Why Does Creatine Make Me Fart? (6 Creatine-Farting Facts)

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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.

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.

It’s Unlikely that Creatine is Causing Flatulence

An Athletic Man and a Tub of Creatine

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, such as feeling sick or nauseous, will usually be due to dehydration, rather than the creatine itself.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Your Related “Creatine Farting” Questions Answered

What follows are some similar questions (and answers) about creatine and its potential effects on your body.

Is There a Type of Creatine That Doesn’t Cause Gas?

As I’ve alluded to above, whether creatine supplementation causes gas on stomach irritability mainly depends on the individual.

Furthermore, the dosage or what you’re mixing creatine with could also be the issue.

However, for those who do get gas with creatine there may well be a better solution.

The vast majority of creatine sold and purchased is creatine monohydrate.

That being said, creatine HCL is typically seen as the best option for those who suffer with digestion issues.

Creatine HCL or creatine hydrochloride is basically creatine which has its molecules bound with hydrochloric acid.

This actually makes creatine HCL far more soluble than its monohydrate counterpart.

For those of you who experience bloating stomach cramps or irritability, this is often down to monohydrate not mixing properly.

So  the fact that HCL is far more soluble removes this problem.

Furthermore, greater solubility also means that HCL will be broken down by the body and absorbed by the muscles much more effectively.

In fact, you can take a smaller dose of HCL than monohydrate, but achieve the same results.

The fact that stomach and digestion issues may also be caused by high dosages once again means that HCL may be the better option for you.

I will say that some individuals complain that creatine HCL tastes sour, but I’d much rather a sour taste than constant gas and farting.

Can Creatine Cause Diarrhoea?

There are two main reasons why creatine may cause diarrhoea.

Firstly, this comes down to how much creatine you’re supplementing.

In truth, the aim of creatine supplementation is to build up the amount of creatine in your body, more specifically, the creatine in your muscles.

Now, what most creatine instructions will tell you is to have an initial loading phase where you’re taking much more creatine than you usually would.

Basically, you’ll take approximately 20-25 grams of creatine daily for about a week.

You’ll then drop this to a maintenance dosage, typically between 3-5 grams per day.

However, for many individuals it is the loading phase and the excessive amounts of creatine that cause diarrhoea.

Realistically, you don’t actually have to use a loading phase, and you’re experiencing stomach irritability then I would advise against it.

By doing this it will obviously take slightly longer for your muscles to be flooded with creatine, let’s say 3-4 weeks.

However, this is obviously much better than suffering with diarrhoea and potentially stopping supplementation altogether.

The other reason for potential diarrhoea is insufficient water intake with creatine.

In fact, not drinking enough water is probably responsible for most of the potential side effects from creatine.

Once creatine is in the muscles it automatically draws water towards it, so think of creatine as a sponge.

However, this then draws water away from other areas of the body, such as the vital organs, which require water to function properly.

So, if you’re not consuming enough water, initially the body may start to break down muscle tissue in order to receive the water it requires.

Furthermore, the reduced levels of water that the vital organs are receiving will lead to problems too.

Obviously, this could be the cause of your diarrhoea, but also you may experience muscle cramps, nausea, headaches, etc.

Plus, even though creatine doesn’t affect the kidneys directly, the lack of water is what can cause issues with your kidneys.

In other words, if you’re supplementing with creatine then you should significantly increase your water intake.

Can You Take Creatine on an Empty Stomach?

You can take creatine on an empty stomach, although this may be the cause of stomach issues for some people.

As I’ve mentioned throughout this article it isn’t usually creatine that is causing these problems unless you’re ingesting a high dosage.

Usually, farting, stomach upset and irritability are caused by something else rather than the creatine itself.

That being said, the effectiveness of creatine can actually be enhanced when it is mixed with other ingredients.

Carbs happen to be an ingredient that will do this.

Personally, I’ve always taken creatine prior to going to the gym but always following a light meal made up of carbs and protein with some healthy fats.

As I say, this can increase its effectiveness and it will also ensure I don’t have any digestive problems.

I think this very much comes down to the individual.

I know that I myself have suffered with various gastrointestinal issues over the years, so why chance it by taking creatine on an empty stomach?

Okay, possibly it won’t have any impact at all, but my personal preference is to have eaten prior to consuming creatine. 

Now, if you happen to be following an eaten plan such as intermittent fasting then this you may have no option.

However, you can check out this video by Jim Stoppani which explains about creatine intake and fasting windows.

Key Learning Points

  • It’s unlikely that creatine is causing your flatulence, but rather something else.
  • Often it’s what you mix creatine with that is the source of your farting, e.g. sugar-based drink, whey protein shake, etc.
  • If you’ve completely changed your diet to be more in line with your training, e.g. increased protein intake, this could be behind your “inappropriate gas”.
  • Not all creatine is the same, so always ensure that you pruchase the highest-quality creatine.
  • Taking too much creatine can cause stomach irritability. If this is the case for you then forego the loading phase of creatine and stick to 2-5 grams per day.
  • There is no actual need for creatine loading, as eventually creatine will “flood” your muscles over the course of 2-3 weeks.
  • You should significantly increase your water intake when supplementing with creatine.
  • If you suffer with stomach issues avoid taking creatine on an empty stomach. In fact, creatine’s effectiveness can dramatically increase when taken with carbs. For best results, consume a light meal with carbs, protein, and healthy fats before taking creatine.

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