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Should I Use Creatine When Cutting?

Should I Use Creatine When Cutting?
Writer and expert7 years ago
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Using Creatine When Cutting 

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.

Should I use creatine while 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.

Is creatine for bulking or cutting?

Creatine can be effective for both bulking and cutting, depending on how you use it and what your goals are. 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. Thus, creatine is a great choice of supplement when cutting.

Will I look more cut off creatine?

No, going off of creatine will not make you look more cut. Creatine increases muscle mass but does not increase body fat. The weight gained from taking creatine is from water retention in the muscle cells. But this only causes the muscles to potentially look bigger and does not appear as added weight to the body.





Precautions To Consider When Taking Creatine

When supplementing with 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.

Does creatine increase strength?

Creatine has been shown to improve muscle strength, and it does this in two different ways. Creatine increases muscle protein synthesis by pulling water into your muscle cells. Creatine also increases ATP production, and this over time can lead to increased strength through increased training performance.

How much does creatine improve strength?

For young, healthy adults, creatine is efficient in increasing muscle strength, muscle mass, and athletic performance1. How much creatine will improve your strength depends on how much training you couple with supplementing it. Creatine increases energy and allows athletes to train for longer without getting worn out. Thus, if you use enhance your training routine while using creatine, you will see more gains. 

How much creatine should I take for strength?

The recommended dose of creatine is 3-5 grams a day. The unanimous opinion suggests a loading phase should be implemented, wherein you take three times the normal daily amount of creatine every day for one week to saturate your cells.


Taking Creatine

What creatine is best for cutting?

Creatine in any form has been regularly shown to increase strength, fat-free mass, and muscle morphology in combination with heavy resistance training2.Either creatine powder or creatine pills will be effective for cutting. Creatine powder has the advantage of absorbing more quickly, so you may see results faster with the powder.


Creatine pills are less messy and easier to measure but take longer to absorb because they must go through your digestive system first. Research shows little difference between the two forms of creatine supplement. In turn, it really comes down to preference.

What is the best time to take creatine?

Creatine can be taken pre and/or post-workout. Taking creatine post-workout can help provide your muscles with energy, which can help you to work out harder, for longer. Doing this will break down more muscle fibers and with sufficient recovery, lead to more growth. So you could take 5 g before your workout and 5 g after to help aid performance, recovery, and growth. It really is up to you when you choose to take it provided you stay within the recommended daily dosage.

Should I take creatine every day?

Many studies have shown that creatine is effective for increasing exercise performance and strength when taken daily. A good way to take the supplement is to begin with a loading period and then move into a maintenance period. During both periods, you should take creatine daily to see the best results2.


When taking creatine, a “loading” phase of 1 week 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!

Take Home Message

Creatine is a performance and strength supplement that can be very useful for cutting. Creatine allows you to grow your muscle mass, have more energy when working out, and prevent muscle deterioration. Both creatine powder and creatine pills are effective for cutting. If you’re looking to build muscle in a safe and productive way, creatine is your best bet. 


  1. Wu, S.-H., Chen, K.-L., Hsu, C., Chen, H.-C., Chen, J.-Y., Yu, S.-Y., & Shiu, Y.-J. (2022, March 16). Creatine supplementation for muscle growth: A scoping review of randomized clinical trials from 2012 to 2021. Nutrients. Retrieved November 21, 2022, from,mass%20%5B14%2C17%5D.
  2. Cooper, R., Naclerio, F., Allgrove, J., & Jimenez, A. (2012, July 20). Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: An update. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Retrieved November 19, 2022, from
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