Bodybuilders undergoing cutting restrict fat and carbohydrate while increasing protein intake. Carbohydrate consumption needs proper timing and quantities.
To achieve the targets, weight lifters add some supplements to their diet to get early results.
The question here: should you take creatine while cutting?
Creatine is an aminoacid-based supplement that is the most used safe supplement for gaining mass, but is it suitable for cutting?
Creatine causes water retention which results in muscle preservation in the cutting cycles. We’ll give you detailed information regarding the role of creatine while cutting in this article.
Table of Contents
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine is stored in muscles in the form of creatine phosphate. Phosphate molecule plays a significant role in the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy system.
The increased level of ATP increases the training intensity and overall performance.
A stored form of creatine is readily converted into ATP by the muscle, which is then utilized during high-intensity workouts.
Significance of Creatine On Strength
Weight lifters often experience a slight decrease in strength during the cutting cycle due to a restricted diet. The carbohydrate stores are depleted as it is the chief energy required for muscle contraction.
Creatine supplementation can play a role in preserving performance and strength. It replenishes ATP-PC energy quickly, even in a restrictive eating pattern.
As a result, strength is not compromised, and muscles require lesser time to recover after intense training.
Research conducted in 2018 gives information about enhanced muscle strength, improved performance, and better body fat percentage with creatine supplementation for 4 weeks during the cutting phase.
Effective Dose of Creatine
The exact dose of creatine is calculated with the help of a formula;
Dose (in grams) = 0.3 grams/ kg body weight
- Fitness freaks commonly use around 20 grams per day as a loading phase. These 20 grams are not taken at once; it is broken into 5 grams which are then consumed 4 times per day for a week.
- The main aim is to saturate your muscles with creatine, when the saturation point is achieved, the maintenance dose starts. According to study, 3 to 5 grams per day pre and post-workout are recommended to keep the creatine stores constant.
The creatine dose is adjusted by your fitness trainer or nutritionist according to your workout regime and body requirement.
Creatine does not hamper your fat loss or cutting goals instead, it helps in achieving your goals with ease.
Should you take creatine while cutting?
The benefits of creatine supplementation are well-known but you need to know how it accelerates cutting.
Creatine consumption before a workout dramatically improves your performance or working out capacity. There is a significant increase in reps and sets resulting in greater energy expenditure.
Creatine causes water retention that helps in the preservation of muscles during the cutting cycles. Creatine draws more water into the muscles and gives you an aesthetically charming physique.
Not only this, creatine enhances energy production, and lean mass gains prevent muscle deterioration and allow faster recovery.
In the cutting phase, you go through a calorie-deficit diet in which you restrict carbohydrates and fats. You will observe a lesser strength level and may tire out sooner than expected.
Creatine being a nitrogenous-based compound helps the body achieve the right balance while restoring your strength and performance.
Other Factors Playing Role In Cutting
Most of us often don’t pay much attention, and other factors are playing a significant role, other than creatine supplementation in cutting cycles. Some individual factors are mentioned below:
- Overall body health
- Workout regime
These factors may seem secondary, but your body type and stamina play an important part in training capacity and timing.
Other than that, diet and nutrition is an integral contributing factor when you are cutting fat.
Side Effects of Creatine While Cutting
Keep all positive points aside, there are some misconceptions regarding creatine while cutting.
- Most considerable misinformation is that it causes difficulty in fat loss, but creatine has no contribution to fat metabolism, which means that it doesn’t hinder the body from burning fat or calories. On contrary, creatine is involved in muscle buildup and improves performance which will use more fat as fuel.
- Creatine causes water retention, which makes you look bigger. But you need to know that water is stored in muscle tissue, not fat tissue.
- Bloating is another primary concern during creatine supplementation. In the loading phase, some weight lifters often experience bloating, but it is manageable by consuming a lower dose of about 3 to 5 grams per day.
- Some consumers experience stomach irritation, diarrhea, or constipation according to their digestive capacity. If creatine is taken in smaller divided doses, this problem is solved easily.
- During the cutting cycle, some athletes experience weight gain. Please do not confuse it with creatine supplementation it is a rebound weight gain in the recovery phase after the competition. But it is a generalized pattern that in the preparatory phase, you experience rapid weight loss and later weight gain.
How To Achieve A Healthier Cutting Cycle?
There is always a shortcut to reach your goals but taking a shortcut is short-lived and will not result in long-term results.
So, it is advised to follow a healthy routine to preserve your health and fitness. Some tips to achieve a healthy cutting cycle are mentioned below;
- Never depend on cheats for abrupt weight loss, in the long run, it will significantly impact your heart and bone health. A slow and steady weight loss process is safe and keeps the lean muscle preserved even during restrictive eating patterns.
- Increase your protein intake, as it is the contributing factor causing muscle contraction. It also preserves lean muscle mass.
- The selection of supplements is also essential. Instead of leaning on fat-burning supplements, add 3 to 5 grams of creatine monohydrate, which will drastically improve muscle strength, and performance and shorten recovery time.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- To maintain or develop stamina, it is advised to get proper sleep for mental and physical alertness.
- Stay focused and consistent.
Creatine is considered the most researched supplement with lesser side effects.
During cutting, you go through a low-calorie diet which impacts your training capacity and strength.
Creatine works as an energy-boosting agent and helps you to achieve the required results.
It helps accumulate water in your muscles, giving them a fuller appearance and also shortening your post-workout fatigue.
The dose administration of creatine matters a lot in cutting; it is always advised to consult a fitness trainer or nutritionist before starting supplementation.
A calorie-deficit diet, creatine supplementation, and a proper workout regime can help you achieve your goals in a better way.