Does creatine cause bloating? Does creatine cause water retention? Is creatine only for men? There’s a lot of things that people believe creatine does, however how true are these? Here we’re going to look a little into some claims that are made against the use of creatine and talk about whether they ‘hold water’.
Does Creatine Cause Bloating?
I've heard this one a lot of times and at first, I used to be like “of course it doesn’t” as I never noticed any form of bloating with creatine. However, after a few people saying that it caused them to bloat I thought I’d look a bit deeper.
Well, it turns out that if creatine isn’t dissolved properly in your water, juice or whatever you take it with (could be in your pre-workout too for example) then for a short time, you can appear slightly bloated as the stomach is pulling water into it to help dissolve the creatine.
However, as soon as it’s done, you don’t stay bloated.
If you get this subtle bloat around the stomach area after taking creatine, try mixing it a little more or shaking it a little more in your shaker.
Also, using warm water increases the solubility a fair bit so it may be worth doing that too!
You can try it for yourself. Get two glasses one with warm water in and one with cold; put the same amount of creatine (3-5g for example) and mix. You’ll notice the warm water mixture turns into a solution much quicker. Magic!
Does Creatine Cause Water Retention?
So, does creatine cause water to be held under/between the skin…making us look as though we’re holding water?
Well if this was true, do you think people who work out and care about how they look would be taking it so widely?
Essentially creatine works by hydrating the muscle to a higher degree and increasing our ability to have explosive energy when working out, via increasing ATP (our bodies energy source); it’s particularly beneficial for those who workout and do explosive like sports!
Additionally, there are a lot of studies coming out showing cognitive benefits so it may be worth searching that online if you’re interested in that kind of thing.
Is Creatine Only For Men?
Creatine doesn’t work differently in men or women, we all have muscles!
As a lot of men take it, it’s understandable to see why the women could hesitate - however fear not, it’s fine!
Another concern women often tell me about creatine is that they don’t want to add weight from creatine.
Although you may add a little weight from creatine, it’s from the muscles being more hydrated, that’s all. The muscles will actually look better, so really it’s only going to benefit women. If you look better, but weigh a little more, who cares?