Mood Swings, Anxiety & Insomnia

  1. Positive Responders
  2. Renal Complications
  3. Increased Urination
  4. Nausea, Diarrhea & Gastrointestinal Distress
  5. Mood Swings, Anxiety & Insomnia
  6. Acne
  7. Hair Loss
  8. Strange Experiences

Diarrhea and Shakes

“When taking creatine, I often experience nausea and gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea. I read that could be because the creatine is not dissolved yet? Should I mix the powder in advance and let it dissolve in the water for a while? Because I just put it in a glass of water, stir it and drink it instantly.”

“Also, another troubling experience I get from creatine is that I sometimes get the shakes. It’s like there’s a constant tension in my muscles and it shows when I handle a pen or a keyboard. It goes away after an hour or so. Does creatine affect muscle nerves?”

“I can live with the side effects because the product is great. I’m just a bit worried.”


Gastrointestinal Distress and Mood Swings

“I’m in the loading phase of creatine intake – have been taking around 30 g (6 tea-spoons) daily for the last three days (my weight is 102 kg / 225 lbs). I don’t know if this should be attributed to creatine or to other factors (like the very hot weather) but I’m going through not-too-pleasurable experiences:”

“Nausea, sporadic loss of appetite and, what bothers me most, anxiety – my mood during the day stays in a kind of “altered” state – like the one we all experience on the eve of a difficult exam or two seconds before the race starts.”

“Maybe, I should’ve taken more liquids (I guess, I undershot the norm of an ounce per pound by a wide margin, and I feel thirsty most of the time).”

“On the positive side, though, I already experienced a boost of energy during my gym exercises.”

Lyubim Gerasymenko
Amateur Athlete


“I would just like to point my personal experiences with creatine. I’ve noticed a certain side-effect creatine has on me that is NOT listed on your site or anywhere else I have seen. This effect is that, in whatever way, it completely messes up my sleep, meaning during the time period that I take it I am practically an insomniac. I’m sure you’re thinking right now that this is total BS, but I am 100% sure that this negative effect on my sleep is in some way attributed to creatine supplementation. Now, I have only taken creatine on two separate occasions, once at the end of September 2004, and the other just this past week of May 2005. The first time I took it I got some brand (I forgot the company) of pure creatine monohydrate in grape flavour. It was not top of the line for sure but it wasn’t the bottom either. I got it from Nutrition House. After an unforeseeably unpleasant experience the first time around, I decided to go with a top of the line brand: Xxxxxx Xxxx Xxxx Xxxx, hoping that the first mishap was simply due to a defective or cheap product. Not so. Both times I immediately experienced incredible difficulty getting to sleep – it was almost as if I was wired on caffeine and totally stressed out of my mind, but this was not the case. Normally, I have absolutely no problem falling asleep (in fact, before I tried creatine for the first time, I had been sleeping almost ‘perfectly’ every night for years, and falling to sleep was never an issue). However, the first day after taking creatine, I found it difficult to stop thinking, it was like my brain was in overdrive and my heart rate appeared faster, as though I was stressed or my body was being pumped full of adrenaline. Mind you I stuck with the recommended dosages of two servings per day (about 20g) during the loading phase, although I quickly realized this nightmarish effect the creatine was having on me and stopped after the first four days.”

“I should also mention that there was nothing unusually stressful going on in my life during this time so any sort of external factors could not be causing this sort of restlessness. Now perhaps you’re thinking that is still coincidence, or that it was simply a mentally-based problem that was not in any way caused by the creatine intake. Well, I cannot explain it because I am not a scientist and don’t have the means to research its effects on me, but I assure you that it WAS the creatine, at least initially, that was responsible for my sleep problems. The fact that I could not seem to sleep properly anymore did admittedly have a mental affect on me, to the point where I genuinely became stressed over the actual notion of sleeping, and of course this kind of apprehension cannot be conducive to sleep. But I believe I have now confirmed that creatine DID play a huge part in this abnormal condition of sleeping because, as I said, I decided to take it again, only a different brand. Now I am aware that Xxxxxx Xxxx’s Xxxx Xxxx is not purely creatine, but also contains a huge amount of sugar (dextrose) with the idea being that it helps to increase insulin production, which is a highly anabolic hormone, or so I have read. It has only been two days since I took it, and this time I only took 1 serving (10g), but it still has had the same horrible effect on me. I must be like a one-in-a-million since I have never read or heard about creatine having such an effect on an individual, especially since it was such an immediate short-term effect. I believe I also forgot to mention that it took me about 3 months after the first experience before I really started sleeping soundly and feeling normal and refreshed in the morning. So to decide to take creatine again was definitely a tough decision for me, but you know how time renders terrible memories less terrible. Also, I was (and still am) completely unsatisfied and demoralized by the fact that I have been working out quite consistently and getting only very minor (sometimes no) results in terms of muscle growth. In fact, I have never gained actual muscle mass for a long time, although I do notice some minor improvements in shape and definition. But you can see for a dedicated bodybuilder and someone who desperately wants to improve my appearance with bigger, more shapely and full-bellied muscles, how my frustration drove me to at least give creatine another try. Well needless to say I wish that I had never tried it, and am now so completely skeptical of supplements in general (except for protein supplements, which I still take as they have never had a harmful effect on me) and I feel as though I might spend my energy in better and more gratifying ways than bodybuilding/weightlifting.”

“Anyway, I hope that by submitting this comment that some research might be done on this or so at least other people who might have suffered similar effects know that they are not the only victims of creatine. Xxx Xxxx, I wish steroids didn’t have all the bad side-effects that they do!”

Tom Northrup

“I would just like to add that i too am experiancing sleep problems,like one of your previous emailings,i am suddenly finding it hard to switch off and go to sleep.When i do sleep it,s like being only half asleep and i wake quite often. When i do wake up in the morning i feel very tired, after working out i feel better but by lunch time i realy need to sleep. Now this has only just started happening since i have taken creatine. The effects of tiredness i would say are ruling out any gains with creatine !”

Tony, UK


Important Information: The persons whose names appear on this page have all given permission for their experiences to be posted – in their own words. This information is intended for illustrative purposes only, without scientific validation and should not be construed as medical advise. The side effects described here may be the result of additives in certain creatine products or arise from contaminants sometimes present in cheaper brands of creatine and therefore, may not be attributed to the ingestion of creatine monohydrate per se.

Avoiding Side Effects:
It’s very important that you understand how creatine works and is produced commercially in order to use it most effectively with a minimum of side effects. First, purchase your creatine from a reputable vendor of high quality creatine products. Next, follow the guidelines and precautions set forth in our creatine guide; learn the inner secrets of creatine and most importantly, how to make these work in your favor to accentuate muscle growth, improve recovery from strenuous exercise and promote overall health.