Creatine Questions

tennisfan23

New User
I'm new to creatine use and was hoping some members could weigh in on some questions I had.

Is there any truth to face bloating? From my understanding the extra weight you gain is from water rentention within muscle cells, but I've heard stories of puffy faces and other less than ideal side effects. Personal experiences would be helpful here.

Secondly, has anyone found that Creatine has increased their acne? I'm a 22 year old male and still have the occasional acne bout here and there, however I've read that when taking this with something like grape juice the effect on insulin levels could make a person more prone to outbreaks. Again, personal experiences would be appreciated.

Thanks for any help.
 

cncretecwbo

Semi-Pro
get your diet and exercise routine in order before using creatine. I think the biggest side effect is really water bloat. If you think you have VERY good diet/workouts, then start with creatine. Youd be surprised to see how much have the basics down can help.

Make sure you drink plenty of water too. and you dont need to have it with grape juice or whatnot, just take it with a meal at the right times.
 

xtremerunnerars

Hall of Fame
Don't just read stuff on health websites. Read medical studies that weren't written to shock you!

You are way too worried about the bloat. It isn't like you have eaten way too much and can barely walk either from what I can tell.
 

MomentumGT

Semi-Pro
I'm new to creatine use and was hoping some members could weigh in on some questions I had.

Is there any truth to face bloating? From my understanding the extra weight you gain is from water rentention within muscle cells, but I've heard stories of puffy faces and other less than ideal side effects. Personal experiences would be helpful here.

Secondly, has anyone found that Creatine has increased their acne? I'm a 22 year old male and still have the occasional acne bout here and there, however I've read that when taking this with something like grape juice the effect on insulin levels could make a person more prone to outbreaks. Again, personal experiences would be appreciated.

Thanks for any help.

I currently use creatine to help aid in muscle building. You are correct in creatine increasing the amount of water retention. At the very most you'll be more bulky looking vs. shredded. I've never heard of puffy faces or what not.

I personally don't have much acne even when I was in HS, so personally no it did not increase the amount of acne.

What I did notice was that when playing tennis while on the loading cycle of creatine my shoulders would cramp up, especially my traps and the base of my neck. I'm talking 3+ hours of serving and hitting at night while during the mornings I do heavy lifting. While I'm not on the loading cycle I find that I'm not prone to cramping even with the same amount of hours of hitting and lifting. I do drink lots of water like the other poster said above. If I have a tourney coming up I usually cycle off 1-1.5 weeks prior. Just my experiences.

-Jon
 

tennisfan23

New User
I currently use creatine to help aid in muscle building. You are correct in creatine increasing the amount of water retention. At the very most you'll be more bulky looking vs. shredded. I've never heard of puffy faces or what not.

I personally don't have much acne even when I was in HS, so personally no it did not increase the amount of acne.

What I did notice was that when playing tennis while on the loading cycle of creatine my shoulders would cramp up, especially my traps and the base of my neck. I'm talking 3+ hours of serving and hitting at night while during the mornings I do heavy lifting. While I'm not on the loading cycle I find that I'm not prone to cramping even with the same amount of hours of hitting and lifting. I do drink lots of water like the other poster said above. If I have a tourney coming up I usually cycle off 1-1.5 weeks prior. Just my experiences.

-Jon

I appreciate your help, Jon. There's a lot of mixed information and skewed/bias websites out there, so your first hand experience is very valuable. Some of the things I read seemed inconsistent with scientific studies I viewed on creatine and it's effects on the body, and was hoping someone on TT could provide me with substantive reporting on the subject. Thanks again.
 

tennisfan23

New User
Don't just read stuff on health websites. Read medical studies that weren't written to shock you!

You are way too worried about the bloat. It isn't like you have eaten way too much and can barely walk either from what I can tell.

I've looked at some medical studies (including some posted by Ano) but haven't been able to find consistent resources for this data. Do you have any recommendations of places to access more of this material? I'm always a little cautious when evaluating some independent medical studies because it seems that some are funded by special interest groups. The conflict of interest there is quite apparent.

From what I know, the verifiable and reported effects of creatine on the human body didn't include or in any way conclusively point to facial bloating, but it's difficult to completely discredit someone who is telling you it happened to them. There had been some reporting of this on different weightlifting message boards and I was just hoping some creatine using members on the TT message board could help. I trust the opinions of the health gurus on this board and know many members have used it.

I agree I'm probably making too much of these reports. I suspect some people (like maybe some posting on those boards) take it just expecting to magically form muscles with less work, so their increased caloric intake goes to their face and chin. It's understandable considering some of the varied information out there.

