Creatine Monohydrate Side Effects: Is Creatine Monohydrate Safe?
What about all these dangerous creatine side effects that I’ve been hearing about? Is it safe to take creatine? Will taking creatine damage my liver and kidneys? What about creatinine, the “toxic” by-product of creatine metabolism?
Well, as far as supplements go, the side effects associated with creatine have been relatively minor — stomach upset and gastrointestinal distress are the two most common side effects. Despite what you may have heard about other creatine side effects, they are largely unfounded.
According to Dr. A. Franco-Obregón, author of “Creatine: A Practical Guide,” there have never been any kidney-related issues — by healthy athletes with normal kidney function using sensible amounts of creatine.
Dr. Franco-Obregón also notes that some of the biggest health concerns with creatine supplementation are not with creatine itself, but with impurities created in the creatine synthesis process by companies trying to cut corners and manufacturing costs (a good reason to stay away from budget-priced creatine products).
Studies too, validate creatine as being safe. This study, “Adverse effects of creatine supplementation: fact or fiction?” says…
“… we believe that there is no evidence for deleterious effects in healthy individuals.” (see Sports Med. 2000 Sep;30(3):155-70).
Other studies (Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Feb;33(2):183-8) back up this conclusion, and one study, performed over the course of a year (Int J Sports Med. 2005 May;26(4):307-13) concluded there was little health risk in long term creatine supplementation.
Creatine supplementation may have positive benefits as well — recent studies indicate creatine may have a positive influence on heart health and the lowering of blood lipid profiles.