But along with that, creatine can also cause side effects like vomiting, dehydration, digestion problems, etc. But the most common one is weight gain. Many people are concerned about it and have asked, “does creatine make you gain weight?”
One word answer – Yes!
Creatine usage can sometimes result in slight weight gain. There is no need to worry because it doesn’t make you fat in most cases. It is merely water weight that helps your muscle look bigger. However, there are many other factors involved that you should be aware of, and this article will explore them. Keep reading.
What Is Creatine and What It Does To Your Body?
Creatine is an amino acid located in your body — mainly in the muscles. A minor portion is also found in the brain and other parts.
Your body already contains creatine as phosphocreatine, and its primary function is to provide you with more energy. When you take creatine as a supplement, the level of creatine increases in your body, ultimately leading to more power and enhanced performance.
There are many positive changes that creatine provides to the body. For example, it aids in new muscle growth, increases muscle mass, allows it to carry extra load, etc.
What Is The Link Between Creatine, Weight Gain, and Bloating?
When you take creatine as a supplement, it increases the creatine percentage in your body by 10-40%.
Increased creatine levels can result in excess water in your body’s cells. The excess water inside the cells is known as intercellular. This is not a problem as it increases muscle mass and helps them look bigger, and most people mistake it with weight gain. The extra water outside of the cell is known as extracellular. This may create a problem for you, which can be nominal bloating.
These consequences mainly occur during the loading phase, in which you take 20-25 grams of creatine for between 5-7 days.
What To Do If Creatine Make You Gain Weight?
Now you know the answer to the question, “does creatine make you gain weight?”. Now let’s see what you can do about it.
As we mentioned before, weight gain from creatine is primarily minor, and it may fade away on its own. But if it bothers you, here’s what actions you can take:
Exercise properly – Exercising properly can eliminate excess water. It will happen with time, so make sure to train regularly and eat right.
Cut-Off sodium – You don’t have to eliminate sodium from your diet, but try to reduce it. Because too much sodium can retain liquid.
Cut-off carbs – Carbs force our body to hold water, so try to limit them in your diet. According to Healthline, 225 to 325 grams of carbs would be perfect.
Take a break from creatine – If the weight gain or bloating from creatine bothers you so much, taking a break from creatine can be a good idea. A one-month-long break would be enough for your body to get back to the average creatine level. Remember: Don’t go for loading phases when you return to the creatine again. Lower doses of 3-5 grams per day will work fine.
After following these instructions, your weight gain from creatine will probably fade away. But if you still have doubts and are worried about it, talk to your doctor. They are professional and can give the best guidance in any medical condition.
What Are The Other Side Effects Of Creatine?
Generally, creatine is considered safe, but some side effects can appear. Here are some possible side effects of creatine other than weight gain.
- High blood pressure
- Muscle cramping
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle tissue breakdown
- Kidney problems
- Liver problems
- Digestion problems
What Are The Benefits Of Creatine?
Many studies have found that creatine contains numerous benefits that immensely help athletes to improve their performance. Nowadays, creatine is becoming the most necessary sports supplement.
Here are some highly tremendous benefits of creatine that every athlete and bodybuilder should avail.
- Makes the muscles stronger – It brings strength to the muscles in both young and older people. Muscle strengthening exercises are also required to help creatine work effectively.
- Enhanced athletic performance – Creatine is like a best friend for most athletes. It doesn’t only improve the performance but also speed-up the post-exercise recovery.
- Aids the intense exercises – For anyone who involves in high-intensity sports activities, creatine is a must for them. It produces more energy which ultimately helps perform the exercise better.
- Helps neurological diseases – Studies conducted on animals have shown that creatine can aid neurological diseases and prolong lifespan. However, more research on humans is still needed to claim that creatine helps neurological diseases.
- May help in diabetes and blood sugar – Some research claims that creatine can lower blood sugar levels after meals. But again, there’s no concrete evidence backing it; more research is still needed.
Things To Keep In Mind When Using Creatine
Creatine is widely used as it is considered to be safe and effective. But, still, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind, which includes:
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid using taking creatine. There is a lack of information on the safety of creatine during these periods. So, it’s good to take precautions rather than cure.
- If you are suffering from diabetes, kidney, or liver problems, say straight no to creatine as it can worsen the issue. If you have any health problems, talk to your doctor before using creatine.
- If you are already taking any other medications, avoid creatine as it can interact with them and lead to some side effects. Talk to your doctor to determine whether you should take creatine or not.
- According to WebMD, anyone below 18 years of age should avoid taking creatine.
- Creatine can cause dehydration, so drink enough water to avoid this side effect.
- Avoid taking creatine with alcohol and caffeine. They both increase the frequency of urination which may lead to dehydration.
Frequently Asked Questions | Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight?
- Is it reasonable to take creatine when trying to lose weight?
Yes, you can take creatine while in your weight loss journey. It won’t do any harm; in fact, it will help you with this.
2. Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight or Belly Fat?
No! Consumption of creatine doesn’t result in fat because creatine doesn’t contain any calories and interrupts your fat metabolism. So, you don’t have to worry about fat gain when using creatine.
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3. Does Creatine water retention go away?
Generally, it can go away on its own. You don’t have to do anything except train hard and follow the proper diet.
4. Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight If You Don’t Workout?
Again, creatine contains zero calories, and it won’t make you gain weight even if you don’t work out.
Final Words | Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight?
There is no doubt that creatine is the most popular and effective supplement most sportspersons take. Numerous scientific research supports the creatine benefits, which is a plus point.
But sometimes, it may cause side effects like weight gain. In most cases, it is not that serious as it is mostly water weight that disappears with time on its own.
However, inform your doctor if you plan to take creatine or already use it. It will help to spot the possible risk beforehand and avoid them successfully.
That was a precise guide on- Does creatine make you gain weight? And related information to conclude.