What are the dangers of using creatine to build muscle?


Quick Answer

Possible side effects of taking creatine include water retention, kidney disease, kidney failure and high blood pressure. Other side effects are nausea, cramping, diarrhea and muscle pain, states WebMD. Most healthy people can take creatine safely, but research on the safety of creatine is still ongoing, as of 2015.

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Full Answer

Additional side effects of creatine are anxiety, difficulty breathing, fever and fatigue. Some people may experience rashes or headaches. Caffeine, guarana, ephedra and other stimulants can increase the chances of experiencing side effects, and they can also cause cardiovascular problems, notes WebMD. Creatine should not be taken at the same time as acetaminophen, diuretics and some diabetes medications. Excessive carbohydrate consumption can increase the effects of creatine.

There is not enough research to determine the risks of using creatine long-term, as of 2015. People with kidney or heart problems should not take creatine, recommends WebMD. It may not be safe for people with diabetes, as it can change blood sugar levels. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid creatine just to be safe.

Because the FDA does not regulate supplements in the same way as medications, some creatine supplements may contain undesirable substances, notes WebMD. It is important to check the ingredients for other potentially dangerous substances, and make sure dosage levels are appropriate. Talking to a physician before taking creatine is recommended.

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