Creatine Side Effects: Is It Safe? FAQs You Should Know



Creatine is the top sports performance supplement available. Despite its research-backed benefits, some people avoid creatine because they worry it’s bad for their health. This article provides an evidence-based review of creatine’s safety and side effects. Let’s dive into the frequently asked questions about creatine.

How does creatine work biologically?

Creatine is found throughout your body, with 95% of it stored in your muscles. It is obtained from meat and fish and can also be produced naturally in your body from amino acids. During high-intensity exercise, the stored creatine helps your muscles produce more energy, enhancing exercise performance.

Is creatine safe to take every day?

Research has shown that it is safe to consume creatine supplements daily, even over several years. There is no evidence to support any significantly detrimental side effects in people who consume high doses of creatine (30 grams/day) for up to 5 years.

Does it cause dehydration or cramps?

Contrary to popular belief, creatine does not increase your risk of cramps and dehydration. In fact, it may reduce your risk of these conditions. Studies have shown that creatine supplementation had no adverse effects on athletes during exercise in hot weather and even reduced cramping in individuals undergoing hemodialysis.

Does creatine cause weight gain?

Creatine supplements do cause a quick increase in body weight due to increased muscle growth. However, this weight gain is not due to gaining fat but increased water content in your muscles. Increased muscle mass can have various benefits for individuals, including older adults, individuals with obesity, and those with certain diseases.

How does creatine affect your kidneys and liver?

Creatine can slightly raise levels of creatinine in your blood, which is commonly measured to diagnose kidney or liver conditions. However, no study of creatine use in healthy individuals has provided evidence of harm to these organs. Long-term studies have concluded that creatine has no negative side effects.

Does it cause digestive concerns?

Creatine may cause digestive issues when taken at excessive doses. However, when taken at recommended doses, there is no evidence that creatine causes digestive concerns. It is recommended to purchase a trusted, high-quality product.

Does creatine give you acne?

There is no current research to suggest that creatine directly causes acne. In fact, some studies show that it can help with wrinkles, aging, and skin damage.

How does creatine interact with other drugs?

As with any diet or supplement regimen, it is best to discuss your creatine plans with a doctor or other healthcare professional before you start. Creatine may interact with certain medications, so it’s important to check with your doctor before starting supplementation, especially if you take medications that affect liver or kidney function or medications that affect blood sugar.

Other potential side effects

Claims about creatine causing compartment syndrome or rhabdomyolysis are not supported by evidence. Creatine is a completely natural and legal substance found in your body and in foods, with no link to anabolic steroids. It is suitable for both male and female athletes, as well as older adults and children in recommended doses.


Creatine has been used for more than a century, and hundreds of studies support its safety and effectiveness. It provides many benefits for muscle and performance, improves markers of health, and is being used in medical settings to help treat various diseases. Creatine is one of the cheapest, most effective, and safest supplements available.