Does Creatine Make You Thirsty? Side Effect & Reasons

Creatine is one of athletes’ most commonly consumed supplements to increase exercise performance. However, I can’t rule out its side effects either, as there is a correlation between creatine intake and thirst.

Yes, taking creatine can make a person thirsty. Typically, this hydrophilic supplement attracts more water from interstitial sources to power the outer organs. It naturally causes a person to feel thirsty.

So, to make you clear about getting dehydrated with creatine, I would like to explain it in detail. I suggest you continue to the following sections of this article.

Top 5 Reasons Why Creatine Makes People Thirsty

One of the most significant side effects of taking creatine is feeling thirsty. I will discuss the most common reasons that make one thirsty for this hydrophilic supplement.

  1. Higher Blood Flow

Creatine ensures efficient nutrient delivery by increasing blood flow over normal. It also removes waste. When blood circulation increases, the body’s thirst receptors are stimulated, and the person becomes thirsty.

  1. Sodium and Potassium Imbalance

Creatine affects and imbalances the levels of these two elements. Since the balance of sodium and potassium, which controls thirst, is disturbed, the person becomes thirsty easily.

  1. Increased Urine Production 

Due to taking creatine, urine production increases relatively, and the body starts losing more fluid. As a result, a feeling of thirst arises naturally.

  1. Osmotically Impact 

Creatine is an osmotically active supplement that increases the osmotic pressure in the muscle cells and draws water. It increases the solute concentration inside the cell and needs more water flow. 

  1. Sensitivity

Creatine supplements significantly affect people with individual sensitivity. They usually can not tolerate fluid balance, which results in solid thirst. However, this reaction may only be the case for a few persons.

Does Creatine Make You Thirsty? Honest Answer

Does Creatine Make You Thirsty

I have to say yes to this question because creatine causes significant dehydration and thirst in the human body.

Recommended doses are typically 3-5 grams per day, and taking more isn’t necessarily better. 

It can also cause several physical complications. 

Fortunately, this thirst does not last long. However, some may develop chronic dehydration. In this case, a doctor should be consulted because permanent dehydration or thirst can be due to other physical complications. 

Creatine initiates osmosis, which makes people thirsty. Moreover, for those who have any problems related to kidneys or liver, many issues arise due to dehydration of creatine intake.

I think creatine cravings cause physical discomfort. One should avoid this as it temporarily impairs athletes’ performance.

Read Also: Why Is It Bad To Take Metamucil Before Bed?

How Do You Recognize If Creatine Makes You Thirsty?

Does Creatine Make You Thirsty

Apart from dehydration, taking creatine can cause various side effects in a person’s body. Therefore, you need to know which symptoms are associated with dehydration.

You must pay attention to these signs, which can lead to prolonged illness. However, I have summarized the reasons below:

  • Dehydration symptoms
  • Increased urination
  • Heavy sweating
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Hot and dry skin
  • Headaches
  • labored breathing
  • Fatigue and dizziness
  • Feeling extremely thirsty or hot

Side Effects of Creatine on Your Health

When you take creatine, there may be other adverse effects on your health besides thirst. Now, I want to talk about those side effects.


Dehydration is one of the most common side effects. Dehydration concerns athletes who exercise or play in hot weather for long periods.

Higher chance of injury

There have been anecdotal reports of muscle cramping associated with creatine use. This makes the body more susceptible to strain and damage.

Kidney problems

People with kidney problems are likely to become impaired over time if they use creatine without a doctor’s advice. Besides, you will experience kidney failure.

Gastrointestinal discomfort

Some people who take creatine experience gastrointestinal discomfort. They may feel abdominal pain, diarrhea, or nausea. Taking creatine at high doses or on an empty stomach can cause such reactions.

Excess weight gain

Taking creatine while following a weight loss plan can cause weight gain. In general, creatine increases water retention, producing relatively high body weight.

In Which Way Does Taking Creatine Make You Not Thirsty?

There are still ways to prevent you from becoming dehydrated while taking creatine.

Those who take creatine regularly should stick with these methods if they want to avoid the risk of dehydration.

  • Set a reminder to drink water: This is one of the best ways to avoid dehydration. To drink enough water on time and regularly, set a routine or alarm to remind you to sip on time.
  • Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables: Take enough fruits and vegetables and drink enough water. Consuming more of these will keep your body hydrated and free from dehydration.
  • Consume sports drinks: Some grocery stores or pharmacies sell drinks rich in electrolytes and vitamins. The body does not become dehydrated despite taking creatine when you take these.
  • Stop taking diuretics: Avoid taking diuretics during pregnancy as they increase urination and cause rapid excretion of water from the body. Be sure to stop taking diuretics to avoid dehydration temporarily.

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Is Creatine Safe Though?

Generally, for most healthy adults, creatine is considered safe when taken in recommended doses. Studies have shown it to be well-tolerated for up to 5 years with minimal side effects.

Creatine has both fans and detractors due to its popularity. Several argue that this substance is an anabolic steroid or that it should only be taken by professional athletes.

For this reason, few people are afraid to take creatine incorrectly, ignoring its favorable properties.

Of course, as with any substance, please be aware of possible side effects.

Expert Suggestions

After an in-depth review of creatine, I would like to give you a practical suggestion. I think you should be systematic in taking creatine if you want the full benefits.

A person can consume an average of 20g of creatine per day. So, divide it into 4 doses and then take it. Consume 8 ounces of water with every 5 gm of creatine. 

Besides, by drinking 4 to 5 liters of water every day, you can easily prevent dehydration.

Generally, thirst is not a major issue, but follow the mentioned highlights to avoid temporary physical discomfort.

The Bottom Line

From my personal experience, almost all athletes or exercisers take creatine supplements.

I have even seen a few acquaintances taking it regularly. Dehydration or thirst due to creatine is normal and will never harm your health.

But to get all the benefits of creatine, it is essential to keep yourself hydrated. Furthermore, drink enough water to stay active in athletic activities without interruption and maintain body balance.

John Harvey
John Harvey

John Harvey M.D., M.P.H. is the Director of VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and a Professor at T.H Chan School of Public Health . As an Internal Medicine physician at Boston Healthcare System, I aim to improve healthcare quality and costs through policy-focused research. I earned my M.D. and M.P.H. from Harvard, and completed fellowships at University of California, San Francisco.

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