I'm in the best shape of my life and wanted to experiment a little with creatine to see if it would give me just a little extra gains while lifting. I think I have a really good grasp on it's effects, and chemical processes, so I just wanted some reassurance because this puffy face syndrome got me slightly paranoid.

Thanks for your post.
 

007

Professional
I started using 7g of creatine monohydrate per day about a month ago. I do moderate weight training 4 x week for 45 minutes in addition to post-lifting cardio and some HIIT. Also play 6 hrs week of tennis. I've noticed a definite increase in strength and stamina during my weight training sessions, which has helped increase my ean mass gains. No bloating or acne whatsoever.
 

cncretecwbo

Semi-Pro
i dont think creatine increases stamina... i fact im pretty sure it has zero effect on stamina. strength on the other hand, it does enhance
 

007

Professional
I should not have cited ''stamina' - my creatine supplementation has definitely given me more actual + perceived "available" strength during my workouts.
 
Right, it's not stamina, but more muscle endurance that creatine affects.

I've been thinking about using creatine, but as I'm in a cutting phase right now, I'm not going to get into it just yet, if ever. Better to look shredded than bulky in the summer months 8)
 

strike

Rookie
I've been taking it for awhile now. Primarily to help build the muscles in my arm/shoulder so I can play tennis longer...as well as when I am doing rehab on injuries. I have found that it definitely increases my endurance during workouts, and enables me to do more reps than without. It also helps in the healing process, ie, your muscles heal after workouts quicker. Protein after workouts is also key.

No facial bloating experienced here. When I first started taking it, I got headaches, but as I adjusted my water intake, and got used to it, they went away.

Interestingly, I have some tendinitis in my shoulder (pec), and when serving it flares up and can be quite painful. I am currently rehabbing it, and off tennis for at least a few weeks. But, I have been taking a small amount of creatine before playing, I'm wondering if my pain/ injury is similar to the serving cramp ups mentioned...will stop taking it before playing from now on just in case.
 

LafayetteHitter

Hall of Fame
Medical journals can be frustrating. One will tell you that all your workout woes will by fixed by Creatine and it's so great it may even fix the neighbors cat that keeps getting pregnant. Then the next one will tell you that your children will have 7 fingers and green hair.
 

xtremerunnerars

Hall of Fame
@bulldog: have you even tried creatine or read anything respectable on it? Is your knowledge based on what you've heard in school or from friends? If so, please educate yourself and others. I can assure you that there is no kidney pain.
 

BullDogTennis

Hall of Fame
no kidney pain, but it can cause long term damage. i know this because i talked to my doctor, and also my brother talked to his proffesors(hes a 4th year medical student) when i say it hurts trying to pass is your kidneys have to work alot harder. and yes i take it right now, but dont plan on taking it after football season is over with this year.
 

Kobble

Hall of Fame
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

Article: pp. 182–190 | Abstract

Absolute and Relative Strength Performance Following Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation Combined With Periodized Resistance Training

DANIEL G. SYROTUIK, GORDON J. BELL, ROBERT BURNHAM, LORRAINE L. SIM, ROBERT A. CALVERT, and IAN M. MACLEAN
Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2H9.
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Twenty-one men (20–26 years old) were randomly assigned to one of 3 groups: an acute creatine monohydrate (Cr) 5-day load and maintenance placebo (AL); an acute Cr 5-day load and 32-day maintenance dose (ALM), and a placebo group (PL). The AL and ALM groups received Cr dissolved in a flavored drink at a dosage of 0.3g·kg−1·d−1 for 5 days for the acute load and the ALM group ingested Cr at 0.03g·kg−1·d−1 for the maintenance phase. The PL group ingested the drink only. While supplementing, all groups participated in a periodized resistance training program performing the same relative load and volume of training regardless of their assigned experimental group. Bench press (BP) and incline leg press (ILP) absolute strength (1 repetition maximum [1RM]), total lifting volume (80% of 1RM to failure), and strength per mass ratio were assessed initially (T1), after a 5-day acute load (T2), and following the 32-day maintenance phase (T3). No differences were observed in 1RMs, total lifting volume, or strength per mass ratio between experimental groups over time except in the AL group, which showed a significant improvement in the total lifting volume for BP after the acute Cr load. All groups significantly improved 1RM, total lifting volume, and strength per mass ratio from T1 to T3, with no changes observed from T1 to T2 in BP and ILP. The findings suggest that Cr supplementation combined with resistance training when relative loads and volumes are the same as a placebo group does not result in a training advantage in absolute or relative strength performance.
Keywords: repetition maximum, ergogenic aid


This source says the stuff is useless for performance.
 
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