So, in effect, creatine is a completely natural product that the body is already used to.
This is not to say that taking creatine in higher doses may not give some of us a few digestion issues, but as I say, it’s highly unlikely.
Yes, we are all different, and our bodies react in different ways to what we put in them and how we use them
But, there’s no way to know for sure, but I highly doubt it’s the creatine that is the cause of flatulence.
Realistically, the main side effects that most people suffer with creatine is dehydration and cramps.
The reason for this is that creatine draws water from various parts of the body into the muscle tissues.
So, as I say, any side effects will usually be due to dehydration.
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This is why it’s so important to ensure that you keep yourself well hydrated with water.
In truth, the main reason that you’re farting is typically because of what you’re mixing creatine with.
2. Are You Mixing Creatine With Something Sweet?
If creatine does have a role to play in your excessive farting, it is usually because you have mixed it with something sweet.
Creatine is almost flavourless, but some people often report that there is a slight grittiness.
This can usually be enough to warrant mixing creatine with something other than water.
And the first port of call is usually a sugary drink.
I know some people who mix creatine with orange juice, grape juice, and even an energy drink like Powerade or Gatorade.
And it is actually this that is the root of your flatulence.
Many of these drinks contain a large amount of sugar.
So, when mixed with creatine your intestinal bacteria will decompose the sugar, which then releases gas.
Therefore, if you are experiencing problems with farting it could just be a case of not using a sugary drink to mix your creatine with.
I’m afraid you’re going to have to grin and bear it and simply mix it with water.
Remember, you’re not consuming creatine for the taste, but simply for what it can do for your energy and levels of recovery.
3. Are You Mixing Creatine With a Protein Shake?
Sticking with the theme of what you mix creatine with, a popular method is to add your daily dose in with your protein shake.
Once again, it is more likely that it’s the protein shake that’s causing you to fart rather than the creatine.
Now, many people think that it’s the increase in protein that is the source of their flatulence, but this isn’t always the case (more on this in a moment).
In reality, it’s the additional substances found in protein shakes that are inducing your gassy reaction.
Firstly, a protein shake, whether whey or casein, will contain a high dosage of lactose.
An increased consumption of lactose, especially in these quantities, can cause flatulence.
And this is even true for those of you who regularly consume dairy products without any issues.
Furthermore, protein supplements typically contain additives, thickeners, and sweeteners.
Any one of these “extras” are more likely to make you fart than creatine.
Why Do I Get Gas & Bloating After Taking Whey Protein?
4. Are You On a High-Protein Diet?
Okay, I’ve just mentioned that increased protein doesn’t always lead to flatulence, but it can definitely make your farts smell worse.
I would hazard a guess that the main reason you’re taking creatine is to fuel your workouts so that you can train longer and harder.
The aim here is to increase muscle mass.
So, it makes perfect sense that you’ll increase your daily calories, and especially your intake of protein.
In effect, you have suddenly made a lot of changes to your diet in a short space of time.
This of course could have a temporary adverse effect in the form of farting.
I’ve said that increasing your protein intake won’t always lead to additional farting, but for some of you it may.
You could find that your body is struggling to digest the larger doses of protein and therefore you have to expel gas on a more regular basis.
5. Always Choose High Quality Creatine
Not all creatine supplements were created equal.
The form of creatine that we are most used to ingesting, and that most lifters and athletes have done for decades, is creatine monohydrate.
However, there are various forms of creatine including micronized, ethyl ester, serum, effervescent, citrate, tri and di, kre-alkalyn, and the list goes on.
So, you need to be aware of what creatine you are purchasing and also which is best for you.
With that being said, even the standard monohydrate form of creatine could vary in quality depending on from who or where you purchased it.
Therefore, always ensure that you purchase creatine from a reputable supplier and don’t always be attracted to a lower price.
6. Calm Down on the Creatine
Many people believe that creatine mixed with water is a magical elixir that will take their gains to a new level.
And therefore they aim to consume as much as possible.
Okay, there are many benefits to taking creatine, but as with most things, excessive consumption doesn’t always equal better.
Firstly, you have to remember that we typically consume around 2g of creatine daily from the food we eat.
However, when you first start taking a creatine supplement it is recommended that you go through a loading phase.
This will typically involve consuming around 20g of creatine within the first 5-7 days.
After this you will then take a maintenance amount, generally 5g a day.
With that being said, this is simply a recommendation, and creatine maintenance will differ from person-to-person.
In fact, most of us can still achieve the desired increased energy effects of creatine from as little as 2g a day.
So, if you are finding that you’re farting more than usual try lowering your dosage and see if that helps.
How to Take Creatine – Do You Need a Loading Phase?
I hope you now have a better idea of why creatine makes you fart.
As you can see, although possible, it’s unlikely to actually be creatine that is causing the issue.
More often than not it will be what you’re mixing creatine with, typically either a sugar-based drink or a protein shake.
Then again, the sudden changes in your diet and increased protein consumption could be the source of your flatulence.
You should also ensure that you purchase a high quality creatine supplement and be aware that you may not need such a high daily maintenance dosage.
Workout Program & Nutrition Plan to Build Muscle and Burn Body Fat
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.