Creatine and Weight Loss – Is It Effective?
Creatine and protein are a body builder’s bread and butter: they’re essential for building visibly bigger, leaner, stronger muscles without the use of steroids or dangerous chemicals but is there more to creatine that can help you lose weight too?
According to Melvin H. Williams, author of the book Nutrition for Health, Fitness, and sport, creatine is one of the most popular sports supplements of all time and not only because it works to help you build muscle. Yet, creatine and weight loss are commonly used in the same sentence.
Many do not understand creatine’s true function in the body, and consequently wonder if it’s only for people who want to buld up and add muscle.
Creatine is a compound formed during protein metabolism and is present in living tissue. It is essential for supplying energy and is especially useful for short-term maximal exercise tasks (such as squats or bench pressing).
Without supplementation, the body produces (and then uses) roughly two grams of creatine per day, most of which is stored in the muscle cells.
According to experts at Mayoclinic.com, “the majority of total adult body pool of creatine is stored in muscle. Creatine is slowly metabolized in muscle tissue to creatinine (creatine to creatine phosphate to creatinine). Creatine may be cleared through skeletal muscle and the kidney.
How Does Creatine Work?
During explosive bursts of intense physical activity, the body relies on ATP in order to fuel muscle contractions. Muscle enzymes break apart a high-energy compound called creatine phosphate, leaving you with a molecule called ADP. Later the phosphate is recombined with the ADP molecule to from ATP, your body’s primary source of energy.
The energy released from the breaking and recombining of the ADP and ATP molecules provides an additional 10 to 20 seconds of energy for performing maximum muscular contractions.
Athletes often turn to creatine to saturate muscle cells and improve physical performance, “many of whom consider it to have similar effects as anabolic steroids without the side effects” – Cathy Wong, ND, CNS.
Will Gain Or Lose Weight With Creatine?
The answer is yes.
Before you try to puzzle that one out, here’s a quick breakdown why creatine is capable of promoting both fat loss and weight gain . . .
As a Muscle Builder: According to Paul Greenhaff, PhD, if you take creatine, you’ll gain weight – quickly.
Due to the fact that creatine attracts water and other fluids into the muscle cells, initial gain is about 2 to 4 pounds in the first week of supplementation, and subsequent gains may occur as you increase your workload.
However, this is water weight – not fat or muscle. How much you gain or lose depends entirely on your calorie intake and current exercise regimen.
“Only when combined with exercise does it improve the quality of training,” points out Greenhaff, “you still have to do the work.”
As a Fat Burner: Typically speaking, Creatine is used as a natural solution for gaining weight rather than losing it, due to the fact that even with a consistent and intense workout plan, most consumers tend to gain weight in the form of lean muscle and water.
However, Creatine is a powerful thermogenic and it a reliable source for accelerating energy levels and increasing the ability to exercise more – both of which can contribute to weight loss.
In a study conducted at Skidmore College, subjects who took creatine for 28 days increased their resting metabolic rate by about 3%, and when added to a weight training program, their RMR increased by 6%.
If you don’t mind the fact that the numbers on the scale might not be moving very quickly, you could still potentially use creatine as a weight loss supplement as you’ll still be losing fat.
What’s the Best Creatine for Weight Loss?
When it comes to creatine and weight loss, you’ll need to make sure you choose a powder that’s low in calories so you can increase lean muscle mass without adding on the extra pounds of fat as well.
According to Chad Kersick, PhD, a creatine powder is the way to go (as opposed to liquid creatine), due to the fact that other types of creatine break down too quickly in the blood stream. 100% pure creatine powder is best, and you’ll want to combine it with fruit juice in order to get the best results.
Why fruit juice? The sugar in juice raises insulin levels, which increases the muscles ability to absorb creatine. You’ll need about 70 grams of simple sugars for every five grams of creatine in order to maximize your results.
“Buy the best stuff you can afford,” says Brittany Risher, expert at Men’s Health, ”It’s your body – this isn’t the time to get cheap.”
Which creatine powder do experts and consumers recommend?
Try taking a closer look at Myoswell, one of the best creatine supplements on the market. Myoswell offers a high quality blend of creatine to significantly improve muscle building and strength, and consumers love its abilities to stack with other muscle building products.
You can order it from Amazon.com or go straight to the manufacturers at myoswell.com for additional discounts and deals.