Creatine is a popular supplement amongst athletes, sportspersons, and other fitness enthusiasts.
Creatine is found naturally in our bodies. However, every trainer recommends undergoing a creatine loading phase and following it up with regulated doses of the same.
Despite being one of the safest supplements for consumption, some people believe that creatine can cause weight gain!
As you continue reading this article, you will learn more about creatine, what it does to your body, if it can cause weight gain and why along with some tips and tricks you can implement to avoid unfavourable changes.
Keep scrolling to know more!
More about creatine – what it is and why it is recommended.
Creatine is one of the best supplements, which helps increase performance during exercise by 20%. In turn, this helps build and gain muscle.
As mentioned earlier, creatine is also found naturally in our bodies. However, most trainers recommend taking creatine for quicker and more effective results.
An additional intake of creatine not just helps increase endurance for high-intensity workouts but also helps you recover faster and better.
What does creatine do to your body?
Creatine essentially works as a storehouse for your energy to help you get through rigorous, intense physical activities. High-protein diets such as fish, meat, etc., consist of creatine.
However, natural sources of creatine in your muscles are not enough to maximize the potential of workout results.
Consuming creatine as a supplement increases phosphocreatine levels in the body, which converts to Adenosine Triphosphate (also known as ATPs) when we undergo intense workout sessions. ATPs give you the extra push to exercise for more extended periods.
Does Taking Creatine Make You Fat?
Without beating around the bush, the simple answer is yes. Creatine supplements can result in gaining weight.
Some studies show that creatine can cause immediate weight gain.
A study conducted in 2003 shows that after a month of high-dose creatine supplementation, the participants gained approximately 4 pounds.
Moreover, a more recent study conducted in 2016 concludes that seven days of creatine loading amongst soccer players resulted in an average weight gain of 2.2 pounds.
However, if we dig deeper, it is not as simple as it seems.
Taking creatine supplementation increases muscle mass and density in our body. In turn, this results in higher levels of water retention, which causes a rapid weight gain amongst its consumers.
The weight gain you experience is primarily an increment in water retention levels in your body, which usually disappears over time.
Higher water levels are a positive sign as it helps you work out for prolonged periods that eventually help you get in shape. It is also a sign that the supplement effectively works in your body.
For instance, you know that creatine intake, especially during the creatine loading phase, helps you to build and gain muscle in your body. Therefore, the pumps you might see within a week result from excessive water retention levels in your cells and nothing else.
Since creatine does not interfere with your weight in the long run, you can continue to take your everyday supply even if you want to cut down on fat.
Moreover, because creatine supplements help you exercise for more extended periods and increase endurance for strength training, they can even primarily assist in shedding that extra fat from your body.
If this weight gain is still a concern for you, keep reading this article to find out how you can effectively tackle this issue.
Why does creatine cause bloating and water retention?
Creatine supplements cause quick and unnatural weight gain because of their osmotic properties.
Whenever you add creatine to your body, especially during the loading phase, it pulls in extra water with it.
One research conducted on the effects of creatine on our body concludes that consuming this supplement results in a rise of water levels in and out of cells.
A rise of water levels in the cells can lead to looking “bulked up”, “big”, or “muscular”. However, a rise of water levels outside the cells causes “bloating”.
Therefore, irrespective of claims made by fitness experts, coaches, and others, it is not entirely true for everyone.
The bottom line is, everybody’s bodies function differently. Hence, depending on your lifestyle choices, eating patterns, and genetic make-up, you may either gain more muscle, feel more bloated, or experience a bit of both.
Is There Anything I Can Do About The Weight Gain?
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about the weight gain from your creatine supplement intake.
As mentioned earlier, seeing relatively rapid and unexpected changes in your body after taking creatine is a positive sign – that is how you know that the supplement is doing its job.
The weight gain you experience is harmless since it increases your water content levels. With time and patience, the feeling of bloatedness will subside. Therefore, you need not worry about it or fret over it.
However, if it still bothers you to a great degree, you could try these three alternatives –
- Take a temporary break from consuming creatine. You can wait for a month before restarting this supplement in your diet.
- Reduce your dosage. When you go back to normal, you may not experience as much weight gain and bloatedness as you initially did.
- Make your body sweat profusely. Sweating helps your body lose water weight
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Creatine supplements are a safe and secure way to boost your energy, increase your endurance during exercise. In turn, this will maximize your performance and potential.
The only flip side of initially taking creatine in your diet is increased water retention levels that can either make you feel too muscular, too bloated or a bit of both.
However, this weight gain is not harmful as it is not synonymous with fat gain. Regular exercise and sweating profusely can easily eliminate water weight.
If you have added creatine to your diet, please share your advice and experiences with the readers in the comment section below.
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