If you’re a fitness freak, you must be looking into buying the popular and promising creatine supplement to burn belly fat, but the question is, do they help you lose weight?
Creatine supplement helps increase muscle capacity and strength, prevent some diseases, and improve their athletic state.
These supplements also have a storm blowing out, stating they help burn belly fat too. Let’s find out if it’s true or not.
Table of Contents
- How Is Creatine Formed?
- Functions of Phosphocreatine
- Effects of Creatine Supplements
- Effects of Creatine at High Doses
- How Creatine Supplements Affect Belly Fat?
- Is it Safe to Take Creatine Supplements?
- Bottom Line
How Is Creatine Formed?
Creatine is a small molecule comprising three building blocks called amino acids. It is present in our blood and makes up around 1% of the total volume.
Creatine is a compound formed by the body itself. It is developed in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys and stored in our muscles as phosphocreatine.
The amount of phosphocreatine muscles can hold more than our body can produce. Athletes use creatine supplements to increase the amount of creatine in their muscles and enhance overall performance.
Functions of Phosphocreatine
There are several functions that phosphocreatine carries out in our body. These functions can help your body develop moderate and influential effects.
- Generates ample energy for our muscles during short periods of high-intensity workouts.
- Provides the ability to perform added sets and repetitions in the weight room.
- Unlikely to affect belly fat oxidization directly.
Effects of Creatine Supplements
Creatine supplements provide plenty of benefits for effective health and athletic performance, especially to individuals in their 20s and 30s.
Creatine supplements help in increasing strength in your muscle’s phosphocreatine stores.
This phosphocreatine helps develop adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cells’ molecule for strength, energy, and essential life functions.
When you work out at high intensity, your body uses up ATP faster than it can make it.
Creatine supplements help by increasing phosphocreatine levels, which can increase ATP to power your muscles. This is why creatine is thought to improve performance during intense workouts.
Increases Lean Mass
Creatine is considered the most effective supplement globally for gaining muscle mass.
Taking creatine for as little as 5-7 days can significantly increase body weight and muscle size. This initial increase is due to a rise in the water content of your muscles.
In the long term, creatine can also aid muscle fiber growth by stimulating critical biological pathways and improving performance during exercise.
Improves High-Intensity Exercises
Creatine plays a crucial role in producing ATP, significantly enhancing performance during high-intensity exercise.
Creatine offers various benefits, including improved strength, power, sprinting ability, muscle endurance, resistance to fatigue, muscle mass, recovery, and brain performance.
Unlike supplements that are only beneficial for advanced athletes, creatine can improve performance for people at all fitness levels.
According to a study, creatine can increase high-intensity exercise performance by as much as 15%.
Fights Other Neurological Diseases
Phosphocreatine reduction is a crucial factor in several neurological diseases, and creatine’s ability to increase these levels may slow disease progression.
Creatine supplementation also helps treat diseases like Alzheimer’s, ischemic stroke, epilepsy, and brain or spinal cord injuries.
Creatine has also demonstrated benefits against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), improving motor function, reducing muscle loss, and increasing survival rates by 17%.
Improves Brain Function
To perform complicated tasks, your brain needs ATP, which creatine can help produce. Creatine can also improve brain function by adding dopamine levels and mitochondrial function.
As meat is the perfect dietary source of creatine, vegetarians may have low levels, but supplementing with creatine improves memory and intelligence test scores.
For older individuals, taking creatine supplements for 2 weeks significantly improves their memory and recall ability.
Additionally, creatine may enhance brain function, protect against neurological diseases, and prevent age-related loss of muscle and strength in older adults.
Lowers Blood Sugar Level and Fights Diabetes
Creatine supplements can aid in lowering blood sugar levels by making a molecule called GLUT-4 work better. GLUT-4 helps bring sugar from the blood into your muscles.
People who take creatine and exercise have better control of their blood sugar levels after a high-carb meal than those who only exercise.
This is important because how quickly your body clears sugar from your blood after a meal is a sign of your risk of getting diabetes.
Reduces Fatigue and Tiredness
Creatine supplements reduce fatigue and tiredness, improving performance during exercise and other physical activities.
It can help reduce dizziness and fatigue by up to 50% in people with traumatic brain injury.
Helps Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease reduces dopamine levels, a critical neurotransmitter in the brain, causing brain cell death and severe symptoms, such as tremors, loss of muscle function, and speech impairments.
Although creatine prevented a 90% drop in dopamine levels in mice with Parkinson’s, there’s no evidence of the same effect in humans.
To counteract the loss of muscle function and strength, people with Parkinson’s disease often weight train.
Effects of Creatine at High Doses
Taking high doses of creatine can have adverse effects on the body. Here are some of the potential effects that you should be aware of:
- Lower blood glucose
- Raise Blood Pressure
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Electrolyte disorders or imbalances
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Irregular heartbeat
- Kidney stones or liver disease.
- Low blood pressure when standing up
- Bipolar disorder
It is vital to note that this is a partial list, and more research is needed to understand the effects of creatine on the body entirely.
Creatine is a bioactive substance, so it is crucial to approach it cautiously and speak with your healthcare provider before taking it.
How Creatine Supplements Affect Belly Fat?
Too much belly fat can lead to severe and dangerous health problems like heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Creatine supplements won’t directly make you lose belly fat or weight. You might even gain weight during the first week because of water retention.
But taking creatine can help you build muscle, boost metabolism, and burn fat. If you keep exercising regularly even after stopping creatine, it may help you burn belly fat in the long run.
Is it Safe to Take Creatine Supplements?
Creatine supplements are considered safe if you take them as your doctor or consultant recommends.
People with kidney problems should not take too much creatine because it can hurt their kidneys.
Also, it is best not to take creatine with caffeine, as caffeine might lessen the effects of creatine.
Adding 20 to 25 grams of creatine for a week is typically safe, but it is best to consult your doctor to know the right amount.
While creatine has numerous benefits, including increased muscle mass and improved exercise performance, it does not directly cause a decrease in belly fat or body weight.
However, creatine may indirectly help burn belly fat long-term by increasing metabolism and improving exercise capacity.
It’s important to remember that a healthy and nutritious diet and regular exercise are the most effective ways to burn belly fat and improve overall health.