Creatine: Here’s Why Some People Don’t Take It

Sometimes when talking to a friend about lifting, I hear that they avoid taking creatine. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would do this, so I asked around everyone I know that doesn’t take it and asked them why. So, why do some people not take creatine?

There are many different reasons why someone would choose to avoid creatine. Here are some common reasons:

  • Creatine may cause bloating
  • Creatine isn’t effective for everyone
  • Misunderstanding creatine’s benefits
  • Creatine may cause stomach issues
  • Bad discipline/memory
  • Some people just avoid supplements
  • Liver problems can cause conflicts

These are all the basics as to why people might avoid creatine, but each of the causes has deeper implications. Below, I’ll get more in-depth into each cause.

Man taking a creatine supplement.

Creatine May Cause Bloating

While creatine really doesn’t have any major side effects, a small number of people sometimes experience bloating when they take creatine. There are two types of bloating, stomach bloating, and a general feeling of puffiness in the body.

If you’re looking for creatine that you won’t want to avoid, check out my article on my favorite creatine. I’ve used it for years, and it’s the only one that I use anymore. Be sure to check it out!

Creatine could be the culprit for either of these things. Creatine attracts water, so when it’s floating around in your body, it takes a bunch of water with it. Whether it’s in your muscles, skin, or stomach, it can be uncomfortable and cause different issues.

Thankfully, this can almost always be avoided altogether. If this is your problem, and you’re looking for a way to solve it, check out my article on how to prevent creatine bloating. It’ll do the trick!

Creatine Isn’t Effective for Everyone

Certain people who take creatine might just find that it’s not effective for them, and this could be for mainly three different reasons. If creatine doesn’t work for you, why would you take it? It makes sense, but let’s go over the reasons it might not be effective for them.

Reason 1: They’re getting enough creatine from their diet

We naturally get creatine from our diet. If you’re eating a lot of certain foods, you just might be getting enough creatine that the extra creatine from supplements doesn’t do anything, because you’re already at your reserves (creatine is only effective to a certain point).

If you want to see the foods that contain creatine and see if you’re already getting enough, check out my article on some natural foods that contain creatine.

Reason 2: Their body produces enough creatine on its own

Alongside our diet and supplements, our bodies also produce our own creatine! If for some reason your body produces more than average, you might be at your reserves as well. If this is the case, unfortunately, there’s not much you can do!

The silver lining here is that if this is your problem, it’s not really a problem. It just means that you don’t have to spend money on creatine, because you get it for free from your body.

Reason 3: They may be a creatine non-responder

This one is kind of a wild card; for some people, creatine just doesn’t work. I know this isn’t what you wanted to hear, but it’s true.

Other than the two main causes I talked about, there could be many other things going on in your body that’d stop creatine from being effective. That’s all I can say! There are many unknowns about the human body, and this is one of them.


Misunderstanding Creatine’s Benefits

Most lifters have heard of creatine, but some people may choose to not take it because they just don’t properly understand the benefits.

if you know a lot about creatine, it can be hard to put yourself in their shoes, but it makes sense. If you don’t know about a supplement, there are two logical moves. Don’t take the supplement, or learn more about it. Some people just choose to not take it and end up not learning about it.

Creatine nitrate, one type of creatine.

If you know someone like this, help them learn! Creatine can be a great supplement if you understand its benefits and how it works.


Creatine May Cause Stomach Issues

One of the only major side effects reported to be caused by creatine is an upset stomach.

If this is you, I don’t blame you for not wanting to take creatine! There are a few things that can be done about this. You could always lower your dose, or try to drink more water throughout the day to help the creatine be absorbed.

If none of these work, I’d probably lay off the creatine as well. Creatine does have many benefits, but if your stomach is upset constantly, it’s not worth it.

So, if creatine upsets your stomach, consider avoiding it altogether.

Bad Discipline/Memory

This is one that I’ve always personally struggled with, especially when it comes to supplements. some people don’t take creatine because they can’t remember to do it!

If you have trouble remembering to take your creatine every day, you may find it easier to just not take it. However, this is the easy way out, and you should build discipline!

For a long time, I’d go back and forth every other week between taking creatine, then forgetting, then taking it again, and it never actually benefited me because I was never taking it for long enough to see the results.

I took the time to work on my discipline, and actually remember to take it. If you’re in this situation, I urge you to do the same. If the only reason you’re not taking creatine is that you can’t remember to take it, you should work on your discipline.

Some People Just Avoid Supplements

There’s a certain type of lifter that’s becoming more common these days. Someone that takes being natural to the next level. People like this avoid basically all supplements, not just creatine. Preworkout, protein powder, creatine, BCAA’s, are all off the table.

The most common mentality for this is that you can get all the nutrients you need from a good, healthy diet. And, while supplements can definitely benefit people, this is mostly true.

Man holding a bag of preworkout.

Other than some specific nutrients, we really can get enough just from our diets, if we’re eating the right foods. For example, you don’t need to make protein shakes if you’re getting enough protein from meat or other sources in your diet.

So, for people with this mentality, it makes sense that they don’t take creatine.

Liver Problems Can Cause Conflicts

This is a very specific reason, and it only affects a very small minority of people, but it’s a reason nonetheless.

Creatine, after our body uses it, is excreted from the liver as a different chemical, called creatinine. This happens even if you don’t take it as a supplement.

If you’re having liver problems, doctors may test creatinine levels to see how effective your liver is at functioning and performing its job.

If you’re supplementing with creatine, your creatinine levels will be higher as well and will mess up the test results.

For this reason, people with liver problems may avoid taking creatine.


Pete Schenkel

My name is Pete Schenkel, and I've been into weightlifting since I was a teenager. Now, my main focus is growing Powerful Lifting and putting more information out there. In fact, I'm also currently working on becoming a certified personal trainer.

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