Does Creatine Supplementation Make You Gain Weight?
Posted on March 18 2019
If you are a bodybuilder or someone interested in fitness training, I am sure you must have heard a lot about Creatine and the muscle miracle it performs. Supplementation with Creatine has been found to double your strength and lean muscle gains.
Creatine stands #1 among the power supplement if you are looking to enhance muscle mass and achieve bursts of strength. Everything is fine but the answer you are unsure is for the question does Creatine cause weight gain?
Let’s go ahead and get the answer to this with some basic info on Creatine.
What Is Creatine?
In short, Creatine is an amino acid found naturally in the body and synthesized in the liver from a combination of amino acids glycine, methionine and arginine at a rate of around 2g every day.
Creatine is commonly available in the form of Creatine Monohydrate. During high intensity, short duration exercise, Creatine is converted into a major source of fuel for the body.
How Does Creatine Work To Produce Energy?
All we have learnt from our primary grades is that energy in our body comes from dephosphorylation of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). Energy is released when ATP loses a phosphate molecule and becomes ADP. Since we have a finite pool of ATP, our body has to replenish it. The more ATP we can replenish implies, we have the energy to do additional work.
This is where a link exists between Creatine and ATP.
In our body, CP (Creatine Phosphate) system is the first system to act when energy is needed. This system creates ATP at a faster rate than any other system.
Creatine turns into Creatine Phosphate to make ATP, a substance which provides the energy for muscle contractions. As the amount of Creatine Phosphate is limited, taking the aid of supplemental Creatine can boost Creatine levels.
Ok, there’s still a question in your mind that’s not been answered yet. Here we go…
Does Creatine Cause You To Gain Weight?
I am sorry; you won’t get a straight Yes or No answer to this one, because the question is a little misleading! You need to first understand what kind of weight you are going to gain as a result of Creatine use.
While our total body weight is contributed by both body fat and weight of lean (non-fat) muscle mass, Creatine (being low in calories, fat and carbohydrates) does not increase fat composition, it indeed cuts the body fat and increases the lean muscle mass.
So if it is said, muscles weigh more than fat, you’ll gain lean muscle weight if you are working out while supplementing with Creatine and not fat weight.
Now you know the right way to ask the same question. It should be the way stated below.
How Does Creatine Cause You Gain Lean Muscle Mass?
As told earlier, Creatine is the chief energy supplier to the muscle cells. Creatine draws water along with it while gaining entry into the muscle cells. The water retention causes cell volumization, making the muscles swell up due to water being drawn into them. This results in a higher amount of intracellular water and total body water, which typically shows up on the scale as 1 to 2Kg of body weight gain.
The additional water adds to better muscle protein synthesis, which causes the body to add more lean muscle mass.
Yet another reason for added lean muscle mass is Creatine’s ability to enhance the potential ATP, which lets you train for longer periods. The more intense workout you do, the more is the calorie you burn, which helps you lose weight over a period of time but build lean muscle mass.
In general, the long term supplementation with Creatine leads to an increase in muscle size with improved training and short term supplementation leads to an increase in the amount of water stored in muscle and makes them look bigger.
As a must to include here, Creatine shouldn’t be considered as a magic substance that gives you more muscles. Its supplementation gives you zero benefit if you are not working hard with it.
Creatine lets you work harder in the gym and get some incremental gains in strength and hypertrophy. Creatine although causes an increase in cell volume that makes the muscles look bigger, the weight gain caused is a combination of the addition of some lean muscle mass with increased intramuscular water retention.
Creatine will make you gain the weight you want: lean, solid muscle mass...
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