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Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight? What Is The Truth?


Creatine is one of the most popular sports supplements used by athletes and bodybuilders to enhance performance and increase muscle mass. But a common concern is that creatine may cause weight gain. 

Creatine is a molecule that occurs naturally in the human body to supply energy to muscles. It is also found in many protein-rich foods like meat and fish. Creatine supplements are commonly taken to boost the body’s creatine stores, providing muscles with more energy and enabling greater strength and endurance during high-intensity exercise.

Benefits Of Creatine

Creatine And Weight Gain

Some of the major benefits of creatine supplementation include:

  • Increased muscle mass and lean body mass – Creatine helps draw more water into muscle cells, causing muscles to swell and appear larger. It can enable faster muscle growth when combined with strength training.
  • Improved strength and power – By providing muscles with more rapid energy, creatine boosts performance in activities requiring quick bursts of effort like weight lifting or sprints. 
  • Enhanced muscle endurance – The increased availability of energy may delay fatigue when performing repeated muscle contractions.
  • Faster post-workout muscle recovery – Creatine assists in regenerating muscle energy stores after intense exercise. This aids muscle repair and growth.
  • Neuroprotective effects – Some research indicates creatine may protect the brain from disorders like Parkinson’s by improving cellular energy.
  • Reduce fatigue and tiredness – Creatine supplementation can lower fatigue levels by providing readily available energy during exercise.

Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight?

A common myth is that creatine supplementation inevitably causes weight gain, particularly in the form of water weight. But does the scientific evidence support this?

Creatine does lead to modest water weight gains in most people because it draws extra water into the muscle tissue. With creatine supplementation, users often gain around 0.5 to 2 kg within the first week. 

However, these increases are primarily due to water moving into the muscles, not excess body fat. Also, the initial spike in weight normalizes within a few weeks as the muscles become saturated. 

Long-term studies show minimal differences in weight gain between those taking creatine compared to placebo groups. A review encompassing 22 trials found that creatine did not significantly alter long-term body mass.

The water-weight effects of creatine also appear to diminish with consistent use. One study reported subjects gained 1.6 kg after six weeks of creatine loading but only maintained an increase of 0.7 kg after 12 weeks.

Creatine only promotes meaningful weight gain when combined with proper strength training. It does not increase fat storage but aids muscle growth by improving training capacity and recovery. Any increase in total body mass from creatine is likely due to an increase in lean muscle.

How To Use Creatine Safely Without Gaining Weight? 

Most people will not experience significant unwanted weight gain with creatine use. But here are some strategies to optimize creatine supplementation for building muscle and strength without adding excess body weight:

  • Cycling on and off – Don’t stay on creatine continuously for long periods. Take it for 8-12 weeks, followed by a break of 4 weeks. This allows the body to not remain oversaturated, reducing water retention.
  • Lower dose – Stick to around 3-5 grams per day and adjust based on your response rather than continually increasing the dosage. Avoid loading phases of 20 or more grams per day. 
  • Maintain proper hydration – Drink adequate water daily to supply muscles with fluid and prevent dehydration. This offsets intra-muscular water accumulation.
  • Follow a moderate carb diet – Keep carbohydrate intake at less than 60% of total calories. High-carb diets can increase water retention with creatine use.  
  • Exercise regularly – Combine creatine with consistent strength or resistance training to maximize lean muscle growth rather than fat.
  • Weigh consistently – Check your weight weekly under consistent conditions to catch any spikes early.

The slight water weight gain created by creatine is a normal response in the muscles and not a cause for health concerns. With smart use, creatine can boost your strength, endurance, and workout capacity without unwanted flab.


While creatine can lead to a quick increase in weight due to drawing water into the muscles, it does not result in fat gain when used properly alongside exercise. The extra weight is from water moving into muscle cells, not excess body fat. Cycling creatine rather than using it continuously can reduce water retention. Combining creatine supplementation with consistent strength training enables building lean muscle mass and strength, not just weight gain. Through moderate dosage, staying well hydrated, and exercising regularly, creatine’s benefits can be obtained without significant unwanted weight gain for most people.


Q: Does creatine cause you to gain belly fat?

A: No, creatine does not increase belly fat or fat gain in general. The small weight gain seen is from water moving into muscle tissue, not increased body fat. 

Q: Will creatine make me look bloated?

A: Minor bloating is possible in the first 1-2 weeks of creatine use as the muscles uptake more water. This initial bloating effect should subside as the body adjusts. Proper hydration and carbohydrate intake can prevent excessive bloating.

Q: Does creatine cause water retention?

A: Creatine does increase water content in the muscles due to its effect of drawing more water into muscle cells. But this does not result in overall body water retention or distorted appearance when used properly.

Q: Can I avoid weight gain with creatine cycling? 

A: Yes, cycling on and off creatine rather than using it continuously can reduce water retention in the muscles. This prevents oversaturation and helps minimize weight gain.

Q: How much weight will I gain from creatine?

A: Most users gain around 0.5-2 kg within the first 1-2 weeks of starting creatine, mainly from increased muscular water content. The weight gain then stabilizes and is unlikely to continually increase with ongoing use.

Dr. Harold Gojiberry is not just your ordinary General Practitioner; he is a compassionate healthcare provider with a deep commitment to patient well-being and a passion for literature. With extensive medical knowledge and experience, Dr. Gojiberry has made a significant impact in the field of healthcare, particularly in the area of liver diseases and viral hepatitis.

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