Does Creatine Make you Gain Weight?
Before we dive into the question of whether creatine will make you gain weight let’s take a minute to understand just what creatine is and what it does. One of the most popular supplements on the market, Creatine, a naturally occurring amino acid in the body, helps provide energy to the muscles. Used as a supplement, creatine can help you perform better, and longer, because of improved energy.
As a supplement, creatine is used to improve strength, build lean muscle mass and aid recovery after a workout. It is believed to be more effective in activities that require short bursts of energy and intensity, like weightlifting, and less effective in endurance type sports such as running.
According to some studies, an estimated 40% of college-level athletes and 50% of professional athletes use the supplement as a part of their training regimen. Creatine comes in various forms and formats. You can use it in powder or pill form, or consume it via bars and gummies, making it accessible to almost everyone in their preferred form. It is also available in different concentrations and formulations, such as Creatine Nitrate, which allows for a higher concentration of the substance to be absorbed by the body. Creatine Hydrochloride is taken in smaller doses with less water and is purported to cause less bloating and water retention than other formulations.
What Happens When You Use Creatine?
One of the most common side effects of taking creatine is bloating and water retention. This can make you feel, and sometimes look, fat. Remember, water weight is not permanent, and it certainly isn’t fat, which is much harder to reduce or eliminate.
Taken as a supplement, creatine nitrate will provide greater muscular energy, which in turn should lead to better performance and, as a result, gains in the gym. As you get stronger you can lift more and build more muscle, which is the kind of weight that you want to be gaining.
When Should You Take Creatine?
Creatine Monohydrate is the most widely used formulation of the supplement. It is less expensive than other more complex formulations and is usually mixed with water and consumed in liquid format. Most athletes who are looking for good results use the supplement both before and after a workout.
Some trainers suggest that certain formulations of the supplement should be taken in a “loading phase” for about a week to build up the body’s stores. After the loading period, creatine can be incorporated into your performance routine. While there is no ideal schedule for consumption, many athletes supplement about half an hour to one hour before working out, and then immediately after training as part of the refueling/replenishing routine.
Because your natural creatine levels can get depleted easily with regular high-intensity training, supplementing regularly to maximize muscle building and energy is recommended.
Which Form of Creatine Works Best?
Which form of creatine you use as a supplement really depends on your particular physicality and training regimen. Muscletech brand creatine, which can be purchased on Amazon.com., offers various formulations to meet your individual supplement needs. Whether you choose a powder, pill or bar format is an individual preference. However, in most cases supplementing before and after your workout will likely help you achieve maximum results.
Optimum Results With Creatine and Protein
Circling back to the original question, “will Creatine make me gain weight?” the general answer is no. If you are focused on building lean muscle mass, you are likely consuming lean protein on a regular basis. As with all food and supplement choices, the amount of sodium will directly impact your water retention. As an example, a lot of grocery store packaged chicken is infused with salt water to make the meat look plump and juicy. This means that there is more sodium in the lean protein, which can affect your appearance and make you feel bloated.
Just as protein will not make you fat, creatine in and of itself won’t make you fat, but it can contribute to water retention. However, consumed regularly, lean protein and creatine can help you achieve leaner, stronger muscle mass, which weighs more that fat.
Creatine results vary by individual, but there is enough evidence out there to suggest that adding it to your training program will have a positive impact on your weightlifting goals. And if bloating and water retention is an issue, one of the best things you can do to counter that is drink more water.