Ask someone what their fitness goal is, and you can almost guarantee that they’ll say fat loss. At any point in the day, there are millions of people starting, following or quitting diets as they attempt to shed those extra pounds.
To cater to their collective needs there have been numerous supplements created to him augment and support this goal, among them, are protein powders, green tea extract, caffeine pills and pre-workout supplements.
However, even amongst this group of supplements, we believe there is one that stands above the rest. One the deserves the title ‘best fat loss supplement.
In this article, we’ll explore this supplement, what it is, what it does and how to take it for the best results.
But first, let’s look at the role of diet and training when trying to lose fat.
To lose fat you first need to create a calorie deficit, you then need to maintain it over a prolonged period i.e. months, to see the best results. This is non-negotiable and without getting your diet in order you’ll always struggle to lose weight.
The next thing you need to do is work out regularly and consistently, as it’s this that will help you maintain your muscle as you lose fat, which will result in your looking lean when you reach your goal weight.
We here at TPW like to think of these 2 things as the fundamentals of fat loss. However, there will be times when you feel like you need a little extra push, this is where supplements come into play.
In particular, Creatine which is the topic of Today’s article.

What is Creatine?

Creatine is an organic compound found in the muscle cells of the body. Its role is to help produce energy when weightlifting or doing other high-intensity exercises.
Whilst it’s produced naturally the amount you have depends on several factors [1] including:
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Muscle mass
  • Testosterone levels
By supplementing with creatine, you keep your body’s stores full, increase the amount you have in your body by 10 – 20%. [2]
Here at TPW, we recommend creatine monohydrate as it’s the same time of creatine that occurs naturally in your body with the addition of a water molecule. You can get it here.

What Are the Benefits?

This important because creatine supplementation can provide several benefits:
  • Muscle Growth: Creatine supports the energy creation process when strength training which allows you to apply progressive overload by lifting heavier weights for more reps [3]. Additionally, there is research showing that creatine creates a better muscle-building environment by increasing the water in your muscles [4, 5, 6]
  • Increase Strength: Studies show that creatine can increase strength in all rep ranges by up to 20% when compared to a placebo. This gives you the boost you need to continue building strength in the gym [7]
  • Muscle Recovery: There is some early evidence which shows a favourable link between creatine usage and improved recovery from exercise [6, 8]
  • Muscular Endurance: Regular supplementation with creatine can increase the number of reps you can perform using your 1 rep max by up to 26% when compared to a placebo. [6]

Why is this Important?

You might be thinking that all these benefits seem better suited to those trying to build muscle not losing fat and you wouldn’t be wrong, but it also matters for fat loss and here’s why.
If you want to achieve a ‘lean’ and muscular body when you reach your goal weight then you must maintain your muscle as you lose fat, as without this you’ll end up skinny or worse skinny fat.
There are 2 main ways you do this, the first is ensuring you get enough protein in your diet [9], but the second is regular strength training with a focus on progressive overload and getting stronger over time.
This means anything that can help you do this more effectively is invaluable.
Creatine is this one thing that can help you do this [10]. Not to mention that there is some evidence showing that creatine supplementation can help with recovery from training which is another concern when training in a calorie deficit. 

How to Take It

Supplementing with creatine is super easy.
All you need to do is get 3 – 5 grams a day, every day which will see you top up your body’s stores within a couple of weeks. [11]
If you’re looking to reach saturation more quickly you could load your creatine by taking 20 grams a day for the first week, before dropping down to the recommended 3 – 5 grams daily.
Doing it like this will see you top up your stores quicker but offers no additional benefits.  [11]
As for which creatine to buy. Here at TPW, we recommend creatine monohydrate as it’s the same time of creatine that occurs naturally in your body with the addition of a water molecule. You can get it here.
References
[1] Persky AM, Brazeau GA. Clinical pharmacology of the dietary supplement creatine monohydrate. Pharmacol Rev. 2001;53(2):161-176.
[2] Casey A, Constantin-Teodosiu D, Howell S, Hultman E, Greenhaff PL. Creatine ingestion favorably affects performance and muscle metabolism during maximal exercise in humans. Am J Physiol. 1996;271(1 Pt 1):E31-E37. doi:10.1152/ajpendo.1996.271.1.E31
[3] Arciero PJ, Hannibal NS 3rd, Nindl BC, Gentile CL, Hamed J, Vukovich MD. Comparison of creatine ingestion and resistance training on energy expenditure and limb blood flow. Metabolism. 2001;50(12):1429-1434. doi:10.1053/meta.2001.28159
[4] Safdar A, Yardley NJ, Snow R, Melov S, Tarnopolsky MA. Global and targeted gene expression and protein content in skeletal muscle of young men following short-term creatine monohydrate supplementation. Physiol Genomics. 2008;32(2):219-228. doi:10.1152/physiolgenomics.00157.2007
[5] Parise G, Mihic S, MacLennan D, Yarasheski KE, Tarnopolsky MA. Effects of acute creatine monohydrate supplementation on leucine kinetics and mixed-muscle protein synthesis. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2001;91(3):1041-1047. doi:10.1152/jappl.2001.91.3.1041
[6] Tang FC, Chan CC, Kuo PL. Contribution of creatine to protein homeostasis in athletes after endurance and sprint running. Eur J Nutr. 2014;53(1):61-71. doi:10.1007/s00394-013-0498-6
[7] Rawson ES, Volek JS. Effects of creatine supplementation and resistance training on muscle strength and weightlifting performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2003;17(4):822-831. doi:10.1519/1533-4287(2003)017<0822:eocsar>2.0.co;2
[8] Santos RV, Bassit RA, Caperuto EC, Costa Rosa LF. The effect of creatine supplementation upon inflammatory and muscle soreness markers after a 30km race. Life Sci. 2004;75(16):1917-1924. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2003.11.036
[9] https://www.liftlearngrow.com/blog-page/protein-needs
[10] https://www.liftlearngrow.com/blog-page/creatine-monohydrate
[11] Bemben MG, Lamont HS. Creatine supplementation and exercise performance: recent findings. Sports Med. 2005;35(2):107-125. doi:10.2165/00007256-200535020-00002

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