Creatine supplements have become the go-to for putting on lean muscle mass over the past few years. While there's no doubt about its efficacy in adding muscle, can it help you reduce body fat?

There’s been a lot of talk of creatine causing consumers to gain water weight, but is it true?

Let’s address these subjects head-on, and clear the air so you can move forward feeling confident that you’re taking the supplements to help you reach your goals.

When looking to lose weight, you may first think of grabbing a thermogenic or fat burner, which frequently isn't very effective.[1]

However, taking creatine can also help with fat burning when your diet, resistance training, and cardio are all dialed in.

Some studies have even shown that taking creatine supplements can help with fat loss, muscle strength, and overall strength.[2]

More specifically, creatine supplementation can help with fat loss rather than just losing weight.

When you’re working at a caloric deficit, you’re putting yourself at greater risk of losing muscle.

However, creatine supplements can help keep that muscle on, so you’re burning fat, instead!

Lose Weight On A Blue Plate

How Does Creatine Work? (Health Benefits & Drawbacks)

That sounds great, but how can creatine supplementation help you lose body fat while retaining or even gaining lean muscle mass?

When taking a creatine supplement, water is essentially ushered into your muscles, causing an initial weight gain in the form of water retention.

This will frequently go down over the next few weeks after starting the supplement.

However, this excess water retention can help protect the muscle tissue from damage - particularly during the cutting period.

Dehydrated muscles are not only not going to look as full, but you could also experience weaker pumps, reduced blood flow, lower energy levels, and other undesirable side effects.

This is why it's so important to take in enough water, even if you're worried about gaining that initial water weight.

When muscles are dehydrated, they are also at a greater risk of injury and can break down more easily.

Various studies have found that creatine supplementation can boost muscular endurance without affecting fat mass, as well.

Learn More - How Long Does Creatine Take To Kick In And Work?

Muscle Growth & Recovery Benefits

Creatine is a combination of 3 amino acids: glycine, L-arginine, and L-methionine. You can find creatine naturally in red meat and fish, and it is required for good physical and mental health.

However, by taking a creatine supplement - taking more than the bare minimum required for our bodies - consumers may see an increase in muscle power, which leads to increasing lean body mass, and other health benefits.

There are various types of creatine, so let’s take a look:

Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine monohydrate is the most common creatine supplement form, comprised simply of a creatine molecule and a water molecule.

It's the most studied and commonly-used form, largely because it's safe, effective, and relatively cheap to produce.

Learn More - Creatine HCL Vs Monohydrate (Which One Is Best For You?)

Creatine Ethyl Ester

Many manufacturers claim that this form is superior, though the results of studies have been a bit conflicting.

Creatine Hydrochloride

HCI has gained a bit of popularity recently due to how soluble it is, though much more research is needed.

Now that we know the different types, let’s dive into all of the major benefits of creatine:

Muscle Growth

It's no secret by now that creatine supplementation is a fantastic lead to increased muscle mass, so think about your body weight and what you want to do with it.

If you're looking for weight management benefits, know that muscle weighs more than fat in that it's much denser.

However, if you're looking to lose fat, then it can be of some help. It helps to look less at the number on the scale and more at how your clothes are fitting.

All in all, taking this natural substance paired with lifting weights is a surefire way to promote muscle growth.


If you aren't consuming enough creatine-rich foods, you could burn through creatine stores or even drop below essential levels.

Creatine deficiency can lead to various conditions, including muscle atrophy, Parkinson's, osteoarthritis, COPD, depression, and many more.

With creatine supplementation, you can avoid deficiency.


Exercise recovery is a huge part of achieving any fitness goal, whether you're exercising to help you lose weight, lower body fat, or increase muscle mass.

If your body isn't recovering at an optimal rate, you could have to drag yourself through your workouts with sore muscles, or even put yourself at a greater risk of injury.

Creatine can help repair muscle fibers and even reduce the risk of experiencing muscle cramps. It could also help reduce inflammation and improve glycogen stores, further facilitating recovery.

Increased Energy

The more creatine phosphate there is in the body, the more adenosine triphosphate (ATP) can be produced.

As ATP fuels muscle contractions, it ultimately means that you’ll have more energy to power through workouts in order to train longer or more intensely.[3]

Cognitive Ability

There has been quite a bit of research showing that taking oral creatine supplementation can increase cognitive function - particularly short-term memory and intelligence/reasoning.[4]

Who wouldn’t like that?

