Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Experiences with creatine?

05-21-2010, 09:46 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Experiences with creatine?

Hi guys. So, I am continuing on my quest for putting on some muscle mass. I haven't been trying to gain for a while, as I just started with a new GI and have been going through many tests for a re-assessment of my condition. I wanted to focus on being healthy and nothing else. All tests are now completed and I am feeling a lot better than I have in a long time, so I am getting back to my other goal of building some mass. For the past number of months, the only supplements I have been using are glutamine and some fish oil. I just started using whey isolate last week, and am considering for the first time using creatine.

I've been reading up on creatine a lot, over the last week or so, to make sure I understand what it is and what it does. Although it has a very bad rep out there with the general public, it seems its just that people just aren't that educated on it and believe word of mouth. I'm not going to get into all of that here though.

What I am most concerned about is how it will react with my Crohn's. From what I've read, it sounds like regular use shouldn't be of any concern, however excessive use does irritate the digestive tract. I'm considering excessive use as during the loading phase, when you take up to 4 times your regular maintenance dosage: 20g rather than 5g. I've also read that the loading phase isn't necessary, so I guess those articles claiming it is necessary are dated.

What I am considering is sticking to just a straight up monohydrate and taking with some Gatorade powder for the dextrose to help the delivery. Instead of a loading phase I will just be taking a regular dosage and extending the length of the cycle to allow more time for it to work.

I am going to check with my GI next week to see if she approves of me experimenting to see how I react. I am also curious of others experiences with creatine. If you've used it since being diagnosed, I'd be very interested in hearing how it went for you. Also, if you notice anything off about my plan, or ways to improve it, please let me know.
05-24-2010, 03:04 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
I use it without any problems at all.. I never did the loading phase as you will saturate muscles the same without the loading phase and just taking the 5mg-15mg daily dose. I also take glutamine and whey protein powder. I have to be very selective in what protein I use because some of them cause severe discomfort while others are just fine.

Myoplex MRPs are terrible on my stomach and so are most protein powders including GNC's AMP stuff and 100% Casein protein. The only kind I can really handle is Isopure's Zero Carb stuff. It's pretty good with a decent taste so you could give it a shot if you start getting discomfort from protein supplements.
05-24-2010, 08:26 PM   #3
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kenny's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
are you unable to digest meat protein without troubles?

When I was working back up to 170 lbs from 134 everyone involved pushed Meat Protein as a part of a healthy well balanced diet. That is a Nutritionist, Physiotherapist, Gp and GI specialist. Every one told me to eat some form of meat 2x a day and not to stop eating red meat.

Between that and the home gym I did well enough for myself. Although long term stamina took longer to build. Still working out some of the flexibility issues tho but I guess at my age thats probably all I'll get.
Rectum? Damn near Killed'em

Diagnosed July of 2009 / Surgery Oct 2009 / 175mg Imuran since Jan 2010
05-25-2010, 10:13 AM   #4
New Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
I read an article online on men's health. Only major warning mentioned was that you shouldn't take it if you have poor kidney function. Also said if you should feel like your can training volume has increased in about a week, if you don't feel any different it probably isn't going to work.
Symptoms for over 3 years.
Diagnosed: April 1st, 2010 with Crohn's Colitis
Meds: apriso
hydrocortisone enema
05-25-2010, 10:16 AM   #5
New Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Thanks for the replies guys.

Brando - Good to hear its been working well with you. I used to use Muscle Milk as my protein shake near the end of last year. Looking back on it, and comparing to the straight up whey isolate I am using now, it left me feeling quite bloated and I think it was causing some issues for me. The new one I am using has been good so far, but it is still in the first few weeks of using it. I am not opposed to trying a few others, but in Canada cost is a huge factor in supplements as well, and this one is one of the easiest on the wallet that I've found.

kenny - I haven't had any issues with digesting meat protein, but I have been having a very difficult time hitting the recommended protein goals using food alone. I have been eating mostly chicken and fish, and once in a while have a burger for some red meat.

Starrburst12 - Good to know! I will have to keep that in mind for the first week or so.
05-28-2010, 07:53 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: New York
I stopped taking it because it has too much crap in it that's unknown. But when I was taking it and yeah I was in a flair I didn't notice any problems. But I do know it gave me cramps at times maybe because of lack of water. If taking it, you'll have to increase your water intake a lot more.
I used to love them workout supplements. Still got Muscle Milk, don't know if I will continue to take it.

I finally said what the hell with it, I don't care anymore about putting on so much muscles anymore. lol
Its not so bad
05-28-2010, 08:40 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2010
Creatine will give you the runs. It tends to give most people the run in the beginning so you won't know how you react to it for some time. I would personally give it a miss.

