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Is Creatine Good for Weight Loss? Let’s Find Out!

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Our Summary and Answer:

 

Creatine is a naturally occurring substance that’s found in the muscles of your body. It offers several benefits for people looking to lose weight and get fit, including improved energy levels during workouts and better muscle growth post-workout. But, losing weight requires a caloric deficit (eating less than you burn), so to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume.

 

Creatine is a substance that has long been known for its association with athletics. It’s an organic acid that occurs naturally in the human body, but it can also be found in some foods or supplements.

 

There are many different types of Creatine available today, and some people use it to improve athletic performance while others ingest it hoping to lose weight. So, let’s figure out if this supplement works as a weight-loss tool!

 

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What Is Creatine?

Creatine is a substance that is found naturally in the human body and aids with muscular energy. It is made up of amino acids, which are produced within the liver and kidneys.

 

Creatine is also present in some foods, such as fish or red meat; however, it’s difficult to get optimal levels from your diet only — so supplementation can significantly help.

 

Creatine is often associated with athletics — mainly weight-lifting — and is sometimes called the “Miracle Supplement” because of its ability to improve athletic performance.

 

Creatine is also popular among young people, who use it to gain weight and build muscle mass.

 

How does Creatine work?

Creatine works by increasing the availability of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, a source of energy in all cells in our bodies. This extra supply is beneficial to your muscles because it helps them contract more efficiently during intense physical activity (such as weightlifting).

 

The extra ATP is also beneficial to your brain and nerve cells because it helps them function better during long periods of physical activity (such as running a marathon) when the body is out of fuel.

 

Types of Creatine

Now that you know what Creatine is and how it works let’s look at the different types available today.

 

#1 - Monohydrate

This is the original Creatine, which is used in many of the supplements available today. It is 99% absorbed by your body, but it tends to cause bloating and stomach discomfort.

 

A good alternative is micronized monohydrate, which is also well-absorbed but causes fewer gastrointestinal problems than regular monohydrate.

 

Creatine monohydrate is usually taken in doses of about 5 grams a day.

 

#2 - Creatine Ethyl Ester

This is a form of Creatine that is supposed to be faster-acting and more efficient, but less effective. It can cause stomach discomfort or bloat as well.

 

Creatine Ethyl Ester is not as famous as other types of Creatine but is often used by people trying to build muscle mass.

 

#3 - Creatine Hydrochloride

This is another form of Creatine that is absorbed more efficiently by your body than monohydrate is. However, it is less effective and causes fewer gains in strength or muscle mass than other forms.

 

Creatine Hydrochloride is also the most expensive type available today, so many manufacturers use micronized monohydrate instead because it is cheaper to make.

 

Because of its superior solubility in water, Creatine is often found in pre-workout drinks taken before exercise.

 

It is highly recommended to drink plenty of water when using this supplement because it can cause dehydration if you do not stay hydrated enough.

 

#4 - Buffered Creatine

This is a type of Creatine that is supposed to reduce stomach problems and increase the effectiveness of monohydrates.

 

Manufacturers use an alkaline powder to make it, but there is no evidence that this form is better for you than monohydrate.

 

#5 - Creatine Magnesium Chelate

This is another variation of Creatine that is supposed to be better absorbed by your body than monohydrate is.

 

Magnesium is also a popular supplement, often used to improve athletic performance and build muscle mass, so this is a good combination of two supplements.

 

Benefits of Creatine in the Human Body

Let’s now look at some of the benefits that Creatine is supposed to have on your body.

 

#1 - Improved athletic performance

Creatine is one of the most popular supplements among athletes because it improves sprinting, endurance, and overall strength. However, it is also used by casual exercisers who want to get better results from their training regimen.

 

With Creatine, you should be able to work out harder and longer, recover faster between sets, and get better results from your training.

 

There is also evidence that Creatine is beneficial for older athletes who can no longer perform at the same level as they did when they were younger.

