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Does Creatine Cause you to Gain Weight?

man on scaleCreatine is a supplement that helps you get the most out of the workouts in the gym by giving you the energy you need to get those extra reps in.  It’s one of the most popular supplements among weightlifters because of it’s excellent strength building benefits.  With all of the good that creatine can do for you, why do many people shy away from taking it?

Weight Gain.

You’re in the gym working your ass off to get that beach ready body for the summer – why would you want to take something that will put on weight?  Before you jump to conclusions about creatine, let me explain how it work and why even if you’re trying to get ready for the beach you should be taking it.

Why Do You Gain Weight on Creatine?

Weight gain does not happen to everyone that uses it as a supplement.  Before we get into why, we need to take a step back to review how creatine works.

Creatine hands off energy to your cells during explosive workouts so you can in an extra rep or push yourself harder during your workouts.  That extra intensity during your workouts help you shed that extra weight or pack on that extra muscle.

When Creatine enters your cells it also pulls water into your muscle cells which causes the water retention.  That water has weight to it which is why most people will gain between 1-5lbs when loading up on creatine.  The good news is that it’s simply water weight, it will all go away when you cycle off of creatine.

The weight you will gain is the extra muscle that you’ll have because you were using creatine.  I’m sure nobody will be complaining about that extra weight though!

Creatine During Cutting

One question that many people ask is about creatine using during a cutting down or slimming down phase.  Personally I have stuck with using creatine throughout the cutting phase but cycled off about two weeks before I needed to be down at my lowest weight.

couple_fitnessThe water weight from creatine will take between 1-2 weeks to work its way out of your body. If you have a show coming up for example you will want to stop taking creatine about 2 weeks before your show.

I believe it’s important to stay on creatine even during your cutting phase to ensure that you are still receiving the benefits from creatine.

You shouldn’t be afraid of the weight gain that comes along with creatine since it is all water weight.  Many people believe that you will gain extra fat for being on creatine but that is just a myth.  The real weight gain should be with the extra muscle that you’ll be packing on because you’re hitting the gym hard!

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