Man Writing On Pad

Side Effects & Safety Considerations

Side effects are possible with just about any supplement on the market.

Make sure that if you are experiencing one of the following symptoms, they're not being caused by cutting too many calories or rapid weight loss.

Upset Stomach

If you're taking a creatine loading dose (10 grams or more), you could experience an upset stomach.

However, this frequently has an easy fix. Rather than taking the full 10 grams at once, you can divide that up and take smaller doses spread out throughout the day (3 to 5 grams).

Learn More - Does Creatine Make You Poop? (Find The Answer Here!)

Weight Gain

If you're experiencing unwanted weight gain, it could likely be due to water retention, which doesn't usually last that long.

However, if you are in a cutting phase in your diet, doing so too quickly could result in weight gain after that phase is over.

Related Article - Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight? (Fat Or Water Retention)

Muscle Cramps

This is a rather rare side effect and more research is needed, but some anecdotal evidence shows cramps could be provoked by taking creatine.

It’s also important to mention that people with kidney disease are advised against taking the supplement, particularly those with diabetes or anyone taking blood sugar supplements.

In addition, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are also advised against taking creatine.

The good news is that it’s been proven many times to be a very safe way to boost creatine stores without consuming extra fats or proteins.

Creatine On A Cutting Diet (Dosage Recommendation)

Creatine is a pretty awesome supplement for those looking to retain or even increase muscle mass while on a cutting diet.

Historically speaking, bodybuilders and athletes have had a challenging time trying to preserve muscle or build lean muscle mass while cutting.

With creatine and a healthy diet, you can burn fat more easily and help you achieve your desired appearance. 

Many athletes first go through a "loading phase" for 7 days, ensuring their creatine levels are at a max. How much creatine is that, exactly?

It'll be around 10 to 20 grams a day for a solid week. After that week, they lower that dose to 5 to 10 grams, taken pre and post-workout.

There is conflicting research as to whether or not a loading phase offers significant benefit; however, taking these quantities of oral creatine could increase the risk of bloating and other stomach issues.

We find it smart to start out with 3 to 5 grams of creatine each day, as the recommended daily dose is 5g per day.

This can help with losing fat and muscle hypertrophy without having to increase your caloric intake.

Don't get discouraged if you experience water retention, and remember that you'll get much better results with a slow cut over a longer period of time.

The human body tries to regulate and sometimes overcompensates with extreme dieting.

So if you're cutting too fast or simply don't have proper nutrition, instead of weight loss, you could experience weight gain.

See More - Should I Take Creatine While Cutting? (What To Know)

Person Making Smoothie At Home

Frequently Asked Creatine & Weight Loss Questions

Is creatine safe to take daily?

Creatine doesn't need to be cycled, despite the more "traditional" method of cycling to be 1 week of loading, 3 weeks of maintaining, and 1-2 weeks off. This is because creatine takes quite a while to clear the body, making cycling a bit redundant. While it does vary depending on how much resistance training and cardio you're putting in, it typically takes around 3 to 4 weeks for creatine levels in the body to go back to "normal" once you stop taking the supplement as part of your sports nutrition.

Should you supplement creatine if you are in a long-term calorie deficit?

Sure, you can! We've now determined that creatine helps in weight loss, so taking the supplement may mean you can reduce the time you're in a caloric deficit while still offering muscle protection.

Can creatine make you gain weight?

It can perhaps cause a bit of water retention, but overall it can help with weight loss. While creatine may not directly burn body fat, it can help keep muscle on. As muscle burns more calories than fat, you could see both muscle gain and a reduction in fatty tissue from taking it.


Muscle tissue naturally burns more calories than fat, making creatine a valuable weight-loss supplement.

Not only that, but if you’re looking to increase muscle strength without increasing caloric intake, you’ll find the benefits of creatine obvious.

However, we have to be realistic about what the supplement can and can’t do. We hope this guide has helped you become even closer to your fitness goals, and we’ll see you again shortly!


Miloš Lepotic

Miloš Lepotic

Miloš loves three things - science, sports, and simplicity. So, what do you get when you put the three together? A no-BS guy that's all about efficient workouts and research-backed supplements. But he also thinks LeBron's the greatest ever, so...