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Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight?

The Truth About Creatine & Weight Gain

Myth: Creatine makes you fat. 

Yes, creatine might make you a bit heavier, but this weight is not fat!  

A common side effect of creatine supplementation is a bigger number on the scale, but this doesn’t mean you’re gaining fat. 

What is Creatine? 

Creatine is an amino acid naturally produced by your body in the skeletal muscles and brain. You can also get creatine through your diet by consuming foods like red meat, poultry, salmon, and cheese.  

Almost 95% of your body’s creatine is stored as phosphocreatine in your muscles, making it vital for exercise, muscle contraction, and any form of physical labor. 

What does creatine do in the body? 

Phosphocreatine is responsible for your body’s production of ATP or usable energy that your cells and muscles use to function. 

Taking a creatine supplement can help saturate your muscles in phosphocreatine, which means there’s more energy for exercise. This also means you can have longer workout sessions for better gains and better results.  

Creatine also helps hydrate the muscles which supports muscle restoration after intense workouts. 

Does Creatine Cause Weight Gain? 

Yes and no. When you first start creatine supplementation, you may gain a little bit of weight, but this is only water weight. As an extremely hydrophilic molecule that draws water into the muscle tissue, creatine can cause a temporary bloat. This can also result in a larger number on the scale.  

However, this water weight gain is not the same thing as fat gain, and it might actually be a good thing for your fitness goals.  

Why Creatine Causes Water Retention 

Most of the time, creatine water retention comes from taking way too much creatine. The traditional method of creatine loading, which is to take 5 grams of creatine up to four times a day for one to two weeks, can definitely cause some water retention. 

This phase of loading is especially popular with bodybuilders, but the rest of the world doesn’t have to follow this regimen.  

Another thing to note is that even a regular dose of creatine might cause temporary water weight, but once your body adjusts to higher phosphocreatine levels, the water should be depleted. Plus, the extra water in your muscles helps with workout performance and workout recovery. The result? You can build up lean mass and toned muscles.  

If you’re well past the first phase of creatine supplementation and you still see a bigger number on the scale, ask yourself two questions: Is this muscle gain or fat gain? Has my diet changed since I began taking creatine? 

Creatine and Muscle Gain 

So, you’re following a clean diet, going to the gym regularly, and yet, you notice changes in your body composition. We want to assure you that there’s no cause for alarm. You may just be gaining lean muscle mass, and that’s agood thing.  

A pound of muscle is denser than a pound of fat, which means that even if the number on scale is going up, you can still appear toned and fit.  

Can Creatine Make You Fatter? 

Creatine cannot make you gain fat. In fact, there’s been a study that revealed that creatine supported fat loss, although more studies need to be conducted to prove this [1]. What may cause fat gain is overcompensating for your active lifestyle with a richer, calorically dense diet. 

If you just started working out, you might have an increased appetite, which can result in a calorie surplus. Creatine itself doesn’t have any calories, nor does it cause fat gain. 

How to Avoid Water Weight When Taking Creatine 

If you’re taking a regular dose of creatine (anywhere from 1 gram to 5 grams per day), water weight shouldn’t be a real problem. If you still deal with a little bit of water retention, make sure you drink lots of water to stay hydrated. 

Should I Take Creatine? 

Yes, you should take creatine. Creatine supplementation is beneficial for everyone, regardless of age, gender, or physical activity. While it has a reputation for being a workout supplement for gym bros and pro athletes, creatine goes beyond bodybuilding and exercise. 

Creatine Supports Cognitive Function  

Creatine has been shown to have a biochemical role in supporting cognitive function and mood [2]. Aclinical study was conducted on creatine supplementation and mental fatigue, and the results showed that taking creatine supported subjects’ cognitive performance. 

Because creatine is stored in both the brain and muscles, it plays a crucial role in producing ATP for both the brain and muscles to use. 

Another trial found that women with depression responded better to their SSRIs when taken in combination with creatine [3].  

Can Women Take Creatine? 

Yes, women can take creatine and it is becoming increasingly popular! 

