For decades, creatine has remained one of the most popular supplements for gym-goers and athletes. Thanks to its exceptional safety profile, creatine is being used by billions of athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts across the world.
Now coming to the big question - Can creatine make you gain weight? The quick and short answer is a big YES.
Studies have demonstrated that creatine supplementation can help you gain weight at a quick pace, especially when you're in the loading phase.
Importantly, the majority of weight gain achieved through creatine supplementation comes from extra water weight.
The good news is that this extra weight does not increase your body fat levels. You can expect to gain approximately 2-5 pounds initially with creatine supplements and then you can gain up to 6-8 pounds of muscle mass if you take creatine regularly.
Thankfully, the weight gains linked to creatine supplementation are primarily because of an increase in muscle mass (and not body fat) and water retention in the muscles. Creatine water retention is harmless.
In fact, creatine supplementation can help you improve your lifting performance. Creatine supplementation can increase your body's creatine stores that will, in turn, increase your exercise capacity (reps and sets).
Furthermore, you will experience improved recovery resulting in improved training quality and muscle mass that is definitely a good thing!
Often some creatine buyers are concerned about non-muscle weight gain, namely fat. However, creatine doesn't make you fat despite a seemingly quick increase in weight. This is because you will have to consume more calories than you expend for gaining fat.
A single scoop of creatine (approximately 3 grams) every day doesn't have any or a very small number of calories. You will not put on fat while using creatine if you consume a healthy diet and lead an active and healthy lifestyle.
If you take creatine supplements regularly and follow a well-defined workout and diet plan, it can help you gain muscle weight.
This is simply because creatine transforms into Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) to create more energy in the body. Furthermore, ATP is helpful to increase power, strength, cardiovascular health, and body composition while reducing soreness.
Adenosine Triphosphate is generally broken down at a quick pace in the muscles when you engage in a high-intensity activity that requires you to have an explosive burst of energy (such as standing back up after performing a weighted squat).
Creatine supplements help your body produce more of ATP and the increased energy experienced through repeated exercise and ATP bursts help you increase your muscle growth and performance.
In addition to these advantages, creatine also helps you recover quickly after an intense cardio, strength training, or gym session.
The use of creatine before, during, or after a workout can help greatly when it comes to muscle restoration, especially after strenuous workouts.
This is one of the biggest reasons why creatine supplementation is highly popular among athletes from a variety of sports, including but not limited to weightlifting, volleyball, cycling, running, and basketball.