Creatine is a supplement that has received significant support from heath and fitness studies. It is an effective compound to maximize your workouts and help quickly recover fatigued muscles. Creatine and water often go together for different reasons.
Fitness experts are still trying to figure out exactly how much water to drink with creatine.
Take a look below at the facts revolving around creatine and water, creatine water retention, and most importantly, how much water you should drink with creatine.
What is Creatine?
Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is a molecule present in the human body, representing the primary energy source. During exercises, our muscles tend to contract. Gradually, the body uses and depletes the ATP stores. Unfortunately, a lack of sufficient ATP leads to rapid fatigue.
Creatine comes in to replenish ATP stores. Creatine is an amino acid found naturally in the human body. It is highly available in high-protein foods like fish, eggs, and beef.
It improves the muscular storage of creatine phosphate (CP), which is an energy form. The CP allows for swift energy production to enable short yet intense exercises.
The creatine supplements help your body to endure, allowing you to perform as many reps as possible. However, fitness experts and gurus recommend taking creatine supplements with sufficient water. Click below to save on Creatine Monohydrate.
Why Drink Water with Creatine?
Maintaining proper hydration with creatine supplementation ensures safety and proper body functioning. Water and creatine are an ideal combination for any level of fitness journey. Therefore, ensure you carry the appropriate amount of water with you before exercising.
According to "Nutrition for Health, Fitness, and Sport" by Melvin H. Williams, creatine supplementation can contribute to heat stroke and dehydration in some individuals. As such, it is vital to understand the importance of drinking adequate water when using creatine.
How Much Water To Drink with Creatine
The big question among many creatine users is how much water to drink with creatine. A healthy amount of water for most people is around one gallon a day. Your body may need less or more water, depending on your exercise regimen's intensity. Outside training, the recommended 6-8 glasses a day will suffice. However, if you are using a pre-workout, in this case, creatine, you may want to slightly up your water intake. This is because some pre-workouts contain a high caffeine content and tend to act as a diuretic.
Some recommend up to 2-3 gallons of water; however, this is mere speculation and potentially harmful. Overconsumption of water tends to over-dilute the sodium levels in your bloodstream. Unfortunately, low blood sodium levels possibly lead to muscle cramps, delirium, coma, and worse, death.
Creatine and Water
Generally, a good number of weight lifters tend to add 4-7 pounds of weight in the first few days of using creatine. The weight gain is due to the water being pulled from the bloodstream and transported to the muscles. Because more water is transporting to the muscles, less water is available for the rest of the body. Therefore, proper hydration is essential.
As previously mentioned, 6-8 cups of water are the average drinking amount when out of training. However, when supplementing with creatine, you should drink an additional 8-10 cups of water daily, or slightly more, depending on your exercise regimen.
Do You Need to Drink More Water When Taking Creatine
Staying hydrated is vital to avoid some side effects of dehydration, such as weakness, thirst, headaches, muscle cramps, and dizziness. Although, you should prevent overhydrating when taking creatine. Taking sufficient water will help balance your body's water levels. Overhydration tends to result in creatine water retention, which may or may not be a good thing.
A good rule of thumb is if you are thirsty, you should drink up. Also, be mindful of how much water you typically drink in a day; if you only drink a couple of glasses a day, you should drink more. If you already drink a good amount every day, pay attention and assess if you need more.
Creatine Water Retention
You will come across different myths related to fluid retention and creatine monohydrate. There are various rumors that creatine causes bloating and weight gain. Others also claim that all the weight gain noticed from creatine is pure water and not actual muscle. Luckily, these myths and claims are misleading overstatements.
One of the aesthetic reasons creatine has gained popularity among fitness enthusiasts is that it makes your muscles look fuller on their own. True to fact, creatine is known to create some fluid retention. Fortunately, this effect possibly enhances performance and does not hinder gaining lean muscle mass.
Does Creatine Cause Water Retention?
In a nutshell-yes, but the effect is not usually harmful and may be beneficial to your body. Creatine monohydrate is osmotic, meaning it attracts and retains small water amounts. The osmotic reaction happens in your body tissues, where you store creatine, usually 95% in skeletal muscles.
