The dearest of your fellows might tell you that creatine supplements will make you fat as experiences suggest. This is how myths work. However, the fact is that creatine might help you gain weight but it will not make you fat because creatine makes you gain muscle weight but not fat weight. So, does creatine make you fat? No, it does not. Let’s explore why and how creatine can make you gain weight but not fat.
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine is an amino acid (nitrogenous organic acid) that already exists in our muscles to generate power in them. It helps to recycle the ATP (adenosine triphosphate) of our body. So, the creatine supplements work to ensure the maximum amount of creatine that should be in our muscles.
Who Should Take Creatine?
Creatine supplementation is a must for the people who have less serum creatine in their muscles than needed. Vegetarians and older adults generally have less serum creatine than the meat eaters and younger guys. Women possess a higher level of serum creatine in their muscles than the men.
To be honest, everyone can take creatine supplementation and it is not harmful at all but the people who already have the maximum level of serum creatine do not need creatine supplementations. Consult your doctor if you are not sure whether you should or should not take creatine.
Does Creatine Make You Fat?
The straightforward answer to this question is ‘no’. However, the question appears due to some other facts. Creatine makes your muscles look fat because it gathers water in your muscles. To be honest, the effects of creatine can vary from person to person but creatine never causes you to gain fat. Effects of creatine on men and women are also different. Let’s explore the differences.
Creatine for Men
Men can lose and gain weight faster than women. The effects of creatine supplementation are quick in men. Men are generally more serious about the workouts and when their bodies are boosted with the creatine supplementation, they work out more build up their muscles and the density of their muscle increases. So, their weight also increases because of the improvements in their muscles.
Creatine for Women
Women’s metabolism is usually slower than men and accordingly, they lose weight slower than the men but can gain weight faster. Creatine supplementation can boost up their energy level to work more and help to increase their metabolism rate. This is how women can lose weight and build their muscle by taking creatine. However, creatine can help women also to gain weight as it does for the men.
Creatine and Water Retention
The question ‘does creatine make you fat’ appears because of the fact that creatine supplements make your muscles to retain water in them. Creatine enters the muscles along with the water and the water remains there. The people who say that they have experienced weight gain immediately after taking creatine supplementation, actually experience the water retention. In the initial period of taking creatine supplementations, you might gain 1 lbs. to 3.5 lbs. of water weight excluding the muscle weight.
Water Retention Factors
- Water retention can be regarded as a short-term benefit of creatine supplementation because the muscles do not retain the water after you have stopped taking creatine. So, if you want to look a little heavy and plump, you can do it with creatine within just 2 to 3 days.
- Water retention in the muscles due to taking creatine increases the size of your muscles.
- Creatine supplementation also increases the muscle mass by improving the synthesis of skeletal muscle through water retention.
Effects of Water Retention
- Water retention may dehydrate your whole body as the muscles absorb the water.
- So, it’s recommended that you drink plenty of water when you are taking creatine supplementations so that you can prevent dehydration and the cramping of your muscles.
- The water in your muscles makes you look fat and bulky sometimes. So, if you want to look tough, you might want to skip creatine supplementations for several
Does Creatine Help You To Lose Weight?
Creatine supplementations are mainly taken with the aim to produce more energy in the muscles before a workout and to prevent quick-exhaustion of the muscles after a workout. The question ‘does creatine make you fat’ or ‘does creatine make you gain weight’ doesn’t really go with its main objective. It still appears because it involves exercises and weight concerns.
Some studies have proven that creatine can help you improve your metabolism. Improved metabolism helps to transform the extra calories that you eat into extra energy and thus it protects your muscles from breaking down. So, losing weight maintaining good health is quite possible with creatine supplementations. However, most men and women do not lose weight immediately after taking creatine. It takes time and a lot of effort to lose weight in a healthy way.
Recommended Dosage of Creatine
Doses of creatine supplementations vary from person to person and according to their purposes.
For Adults in Athletic Performance
For athletic performance, the doses are of two types:
- Short-term ‘loading dose’: 20 grams daily for 4-7 days
- Long-term ‘maintenance dose’: typically 2-10 grams daily after the loading dose
For Adults to Improve Muscle Strength
For the adults who lack serum creatine in their muscles and need to improve their muscle strength, the doses are of two types:
- Short-term ‘loading dose’– 20 grams daily for 5-7 days
- Long-term ‘maintenance dose’ – Typically 2-27 grams daily after the loading dose depending on the need of the particular person
For Children with Lack of Serum Creatine
For the children who are facing problems in making or transporting creatine, the doses are:
- 400 to 800 mg of creatine supplement per kg of body weight daily for up to 8 years. Or
- 4-8 grams of creatine daily for up to 25 months depending on the condition
For Older Adults with Age-Related Muscle Loss
For older adults with age-related muscle loss, the doses are of two types:
- Short-term ‘loading dose – 20 grams daily for 4-7 days
- Long-term ‘maintenance dose’ – Typically 2-10 grams daily after the loading dose
Be Aware of Taking Creatine
Creatine is most likely a safe supplement to take and most of the negative speculations around it are just myths. However, there are some situations when you should consult your doctor before taking creatine supplementations.
- Sometimes creatine supplementations can cause diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, and muscle cramping. It’s very normal. You don’t need to be worried about these issues when you are taking creatine.
- Be aware of taking creatine and consult your doctor before taking creatine supplementation if you have bipolar disorder.
- Be aware of taking creatine and consult your doctor before taking creatine supplementation if you have kidney diseases or diabetes.
- If you have Parkinson’s disease, you should avoid taking creatine and caffeine together.
So, what is the resolution? Does creatine make you fat? The answer is simple. It simply cannot make you fat because it does not contain many calories, fat, or carbohydrate to do so. As a matter of fact, it retains the water in your muscle and makes your muscles look fat and glowing. On the other hand, you cannot really expect to use creatine for weight loss as it eventually increases your weight by improving your muscle density.
So, we can take that creatine causes weight gain in both long-term and short-term periods. In the long-term, creatine supplementation causes you to gain weight by increasing your muscle size with regular exercises. In the short-term, it increases your weight by retaining the water in your muscle cells. Though the short-term water weight is temporary, the long-term muscle weight that you gain is permanent. Creatine supplementation can give you long-lasting bigger muscles and the power to produce more energy. So, don’t worry if you gain some weight after taking the creatine supplementation; ultimately, it’s good for you.