Creatine: What Is It, And Can It Help Gut Health?
Flusso Nutrients is created by Oswald Digestive Clinic. As we talk about supplements, just know that before you start any supplement by yourself, it is recommended to work with or at least get advisement from a nutrient-literate practitioner so that you're getting the best supplement for your symptoms and what you think you may need them for.
Now let's dig into creatine. It's kind of a fun one. It's been around for many years, and many of us understand creatine to be used for building muscle.
A lot of bodybuilders over the years have used creatine for that, but it is becoming more useful in treating guts. So if you have a poor gut or struggling with your gut health, is creatine going to be an option for you?
Hi, my name is Marcie Vaske and I'm a functional medicine nutritionist specializing in gut health. Today, I want to talk to you all about creatine, what it is, and whether can it help with your gut health.
Creatine: Can It Help Gut Health?
Research has shown that creatine can help to increase the good bacteria in our digestive system and also reduce inflammation. So those are two important things when it comes to bettering your gut health.
So first, let's understand what is creatine.
Creatine: What is it?
Creatine is a naturally occurring compound that is found in really small amounts in many of our foods. For example, you'll find it in proteins like meat and fish.
Creatine is also produced mainly in the liver, the kidneys, and the pancreas, and it also plays a really critical role in our energies within our cells. So it helps to replenish our ATP, which then helps to create more energy for our muscles and our overall bodily functions.
But what about using creatine to increase your gut health?
Now, the way that creatine helps our gut is by improving that bacteria. So we have trillions of microorganisms in our intestinal tract, which we collectively call the gut microbiome.
And so by using creatine, it actually fuels the growth of the positive bacteria, which then, in turn, helps us keep a healthier digestive system by having better digestion of our foods and better bowel movements and an even better immune system, not only the better immune system but also improving our mental health and the absorption of all our minerals and our vitamins.
So by adding creatine in, you can increase that good bacteria giving you tons of positive effects all over your body. The main bacteria that creatine will help to support is going to be our two big ones, which are bifidobacterium and lactobacillus. Those are the two most abundant forms of flora in our digestive system.
So again, by increasing the good bacteria, you're increasing your overall well-being.
Now, creatine can also help to reduce inflammation in the digestive system, and while a little bit of inflammation is very normal, as that's kind of the way our body works, what happens is if we get this chronic long-term inflammation going on, that's where we end up with a lot of disorders or disease states. And one, of course, we'll be having more gastrointestinal disorders.
So, by reducing the inflammation that sets up a happy immune system in your digestive system.
Our immune system is about 80% a part of our digestive system, so very important to keep inflammation down so that our immune system can work effectively keeping away disease and different syndrome states.
Now, not only has creatine been found to help increase that good bacteria and also reduce our inflammation, but it also has a key component in helping to keep up the integrity of our intestinal tract. Therefore, we have less foreign invaders getting into our bloodstream, which always causes symptoms.
You may have heard of leaky gut, that's where that term comes in where more foreign bacteria or invaders get into our bloodstream and cause symptoms. So by using creatine, we can reduce that and help to increase the integrity of those tight junctions. So really keeping a nice solid intestinal tract barrier.
So you might be thinking, okay, this sounds good to me. I think I'm going to try some creatine. How do I do that?
The typical dose is really, it's recommended to start with a loading phase, and with gut health, the loading phase would be roughly 20 grams of creatine per day for five to seven days, and then from there on out, you would take three to five grams of creatine per day.
Now, of course, you're going to want to probably work with a practitioner who understands creatine, so that you can get just the right amount for you, but that's roughly the dose.
Now, while creatine is mostly safe for all people, of course, going back to what I just said, you want to make sure you might be working with someone just to make sure that you're getting what you need.
But also in that loading phase of creatine, that first five to seven days where you're taking around 20 grams, you can have some symptoms.
Symptoms can occur, which might feel like you're retaining some water because creatine keeps water in the muscles. So you might feel like you're retaining water or a little bit bloated, but GI symptoms such as a little more diarrhea might be happening, a little bit of abdominal pain.
Now, if this is the case for you, you just reduce the dose. Typically, if I have a client who is having pretty intense digestive symptoms and we want to start using creatine for various reasons that I listed, then what I usually do would just probably skip that loading dose because you definitely can and just start at a lower dose.
Now, the reason for the loading dose is that you can build up your creatine stores more quickly, which then starts to help more rapidly, but this isn't a race, and having you make sure you feel good sometimes just starting with that, even one to three grams per day might be where you need to be.
But again, this comes back to working with someone who's going to be knowledgeable on it and help you through that process. So if you're interested in trying creatine, we have a great creatine supplement available on our Flusso Nutrient website, Give it a try for yourself and see what you think. It can be super beneficial.
And as with all supplements to have the best success with them is to be as consistent as possible, meaning taking them every day, incorporating them into your daily routine and diet. Creatine typically comes in powdered form, which is the easiest way to take it. You have to with taking grams, it's kind of a lot to put in a capsule, and so you can easily put that powder in your water, in your smoothie. Super easy to incorporate.
So if you feel like trying creatine, I do recommend it. I think that it can be very helpful for many reasons, especially with trying to increase your gut health.