In the never-ending quest for the perfect weight loss or weight gain supplement, we are often left clueless in the end about what works and what is just another marketing gimmick. One such well-known supplement is Creatine powder – a derivative of a naturally existing chemical in our bodies, mainly the muscles.
However, no matter where the substance is originally found, the question still prevails. Does Creatine make you gain weight?
But – yes, it does.
And the good news is, it helps put on weight without gaining fat. Meaning that the increase in weight after you consume creatine comes purely from muscle mass or water weight.
What Is Creatine?
Creatine is an amino acid (CNCH₂CO₂H) that provides energy to body cells and builds body mass. Creatine combines with phosphate molecules to form Creatine Phosphate. It helps you produce more ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the primary energy source of your body. Creatine is a power-packed amino acid used in various athletic supplements to promote energy and build muscle mass. It is often taken orally by athletes to transform their bodies and to enhance their performance. But along with increasing muscle mass, it also leads to weight gain, which is mistaken as fat. So before you opt for creatine supplements, it is best to educate yourself on the topic of unwanted weight gain. In 2015, 34.7% of respondents who consumed food intended for sports in the UK agreed that creatine decreases fatigue and enhances physical abilities. Similar percentages were obtained from other countries such as Spain, Germany, France, and Italy.
Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight?
Creatine consumers complain that the weight machine hasn’t been merciful since they started taking creatine. This is because creatine increases muscle size and can cause you to gain weight. This weight gain is many times misunderstood with body fat. You might have heard people complain regarding weight gain resulting from taking oral creatine supplements. One might indeed feel chubbier, and the number on the scale might go up after taking creatine supplements, but it is not fat. There are various other reasons which cause weight gain.
Creatine does not increase the fat percentage in your body. But you might think, why does the number on the scale go up? Here’s why;
Water weight is many times misconceived as body fat. This misconception discourages people from taking Creatine supplementation. But you need not worry. The Creatine supplement draws water to your muscular cells, which can cause bloating or chubbiness in your legs, arms, or stomach temporarily. Creatine intake can lead to fluid retention. To build muscle mass, it draws water to your muscle cells, causing them to bloat. You might experience 2 to 4.5 pounds of weight gain in the first week of taking creatine. Your arms, legs, and belly might become bloated due to water retention.
This effect lasts only the first week and wears off soon. (People usually gain 2 to 4.5 pounds in their first week)
Researches have shown that you will notice increased muscle size and strength after some weeks if you take creatine regularly. Muscles being heavier than fat can also tip the scale upward.
Since creatine is known for increasing muscle mass, your arms and legs might appear swollen over time. As you begin to train, your muscle mass will increase over time, reducing water retention and become the sole reason for weight gain.
Non-muscle weight gain
You may also have gained weight simply due to increased calories intake. Five grams of creatine per day doesn’t contribute to your daily calories intake. Therefore, if you are gaining weight, it simply means you are consuming more calories than you are burning. Thus, you need to stay active and focus on consuming a healthy and controlled diet.
How does Creatine work?
Your body produces 1 gram of creatine every day. The majority of which is present in your muscles, and the remainder is found in your brain. By consuming creatine orally, the body produces more energy (ATP) stored directly in your muscle cells.
A subsequent increase in energy, in turn, boosts your performance in physical activities such as heavy lifting or high-intensity exercises. More energy allows you to perform higher reps of an exercise or work out for longer periods. The long-term result of which is an increase in lean muscle mass.
A higher dosage of creatine in a week will increase your weight significantly. However, that weight will mainly be water weight which will create a short-term weight gain.
Creatine also healthily affects your immune system by promoting faster muscle repair and growth. It also helps retain more protein in the body, preventing muscle breakdown, allowing muscles to stay put in your body for a longer period.
Creatine can be used by young adults and olds alike. There are two commonly practiced methods to introduce extra creatine in the body.
Gradual consumption: Start by consuming 3 to 5 grams of creatine every day. This may take longer to show results in weight gain, but it is a sure way to boost your daily performance at the gym.
