Beware: over there are lots of myths the end there regarded creatine monohydrate and also fluid retention. You could have heard before that creatine reasons bloating and also weight gain. 

Or possibly you’ve heard the all weight gain from creatine is simply water, not actual muscle. Both of these insurance claims are misleading overstatements.

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It’s true that creatine monohydrate does reason some liquid retention. However, this impact may boost performance and also does not preclude acquiring lean muscle mass. We’ll clear up an ext water retention myths below - review on. 

Does Creatine reason Fluid Retention?


Short answer: yes, yet this effect is not harmful - and also may in reality be helpful. 

Let’s dive deeper right into the science: creatine monohydrate is osmotic, which method it attracts and holds little amounts of water. This osmotic reaction occurs in the body tissues where creatine is stored, which is 95% in bones muscles. 

How much water weight might you experience with creatine? 

A randomized attempt looked at total body water, intracellular water, and extracellular water in 32 strength-training participants. 

The study discovered that participants acquisition creatine had gained just listed below 0.9 liters of full body water after ~ 28 job of supplementation, significantly an ext water than the non-creatine placebo group gained. 

These researcher concluded that due to the fact that of creatine’s osmotic effect, it renders sense the the body water contents should increase as creatine intake additionally increases. 

Exactly what this water weight rise feels like will differ human being to person. 

Some people do suffer a bloated feeling, yet this tends to be noticeable throughout the loading step - the earliest phase of acquisition creatine in which your doses are higher and more frequent than normal. 

How liquid Retention May an increase Performance

Fluid retention or “water weight” frequently has a bad connotation. 

However, having actually extra fluid in her muscles may actually it is in ergogenic (aka, improve workout performance). Let’s look at two examples of this application below: muscle protein synthesis and also muscle hydration. 

Muscle Protein Synthesis 


An boost in muscle cell volume may actually it is in an anabolic proliferative signal - in other words, a “message” come the cabinet to begin making much more muscle protein. 

Creatine’s capability to aid increase cabinet volume through liquid retention may be one method in which creatine helps increase strength, endurance, and overall performance. 



According come the International culture of sports Nutrition (ISSN), creatine supplementation can be “an reliable nutritional hyper-hydration strategy because that athletes involved in intense exercise in hot and also humid environments” the reduces the dangers of warmth related-illness. 

Creatine’s ability to aid the body organize onto water have the right to actually assist us thermoregulate in extreme temperatures and also at high level of exertion.

Are my Gains simply Water? 

Some weight obtain while acquisition creatine go come from liquid retention. 

With that said, the ISSN calls the a “myth” the all load gain during creatine supplementation comes from water. While the initial weight gain during a week-long loading step is likely primarily fluid, users will probably additionally gain lean body fixed in the lengthy term. 

Part the the concept behind this is the ergogenic services of creatine permit people come train much better - in other words, job-related harder and recover faster. 

This work-related then, in turn, builds lean muscle mass. While these outcomes aren’t instant, lock research-proven. Handfuls of studies present that muscle mass and muscle diameter boost after utilizing creatine linked with training. 

Do liquid Shifts cause Cramps? 


While it’s no backed increase by science, you might anecdotally hear that muscle cramps are a side result of taking creatine. 

One theory behind this is that creatine’s capability to retain water causes fluid shifts in the human body that, in turn, cause cramps - yet is this true? 

Probably not. The research mentioned previously that check intracellular and extracellular water found no statistically far-ranging shift in between water content inside versus exterior of cell along human being who take it creatine, also though total body water increased. 

These findings do not support the “fluid shift theory” behind cramping. 

Likewise, many of the literature cases that creatine walk not cause cramping.

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In fact, a few studies display creatine might reduce the risks of muscle cramps.

Benefits that Creatine Monohydrate


If you’re looking for creatine, you’ll discover it in various forms - favor creatine monohydrate, creatine ethyl ester, and creatine hydrochloride, to name simply a few. 

Creatine monohydrate is the most extensively studied and also widely used kind of creatine. 

Based on the most up-to-date clinical evidence, experts continue to recommend creatine monohydrate because of that proven effectiveness and also safety. 

While the other develops of creatine may show some promising results in studies, they’re quiet fairly new to the scene and require more research. 

What space these proven services of creatine monohydrate? right here are simply a few: 

Increased lifting power Faster solitary and repetitive sprint times Enhanced restore from workoutsEnhanced exercise tolerance in warm conditionsInjury prevention

Experts recommend creatine monohydrate for activities ranging indigenous lifting to endurance to run to sprinting to martial arts (and many more!). 

Creatine monohydrate supports virtually any activity in which muscle mass, strength, and also recovery time matter. 

The Bottom Line

If you take it creatine monohydrate, you very likely will retain some water. This have the right to have ergogenic advantages, including signaling muscle protein anabolism also improving power at extreme temperatures. 

Keep in mind that muscle tissue is around 73% water anyways - so an increase in human body water is intended regardless.