Can You Use Creatine While Cutting? – Does It Work?
Posted on September 23 2022
reatine is a substance naturally produced in the human body by amino acids glycine, arginine, and methionine.
Creatine Monohydrate is the most studied and widely used dietary supplement that leads to a rapid and substantial increase in plasma creatine concentration, reaching a maximum within 1 to 2 hours. Plasma creatine promotes faster regeneration of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) between high-intensity exercises. The improved energy outcomes will increase performance and promote better training adaptations.
Creatine - for most, is a performance booster, recovery supplement, or bulking agent. When it comes; to using Creatine for cutting (during the fat loss phase), there has been confusion over whether or not to take Creatine.
In this blog, we’ll clear up your confusion on whether you can or cannot use Creatine during cutting…
Let’s First Examine How Creatine Works
In the body, Creatine stores are primarily; found in skeletal muscles, and synthesis of Creatine; occurs mainly in the liver, kidneys, and to a lesser extent, the pancreas. Our body produces only 1g of Creatine per day, and the remainder of Creatine comes through the diet at about 1g/pound of meat. Vegetarians have lower resting Creatine concentration.
Related Article: What Is The Need To Supplement With Creatine?
When you perform explosive workouts like barbell lifts and bench presses (activities that require maximal effort in a concise duration), your body will have high demands for quick bursts of energy. The phosphagen energy system can supply immediate energy (to meet sudden needs) that lasts for a limited duration. Wondering, what is the job of Creatine here?
Here comes the hero, Creatine…
The equation above will explain things. During high intensity exercise; ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate); loses a high-energy phosphate molecule; during energy discharge and becomes ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate). Creatine accepts this high-energy phosphate molecule to become Creatine phosphate. Creatine phosphate recharges ADP to become ATP by donating its phosphate group.
The enhanced ATP levels contribute to increased exercise performance and reliably increase; muscle mass.
Please pay attention here - Creatine’s chief role in the body is to keep the energy stores high, which particularly; supports short-term, high-intensity activities.
Related Article: More Creatine Means More Potential ATP
Up next, your question could be like this, any link between Creatine’s role in energy production to cutting? Well, we shall first explain to you what cutting means.
What Does The Term Cutting Convey?
The cutting phase usually follows a bulking phase (where one consumes high calories and does weight training to add muscle mass).
Cutting is a fat loss phase when bodybuilders reduce caloric intake intending; to get rid of body fat while maintaining muscle mass to achieve a leaner physique. It’s a tough challenge why; because exercising in a calorie deficit state can damage muscle fibers and can; impair recovery.
Related Article: Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight?
Link - Creatine -> It’s Faster Energy Production -> Role In Cutting
When supplementing with Creatine during the bulking phase, you never think twice, but when it comes to supplementing with Creatine for cutting, you are not very sure whether to use it or not.
People, your choice of supplement for your fitness goals shall depend on the supplement’s role in supporting your goal.
Take, for example, a mass gainer will help you meet the high-calorie goals to gain weight, then; obviously, it won’t support weight loss goals. Whey Protein will help build lean muscles, so unless you combine Whey with a high-calorie diet, you can’t rely on it for weight gain.
Likewise, if Creatine’s chief role is to maximize the energy stores, that’s what it will do whether you use it for bulking or cutting! So, it essentially supports performance, and your performance is what gets you to your goals.
1. Yes, just like Creatine does in bulking phase, during the cutting phase too, Creatine increases muscle strength and potentially allows you to hit more reps and sets during resistance training sessions.
2. The higher reps will translate into increased muscle mass.
3. The higher energy production by Creatine will help to spare a higher percentage of your overall lean muscle tissue and muscle strength in an energy deficit state.
4. Since muscle is metabolically active, increased overall lean muscle mass will help burn more calories, which will translate into a greater amount of fat burned.
Related Article: BCAA Vs Creatine – Which One To Choose?
So, Does It Mean Creatine Is a Fat Burner?
This is not exactly or directly what Creatine does. When you are in a cutting phase, your goal is to maintain as much lean muscle mass as possible. Creatine allows you to maintain as much lean muscle mass and muscle strength as possible through increasing potential energy for workouts while helping to provide maximum stimulation to your muscles during workouts.
Moreover, during the cutting phase, you need to create a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you consume. When you go on a low-carb diet to cut short on calorie intake that is when your glycogen reserve will be low and considering strategies to enhance the phosphagen system during this time finds beneficial, especially if you are doing weight lifting.
Just as how intense weight training is important during a muscle-building phase, it is important to weight train while you shed fat. Creatine facilitates the ready availability of energy to maintain muscle contraction ability while you workout to burn fat.
The combination of Creatine supplementation and resistance training may increase fat mass more than resistance training alone.
Does it seem like, Creatine favours fat loss, yet there is something to worry about?
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Cell Volumization Caused By Creatine May Make You Think You’ll Gain Weight….But There’s Something You Need To Consider Too!
You may not be totally wrong if you think Creatine will cause weight gain…but you need to get more clarity on how it causes weight gain.
Creatine increases water retention in muscles, which not only protects muscle fibers from breakdown during workouts but also supports faster muscle recovery.
Weight loss refers to a decrease in your overall body weight (from muscle, water, and fat losses), whereas, fat loss refers to weight loss from fat, it’s a more specific and healthful goal than weight loss.
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Creatine no doubt will draw water into the muscles, and the water retention will make your muscles look puffier, it might even cause you to gain weight but the catch here is that the extra pounds you gain are because of water retention and muscle gains, not because of fat gains. Those of you who fear using Creatine for cutting should actually focus on increasing muscle mass and lowering body fat percentage, not on the number on scale.
Creatine may increase your overall weight but this doesn’t mean an increase in fat mass. On the other hand, Creatine increases exercise levels to help you lose weight.
Related Article: Can Women Use Creatine Supplement?
How To Consume Creatine For Cutting?
Creatine supplementation for cutting is no different from using it for bulking. The dosage of Creatine is the same in both a muscle-building and fat-burning phase. The only difference is; for bulking, you’ll use Creatine with a mass gainer, for cutting Creatine is better off supplementing together with Whey Protein.
Related Article: Whey Protein & Creatine Together – How Do You Benefit?
Creatine will help you with your muscle-building goals as well as with your fat loss goals…
Creatine supplementation during the cutting phase helps preserve muscle mass and muscle strength while improving the aesthetics of your physique while cutting…
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