Creatine can be one of the most beneficial supplements during a cutting phase of dieting. During the cutting season, every aspect must be taken very seriously. Cardio, training, and diet must all work together in order to cut the fat necessary to present the desired appearance, but also preserve the muscle that took months to build prior to cutting the surrounding fat.
Using Creatine When Cutting
The main reason cutting can be detrimental to a muscular build is due to the low calorie intake and in most cases the added calorie deficit with additional cardio. The low calorie diet required in order to cut fat can directly cause muscle loss. In order to prevent muscle loss, calorie deficit must be taken very seriously. The diet, cardio, training, and supplement requirements must maintain a sole focus on preserving the muscle built during bulking. Higher calorie intake to prevent muscle loss is always an immediate resolution, but can also prevent fat loss. This is where Creatine becomes an extremely beneficial supplement to increase calorie intake for any athlete trying to cut fat.
Creatine creates a water retention surrounding the muscle that not only preserves the muscle during a cutting phase, but also provides immediate muscle recovery in order to continue intense workouts. High calorie burn during training and cardio sessions will be necessary to cut the fat and the additional water retention caused by the creatine intake will allow for faster recovery and prevent muscle deterioration.
When muscles are dehydrated, it is usually due to not drinking enough water, or not consuming enough sodium. Creatine will aid in muscle hydration by pulling water into the muscles to be used for muscle hydration.
Precautions To Consider When Taking Creatine
✓ The water being pulled into the muscle must be replaced
✓ To do this you must drink more water than normal when taking creatine
✓ Drinking excessive amounts of water can cause bloating, so it is important to increase your water intake slowly at first, until you find a level that is right for you
Impacts of Creatine on Strength
A significant benefit of taking creatine while trying to cut fat, is the strength aspect. Many bodybuilders will tell you that their strength decreases during a diet because their glycogen levels (carbohydrate stores) are low, and carbs are needed in order to perform a 100% muscle contraction. By taking creatine, your ATP-PC energy is replenished, strength will not be sacrificed and you will not have to increase your rest time in between sets.
When taking creatine, a “loading” phase of 7 days should be used. The loading phase is for making sure your body’s creatine levels are at a max for the duration of your creatine cycle. The loading phase usually consists of taking about 10-20g of creatine a day for one week. After the loading phase, 5-10g of creatine should be taken and split pre and post workout. There are different kinds of creatine, so do your research on which one would be right for you!