 

#2 - Improved brain function

Creatine is essential for your body’s cells because it is found in every human body cell, including those that make up our muscles and bones.

 

However, Creatine is also present in high amounts in your brain and other parts of the nervous system. For this reason, scientists believe that there is a link between creatine levels and brain function.

 

People who take creatine supplements often claim to have improved memory, better focus and concentration, and an overall improvement in how they feel.

 

#3 - Improved bone health

Although Creatine supplementation is most well-known for its benefits to your muscles, the fact is that it is also crucial in maintaining healthy bones. This is because your bones are constantly breaking down and re-growing, so they need a good energy supply to function correctly.

 

Many people think that carbohydrates come into play, but Creatine is also necessary for providing your body with the energy needed to build strong bones.

 

If you are planning on taking creatine supplements, it is essential that you also take enough calcium and vitamin D to maintain healthy bone density.

 

#4 - Improved liver function

Your liver is one of the most critical organs in your body because it is responsible for metabolizing nutrients found in food. One of these is Creatine, which is why scientists have been studying how this compound affects the health of your liver.

 

There is evidence that taking creatine supplements has many benefits to people who suffer from severe liver diseases, such as hepatitis.

 

In addition to this, recent studies have also shown that Creatine is helpful for people who suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease because it can improve the way your body processes fat and carbohydrates into energy.

 

#5 - Improved post-workout recovery

Many people who work out or exercise regularly experience muscle soreness and fatigue, especially when just starting. This is because your body is not used to the rigorous demands you place upon it during training sessions.

 

Creatine is believed to help reduce this kind of post-workout discomfort because it is an energy source that is readily available to your muscles. This means that they can work more efficiently while you are training and recover faster between sets, allowing you to get back in the gym sooner than you would otherwise be able to do.

 

#6 - Improved recovery after illness

People suffering from illnesses that cause a high fever or intense sweating may be at risk for rhabdomyolysis. This is when damaged muscle tissue begins to break down, releasing dangerous toxins into the body. The kidneys can become overloaded with these substances and may fail if they are not given enough time to recover between episodes of rhabdomyolysis.

 

You should be aware that creatine is not something you want to take if you are suffering from kidney problems or any other serious illness, as it can cause your body further harm by increasing the levels of toxins in your system.

 

#7 - Improved sexual function

Creatine is naturally found in the human body, which means that it can process through your kidneys and liver without any problems. However, some people have reported unwanted side effects of creatine supplements, including muscle cramping and pain. This is often caused by something called hypercalciuria or high levels of calcium in the blood.

 

The good news is that people who are suffering from these side effects can usually alleviate the problem by simply taking more vitamin D and calcium, which will help regulate your body’s creatine levels, so you don’t experience any adverse symptoms.

 

#8 - Improved visual performance

Creatine is known for its ability to improve the way your muscle’s function, but did you know that it can also help boost your cognitive skills and even enhance the efficiency of your eyes? The compound has been shown in several studies to increase choline levels, which then increases blood flow throughout the body. This includes more oxygen and nutrients to the cells in your eyes, allowing you to see more clearly.

 

#9 - Helps with Losing Fat

One of the most common reasons people take creatine is because they want to increase their rate of muscle growth and minimize fat gain.

 

Creatine monohydrate has been shown in studies to help improve your body’s ability to maintain its current weight and lose fat while gaining lean muscle tissue. After all, it only makes sense that the leaner muscle you have, the faster your body can burn through excess fat because it will need to use that stored energy for fuel.

 

#10 - Muscular Endurance

Creatine supplementation has been shown to help improve muscular endurance as well. This means that you will be able to do more reps with a given weight before your muscles become tired and need a break.

 

Muscular endurance is necessary because it will help you maintain the proper form, essential for building muscle quickly and avoiding injuries.

 

Downsides of Creatine

Although there are many benefits to using creatine, there are also some downsides. Let’s go over the main disadvantages that the compound can cause.

