What happens if I take creatine and I do not work out?
Creatine supplementation is safe since the body already naturally produces 1-2g of creatine a day.
By taking 3-5g of creatine a day for 12-16 weeks, you may feel some increase in muscle synthesis, performance, and fatigue resistance. However, you could also experience no response since your diet may already provide you with enough daily creatine through whole foods.
Do you know what stinks?
When you are trying to find an answer to your questions but cannot seem to get a straight answer.
There are always two sides to the issue and you really do not know who to trust.
Until you start to question these opinions, you really will not get anywhere.
Understanding the intricacies of creatine should be straightforward, right?
There are a lot of resources that list the science behind creatine and what it does exactly in your body.
But there is one thing these facts do not address - your personal concerns.
Your symptoms should be addressed because I am sure you are not the only one with them.
There are millions of people who probably felt the same but are unable to find out the true answer.
So, let us dive into some of the frequently asked questions by the people.
- What is creatine?
- What does creatine do in our bodies?
- Does creatine provide any additional health benefits, besides performance improvement?
- How much creatine does the body produce in a day?
- Does creatine make you bloated?
- Does creatine help you gain weight?
- Can creatine make you tired?
WHAT IS CREATINE?
Creatine is a compound, an amino acid derivative, created from methionine, arginine, and glycine.
Creatine is already a natural substance found in the body since it is used in the production of ATP(adenosine triphosphate).
ATP is vital in everyday activities since every cell uses ATP to continue to do work and function.
Creatine is one of the few supplements in the health industry that ACTUALLY has proven results and is SAFE (when taken correctly).
With this powerful combination, there is no wonder why
WHAT DOES CREATINE DO IN OUR BODIES?
Creatine is used for two major functions—
- increasing muscle mass
- increasing protein synthesis
This is one reason why creatine responders see a slight weight gain in the initial week of taking a creatine supplement.
As more creatine is stored in your cells, more water is retained.
But overall, creatine is used for quick ATP production, an immediate source of energy in the body.
Supplementation is also correlated with increased strength, muscle mass, and fatigue resistance.
Want the specifics?
More research also supports creatine supplementation for athletes for:
- Decrease blood lactate accumulation in aerobic athletes
- Decrease fatigue symptoms for high intensity short duration exercises
- Increase in lean mass
- Enhance muscle glycogen accumulation
- Limits loss of strength and muscle damage, after exercise
- Improved cognitive and neurological function
However, let us not forget that there are other effects of creatine supplementation:
- Decrease flexibility and range of motion
What do I mean by non-responsive?
You are likely to respond to creatine supplementation if you fall under any one of these categories:
- Lower levels of total muscle creatine content
- Greater population of Type 2 muscle fibers
- Possess higher potential to increase performance
What does this all mean?
This means that creatine supplementation for people who do not work out will not have any benefits.
On the flip side, people who are athletes and demand high physical outputs from their bodies can see the potential for creatine supplementation.
You need to use your body to keep muscle.
You lose what you do not use.
DOES CREATINE PROVIDE ANY ADDITIONAL HEALTH BENEFITS, BESIDES PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT?
Based on current research, creatine may improve symptoms in people suffering from neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s disease, etc.
More creatine is attributed to an increase in overall cellular biogenetics, which heals the body.
There is always conflicting research, especially in the world of pharmaceuticals.
The elderly population should be especially careful as taking creatine without proper hydration can lead to kidney damage.
The renal processes slow down with age and are not as efficient as younger kidneys, making this a potential hazard if you require creatine supplementation.
HOW MUCH CREATINE DOES YOUR BODY PRODUCE A DAY?
Creatine is naturally produced in your body in the kidneys, pancreas, and liver at a combined rate of 1-2g/day.
DOES CREATINE MAKE YOU BLOATED?
High dosage of creatine intake can lead to water retention, which causes you to feel bloated.
To alleviate the bloating, reduce your intake or stop taking creatine altogether.
You will see the bloating subside within a few days.
Is creatine bad for abs?
Creatine alone will not enable you to have more abs or get them faster; consistent dieting with abdominal hypertrophy are the two fool-proof methods.
It will also depend on your reaction to creatine as if can make you bloat, which will restrict the visibility of your abs.
So, some lifters make look bigger because they are holding in more water from creatine.
However, there is no significant difference with abs definition or visibility so it should not be a big factor to ponder about.
DOES CREATINE HELP YOU GAIN WEIGHT?
For some takers, creatine can help you gain as much as 4lbs in 7 days due to water retention.
Something else you should consider is if you only do compound exercises to improve your physique.
