Do you take creatine supplements but are embarrassed by the smell of your post-workout farts? You’re not alone! Creatine farts are an unfortunate but common side effect of supplementing with creatine, and unfortunately, there’s no way to completely get rid of them. However, there are a few ways that you can take control and reduce the smell of creatine farts. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some tips and tricks to help keep your creatine farts under control and save you from any embarrassing situations.
What Are Creatine Farts?
If you’ve ever taken a creatine powder supplement, chances are you’ve experienced the uncomfortable and often embarrassing side effect of “creatine farts.” These are foul-smelling, excessive flatulence caused by the supplement. The gas produced is often accompanied by bloating and stomach discomfort, which can make for an uncomfortable experience.
Why Do Creatine Farts Happen?
So why exactly do some individuals experience gas and bloating after taking creatine? Oral creatine supplementation increases muscle creatine and phosphocreatine concentrations, leading to improved performance during short-term maximal exercise (1). However, this increase in muscle creatine content may also cause an osmotic imbalance in the intestines, leading to water retention and subsequent gas and bloating.
One study published in Research In Sports Medicine in 2008 aimed to investigate the effects of two different creatine-supplementation protocols on gastrointestinal (GI) distress in top-level athletes.
A total of 59 male soccer players were allocated in a double-blind design to three randomly assigned trials: 2 groups ingested different amounts of a creatine supplement and one was a placebo group. Of the 2 creatine groups, one received 2 5-gram doses (the C5 group) and the other received 1 10-gram dose (the C10 group). They did this for 28 days. The most frequent GI complaints were diarrhea (39.0%), stomach upset (23.8%), and belching (16.9%). There was no significant difference between the incidence of GI distress symptoms between C5 and the placebo group. However, there were significant differences for the incidence of diarrhea between the C5 and C10 groups (28.6% vs. 55.6%, respectively, p < 0.05) (2).
So, while the studies on creatine farts are not entirely conclusive, there is some evidence to suggest that high doses of creatine may lead to an increased risk of GI distress, particularly diarrhea.
It’s interesting to note that creatine supplements are often consumed by athletes in amounts of up to 20 g/day, yet consumers usually do not report any adverse effects, but body mass increases. There are even reports that creatine supplementation has protective effects in heart, muscle and neurological diseases (3).
Overall, while there may be some gastrointestinal side effects associated with creatine supplementation, it ultimately depends on the individual. Some individuals may experience gas and bloating, while others may not experience any side effects at all.
How To Prevent Creatine Farts
If you’re experiencing creatine farts, try these tips to reduce discomfort.
2. Taking your creatine powder supplement with a meal.
3. Increasing your water intake.
4. Starting with a lower dose.
5. Never dry scoop creatine.
Additionally, some people find that taking it before bed or throughout the day while fasting works best for them.
Foods To Avoid
In addition to the prevention tips above, it’s also important to avoid certain foods that may exacerbate digestive discomfort. Foods high in fiber, such as beans, broccoli, and whole grains, can be difficult for the body to digest and may lead to gas and bloating.
Similarly, fatty and greasy foods can slow down digestion, leading to discomfort. Instead, opt for low-fiber, low-fat foods like lean meats, fish, and vegetables. And, if you’re really looking to do everything in your power to stop embarrassing gas, limiting caffeine and alcohol intake may also help to prevent digestive discomfort.
By following these tips and making a few dietary adjustments, you can help to prevent creatine farts and enjoy the benefits of creatine supplementation without any embarrassment.