 

#1 - Creatine Bloating

If you’re taking Creatine, then there is a good chance that you’ve experienced some degree of bloating in your muscles. This usually starts to occur after about five days from when you started supplementing with creatine and can persist for up to three weeks before it subsides naturally.

 

This occurs because creatine can cause your body to retain more water in the muscles.

 

This will help increase the size of your muscles, but it may also make them feel puffy and bloated. You should know that this is perfectly normal when you are supplementing with creatine monohydrate. It’s just something you have to deal with until your body has fully adjusted to the compound.

 

If you experience a lot of bloating after taking creatine, it would be helpful if you took some time off from supplementation and allowed your body to flush out all of the excess fluids stored in your muscles.

 

For this process to work effectively, make sure that you are drinking at least two to three litres of water per day while you’re taking creatine.

 

This will help your muscles stay hydrated since it takes up extra space in the cells usually reserved for fluids.

 

The best way to avoid this is by cycling your creatine instead of continually using it every single day. If you cycle on and off creatine, then you can prevent your body from developing a tolerance to the supplement.

 

When cycling creatine, make sure that you take at least three weeks off of supplementation before starting it up again. This will allow your muscles enough time to get rid of any extra fluids they’ve accumulated while taking the compound, so you don’t suffer from bloating after starting the supplementation again.

 

#2 - Creatine Causes Muscle Cramps

Another disadvantage of creatine monohydrate is that it can cause muscle cramps. If you are deficient in magnesium, then this may be even more likely to occur.

 

In addition, creatine will pull water into the muscles, leading to dehydration and triggering a painful muscle spasm when your body contracts too quickly. This usually occurs when you are sleeping, and it is widespread if you take creatine right before going to sleep.

 

If you want to avoid this, then try taking a few fewer scoops of your creatine supplement every day so that the levels in your body won’t build up as quickly. You can also consume extra water when using creatine monohydrate, which will help keep the muscles well-hydrated.

 

For this reason, you should always take your creatine with a glass of water or fruit juice so that it doesn’t have to draw fluids from within the cells to dissolve properly.

 

#3 - Creatine Can Impair Liver Function

Another side effect of creatine supplementation is that it can impair liver function. This usually occurs when you are using more than the recommended dose and ingesting other supplements which contain caffeine at the same time.

 

Combining these substances will put your body under a lot of stress, so make sure to limit yourself to only one cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverages while taking creatine.

 

Suppose your liver is already in poor condition. In that case, this could be especially dangerous for you. It would probably be best to avoid using any supplements that contain caffeine until your liver has fully recovered from the stress placed on it by creatine supplementation.

 

This usually only occurs when you take more than the recommended dose of creatine, so make sure to stick with only one heaping tablespoon per day if you want to avoid any issues.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can creatine be used for fat loss?

Yes, creatine is an excellent choice for fat loss, and it works incredibly well when combined with other supplements like caffeine or branched-chain amino acids. However, you should only take the recommended dose of one heaping tablespoon per day to avoid liver damage from the overuse of this compound.

 

Does creatine flatten your stomach?

No, creatine does not have any direct effect on your abdominal muscles. However, it can help you lose weight by reducing the amount of water in your body to make it easier to maintain a slim physique. Still, creatine has no unique properties that will flatten out specific parts of the stomach or waistline.

 

Is Creatine Safe?

Yes, creatine is safe for most people to use. It can help you lose weight while preserving muscle mass, and it usually does not cause any side effects when used in moderation with the recommended dose of one heaping tablespoon per day. However, if you are taking other medications or have pre-existing conditions that affect your kidneys, creatine may be dangerous, so it would be best to avoid its use.

 

Final Thoughts

Creatine is a supplement that can help you build muscle, but it may not be the best weight loss solution. Before taking this dietary supplement, creatine’s benefits in the human body and downsides of creatine.

 

Check with your doctor or dietician if you have any questions about whether to take creatine supplements for health reasons!

 

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