1) figure out your harris bennidict formula for adding weight. Google it. This is the most important thing you need to do is hit this number of cals EVERYDAY.

2. Google BMR and find that number too - you will need it in the harris formula

3. Glutamine is good - Take it with a lot of water.

4. Carbs - keep them complex carbs, no simple carbs.

5. Good mtc fats. It only takes 2 tbs of all NATURAL smooth peanut butter(one with the oil you gotta mix) has 220 cals in it. Same with flax seed oil and fish oil which are all easy calories that help absorb food better.

6. Protien - Atleast 1 g per lb that you weigh. Dietitians say this may be pushing it but their studies are of average individuals that do not workout and who's bodies are not under the stress and need for extra protien. Try get most of this protein from chicken, tuna and as little red meat as possible - even though red meat has more cals it also takes a couple day to just digest! Whey protein is easy absorbed, but sometimes not for crohnnies (its an individual thing). Most weight gainers will give you the runs and are crap for 2 reasons A) they have too much sugar and mainly B) because their osmolcisty(sp) is usually too high (meaning they compound to many ingredients/cals into the formula which produces the runs for us

7) Don't over train and stick to compound movements when working out. The bigger muscle groups you work like say your BACK or LEGS the more test you body will release.

8) Get sufficient sleep - you need it to grow and recooporate. Also your body produces Growth Hormone when you sleep from your putuatary(sp) gland but only when you reach REM sleep - which is only achieved after 4 hours of straight sleep. Also the less sleep you have the less testosterone your body will produce.

I hope I am not coming off as a mr know it all, I always love learning myself. With this knowlege and in my better days(2 years ago) I had managed to gain 110lb in 2 years and enter a few comps. Best of luck.

Last edited by Guest9283; 05-28-2010 at 10:59 PM.
06-03-2010, 04:31 PM   #8
New Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Hey Mr. Ziggy. Thanks for the reply. Sorry its taken so long to write back. Its been a busy week (moving this weekend).

I saw your post the day you posted it, but I had my GI appointment that morning, got some great news from my doctor with my condition and also got the go ahead to try the creatine. I picked some up later that day. I haven't started using it yet though because I knew it was going to be crazy and probably wouldn't have the same amount of time for the gym this week. Planning on starting this weekend so I am ready to go starting Monday after I'm all moved in.

Really appreciate the detailed feedback you gave there. Thats awesome that you made that kind of progress. I'm not aiming to get quite that big, but want at least another 10-15lbs of muscle and to get down to a healthy 10%bf.

My BMR is 1838 and I've been targeting 3093 calories daily. I just started, and its been tough getting used to, but easier every day. Aiming for 89g fat, 322g carbs, and 251g protein. I'm 168lbs, 5'11" and 25 years old. I'm wondering if I should maybe cut down a bit first before trying to bulk up. I don't know my exact bf% right now. Its not high, but I do have a bit on me. If I had to guess I'd say maybe 14%?

What you described with working out is right on par with what I'm doing. Still need to juggle some of my set/rep balances around to make sure I'm hitting everything as good as I can. Put a new routine together last week though and it felt great. Going to have two weeks of personal training starting next week, thanks to joining a new club, so that'll be good.

Sleep is definitely something I need to improve on some more. I haven't been sleeping that great through the night. Never feel like I'm really in that deep of a sleep.

If I find I'm having problems with the creatine I'm not going to continue using it. I might give kre-alkalyn a try before abandoning it all together, as I hear it is even better when it comes to water retention and bloating and stuff. Have you heard anything about kre-alkalyn? The salesman was actually trying to sell me on it (he had colitis). I read up on it quickly, and it sounds great, but at the same time made me wonder "if all these things they're saying about it is true, why is monohydrate still the standard?" It also concerned me a bit that they haven't done the same level of testing with it as they have monohydrate.
06-04-2010, 01:28 AM   #9
New Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
I am new to all this and was interested in taking creatine. Everlong you said you got the go ahead on creatine and i was just wondering what medicine you take? I switch doctors frequently and they all have different advice and you seem very knowledgeable.

Im taking prednisone right now and im almost up on taking it but need advice. thanks
06-08-2010, 10:16 AM   #10
New Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Hey monster. Sorry for the long gap in replies. Just about moved in at my new place now, so have a bit of time now.

I'm still not 100% back onto my diet. I'm definitely way in a deficiency right now. my fridge isn't even fully stocked yet, so its hard to just keep eating throughout the day.

Anyways. To answer your question, I'm actually not on any medications right now. Long story short: my previous doctor wanted me on Imuran, even prednisone and Remicade one time. That one time was during a short flare, which I made sure he was aware of, but he insisted. I no longer trusted his opinion and felt he wasn't really treating my condition, just the general disease. I found a new doctor, went through a bunch of tests, and was lucky to find out my gut was right to not trust him. Tests returned that my condition is very minimal. So minimal that my new doc, who admits to being aggressive with meds, feels its not worth it for me to be on anything at this point in time.