ATP is not only used by our muscles but by every single cell in our bodies. This energy source is crucial for cellular synthesis and cellular function.  

The Best Type of Creatine For You 

There are two popular types of creatine available on the market: creatine HCL and creatine monohydrate. Creatine HCL is known to be more potent, have faster absorption, and smaller doses for the same benefits. However, the wealth of research on creatine monohydrate makes it the supreme form of creatine for supplementation. Creatine monohydrate is the most studied supplement, and it’s made for all types of people. As a science-backed nutrient, creatine monohydrate is the best type of creatine.  

The Best Form of Creatine Monohydrate 

Creatine monohydrate comes in powder, pills, and even gummies. The most important thing to consider when looking for a creatine monohydrate supplement is not the form, but the dose and quality. Smarter provides premium qualityCreatine Monohydrate Powder andCreatine Monohydrate Pills. Powder creatine often comes with a scoop, which means it can provide a bigger dose, while pills are more convenient.  

Creatine gummies are a new, popular form of creatine, but they are often loaded with artificial flavors and sugars. In the long run, taking creatine gummies every single day might not be the most optimal form of creatine supplementation.  

How to Take Creatine 

Taking creatine is all about dose, hydration, and timing. The recommended dose for adults is around 3 to 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day. Some bodybuilders take quadruple this amount during their loading phase, which is the first stage of taking creatine to saturate the muscles in phosphocreatine. While this loading phase benefits pro athletes and bodybuilders, it isn’t mandatory for everyone.  

Drink Water with Creatine  

It’s important to make sure you’re drinking enough water with any creatine supplementation. Taking creatine can cause water retention and bloating, and the best way to mitigate this reaction is to drink plenty of water. This helps balance the water retention you might experience with taking creatine. Men are recommended to drink 15.5 cups or 3.7 liters of fluids a day while women are recommended to drink 11.5 cups or 2.7 liters a day, according toMayo Clinic. 

Timing Your Creatine Supplementation 

There’s a lot of debate onthe best time to take creatine. Science tells us that the best way to recharge and support your workouts is to take creatine monohydrate before or after the workout. However, the most important thing about creatine supplementation is consistency. Taking a regular dose of creatine every single day, even on rest days, will truly benefit you in the long run.  

Bottom Line: Creatine Should Not Make You Fat! 

Creatine alone will never cause unwanted fat gain. If you’re taking regular doses of creatine and not increasing your daily caloric intake, you shouldn’t experience drastic changes in your appearance or weight. 

Creatine offers a wide range of benefits for women and men, making it a great addition to your daily routine. Shop Smarter’s cleanCreatine Monohydrate Powder orCreatine Monohydrate Pills to support your muscles, cognitive function, and stamina. 



  1. Forbes, S. C., Candow, D. G., Krentz, J. R., Roberts, M. D., & Young, K. C. (2019). Changes in Fat Mass Following Creatine Supplementation and Resistance Training in Adults ≥ 50 Years of Age: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of functional morphology and kinesiology, 4(3), 62.  
  1. Watanabe, A., Kato, N., & Kato, T. (2002). Effects of creatine on mental fatigue and cerebral hemoglobin oxygenation. Neuroscience research, 42(4), 279–285.  
  1. In Kyoon Lyoo, M.D., Ph.D., Sujung Yoon, M.D., Ph.D., Tae-Suk Kim, M.D., Ph.D., Jaeuk Hwang, M.D. (2012). A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial of Oral Creatine Monohydrate Augmentation for Enhanced Response to a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor in Women With Major Depressive Disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry. 
  1. Muccini, A. M., Tran, N. T., de Guingand, D. L., Philip, M., Della Gatta, P. A., Galinsky, R., Sherman, L. S., Kelleher, M. A., Palmer, K. R., Berry, M. J., Walker, D. W., Snow, R. J., & Ellery, S. J. (2021). Creatine Metabolism in Female Reproduction, Pregnancy and Newborn Health. Nutrients, 13(2), 490.  

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