Creatine is perhaps the most researched sports nutrition supplement on the planet. It’s been used for decades by bodybuilders, athletes, powerlifters, and regular gym rats to help them get bigger, stronger and faster in each of their respective fields.
But what if creatine wasn’t the golden boy supplement many would have you believe (at least in terms of dieting)?
What if creatine was actually hindering your fat loss?
We’ll dig into some interesting research and shed some light on whether or not creatine is a good guy or not in the war of muscle vs fat.
Before you go flushing your tub of creatine monohydrate powder down the toilet, like Lorraine Bracco in Goodfellas, listen up.
While there is some research showing that creatine may inhibit fat loss, there are also several studies which show creatine use has the exact opposite effect on the body.[1,2] Most of the studies in fact don’t find any changes in body fat percentage (i.e. fat mass vs total body mass).[3,4,5]
The issue with the majority of these studies though is that they measured on the total change in body fat, they didn’t actually measure the individual amounts of lean mass and fat mass. It’s only by doing this that one could actually gauge what creatine supplementation (or any other supplement) does to an athlete’s body composition.
How Does Creatine Inhibit Fat Loss?
A study was done in 2002, that investigated weight gain (absence of fat loss) in individuals using creatine. What the researchers found was that creatine impacted the respiratory exchange ratio (RER) in the body. RER is the amount of carbs vs fats that are oxidized (burned off) during exercise.
What this means is that creatine supplementation may cause the body to burn more stored carbohydrates during a workout rather than fatty acids. Furthermore, it would show that triglyceride levels would be elevated in the body as they aren’t shuttled into the mitochondria of a cell to be used for energy. This could be part of the explanation for why people think there creatine inhibits fat loss.
However, total caloric intake was not controlled during the course of these trials. Had the researchers put the test group on a restricted or carefully monitored diet, the results may in fact be completely different. So, while these results are interesting, they are far from hard and fast evidence that creatine supplementation is stunting your fat loss endeavors.
Creatine has been well researched and has proven time and again to be extremely beneficial in not only improving athletic performance, but also lean body mass.[7,8] The evidence against the use of creatine isn’t definitive enough to warrant a panic by the masses and the discontinuation of its use.
If you’re actually worried about it stalling your fat loss efforts, you could try stopping creatine supplementation use of a month and then truly gauge how your fat loss compares off creatine to when you were on it. At the end of the day though, if you worried about burning more fat during your workout and less carbohydrates, simply take your creatine post workout. The upside of creatine supplementation far outweighs any negligible effects it may have on fat loss.
Prepare with Nitramine!
Whether you think creatine is helping or hurting your fat loss efforts, one thing that won’t stall your efforts is Nitramine.
Myokem’s Nitramine is a creatine-free pre workout that will get you in the zone for your workout, allowing you to build muscle and burn fat. Take it 30-45 minutes before your workout and be prepared for the best workout you’ve ever had!
And if you want to add creatine, do it post workout, as explained in the article, Why There’s No Creatine in Nitramine!