Does creatine make you gain weight?
This is a good question, and it is one that most people get wrong.
In this article, we will be answering the question “does creatine make you gain weight”, as well as telling you everything you need to know about creatine to get optimal results.
What Is Creatine?
Creatine is a supplement that increases ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in our bodies, a source of energy that our muscles turn to when under physical stress.
While we can get ATP from foods, it is near impossible to get enough to optimise stores and get maximum performance at the gym.
This is why practically everyone who supplements creatine sees positive benefits.
By optimising our ATP stores, we can perform better at the gym and reach our true potential.
This usually means being able to lift a little extra weight or squeaking out a few extra reps at the end of a set.
As you would expect, this makes creatine incredibly popular among bodybuilders and strength athletes, and there is a good reason why it is the most popular fitness supplement in the world; it is the only one that works.
Does Taking Creatine Make You Fat?
No, taking creatine cannot make you fat.
Not only does creatine not contain substances that could potentially incentivise fat gain, but it also has zero calories.
If you were worried about taking creatine because you think you may gain fat, just throw this idea out of the window.
The only way you can gain fat while taking creatine is if you are in a caloric surplus (eating more calories than you need to maintain your current body weight).
This happens whether you take creatine or not, and creatine has no influence on the fat-gaining process.
Can Creatine Make You Gain Weight?
1. Water Weight
The most significant way that creatine will make you gain weight is through water weight.
Consuming creatine increases water retention, which means your body will store more water and hold onto it for longer.
This is completely normal and is harmless.
In the first month of taking creatine, you will likely notice a 3-5lbs increase on the scale due to said water weight.
For most people, this additional water weight will be unnoticeable.
2. Muscle Mass
Another way that creatine can make you gain weight is by increasing muscle mass.
While creatine will not directly increase muscle mass, it will allow you to lift more weight for more reps in the gym, which will translate to an increase in muscle mass.
However, as you probably know by now, gaining muscle is a slow process.
Creatine may slightly speed up this process, but you will still have to train hard for months to see any real progress.
3. Non-Muscle Weight Gain
As we mentioned before, creatine will not make you put on additional fat.
This point is worth reiterating – unless you are in a calorie surplus while taking creatine, you will not gain fat.
The only other way creatine could make you gain weight is through increasing bone density, but this is something that occurs over time with weightlifting anyway.
What To Do If You Gain Weight After Taking Creatine?
After taking creatine for a few days or weeks, you may come to find the weight on the scale going up.
Before you panic; this is perfectly normal.
Creatine has water-retaining properties, and by taking it on a regular basis, you will begin to put on 3-5lbs of water weight.
This weight is nothing to be concerned about.
In all likelihood, you will not even notice this weight gain.
There are some strategies you can put into place if you want to minimise this water weight (which we will talk about later in this article), but for the vast majority of people, this is going to make next to no difference and is something you shouldn’t worry about.
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine works by increasing ATP in your muscles, a source of energy that muscles pull from when under physical stress or tension.
In turn, this allows you to lift slightly more weight or perform an extra couple of reps at the end of each set.
ATP is just a naturally occurring substance that is found in our bodies, but we are unable to get enough of it through diet alone to get maximum performance in the gym.
All creatine does is maximise these stores, ensuring that our muscles can perform to the best of their abilities.
Almost everyone who supplements creatine notices a positive effect on their muscle mass and strength.
Why Take Creatine?
Different people take creatine for different reasons.
However, perhaps the most common reason why people take creatine is for its performance benefits.
Due to the fact that creatine increases ATP in muscles, this leads to a boost in performance by allowing athletes and trainees to lift more weight for more reps.
Of course, the difference creatine will make in your performance will be minimal, but it can compound over time.
There are also a few other reasons why people take creatine, such as to reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes or fighting off certain neurological diseases.
How Can You Minimize Water Retention from Creatine?
Eat Less Sodium
If for one reason or another you are a little concerned about the increased water retention that can come from creatine, there are a few ways that you can mitigate this.
One such method is to eat less sodium.
