Does creatine make you gain weight? If you take creatine regularly the little weight that you gain will be water weight. The water weight is fluid retention that comes from the creatine supplement drawing extra water into your muscle cells.
Your muscles at times depending on how much creatine you take will give you that puffiness look. It will give you the illusion that you gained muscle the first week, but it is mostly water retention. The average weight increase is about 3 to 5 pounds in the first week.
Research studies have shown that taking creatine as a dietary supplement along with being on a weight-training program will increase muscle mass. Creatine has been shown to be effective at increasing muscle, strength and endurance. It is important to know that taking creatine will not make you fat, but you will gain a little bit of water weight which is common for most people.
Does creatine make you gain weight? Photo credit: iStock-ayo888
Here are some of the things you can do to reduce water retention while on creatine:
- Reduce your sodium intake because too much sodium will cause your body to retain fluid. Minimize your processed foods and fast foods intake. And focus on eating more fruits and vegetables.
- Reducing your carbohydrate intake to 200 to 300 grams per day. If you consume a high amount of carbs, it can cause your body to hold on to water.
- Exercising regularly will help you dispel the extra fluid that you are holding on to your body.
How Creatine Works?
Creatine is naturally produced by the kidneys, liver, and pancreas. But if you decide that you don’t want to consume creatine through a dietary supplement you can consume it through seafood and red meat.
Creatine phosphate helps you produce more ATP. ATP stands for adenosine triphosphate which is a neurotransmitter that is your body’s primary source of energy.
As we said, your body produces creatine naturally, but it generally has low reserves of creatine stores. And that is why you need to consume creatine whether it be through supplements or food to increase the creatine stores in your body. And these creatine stores will give you the extra energy to power through your weightlifting and exercise workout and improve athletic performance.
“Creatine will not make you gain fat, but it will cause a little bit of water gain because it draws extra water into your muscle cells.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike
Research Studies On Brain Disorders
Studies that were done only on animals showed that creatine improved brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy. There were research studies done in 2013 on patients that had muscular disorders and it showed that when they took creatine supplements it improved their muscular strength.
Research Studies On Depression
A 2012 study showed that 52 women who took creatine over a 2-month period improved their major depression symptoms. They found improvements in little as two weeks.
Side Effects On Creatine
Creatine is safe to take but if you take high doses of it some of the side effects are nausea, muscle cramps, diarrhea, dizziness, etc. If you have bipolar disorder creatine can possibly increase any episodes you may have. And it is best to consult with your doctor before taking it if you are bipolar.
The Bottom Line is creatine will not make you gain fat, but it will cause a little bit of water gain because it draws extra water into your muscle cells. The normal weight you can gain the first week is about 2 to 4 pounds which is fluid retention. Research studies have shown that creatine will increase your energy and muscle strength levels as well as increase muscle mass.
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- Smith RN, Agharkar AS, Gonzales EB. A review of creatine supplementation in age-related diseases: more than a supplement for athletes. F1000Res. 2014 Sep 15;3:222. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.5218.1. PMID: 25664170; PMCID: PMC4304302.
- Buford, T.W., Kreider, R.B., Stout, J.R. et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 4, 6 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-4-6