Does Creatine Make You Pee More?

January 21, 2024

You’ve started to use creatine to enhance your performance. You can now train harder and longer than ever – how great is that? However, suddenly, you find yourself having to make use of the restroom more often than before. Does creatine have anything to do with your need to pee more often?

Creatine is not a diuretic and will not increase urinary output by itself. Water retention only occurs during the loading phase, and you might pee a little more for a day or two afterward, but this should not last long term. However, creatine can lead to you training longer and with more intensity, leading to a loss of fluids and electrolytes in sweat. This can cause you to drink more fluids and, as a result, go to the bathroom more often.

Let’s look closely at what the research shows about creatine and fluid balance and why you might experience the need to go to the bathroom more often.

Does Creatine Make You Pee More?

During the loading phase, during which 20 grams of creatine is taken in doses of 4 x 5g over 5-7 days, gaining 1 – 3 kg of weight is normal due to water retention [1, 2].

One study found a 0.6L decline in urinary output after consuming 20g of creatine for 6 days [3].

Water retention is one of the most common side effects in the loading period of creatine use [4], but it does not last longer than the loading phase.

It can be true that you might urinate more after this loading phase while you are losing this water weight, but this should not last for more than a couple of days at most.

If you are taking creatine at a maintenance dose, you most likely are not peeing more due to water retention.

When talking about a substance causing you to “pee more,” science refers to it as a “diuretic.”

Can Creatine Be A Diuretic?

Does Creatine Make You Pee

A diuretic is a substance that promotes urine production by the kidneys, leading to increased urine volume and frequency.

They work by increasing sodium and water excretion from the body, thereby reducing the overall fluid content and helping to manage conditions related to excessive fluid buildup [5].

No research shows that creatine produces more urine output by the kidneys or leads to increased sodium excretion from the body. Therefore, it is not seen as a diuretic.

Various studies have shown that creatine either has no effect on cramps and dehydration or reduces the incidence of dehydration and cramps [6, 7, 8, 9].

These investigations demonstrated that athletes undergoing intense training experienced no documented side effects when consuming 15–25 g/day of creatine monohydrate for 4–12 weeks.

Why Are You Peeing More When Taking Creatine?

Now, why is it that some athletes find themselves peeing more when taking creatine, even though creatine is not a diuretic?

Firstly, creatine can lead to the ability to do longer and harder workouts [10], leading to increased losses of water and sodium and an increased thirst

This can lead to an increase in the amount of water or fluids you take in, even subconsciously, which will, in turn, lead to an increased need to empty your bladder.

As mentioned, if you do have water retention in the first week of loading, you might lose some of the water afterward, but this should only last a few days and will not happen if you take a chronic maintenance dose.


Although water retention may have a small role in making you pee more often after a creatine load, it does not always mean that there is water retention causing increased bathroom breaks while using creatine.

If you experience the need to pee more often after the loading period is over and you are on a maintenance dose, it is more likely that the need to urinate is not directly caused by creatine itself.

Instead, an elevated fluid intake during more extended and/or more intense training sessions while using creatine.


  1. Kraemer, W.J., & Volek, J.S. (1999). Creatine supplementation: Its role in human performance. *Clin Sports Med, 18*(3), 651-666, ix.
  2. Deminice, R., et al. (2016). Creatine Supplementation Increases Total Body Water in Soccer Players: A Deuterium Oxide Dilution Study. *Int J Sports Med, 37*(2), 149-153.
  3. Hultman, E., et al. (1996). Muscle creatine loading in men. *J Appl Physiol (1985), 81*(1), 232-237.
  4. Antonio, J., et al. (2021). Common questions and misconceptions about creatine supplementation: What does the scientific evidence really show? *J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 18*(1), 13.
  5. Brater, D.C. (2000). Pharmacology of diuretics. *Am J Med Sci, 319*(1), 38-50.
  6. Kreider, R.B., et al. (2017). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: Safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. *J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 14*, 18.
  7. Kreider, R.B., et al. (1996). Effects of ingesting supplements designed to promote lean tissue accretion on body composition during resistance training. *Int J Sport Nutr, 6*(3), 234-246.
  8. Earnest, C.P., et al. (1995). The effect of creatine monohydrate ingestion on anaerobic power indices, muscular strength and body composition. *Acta Physiol Scand, 153*(2), 207-209.
  9. Kreider, R.B., et al. (2003). Long-term creatine supplementation does not significantly affect clinical markers of health in athletes. *Mol Cell Biochem, 244*(1-2), 95-104.
  10. Kreider, R.B., et al. (2017). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: Safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. *J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 14*, 18.
About the Author

Hanli is a Registered Dietitian with a special interest in sports nutrition. She has a Master's degree and is currently a PhD candidate focusing on adolescent athlete nutrition. She has published research in the Obesity Reviews journal and is a research coordinator at the Sport Science Institute of South Africa.

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