Supplementation is only a small part of the equation for permanent muscle and mass gain.
CAN CREATINE MAKE YOU TIRED?
Tiredness is not one of the symptoms of taking creatine.
However, not drinking a sufficient amount of water can cause you to be dehydrated, which can indirectly cause you to feel tired.
This makes sense.
When you initially take creatine, your body will retain more water than usual.
As a response, you should be drinking more water to help balance this chain of events.
Unfortunately, many people are unaware of their sensations or do not think about the foods, drinks, and supplements they ingest.
But once thing is certain, you should not be feeling tired during a workout for the wrong reasons.
Everyone wants a magic formula that solves all their concerns.
People do not want to work for their riches.
In fact, your body is one of the most magical things to have ever happened.
To efficiently go through all the bodily processes and to keep you alive and healthy, what more could we ask for?
MAKE SURE TO EXERCISE
Are you someone who does not exercise?
You should think twice.
Especially if you are a beginner lifter using Greyskull LP.
If you are taking creatine supplementation and not exercising, you might as well shoot yourself in the foot.
Based on research, creatine has shown improvement in performance and muscular growth.
Why not take advantage of these benefits of your supplementation?
Why waste time by not taking advantage of creatine supplementation that you want to take anyway?
SLEEP IS VITAL
We can discuss and debate all the pros and cons of taking creatine or any other supplement that has shown improved health benefits.
But all of this information is of no use.
The information is of no use if we do not get enough sleep.
And do not get me started about lifters who work out with only 5 hours of sleep.
Your body heals and rebuilds itself when we are sleeping.
Do not be alarmed if you lose muscle overnight.
Most of our important system regulations occur when we are sleeping, where our body detoxifies itself and prepares itself for another day.
Take your sleep seriously.
VISIT A PHYSICIAN
Go to your doctor if your symptoms of tiredness are not going away.
Lingering tiredness may be a sign of some other complication so it is not a bad idea to get yourself checked out.
Will I lose muscle if I stop taking creatine?
You will not lose muscle if you stop taking creatine. This is a myth.
These are some typical symptoms you can experience if you stop taking creatine—
- Losing water weight
- Minor loss in gym performance
However, many people will also find that it is fairly easy to build back up to previous gym PRs even after getting off creatine for weeks.
Research has not disproven that creatine has any detrimental long term effects, which makes it one of the safest and most effective supplements for anybody who is serious about building some strength and size.
Do yourself a favor and take control of your life.
Figure out what you want to achieve in the gym.
Make a plan and start the work.
DO I NEED TO CYCLE CREATINE?
No, you do not need to cycle creatine.
Like all supplementation, you do not need to cycle on/off and you do not need to continue it forever if your reasons for supplementation have been fixed.
Depending on who you ask, you will get a variety of answers.
Fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders may tell you to cycle on and off creatine every couple of weeks.
Kind of simple to cycling deloads— deload week vs a week off, when to do either.
Doctors may tell you not to take it at all.
The internet may tell you to take it forever, 3-5g a day.
So, the best thing to do is to align your supplementation with your goals.
In this section, we will discuss how to mix creatine with various liquids:
- Mixing creatine with hot/warm water
- Mixing creatine with coffee
- Mixing creatine with preworkout
- Mixing creatine with C4
SHOULD I MIX CREATINE IN HOT OR WARM WATER?
According to chemistry, creatine powder will break up more effectively when mixed in hot water than opposed to cold water.
This is because compounds react more readily at higher temperatures.
When your creatine mixture is ingested, the warm mixture increases the rate of absorption into our muscles and bloodstream.
CAN I MIX CREATINE WITH COFFEE?
Yes, you can mix creatine with your coffee. Just be sure to drink more water throughout the day as both coffee and creatine dehydrate you.
IS IT OKAY TO MIX CREATINE WITH PREWORKOUT?
Depending on your preworkout brand, creatine may already be included in the ingredients.
You can take creatine alone as a preworkout.
This can help saturate your muscle prior to working out and will enable your body the potential to produce more ATP.
WHAT IS PREWORKOUT?
Preworkout is a bodybuilding supplement that provides the lifter a sudden boost of energy.
Preworkout is made up of caffeine, which provides an energy spike, amino acids, like beta alanine and L-citrulline, and creatine.
Preworkouts usually mixed with a combination of ingredients that provide powerful effects in energy bursts and muscle recovery.
CAN YOU TAKE C4 AND CREATINE TOGETHER?
Yes, it is acceptable to take C4 and creatine together.
Make sure to drink enough water as creatine can cause dehydration.
