Digesting Creatine and/or Glutamine

  • sunsignleo

    Posts: 8

    Mar 01, 2008 2:25 AM GMT
    I'd like to know if there is anything one can take to help aid in the digestion of Creatine and/or Glutamine. Is there anything that can prevent those all too frequent trips to the restroom? Anybody else suffer from this problem?
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    Mar 01, 2008 3:52 AM GMT
    I always get bloated the first couple days I take creatine... even after taking a couple days off creatine, I still bloat and get the runs for the first day or three.

    Just keep at it and it'll clear up. How long have you been on it?
  • sunsignleo

    Posts: 8

    Mar 01, 2008 4:00 AM GMT
    Really? So, you're saying that after 2-3 days of consistent creatine/glutamine consumption your body learns how to breakdown and digest it? I am a bit skeptical. I haven't been on these supplements for some time now, but am getting back into it again. I just know that in the past it's always been an issue for me. Thanks for your response.
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    Mar 01, 2008 4:08 AM GMT
    I usually take glutamine by itself with water before bed. You don't need a whole lot. When I took Creatine I had the same problem. I found that the fizzy kinds and some of the others made for easier digestion helped. Creatine ethyl ester also doesn't seem to bother me. I also take Creatine on an empty stomach. It seems to do the worst with me if I take it with protein.

    Other things that seem to help me with a "pump" were A-bomb (by MHP) and GABA which I did not expect. I took GABA to help sleep but found I woke up with a "pump". I don't know if that is just me or not.
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    Mar 01, 2008 4:25 AM GMT
    ideally you should take 5g of creatine post-workout with a glucose-containing liquid... It's not so much your body learning how to digest the creatine, it's how it handles the load. Creatine's in just about every meat out there--pork has the highest concentration. In fact, normal human consumption of creatine is ~2g a day. You can understand why your body has a tough time with the amount.
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    Mar 01, 2008 5:10 AM GMT
    The main problem with taking Creatine is that is has a high affinity for water. That means that if it's not FULLY in solution when you consume it, it will draw water out of your small intestines, causing all kinds of problems.

    To remedy this, use lukewarm or tepid water - not cold water - and stir in the creatine. Let it sit and settle out - then stir again. Repeat a couple of times until essentially nothing settles out. Then you know that it's really in solution, and fully saturated with water.

    L-Glutamine shouldn't have any of these problems, though. Are you sure your problems can be attributed to L-Glutamine?

    Joey
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    Mar 01, 2008 5:58 AM GMT
    You may wish to switch brands. You may have a food allergy or lack a digestive enzyme.
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    Mar 01, 2008 7:18 AM GMT
    chuckystud saidYou may wish to switch brands. You may have a food allergy or lack a digestive enzyme.


    The brands I've used do not contain fillers or binders or other substances - they are either all L-Glutamine or all Creatine Monohydrate.

    Chucklet raises an interesting point, SunSign ~ are you taking JUST the substances you mention, or are you buying some kind of hyped-up blend of things?
  • sunsignleo

    Posts: 8

    Mar 01, 2008 9:42 AM GMT
    Just the L-Glutamine and Creatine Monohydrate in its basic form. I try to avoid all those fancy combinations so I know what I'm putting in my body.
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    Mar 01, 2008 5:00 PM GMT
    First off, I would try taking the creatine ang glutamine at different times for a couple days to narrow down which you are having problems with for certain.

    I find it to be very unlikely that it's the Glutamine, as Glutamine is now being used as a treatment for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Spastic Colitis. Glutamine as proved as effective and often more effective then prescription medications in the treatment of hyper-sensitive intestines. In simple terms it's much more likely to help your digestive system then upset it.

    Next, your decision to stick with regular creatine monohydrate (creatine M.)is your biggest stumbling block. Regular creatine M. has the highest rate of intestinal upset of any of the creatine types available. More updated formulas have had to overcome those problems in order to sell product so the newer combinations are far less likely to cause the bloating, diarrhea and stomach upset that creatine M. does. For example the newer creatine formulations are often micronized. These formulations overcome solubility issues of regular creatine M. by using super miniaturized creatine particles. What this does is create a much higher bioavailability of the creatine which results in much faster absorbtion. So its absorbed with water in the small intestine very rapidly, instead of making it to the large intestine where it causes the problems.

    I will make a couple different product suggestions for you, but before I do that let me tell that I have no financial relationship or benefit from any supplement I ever recommend. It's only on my experience and opinion for your benefit.

    First, the best probable suggestion for you would be to use Kre-Alkalyn. Kre-Alkalyn is referred to as "buffered creatine", meaning that it doesn't convert into creatinine before reaching skeletal muscle tissue. Slowing or stopping the conversion of creatine to creatinine seems to help the body absorb more of the creatine, which reduces the amount needed and amount of it passed to the large intestine as waste. I know a lot of people that do not tolerate creatine well that do just fine on Kre-Alkalyn with complete elimination of digestive upset.

    As far as saftey and effectiveness, its believed that Kre-Alkalyn has all the benefits of regular Creatine M. plus some additional benefit for some people because of less creatine waste in the digestive process. Kre-Alaklyn is believed to have the same strength gain, hypertrophy inducing abilities, and safety profile of regular creatine M.