By eating less sodium, you will reduce how much water your body is able to retain.
Drink More Water
Somewhat peculiarly, drinking more water can actually reduce how much water you store in your body.
When you drink a lot of water, your body sees no reason to hold onto the current water it has in its system since it knows it is getting water on a regular basis.
If you increase your water intake, you may find that your troubles with water retention just float away.
Continue To Exercise
Another way that you can minimise water retention is by following or continuing to follow an exercise routine.
Working out and exercising makes you sweat and increases your heart rate, meaning your body will never get an opportunity to retain large amounts of water.
Are There Any Side Effects Associated with Creatine?
There are some side effects that are associated with creatine, with a few of the most noticeable being an upset stomach, dehydration, and muscle cramps.
However, it is worth noting that these side effects are very minor, and they only affect a very small portion of people who consume creatine.
Creatine has been thoroughly studied in a Laboratory setting, with some studies going on for even years or decades.
The results of these studies were that creatine is completely harmless, even when taking an excessive dose (10g) of creatine for 10 years or more.
So, if you want to take creatine but are worried about any potential side effects, throw your concerns to the side.
The likelihood of you experiencing any side effects from taking creatine is extremely low, and even if you do experience some side effects, they will be extremely minor.
Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight – FAQs
Does Taking Creatine Increase Weight?
Yes, taking creatine does increase weight.
However, this weight gain is mainly due to water weight and muscle gain in the long term – creatine does not make you gain fat.
Should I Take Creatine While Trying To Lose Weight?
Yes, you should take creatine while trying to lose weight.
Creatine can allow you to push harder in your workouts, meaning you will be able to burn more calories or hold onto more muscle while dieting.
Does Creatine Make You Look Bigger?
Yes, creatine does make you look bigger.
Most people gain around 5lbs of water weight once they start taking creatine, and this can make a small but noticeable difference on your overall mass and size.
Does Creatine Make You Gain Fat?
No, creatine cannot make you gain fat.
Creatine is zero calories and has zero effect on fat gain.
Does Creatine Make You Retain Fat?
No, creatine does not make you retain fat.
Creatine has no mechanisms that could possibly make someone retain fat.
Is creatine Weight Gain Permanent?
No, creatine weight gain isn’t permanent.
The water weight you gain from creatine will go away within a few weeks of stopping creatine.
Any muscle you build from taking creatine however will stay as long as you continue to follow a good workout routine and eat in a calorie surplus.
Does Creatine Make You Gain Belly Fat?
No, creatine does not make you gain belly fat.
Creatine is zero calorie, and there is nothing in creatine that could contribute to belly fat gain.
How Much Weight Can You Gain from Creatine in a Month?
You can expect to gain around 5 pounds after taking creatine for a month.
This is just water weight alone – you may gain additional weight if you are also in a caloric surplus.
Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight if you don’t Workout?
No, creatine will not make you gain weight if you don’t workout.
Apart from water weight, the only way you could gain weight is if you are in a caloric surplus.
How Long Does Creatine Weight Gain Last?
The water weight that comes from creatine will only last a week or two after stopping creatine consumption.
Any muscle you gain while taking creatine will be kept providing you continue to follow a workout routine and eat in a caloric surplus.
Does Creatine Make You Gain Water Weight?
Yes, creatine does make you gain water weight.
You can expect to gain 3-5lbs of water weight in the first month of taking creatine.
Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight in Your Face?
No, creatine does not make you gain weight in your face.
It can however make it look like you have gained weight in your face due to the increased water retention.
Why Do People Take Creatine?
People take creatine because of its numerous performance benefits.
Creatine increases ATP stores in the muscles, which allows athletes and trainees to workout harder for longer.
We hope this article will be of use to you.
Creatine can make you gain weight through water weight and increased muscle mass, but it does not lead to excess fat gain.
If you would like more fitness advice, feel free to have a look at what else we have at MovingForwards.
Now that you know the answer to “does creatine make you gain weight”, you can begin taking actionable steps to get your ideal body.