WHAT IS C4 ORIGINAL PREWORKOUT?
C4 Original Preworkout, usually abbreviated as C4, is a preworkout supplement created by the brand Cellucor.
The ingredients of C4 Original Preworkout are beta-alanine, creatine nitrate, caffeine, and arginine.
So, the ingredients are some amino acids, creatine nitrate, and caffeine.
We have introduced synthesized supplements. Why not creatine products?
In this section, we will discuss:
- Creatine nitrate vs creatine monohydrate
- Is it worth it to take creatine?
CREATINE NITRATE VS CREATINE MONOHYDRATE, WHICH IS BETTER?
The claims that creatine nitrate being the superior creatine form is not true.
Based on current research, creatine monohydrate has proven to produce results better than that of creatine nitrate.
Creatine nitrate has been proven to dissolve better than creatine monohydrate.
The new creation of creatine nitrate makes it more water-soluble, enabling a better tasting product and drinking experience.
However, researchers have found that creatine nitrate only works to produce results when mixed with creatine monohydrate, a mixture of the two creatines.
What does this mean for you?
You would be better off spending your coin on creatine monohydrate, the pure form of creatine that studies have proven to work over new hyped-up compounds that studies have not backed up.
IS IT WORTH IT TO TAKE CREATINE?
If you eat a whole food diet, filled with quality proteins, carbohydrates, vegetables, and fats, it is not worth it to take creatine.
The answer to this question is very tricky because it depends on your training goals and health condition.
If you find that you want to get an extra boost in performance while understanding the facts about creatine, go ahead.
Unless you are creatine deficient or need to take creatine for medical concerns or performance enhancements, it is difficult to justify taking creatine other than having one or more of the reasons above.
Creatine is found in a majority of our red meats, pork, poultry, and fish.
If you are a vegetarian, it may be worth supplementing creatine (and many other nutrients commonly found in meat).
With that said, a majority of people do not need a creatine supplement especially if you live in an established country where red meat is readily available from a butcher or supermarket.
And even if you do work out, hitting a 405lbs deadlift can be achieved without any supplements.
Hell, even if you deadlift every week, you can still make great progress without any creatine.
That is... if you are recovering properly with adequate nutrition.
In general, my answer would be no for generally 99% of the people reading this piece.
Unless you have a rare condition or start to compete in competitions that you need to rank in, you will find that creatine supplementation is not worth it for you.
You would rather spend that money on yourself or your family and eat a nice big piece of steak.
SHOULD I TAKE CREATINE ON MY REST DAYS
It is best to follow the product’s recommendation on supplementation, which states that you should continue to take creatine every day, even on rest days.
But probably what is even more important is your nutrition on your off days.
Relax and enjoy your burger after workouts.
Are gains from creatine permanent?
Any strength and size progress gained while supplementing creatine is permanent.
Creatine does not negatively affect your health and it is one of the most effective ways to enable yourself to build your dream physique or crush your old personal records.
For the most part, the reason you are able to keep your gains from creatine is because you are consistently training, recovering and repeating this process for a long time.
Creatine is not magic.
Consistent, focused effort over a long period of time, supplemented with creatine, allows your gains to remain permanent and that is just the beginning if you have lofty goals.
WHERE COULD I BUY CREATINE?
Optimum Nutrition Creatine is made up of 100% creatine monohydrate.
In this form, the creatine can pass through the membrane in order to start getting involved in producing ATP.
For sedentary individuals, creatine does not show additional benefits for:
- Body composition
- Maximal dynamic strength
- Dynamic endurance
- Isometric endurance
Research supports that if you are not active, creatine will not show any benefit.
You lose what you do not use.
For the elderly, this is a slippery slope since they decline in muscle usage, greatly reducing any possibility of having positive effects of creatine supplements.
For the sedentary people who do not work out, creatine supplements will not help you bench 225lbs if you do not train hard.
I hate to burst your bubble this way.
I'm not here to flatter you... I want you to live a better life and more fulfilling life.
What happens if you take creatine without drinking water?
You increase your risk of kidney damage since creatine is filtered in the kidneys.
Without proper hydration, creatine can damage the nephrons, impacting your body's ability to filter any substance.
While this is a risk for older people, younger people are also at risk especially young, active males that do not present with kidney failure.
Reckless behavior until the consequences reveal themselves is not a way to live your life.
Is it okay to dry scoop creatine?
There is no additional benefit to dry scooping creatine. In fact, it increases the risk for—
- Irritated airways
- Wasting your creatine and money
- Sticking onto your teeth
Do not forget the hazards of taking creatine and potential kidney issues as well.