Loading: Some people prefer to start with a higher creatine dosage – up to 20 grams per day for a week – for quick weight gain. However, this loading phase needs to be followed by 3 to 5 grams of creatine per day to create a sustainable consumption routine.
Please note that it is also important to increase your daily protein and carb intake for optimum results.
How To Lose Weight Caused By Creatine?
As mentioned above, weight gained by taking creatine is not due to fat but water retention in your body. The rapid weight gain is temporary and not harmful in any way. Even so, here are some tips that can help you lose that water weight you’re so afraid of.
- Drink 11-15 cups of water a day. Increasing your water intake stimulates urination, causing excess fluids in your body to leave.
- Reduce your sodium intake. Too much sodium can cause your body to retain liquid. Eat organic and avoid processed food. Your daily intake should be less than 2,300 milligrams per day.
- Reduce your carb intake. Carbohydrates are also fluid retainers. Please don’t overdo it since carbs are essential for your body. Your daily ingestion should be between 225 and 325 grams.
- Exercise regularly. And adopt a healthier lifestyle.
- Things take time, so be patient.
Takeaway Facts about Creatine
Creatine is a power-packed amino acid that is known to build muscle mass. Individuals consume creatine to enhance their athletic performance by increasing endurance and strength. Also, studies have shown that creatine helps in improving depression in women, muscle disorders, and brain disorders.
Weight gain resulting from water retention is temporary. It usually disappears on its own over time. But here are a few tips that will help reduce the puffiness and the bloating;
- Limit your carbs intake.
- Reduce your daily intake of sodium as it helps retain fluid in your body.
- Drink more water to stimulate urination and remove excess water from your muscle cells.
- Be patient and let your body run its natural course.
Creatine, even being just a healthy amino acid, comes with its set of side effects. When consumed in high amounts, it can cause liver, kidney, and heart damage. Furthermore, one can also experience nausea, dizziness, muscle cramps, and diarrhea when taking creatine.
Individuals suffering from liver and kidney diseases should avoid the intake of creatine. Furthermore, if you are diabetic, pregnant, nursing, or under the age of 18, you should not consume oral creatine without a recommendation from your doctor.
GHS Talk: We have been focusing on creatine for the past few minutes already but what if there is a pill that causes weight gain? Would you take it or leave it? Pop over to our post and find out — Methocarbamol in Weight Gain.
Does Creatine make you gain fat?
No. Creatine has little to no calories. Hence it does not aid in fat gain.
Is Creatine safe to use?
Yes. Creatine poses no health risks or negative side effects. Hence, it is safe for regular consumption. Creatine is 100% safe. Our body also produces creatine; you can get creatine from red meat and seafood. It is the most researched and used supplement with an outstanding safety profile.
Does Creatine improve the brain’s health?
Yes. As mentioned above, a small percentage of creatine is also found in the human brain. Therefore, consuming it will improve neurological health along with the physical.
What is water weight gain from Creatine?
Creatine is osmotic. This means that it retains water inside and outside the muscle cells. Giving a leaner but also a bloated look at times. However, water weight poses no harm. It sheds by itself within a few days or weeks, after which only lean muscle mass continues to form.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is a popular sports nutritional supplement that helps your muscles to use energy.
Is Creatine Safe?
Does creatine have a side effect?
No, creatine has no adverse side effects. Research stated by JournalsPhysilogy.org also supports that all their tests did not show any side effects from taking creatine.
Does creatine help you lose fat?
No. creatine has a different purpose than burning fat altogether.
Creatine is a great supplement that can enhance your power, recovery speed, muscle growth. And decrease fatigue and muscle damage. Creatine can cause you to gain temporary weight. But in the long run, you will have a sleek, attractive, and robust body (provided you follow a proper workout routine).
Creatine supplements are a safe and secure way to increase weight while also boosting physical and neurological health. People of all ages and gender can consume them, specifically those who regularly perform some physical activity and/or workout.
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