One question a lot of you have for us is ”how much muscle can I gain by taking creatine?” Given the tall tales told about this and other sports supplements, I’m not surprised at its popularity. It’s hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the actual benefits of most sports supplements.
This article gives you the facts when it comes to just how much muscle creatine can help you build. Whether you are guy or girl, young or old, pro athlete or lift weights 3 times a week you’ll know what results are possible.
You’ll also learn several ways to help ensure you get the best results from creatine.
So, without further ado, let’s get to answering this question.
How Much Muscle Does Creatine Build?
A review of the latest research using men and women of all ages and fitness levels finds that you can expect to gain an average of 4 pounds of muscle after taking creatine for at least 30 days. Some of you may gain a little more or less depending on other factors (your workout, diet, etc.).
I break down the specific amounts based on your gender, age, etc. below for further explanation.
Please note. This weight gain does not include the initial increase in water weight that occurs during the first 1-2 weeks that you’re taking creatine. This may lead to an additional 1-2 pounds gained.
I don’t want to get off topic but you should know that this increase in water weight will not make you appear or feel bloated. Many experts believe it may actually be one of the things that enables creatine to help you build more muscle over time.
Guys Tend To Gain The Most Muscle
Studies find that guys 18 years old and up gain the most muscle when they take creatine. I’ve know guys who put on 6 lbs in about 8 weeks! This doesn’t include increases in water weight which can be another 2-4 pounds.
On average, research finds guys typically gain about 4 pounds of muscle when they’re supplementing with creatine monohydrate.
Know one knows exactly why creatine helps men gain the more muscle than women. It may be because they often have more muscle to begin with or differences between our physiology or certain hormones.
What About The Ladies?
According to the research and experts like Dr. Richard Kreider, your gender seems to affect how much muscle creatine will help you gain. On average, women gain ½ as much muscle as guys. This means you can expect to gain 1-2 pounds of muscle after 30 days of supplementation.
If you are a female athlete or coach woman who want to gain extra muscle, don’t be discouraged. Any extra muscle you can build just by taking a safe supplement like creatine is a good thing.
You’ll also get the other performance enhancing benefits of creatine too. This includes faster recovery times, increased strength, and better performance during intense workouts.
What If I’m A Little Older?
Studies show that creatine can help you build extra muscle, regardless of your age. Men and women aged 60+ gain on average about 2 pounds of muscle from creatine. This includes studies using people who had serious health problems.
I personally think that everyone who’s 60+ should consider taking creatine. Staying strong and holding onto as much muscle as possible plays a huge role in keeping us healthy as we get older. Creatine monohydrate can help you do that.
One study even finds that ladies over 60 gained muscle and improved their balance when they took creatine monohydrate. This is an awesome result. The better your balance, the less likely you are to fall and get hurt which is a common cause of hip fractures and other serious injuries.
How To Gain The Most Muscle With Creatine
Here are several things you can do.
Lift weights at least 3 times a week. While there are studies that show you can build muscle by taking creatine alone, you’ll see the best results when you do some type of strength training on a regular basis.
Make sure your workouts focus on exercises that train large muscle groups (legs, back, chest, shoulders). This means doing squats, presses, and rows, and pull ups at every workout. Aim for 3-5 sets with weights you can do for 5-10 reps.
You don’t need to go all out at each workout to get results but the harder you can push yourself the better. Researchers actually find that one of the things common among non-responders to creatine is that they have less muscle to begin with. Lifting regularly is the best way to overcome this issue and get more from your creatine too.
Only take creatine monohydrate. Don’t be fooled by other supplements. Several studies find that they don’t work. This includes liquid creatine, creatine ethyl ester (CEE), and creatine HCL. While they all make claims to work better, they often don’t even have enough creatine in their formulation to be effective. Creatine monohydrate, on the other hand is shown to work in dozens of studies and by millions of athletes like you.
When choosing a creatine supplement, also make sure that the product you buy is tested for purity. I take Creatine Edge every day.
Take it properly. If you want to see the best results as quickly as possible it’s important to take your creatine the right way. This means following a loading phase for 5-7 days to quickly ‘fill’ your muscles with creatine. This needs to happen for creatine to get to work and help you build muscle and get stronger faster.
While you can still build muscle taking a single serving of creatine daily, you will see the results that fastest by following the advice above. You’re also going to get the best improvements in performance.
Once you’ve finished the loading phase, you can cut back to a single scoop (5 gram) serving every day. This will keep your muscles filled up and the results coming in.
4. Don’t stop taking creatine after you’ve loaded your muscles. The longer you take creatine monohydrate, the more benefits you’re likely to experience. This can mean an extra 2-3 or more pounds of muscle gains in just a few months.
5. Eat to win. If you really want to get the most from this supplement, it’s important to fuel your body with the right foods. This means getting in enough calories and protein every day.
Unless you get enough calories from food, your body may begin to break down your hard earned muscle to get its energy. So, make sure you eat plenty of energy rich foods like steak, fatty fish, pork, eggs, avocados, and healthy fats like MCT oil, butter, and olive oil.
When determining your daily calories, make sure you eat about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. This helps ensure your muscles have all of the building blocks it needs to recover and grow post workout.
Whether you have used creatine before or it’s your first time, the information in this article can help. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Chilibeck PD, Kaviani M, Candow DG, Zello GA. Effect of creatine strength in older adults: a meta-analysis. Open Access J Sports Med. 2017 Nov 2;8:213-226.
Kreider RB, Ferreira M, Wilson M, Grindstaff P, Plisk S, Reinardy J, Cantler E, Almada AL. Effects of creatine supplementation on body composition, strength, and sprint performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1998 Jan;30(1):73-82.
Kreider RB, Kalman DS, Antonio J, Ziegenfuss TN, Wildman R, Collins R, Candow DG, Kleiner SM, Almada AL, Lopez HL. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Jun 13;14:18.
Moon A, Heywood L, Rutherford S, Cobbold C. Creatine supplementation: can it improve quality of life in the elderly without associated resistance training? Curr Aging Sci. 2013 Dec;6(3):251-7.
Syrotuik DG, Bell GJ. Acute creatine monohydrate supplementation: a descriptive physiological profile of responders vs. nonresponders. J Strength Cond Res. 2004 Aug;18(3):610-7.
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