As one of the most effective supplements for boosting strength, speed, and muscular growth, creatine is widely utilised by athletes and gym rats. 1 However, weight gain is one of the most common creatine adverse effects. 2 Nonetheless, this is hardly the kind of weight increase you might be fearing.
So, without further ado, let’s go into the specifics of how creatine causes weight gain and address any concerns you may have.
People have seen increase in weight in first week after creatine dosages. 2 to 4 pounds increase in weight is normal after taking creatine in first week.
Creatine: what is it?
You can get creatine through eating meals like red meat, chicken, and seafood.
The typical male of 70 kilogrammes will have about 120 grammes of creatine stored. This can be increased to about 160g with the help of supplements. Increased strength, power, muscle mass, and recovery time are all performance-enhancing benefits you’ll feel when your creatine stores are at their fullest.
In what ways does creatine help?
Taking creatine as a supplement boosts your muscle cells’ capacity to store phosphocreatine (PCr), which is used as an energy source during high-intensity exercise like weightlifting. Gains in muscle mass can be accelerated by boosting phosphocreatine storage, which will allow you to perform more reps and recover faster between sets.
Creatine must enter the muscle cell from the bloodstream in order for the body to create phosphocreatine in skeletal muscle. Creatine may cause water retention and weight gain because of its diuretic effect on muscle cells.
Do you get fat if you take creatine?
The data from short-term trials indicate that taking creatine, particularly in conjunction with a loading procedure, will lead to a rise in body mass.
4 Most likely, this is related to an increase in intramuscular fluid. It’s excellent news in this case since it means your creatine stockpiles are growing, which will improve your performance.
There will be a gradual rise in body mass as a result of the addition of lean muscle.
1 Having a full creatine tank allows you to train harder and recover faster, which improves your training quality and eventually helps you gain lean muscle growth.
Can lean muscle be built with creatine?
In the short term, the weight acquired from creatine supplementation will not be from lean muscle but rather from water retention in the muscle cell. Once your body’s creatine stores are at their full capacity, training adaptations will begin to take place. Full creatine stores allow you to perform more reps and recover faster, which ultimately leads to sustainable increases in lean body mass.
Those who combine resistance training with a creatine supplement tend to see greater gains in muscle mass than those who do not take the supplement. After 12 weeks of exercise, the data predicts a loss of up to 1.8 kg.
It has also been hypothesised that one of the ways creatine boosts lean muscle mass is by causing the enlargement of muscle cells due to water retention. An increase in muscle protein synthesis is thought to be the outcome of a chain reaction started off by the bloating of muscle cells.
In a calorie deficit, should creatine be used?
It is common practise among bodybuilders to limit their caloric intake (also known as “cutting”) in order to lose fat and display more muscle. Bulking, wherein muscular mass is created via a caloric excess and heavy lifting, is typically followed by this, as stated by Chapman.
Cutters strive to lose excess fat while keeping their muscle mass intact. However, this is not always easy to do, as exercise itself can cause muscle fibre damage, and eating in a caloric deficit can hinder recovery. According to Chapman, this is where creatine comes in, as it can aid in the preservation of strength and muscular size.
Creatine has been shown in studies(opens in new tab) to increase muscular endurance, which means that a person who is dieting can train for longer and so give more effective stimuli for muscle growth.
Keep in mind that cutting too quickly puts the body under unnecessary stress, and that most professional bodybuilders only engage in cutting once they have reached a certain level of fitness.
In what amounts of creatine is it safe to take?
Chapman suggests considering your natural creatine production and dietary intake while selecting how much creatine supplementation to do. An average healthy adult’s daily creatine production will be between 1 and 2 grammes. Research on dietary creatine(opens in new tab) estimates that the average omnivorous diet contributes an additional 1-2g of creatine per day.
Formerly, creatine loading was regarded to be the greatest strategy to consume creatine for people seeking to truly maximise their sporting performance; however, this has lately been disproven. According to Chapman, 3-5 grammes of creatine per day is all that is necessary.
Creatine functions by stealing water from other tissues, thus upping your water intake can help you stay hydrated when taking creatine.