    Next suggestion would be to use a good quality product like Cell Tech's Hardcore Creatine. I don't recommend this product for the overblown marketing hype for which supplement companies are so well known for, but instead for a few additional benefits that it has. One it is micronized for more rapid absorbtion, reducing digestive discomfort. Two, the product contains BCAA's (branched chain amino acids)which help reduce catabolism (muscle breakdown) after a workout, they have been shown to reduce cortisol (a catabolic hormone) and increase post exercise testosterone. The BCAA's being substances required for life, are a natural way to improve the benefits of strength training and creatine. A lot of guys buy the BCAA's separately for different reasons, but this is a good way to get an additional resource in the same supplement. The Cell Tech Hardcore as well as some other brands also include the Glutamine in the formula which eliminates the need for yet another product, unless you want to take significantly higher amounts then are included.

    Last if you question any of this advice I will offer you a cheap experiment. Go to any Walmart, and pick up a container of Six Star Advanced Pro Strength Creatine. Now before you have a fit that I've suggested something from Walmart let me explain. First I rarely recommend anything from Walmart but this is an exception. This experiment will cost you about 14 or 15 bucks for 2.5 lbs of it. This formula like the ones mentioned above reduces the chances of digestive upset, and does it in similar ways to the Cell Tech, plus some additional ways. First off, Six Star utilizes the biochemical traits of nitric oxide and insulin to increase the uptake of micronized creatine into the muscles. They do this in a pretty natural way by including several different forms of Amino Acids. CellTech actually uses a very similar method but instead chooses to tout their micronization process. Also where Six Star uses aminos to increase insulin, the CellTech uses a herbal mix. Each serving of Six Star will deliver 5 different forms of creatine in a 6 gram blend. They claim that the key ingredients in it have been proven in human clinical studies to be superior to regular creatine for building muscle and increasing strength. In any case, it is tolerated much better by most then regular creatine M. and at that price you can at least give it a try and see if it eliminates your problems. The fruit punch taste is decent for a creatine blend.

    I know this got a bit long but I usually like to try to explain why I recommend the things I do so its not just another piece of generic forum opinion. That being said I should mention that all the information I've included is strictly based on my experience and opinions and is not medical advice.

    I hope this helps bro. Good luck to you.

  • studana

    Posts: 14

    Mar 01, 2008 6:22 PM GMT
    Why do we continue to think that our bodies need Creatine and Glutamine? (Our bodies create both of these) I would think that if you ate food that upset your stomach, you would stop eating that particular food. It's likely that the effect caused from Creatine and Glutamine intake is Psychological. I would like to see a double blind test on the effects of Creatine and Glutamine from a respectable Lab in the US.
    stu
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    Mar 01, 2008 6:25 PM GMT
    I took Creatine years back when it first came out, so I don't know if they have made it more consumer friendly, but the studies of using Creatine have shown some interesting side effects. I guess it is like when girls take the pill, some are fine with it, while others have serious health problems as a result.

    When I took it, I had a serious hormonal imbalance afterwards as a result, which made me overly aggressive and constantly irrational/angry. Just a note that taking it might be adverse to your health...do a little research before taking it. The short-term benefits might be outweighed by the long-term consequences.

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    Mar 01, 2008 8:13 PM GMT
    There actually are quite a few reputable studies supporting the use of creatine for resistance/weight training. Of course because different biochemical mechanisms are in play for endurance athletes it is not effective for increasing endurance, but it certainly is for resistance training. This has been documented over and over and over again. In fact creatine is one of very few supplements with a substantial body of scientific evidence behind it.

    Maybe I should direct you to the following Journals/publications.

    (1) Elevation of creatine in resting and exercising muscles of normal subjects by creatine supplementation. Harris R. et al . Clin. Sci. 1992: 83: 367-74

    (2) Influence of oral creatine supplementation on muscle torque during repeated bouts of maximum voluntary exercise in man. Greenhaff PL, et al. Clin. Sci. 1993: 84: 565-71.

    (3) Creatine supplementation and dynamic high-intensity intermittent exercise. Balsom PD, et al. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 1993: 3: 143-9.

    (4) Creatine supplementation enhances muscular performance during high-intensity resistance exercise. Volek JS, et al. J Am. Diet. Assoc. 1997; 97; 765-770.

    (5) Effect of oral creatine supplementation on jumping and running performance. Bosco C, et. al. Int. J. Sports Med. 1997; 18; 369-372.

    (6) Creatine supplementation enhances intermittent work performance. Prevost MC, et al. Res. Quarterly Exerc. Sport. 1997; 68(3); 233-240.

    (7) Oral Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation Improves Brain Performance: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Cross-over Trial
    Caroline Rae, Alison L. Digney, Sally R. McEwan, Timothy C. Bates
    Proceedings: Biological Sciences, Vol. 270, No. 1529 (Oct. 22, 2003), pp. 2147-2150

    Creatine in Humans with Special Refernce to Creatine Supplementation. Balsom PD, et al. Sports Med 1994; 18(4); 268-280.


