Published On By Rachel Nall

Weight Loss With CreatineCreatine is a popular choice for athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness fans who may also use it as a supplement to boost their performance and build muscle.

It may also help supply continuous energy to the muscles during intense workouts.

However, does creatine, known for enhancing muscles and performance, also have any impact on weight loss?

In this article, I will highlight the science behind creatine to see if it's helpful for your weight loss journey. Keep reading to learn about creatine's safety guidelines, health benefits, and more.

Understanding Creatine

Creatine is an amino acid complex comprising arginine, glycine, and methionine. About 95% of creatine is available in skeletal muscle, which helps in energy production.

Creatine acts as a fuel source for high-intensity, short-duration activities, such as weightlifting or sprinting. It may help regenerate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the molecule responsible for supplying energy to muscle cells.

Creatine could enhance muscle functionality and protein synthesis by increasing ATP levels, leading to improved athletic performance.

To provide a clearer understanding of creatine, let's take a look at a table highlighting its key features:

Composition Amino acid complex (arginine, glycine, methionine)
Production Naturally produced in the kidneys and liver
Dietary Sources Meat and fish (beef, pork, salmon, herring)
Function Fuel source for high-intensity, short-duration activities
Benefits Enhances muscle functionality, improves athletic performance

How Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight?

  • Muscle mass: Creatine may support increased lean muscle mass, which can contribute to weight gain. However, it may not increase fat mass. Therefore, any weight gain associated with creatine supplementation is likely due to increased muscle size and mass rather than fat accumulation.
  • Water retention: Some people may experience water retention in the early stages of creatine supplementation, resulting in temporary weight gain. However, creatine does not alter total body water relative to muscle mass. Therefore, any initial water weight gain is a short-term concern.
  • Personal factors: The effects of creatine supplementation on weight could vary depending on personal factors such as exercise habits, diet, and genetics. Thus, using it with a balanced diet and exercise may show optimal results.

Some Tips That Help You Benefit From Creatine

  1. Eat Creatine-Rich Foods

    Beef, pork, herring, and salmon are good sources of creatine. Adding them to your diet may help you increase your creatine levels. Adding these meats to your diet may help your body absorb and use creatine efficiently.

    Meat options like beef and salmon could support creatine synthesis in your body and maintain normal creatine stores. These meats are also packed with high-quality proteins, vitamins, and minerals, which might help fulfill your nutritional needs.

  2. Pair with Carbs

    Combine creatine with carbohydrates to boost absorption and muscle retention. Carbs may also provide energy for workouts, helping you perform better and support muscle growth. Try sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats, or colorful starchy veggies.

    Studies show that consuming carbohydrates with creatine can lead to higher muscle creatine levels than creatine supplementation alone. It may also stimulate the release of insulin, which helps transport creatine into the muscle cells.

    Carbohydrates provide a surplus energy source that could be utilized during exercise, enhancing overall performance. They can also help to fuel intense workouts and support muscle growth.

  3. Control Portions

    Research indicates that taking three to five grams of creatine daily, or 0.1 grams per kilogram of body mass, can provide positive results. Taking creatine daily allows for a consistent supply of creatine in the body, ensuring its stores are adequately replenished. Consistency matters, so taking creatine simultaneously daily may help you maintain steady creatine levels.

  4. Try Resistance Training

    Resistance training involves using resistance to build and strengthen muscles. It could synergistically affect body composition by increasing lean muscle mass and decreasing fat mass when combined with creatine supplementation.

    Resistance training may help boost muscle growth and improve strength by causing microscopic damage to muscle fibers. This damage may trigger repair, leading to muscle growth and increased protein synthesis.

    Creatine enhances energy production in muscle cells, allowing for more intense and prolonged workouts. Thus, combining these two optimizes muscle growth and improves overall body composition.

    A study on young males found that those who consumed creatine and engaged in resistance training experienced a significant increase in muscle mass.

    Thus, increased muscle mass is believed to raise the basal metabolic rate, leading to higher calorie expenditure at rest and during exercise. This increased energy expenditure may contribute to greater fat loss.

    To illustrate the benefits of resistance training and creatine supplementation, consider the following table:

    Resistance Training Creatine Supplementation
    Increases muscle strength and size Enhances energy production in muscle cells
    Improves body composition Supports increased lean muscle mass
    Boosts metabolism It may help in weight loss by reducing fat mass
    Enhances overall athletic performance It could improve recovery and reduce muscle damage
    Promotes bone health It might alleviate mental fatigue

Advantages of Creatine

  • Improved exercise performance: Creatine could enhance strength and power outcomes, allowing athletes to perform at a higher intensity for longer durations.
  • Increased muscle mass and muscle strength adaptations during training: Creatine supplementation may promote muscle protein synthesis, enhancing muscle size and strength gains.
  • Enhanced exercise recovery: Creatine could reduce muscle damage inflammation and improve muscle recovery following intense exercise.