Researchers in this study concluded that due to creatine's osmotic effects, it is logical that the body's water content should go up as creatine intake also goes up. The feeling of increased creatine water weight tends to differ from person to person.
Some people also experience a creatine bloating feeling. This is primarily noticeable during the loading phase. The loading phase is the earliest phase of taking creatine, where the doses are higher and more frequent than usual.
Benefits of Creatine Water Retention
"Water weight" or fluid retention typically has a negative connotation. Fortunately, having extra fluid in the muscles is sometimes ergogenic.
Fluid retention is beneficial in a couple of ways; muscle hydration and muscle protein synthesis:
Muscle Protein Synthesis
Muscle cell volume increase can be an anabolic proliferative signal because it can signal the cell to produce more muscle protein.
Luckily, creatine can increase cell volume via water retention, resulting in improved endurance, strength, and overall performance.
Creatine supplements can be a practical nutritional hyper-hydration strategy for athletes who are part of intense exercises in humid and hot environments that minimize the risks of heat-related illnesses.
The supplement can help the body to hold the water, which becomes beneficial in thermoregulating during extreme temperatures and at high exertion levels.
How Much Water Weight Can You Put on with Creatine?
Creatine can make you gain weight, but you need to understand the facts around it.
Ordinarily, when you start using creatine, you may gain 1-4 pounds (0.7-2kgs) in the first week due to water retention. However, due to genetics, these numbers often change. Subsequently, you may gain more lean muscle mass with regular resistance training due to creatine elevating your performance.
Water Weight In General
Water makes up 73% of muscle. Once you begin to use creatine, it increases the water amounts stored in the muscles fast, a concept known as water retention. Water retention pumps up your muscles a little bit, giving you a fuller appearance. It also increases your weight by 1-5-4.5 pounds, as mentioned above.
What is the Best Way to Take Creatine?
It would be best if you took creatine with precision. Otherwise, you may unlikely notice results. There are different ways you can go about incorporating creatine into your routine.
Most people prefer to start with a loading phase designed to saturate the muscle's creatine stores optimally. They then move to the maintenance phase, where they lower the creatine dose to keep it where it should be.
Twenty grams daily for five days is the fastest way to load up the creatine stores before moving to maintenance. Going beyond that is rarely necessary.
Moving to Maintenance
Most people maintain their creatine intake by supplementing with 5 grams daily. However, 3 grams daily is sufficient for some individuals, and others, 7-10 grams.
How to Take Creatine
Creatine gets into the muscle cells quicker if there is an insulin spike present. Typically, this means you should try taking your creatine with juice. You can also mix it with your own dextrose since the liquid is fructose, with minimal insulin levels.
It is also a good idea to take it with something: a post-workout shake comprised of proteins and carbs or a full meal.
Best Creatine Monohydrate
Prolab's Creatine Monohydrate is an effective supplement that provides as many benefits as alternative products and brands. It is a natural compound found in your body and heavily contributes to energy metabolism.
Prolab is one of the top sellers of creatine monohydrate supplements.
Feature of Prolab's Creatine Monohydrate
- It requires a loading phase of 20 g daily for five days
- A maintenance phase of 5 g twice daily
- It has zero fillers and other ingredients
- It provides 5 g creatine monohydrate per serving
Benefits of Prolab Creatine Monohydrate
- The supplement promotes recovery between workout sets
- It drives and elevates explosive muscle power
- The supplement supports muscular development
Prolab's Creatine Monohydrate is the industry-leading option among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. It is also one of the most affordable in the market.
Final Thoughts on Creatine Use
When it comes to creatine use, many questions are left unanswered or misinformed. However, this guide will help you incorporate creatine into your training program effortlessly. With consistent use, you are bound to notice impressive muscle gain and strength endurance during training.
Avoid overhydrating when using creatine. Also, creatine fluid retention is not entirely a negative concept if you hear it over a discussion. Most importantly, speak to a supplement or fitness expert to determine how much water to take with creatine and other questions and answers surrounding creatine use.