Whether you’re a professional athlete or just a regular-fitness-joe, you may be taking creatine to improve your performance.
But have you ever wondered if creatine can improve the opportunity for weight loss?
In recent years, creatine has become popular but slightly divisive in the fitness world.
Some people even start taking creatine supplements without understanding this amino acid’s effects on the body.
So, if you’re thinking of taking creatine supplements to help you lose weight, we recommend reading this article first. The truth may surprise you.
What Is Creatine?
Creatine is an amino acid that can be found naturally in red meat and fish.
So, for those following a plant-based diet, creatine can be a popular supplement for those looking to improve their athletic performance and supplement their diet.
Creatine can help give your cells more energy and build up your muscle mass.
This is what makes creatine such a popular supplement for fitness enthusiasts looking to improve their results at the gym.
When you take creatine supplements, your body can cope with more exercise, which in turn helps you build more muscle tissue.
However, it can also increase the amount of water retention in your muscles to make them look larger, and for this reason, creatine isn’t generally used or recommended as a weight loss supplement.
Why Take Creatine?
You might want to take creatine for many reasons, and not all are fitness-related.
However, most people take creatine supplements to improve their strength, endurance, and performance and boost muscle mass.
However, some people may also take creatine supplements for health reasons.
For example, some studies have suggested that creatine can improve the symptoms of neurological conditions, including epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.
However, most of this research has been performed on animals. More human trials are needed to confirm the efficacy of this treatment.
How Does Creatine Influence Weight Loss?
In fact, one of the most common side effects of creatine intake is weight gain.
Although this is usually due to water retention, it’s still an undesirable result that won’t push you any closer to your weight loss goals.
According to one study, taking oral creatine can result in gaining as much as 2-4.5lbs in just one week.
Not ideal, right? Although this is mainly due to water retention, creatine can also boost your muscle mass which is likely to raise your overall weight.
This doesn’t mean you’re gaining fat, but you’ll still see a notable change when you get on the scales.
There is one way that creatine may help you lose weight, but it’s not as effective as other supplements.
Creatine can increase how much exercise your muscles can take, which means you can exercise for longer and burn more calories.
However, because creatine contributes to increased muscle mass, you’re unlikely to see a huge change in your weight, even if you’re burning significantly more calories.
What Happens If You Gain Weight After Taking Creatine?
If you gain weight when you take creatine, it’s likely due to water weight. This means that your weight gain will be temporary.
However, there are a few ways you can reduce the fluid retention caused by taking creatine:
- Limit Sodium: Consuming too much sodium can cause your body to hold on to excess fluid. So, try swapping the sodium-heavy foods for fruits and veggies, and keep the amount of processed fast foods you consume to a minimum.
- Increase Water Intake: To shift any weight caused by water, you’ll also need to boost your water intake. This may sound counterproductive, but increasing your water intake can stimulate urination, which will help flush that excess water out of your body.
- Reduce your Carbs: Lastly, you’ll need to reduce your carb intake. Although carbs are necessary for energy, consuming too many can cause your body to retain water, so make sure you limit your intake while you’re taking creatine.
How To Lose Weight?
If you’re serious about shifting those extra pounds, taking creatine supplements probably isn’t the best way to do it.
There are more effective ways to lose weight, including:
- Regular Exercise: Regular exercise is the most effective way to lose weight. You don’t need to do high-impact exercises, either. Jogging for just half an hour a day can help you get closer to your weight loss goals.
- Eating Fruit and Vegetables: Eating a healthy diet is essential for losing weight. Try incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet, which are low in calories but high in nutrients. Remember to add enough protein into your diet, too.
- Drinking Water: Water contains no calories and can even suppress your appetite before meals, which can deter you from eating larger portions.
If you want to incorporate supplements into your diet to help you reach your weight loss goals, there are plenty of alternatives to creatine.
Some of the most popular weight-loss supplements on the market include:
- Garcinia Cambogia Extract
- Green Coffee Bean Extract
- Raspberry Ketones
- Green Tea Extract
However, the science behind some of these supplements remains unclear, and not everyone is convinced that supplements are effective.
Remember: supplements aren’t meant to take the place of exercise and a healthy diet.
When you put in the work, supplements can speed up the rate at which you see results, but they won’t do the heavy lifting for you.
If you’re thinking of taking weight loss supplements, talk to your doctor first.
Weight loss supplements should only be used with a doctor’s supervision, and if you’re taking other prescribed medications, they may not be right for you.
The Bottom Line
While creatine undoubtedly improves athletic performance and builds muscle mass, it’s not so good for weight loss.
In fact, one of the most common side effects of taking creatine is weight gain, so bear this in mind before you start taking this supplement.
If you want to lose weight, we wouldn’t recommend using creatine.
Instead, try leading an active and healthy lifestyle and explore other weight loss supplements with the approval of your doctor or other healthcare professional.