Does creatine make you gain weight? Creatine monohydrate is a natural substance found in foods like meat and fish. People may choose to take creatine supplements because they think it will help them get stronger or increase muscle mass.
Creatine helps you produce energy when you’re exercising. Your body usually produces about 1 gram of creatine each day from the amino acids glycine, arginine, and methionines.
You need to consume at least 5 grams of creatine daily to see any benefits. Most people take 3-5 grams per time. However, high doses of creatine can cause health problems. For example, if you take 10 grams per day, you could experience kidney damage so it’s wise to be cautious.
Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight? Can You Lose Weight on Creatine?
Creatine is often touted as a weight-loss supplement because it is thought to increase muscle mass and strength while simultaneously reducing body fat.
While there are many anecdotal reports of its effectiveness, scientific evidence does not support claims that creatine increases lean body mass or decreases body fat mass. Various studies have found that after a 30-day period of high-dose creatine intake users actually gain an average of 3 pounds.
The amount of body weight gained from creatine depends on many factors including dose, frequency, duration, and exercise intensity. If you’re doing high-volume, low-intensity cardio then you won’t see any gains.
If you’ve got a lower volume, higher intensity program, however, you could see a significant increase in lean mass.
Creatine isn’t a magic pill. If you’re trying to lose weight, there are many changes needed to achieve that goal. Even though creatine contains no calories, it will still cause you to retain fluid.
So while it doesn’t directly add calories to your system, it does slow down your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight.
Taking Creatine Before Working Out
Taking creatine before working out will increase your ability to lift heavy weights while losing weight. Lifting heavy weights during fat loss helps you lose more fat and gain less muscle mass.
So if you’re trying to lose weight, then adding creatine to your routine might help you get stronger and leaner at the same time.
Does Creatine Make You Retain Water?
Creatine supplements may not always help you get bigger muscles. Some studies show that they might actually cause bloating. Creatine is an osmolyte, which means it attracts water molecules.
When your body gets high levels of creatine, it will attract more water molecules. That means there is more water inside your cells. This leads to water retention, which causes your muscles to swell. You may feel like you’re getting bigger, but you’re really just swelling up.
Aside from any psychological impacts of weight gain, creatine supplementation isn’t harmful. So there’s really no reason to think twice before adding creatine to your regimen.
If you’re looking to lose weight, then you should keep eating right and training hard. Your body will eventually shed the extra water weight if you continue taking creatine.
But what if the water weight gains bother you, or you’ve got a beach trip coming and don’t want to look bloated? Simply take a break from Creatine.
Your body naturally breaks creatine down and eliminates about 1%-2% of its creatine each day, so even if you’re fully saturated, you should recover to baseline within a month – maybe much faster.
And thankfully, when you resume Creatine, if you don’t load it or if you reduce the dosage, you’re less likely to experience water weight gain.
There have been several studies examining whether long-term creatine supplementation could cause harm. Researchers found that taking creatine supplements for 4 weeks had no negative side effects.
However, there are many benefits to creatine supplementation. Creatine increases muscle mass and strength. It may help prevent kidney damage caused by dehydration. Let’s examine some more benefits and safety issues of using the supplement.
Creatine is safe when taken at doses of 2–4 g/day. There are no serious side effects at these dosages. Creatine is also safe for long-term use. However, if you start taking higher amounts, you may notice some side effects.
Some of these side effects include an upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and cramping.
These side effects go away once your body adjusts to the increased dosage. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking creatine immediately and consult your doctor.
Don’t take creatine if you’re already taking other supplements. You might experience side effects like nausea, diarrhea, headaches, or even an upset stomach.
Before you start taking any supplement, always check the label. Make sure that it doesn’t contain any banned substances. And if your doctor prescribes it, make sure that he/she isn’t prescribing it in combination with another medication.
Creatine Might Be Good For The Brain
It is also thought that creatine may also help prevent cognitive decline in older adults. A recent study found that older adults who took creatine had lower levels of oxidative stress, which may slow down age-related memory loss.
Another study found that creatine improved working memory in older adults. Creatine supplementation also reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in older adults and improved sleep quality.
It is often said that creatine helps you gain muscle and lose fat. There is evidence that it does help your muscles grow bigger. But what about the rest of your body? Is it just a placebo effect? Or could it actually help your brain?
When taken orally it is absorbed quickly by the intestines and enters the bloodstream. It then crosses the blood-brain barrier and gets stored in the brain. It is not broken down by the liver like many other nutrients.
Some studies suggest that creatine may help protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
We hope you enjoyed this article about does creatine make you gain weight. Creatine can be very effective at helping you build muscle size and strength. However, it has been shown to have positive effects on the brain as well. So if you want to maximize your performance, and enjoy the additional benefits try taking creatine it may be just what you need.
Editor-In-Chief at Recovatech. Dr. Ben is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic with over 10 years of clinical experience. He specializes in structural and neurological imbalances with an emphasis on functional movement patterns, exercise performance, and muscle recovery. He has been the team chiropractor for professional baseball and soccer organizations, as well as collegiate athletes. In his personal life, he’s always been driven when it comes to athletics and personal performance.