What she did tell me though, when I mentioned creatine, is that she sees no link between it and Crohns and it is perfectly safe for me to take. However, I have no idea what kinds of risks, if any, creatine would have with prednisone. I would be careful about that and research more to make sure you wouldn't be getting a bad creation with the drug. When it comes to Crohn's though, sounds like all is good there.

You might be able to as your pharmacist about potential conflicts between pred and creatine? Not 100% sure about that, but I asked if they could recommend a multi vitamin for me. They were more than happy to help and also took the initiative to check and make sure there were no conflicts with my meds at the time (pentasa). Might be a different case since I'm sure the pharmacy isn't selling the creatine, but meh, just an idea.
06-10-2010, 01:52 AM   #11
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BWS1982's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
I'm a bit groggy, but can elaborate later. A few quick things for now:

Creatine *monohydrate* (key portion) should not typically cause problems with added diarrhea (I've never had problems and have been on it for months at a time during remission or flares and it's never made things worse, in fact, I was on it for 4 months and entered remission using it in 2007) but each individual is different, do a test and a trial and error if you want to be certain, and be thorough about it, because it's the only healthy and tried and true supplement that works and is cheap on top of that (monohydrate is, the fancy stuff is a waste of money)...

Creatine "monohydrate" is fine, and folks shouldn't get that confused with the supplements with additives. Things like Cell-tech and the like probably will add to diarrhea if you're already flaring or apt to, because it's a bomb of dextrose and simple carbs. There's nothing but one ingredient in "Creatine Monohydrate" powder, and it's Creatine monohydrate, the bare, stripped down component already in foods and produced by our bodies in the first place. This is a very simple and pure/natural substance, and can be taken at the 5 g a day dose just fine

Loading was invented by the supplement companies to increase your usage/purchase of the creatine products, and it's not necessary. Starting at 5 grams and staying at 5 grams will leave you at the same spot after a couple weeks as those who load at 20 grams a day for 5 (or 7, depending on source). Loading is a gimmick and unnecessary.

Creatine is again, very natural, pure and already in foods (mostly animal products) as it is. It got a bad rap because it was a supplement and the initial data/speculation from the 90's involved a theory that it was hard on the kidneys, which has long been disproved as long as your renal function is normal. 1 pound of beef has 1 gram of creatine, and the body manufactures the substance as it already is. This is not a man made substance, it's not a steroid, and it's actually healthy for you. It simply tricks the muscle into drawing in more water and increases protein synthesis as a result by adding ATP, a muscle contraction fuel, and results in increasing the amount of work a muscle can do. Think of it as adding more cylinders to a car as well as a bigger gas tank: more performance can be attained because there's more room for fuel and more effort can be maximized should the need arise.

Make sure you drink a ton of water, it is a requirement for the mechanism that is involved at the core of the supplement, and also helps to retain already functioning renal processes so you keep healthy kidneys (which you should have before you do any creatine or before you go to a higher protein diet).

Make sure you time the creatine with simple carbs, at least 20 grams (Gatorade is great for this and tastes great, and mixes well in protein shakes), and get it within 30 minutes of finishing a workout. This method is actually you replenishing used ATP fuel for the next workout, although some people take the creatine shortly before a workout instead, or even in addition to the postworkout route. I prefer to do it afterwords because I take a protein shake then as is (which is essentially a workout requirement to do any good with your goals)

Creatine has many non-muscle building benefits, such as increased mental functions and increased physical health. More recent findings have branched out outside the scope of hypertrophy (muscle building) into the realm of general health, and it's been found to even help fight issues such as Alzheimers and dimentia among other ailments/disorders. It also helps with fat loss because it increases energy expenditure: a result of an increase in bodyweight of the individual, it increases the total calorie burn by effect, causing more calories to be burned as the person has more weight to move around with everything they do.

It's the closest thing to a "miracle supplement" that's legal, cheap (pennies a day for monohydrate) and healthy, and there is irrefutable evidence that it's safe and effective, anything to the contrary is either obsolete, unfounded or just plain foolish.

Oh, and it's tasteless, putting some on your tongue in a time crunch and gulping it down with water works fine if you have to.

edit: crap, that wasn't very quick, but it only took like 5 minutes, sorry...

-diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in Sept. 2006, currently 28 years old

"Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird."

"Men with Spartan lives, simple in their creature comforts, if only to allow for the complexity of their passions." -The X-Files, S4

Last edited by BWS1982; 06-10-2010 at 02:06 AM.

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