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Safety Guidelines For Creatine Supplements

  • Insufficient evidence: Some researchers have suggested caution for people with pre-existing kidney disease. However, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that creatine consumption will negatively affect kidney function. Thus, further research is needed in this area.
  • No increased risk of side effects: Creatine supplementation generally does not cause muscle cramps, gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, or dehydration. Some people may experience water retention in the early stages of creatine supplementation, which is generally a short-term symptom that improves over time.
  • FDA Disclaimer: Find a reputable brand that does third-party quality testing before including creatine supplementation in your routine.

Dosage Of Creatine Supplements

Creatine Monohydrate is a well-researched type of creatine. It is recommended to take this form of creatine four times daily for at least five days weekly. The dosage may also depend on your body weight, which can be calculated by multiplying 0.3 by your weight.

You should take creatine supplementation for four consecutive weeks to ensure optimal creatine saturation in your muscles. It allows your muscles to absorb and store creatine fully. After this phase, a lower maintenance dosage can be used to maintain healthy creatine stores.

Some Other Uses of Creatine

Creatine might be helpful in treating neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's, Huntington's, and ALS, as it could slow down their progression with its neuroprotective effects.

Taking creatine supplements could also be beneficial for those at risk of heart problems like myocardial ischemia and stroke, possibly reducing the likelihood of these cardiovascular events.

Creatine might help older adults by preventing muscle and bone loss, which often comes with aging. It could also lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease.

Studies suggest that creatine might reduce fat buildup in the liver and lower homocysteine levels, which could indicate liver damage.

Creatine supplementation has antioxidant properties and may improve glycemic control, helping manage diabetes.

However, these findings seem to be promising. Further research is needed to understand the therapeutic uses of creatine fully.

Potential Side Effects Of Creatine

Despite the potential benefits of creatine, it is essential to stay aware of its possible side effects to prevent health consequences.

  • Dehydration: Consuming creatine alongside caffeine or for people with certain medical conditions could increase the chance of dehydration. Try to maintain proper hydration while using creatine supplements.
  • Muscle Cramps: Muscle cramps and gastritis issues may occur as a side effect of creatine supplementation in some people. You can manage these effects by ensuring adequate hydration and proper dosage.
  • Weight Gain: You might notice an initial increase in body weight due to increased muscle water retention after taking creatine supplements. However, the weight gain is temporary and should not be confused with fat accumulation.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can Creatine Be Used as a Weight Loss Supplement?
    Creatine could indirectly support weight loss as it helps build lean muscle mass, increase physical stamina, and improve athletic performance, which can contribute to fat loss. However, it could be better to combine creatine with a nutritious diet for sustainable weight loss.
  2. Are There Different Types of Creatine, and Do They Have Different Effects on Weight Loss?
    Different types of creatine include monohydrate, ethyl ester, hydrochloride, buffered, and liquid. However, the effects of these types on weight loss have not been extensively studied except for creatine monohydrate.
  3. Can Creatine Supplementation Improve Athletic Performance?
    Creatine supplementation could enhance strength, power output, muscle recovery, and reduce muscle damage. It may improve athletic performance and endurance in short-duration, maximal-intensity exercises.
  4. How Does Creatine Affect Mental Fatigue?
    Creatine supplementation increases ATP levels, promoting muscle functionality and protein synthesis. It may help boost energy levels and memory deficits, supporting overall cognitive health.
  5. Can Creatine Supplements Increase Body Fat?
    Creatine supplements do not increase body fat. Weight gain associated with creatine supplementation is due to increased muscle water retention, not fat accumulation. Creatine could assist in weight loss by promoting muscle growth and enhancing physical performance.


Creatine is widely recognized for its benefits in muscle growth and athletic performance. It may help improve body composition by supporting effective fat loss when combined with a suitable exercise and diet routine.

Making lifestyle changes, creating healthy dietary habits, and adding enough carbohydrates to your meals could help you enhance your creatine effects on weight loss.

You should consult a health expert before you start taking creatine supplements while trying to lose weight. It will help you ensure that you are doing it safely.

Talking to your doctor about the type of creatine you're interested in and your medical history may help them suggest the best option for you.

  • The information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this article.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • It is recommended to consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before trying any tips.

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