Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight?
Creatine is one of the most buzzed-about supplements in sports and nutrition. Definitely yes, creatine can make you gain weight. Yet, a lot of people remain skeptical about using creatine. One major reason for this doubt concerns that creatine makes you gain weight. Does creatine make you gain weight? Here is everything you need to know about creatine and weight gain.
WHAT IS CREATINE?
Creatine is a combination of amino acids produced in the liver and pancreas, that provided energy to your cells and helps you build muscle mass. It is mostly used by weight lifters and athletes in the form of a powdered supplement with the aim of building muscle, increasing strength, and improving athletic performance.
DOES CREATINE MAKE YOU GAIN WEIGHT?
It is believed that creatine can make you gain weight, along with increasing your muscle mass. Creatine can indeed make you gain some weight, but this weight may not be because of fat. It is important to know the type of weight gain that you may experience from creatine.
1. WATER WEIGHT: This type of weight gain from creatine is due to fluid retention. Creatine can cause immediate water weight because it draws water into your muscle cells. Your muscles then retain this water making your arms, legs or stomach look bloated or puffy. In the first week of using creatine, you may notice a 2-pound increase in weight. This increase is mainly due to fluid retention.
2. MUSCLE WEIGHT GAIN: Research has found that creatine can be an effective supplement for increasing your endurance and strength. Over time, as you continue to use creatine, you will notice an increase in your muscle mass, and as this happens, water weight begins to reduce so you appear less puffy or bloated.
3. FAT WEIGHT GAIN: This is the main reason why people are skeptical about using creatine, however, creatine will not make you fat. To be fat, you have to consult more calories than you expend, and a scoop of creatine a day does not contain any calories.
The nutritional profile of creatine shows that one scoop of creatine contains:- 0-grams of sugar- 0-gram of protein- 0-gram of fat- 0-gram fibre- 0-gram carbohydrate- 0-gram of calories. So if you stay active and healthy, you are likely to not increase in fat while using creatine.
WHY TAKE CREATINE?
The major reason why people take creatine is to help them build strength, increase endurance, enhance their athletic performance, and build lean muscle mass. Also, there are major reasons why people take creatine. These are:
(1) Oral creatine may help improve brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease.
(2) A 2013 review found that people with a muscular disorder like muscular dystrophy had increased muscle strength after taking creatine supplements.
(3) Studies have also shown that women who take creatine supplements may have improved symptoms of major depression.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Creatine is a molecule our muscle cells use to produce chemical energy called ATP. Creatine helps our muscles use this energy by binding with another molecule in our body called phosphate molecule. When these two molecules bind, creatine phosphate is formed, which then provides our body with rapid energy by producing more ATP.
Although our bodies produce creatine naturally when we take the supplement, it increases the availability of ATP, reduces fatigue, and provides the body with extra energy strength, and endurance to work long hours in the gym.
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BENEFITS OF CREATINE
Without supplements, your body uses its natural creatine to provide your muscles with energy, but with creatine supplement, the phosphocreatine level in your muscles increases which can then be used to produce more energy to improve your athletic performance.
Here are some other benefits of using creatine:
- Improved muscular endurance
- Also improves cell signaling
- It Improves cell hydration
- Reduced myostatin levels
- Improved anaerobic power and performance
- And improved anabolic hormones
IS IT SAFE TO TAKE CREATINE?
If used properly, creatine is safe for long-term use in adults. There are no reported adverse effects from taking creatine in the proper dosage.
HOW TO USE CREATINE
Studies have shown that the most effective way to use creatine supplements is, to begin with about 0.3g/kg of body weight 4 times a day for about a week. This is known as the loading phase.
After the loading phase, in most individuals, the muscle stores are filled. The next step will be to maintain the creatine level by reducing intake of the supplement to 3-5g daily and using the supplement with either a carbohydrate or a protein source.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
There have been concerns regarding the potential side effects of the use of creatine. This only happens when not used properly.
When you exceed the recommended dosage, use of creatine supplement may lead to:
- Kidney damage
- Liver damage
- Kidney stone
- Weight gain
- Stomach upset
- Muscle cramp
- Compartment syndrome
We have discuss on the post ” Does creatine make you gain weight”, we have discovered that apart from improving your energy level, creatine may cause some weight gain during the first week of taking it. But this is not bad weight gain, you will be increasing in water weight. Your muscles will then retain this water, hence increasing your muscle mass.