    I really wish people would have an informed and factual basis for replying to these types of questions. I know its to much to hope that a forum could be a place for actual informed communications instead of bullshit nonsense opinions. Regardless, I do my best to give you the best answers based on or around scientific evidence. Keep up with the creatine, just try a different form of it.
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    Mar 01, 2008 8:18 PM GMT
    I like creatine.

    Some folks take creatine that has added ingredients like sugar, and stimulants. If you've had problems, that could be the cause.
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    Mar 01, 2008 8:20 PM GMT
    Thanks for taking that one, YngHung - I have lists of studies, too - but they're buried somewhere....

    For those of you following the scientific arguments - as far as I know (and YngHung will probably have the details) there are only 3 bodybuilding over-the-counter supplements which are supported by peer-reviewed research:

    Creatine Monohydrate
    L-Glutamine
    BCAA's (Branch Chain Amino Acids)

    The other things out there may or may not be useful, but have not been subjected to studies published in peer-reviewed journals. Private research studies sponsored by manufacturers on their products at various universities or labs do not automatically meet this standard, regardless of the reputation of the institutions involved.
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    Mar 01, 2008 9:49 PM GMT
    Although it has nothing to do with creatine, try eating activia once a day it can help keep your GI happy
  • notnidiot2000

    Posts: 2

    Mar 01, 2008 10:22 PM GMT
    I have taken creatine m for years. I take capsules with grape juice and have not had issues. It may or may not be related, but I also drink 8-10 oz of kefir for breakfast, and therefore may have more intestinal flora to aid digestion. By years, I mean like 8 or 9 years. I'm 51 years old and do think that I have
    better work outs because of the creatine.
  • FredMG

    Posts: 988

    Mar 02, 2008 3:19 AM GMT
    I don't have any problems digesting creatine, though I usually take it in a blended "smoothie" with bananas and orange juice, some times frozen raspberries. I may just be that "coctail" of stuff might aid the digestion.
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    Mar 02, 2008 11:23 PM GMT
    Well Done! Some facts and research makes credible sources!


    YngHungSFSD saidThere actually are quite a few reputable studies supporting the use of creatine for resistance/weight training. Of course because different biochemical mechanisms are in play for endurance athletes it is not effective for increasing endurance, but it certainly is for resistance training. This has been documented over and over and over again. In fact creatine is one of very few supplements with a substantial body of scientific evidence behind it.

    Maybe I should direct you to the following Journals/publications.

    (1) Elevation of creatine in resting and exercising muscles of normal subjects by creatine supplementation. Harris R. et al . Clin. Sci. 1992: 83: 367-74

    (2) Influence of oral creatine supplementation on muscle torque during repeated bouts of maximum voluntary exercise in man. Greenhaff PL, et al. Clin. Sci. 1993: 84: 565-71.

    (3) Creatine supplementation and dynamic high-intensity intermittent exercise. Balsom PD, et al. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 1993: 3: 143-9.

    (4) Creatine supplementation enhances muscular performance during high-intensity resistance exercise. Volek JS, et al. J Am. Diet. Assoc. 1997; 97; 765-770.

    (5) Effect of oral creatine supplementation on jumping and running performance. Bosco C, et. al. Int. J. Sports Med. 1997; 18; 369-372.

    (6) Creatine supplementation enhances intermittent work performance. Prevost MC, et al. Res. Quarterly Exerc. Sport. 1997; 68(3); 233-240.

    (7) Oral Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation Improves Brain Performance: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Cross-over Trial
    Caroline Rae, Alison L. Digney, Sally R. McEwan, Timothy C. Bates
    Proceedings: Biological Sciences, Vol. 270, No. 1529 (Oct. 22, 2003), pp. 2147-2150

    Creatine in Humans with Special Refernce to Creatine Supplementation. Balsom PD, et al. Sports Med 1994; 18(4); 268-280.


    I really wish people would have an informed and factual basis for replying to these types of questions. I know its to much to hope that a forum could be a place for actual informed communications instead of bullshit nonsense opinions. Regardless, I do my best to give you the best answers based on or around scientific evidence. Keep up with the creatine, just try a different form of it.
  • notnidiot2000

    Posts: 2

    Mar 03, 2008 1:57 AM GMT
    Not to be a nudge, but the request was for information about the digestion of the creatine taken, NOT the
    efficacy. The research done was outstanding, but not really to the point of the question.

    I did my own research before starting to take creatine
    and update my understanding periodically, and so have read some of the above articles. Which one spoke to
    digestion?
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    Mar 03, 2008 1:49 PM GMT

    Well the new formulation of creatine (creatine ethyl ester vs the old creatine monohydrate) seems to be have a much better absorbtion (more efficient absorbtion). Therefore one might try this new foermulation if the previous one caused him indegestion.
    Over the that the new formulation needs less doses since it appears to be cleared more slowely (more lipophylic) and also does not need to be loaded.

    However, these claims have not yet been conclusively proven by independent research, and in fact a study presented at the 4th International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) has concluded that this new formulation is an inferior source of creatine.

    So its up to you guys; according to which one you tolerate better and have better results with, that is if you can tolerate any...