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Should overweight guys who work out take Creatine?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I am 36, 6' 2" and went from 300 pound two years ago to 255 now. I work out with a trainer 3 times a week, try to do extra cardio, and eat incredibly well. At what point (or weight) do I add Creatine to the mix?
post #2 of 29
describe your current workout more specifically.
post #3 of 29
Creatine, if it works, will garner slight benefits in stength demonstration because of more rapid ATP replacement. It will also generate slight benefits in size because of increased water retention in the the muscles. Some people are nonresponsive to creatine supplementation. If you are in the process of losing weight and creatine has the intended effect, you may find yourself gaining some weight back from the water retention. Additionally, when (if) you stop taking creatine, you'll lose most of the muscle size and endurance benefits. No one other than a competitive athlete should contemplate wasting his money on creatine. The benefits are generally quite moderate if there are any. Like every other supplement, the creatine craze is a product of millions of marketing dollars rather than documented impressive results. Save your money, just stick with your workout program.
post #4 of 29
The Rookie, I don't completely agree with that. Creatine can have substantial benefits in the right workout regimen, however, it could certainly have the side effects of water retention that you mentioned. I don't agree with your statement that you will lose much of the muscle size that you gained using creatine if you stop using it, although it's most likely true that you may lose some of your endurance due to the ATP replacement, however, creatine typically builds more muscle only if you lift ALOT of weights, and use a pretty heavy workout regimen, then it could be useful. I don't think that you will lose much if any muscle mass after stopping the use of creatine, as long as you continue with a heavy workout regimen.
post #5 of 29
Steroids can have substantial benefits when combined with the right workout regiment too. And that's really my point. If the gentleman's goal is to lose weight and improve his health, he will be best served sticking to productive workouts and a healthy diet. All the advertising dollars the supplement companies spend are designed to convince the average joe lifter that he should fill his body with pharmeceuticals. Across the spectrum from steroids on down to creatine, all supplements are a means of artificially boosting one's strength and or size. This is fine for certain classes of people (e.g. competitive power lifters) but someone lifting solely for his own personal improvement is better of saving his money in my opinion. In addition, there are no long term conclusions as to the effect of consistent creatine supplementation on the kidneys. To each his own, but for someone just trying to improve himself, I don't see the value in spending the money and taking the risk (however minimal) to artificially add a rep or two. And, creatine certainly won't accelerate weight loss.
post #6 of 29
my 2 cents on creatine: i know a couple of guys who used it and put on a lot of muscle mass. when they stopped taking it, the muscle mass disappeared rather quickly. i know this sounds strange but that's what happened. so unless you're prepared to take creatine for the rest of your life, i don't see any point in starting.
post #7 of 29
Well, I've been off and on creatine for the last six years and haven't lost any muscle mass while off of it, but then again, I have been taking it during all of the strength phases of my workout.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
And, creatine certainly won't accelerate weight loss.
There is your reason not to take creatine, besides the fact that it's a drug, and taking drugs to enhance performance is just stupid. Creatine is only for the hardcore lifters, and the extremely vain.
post #9 of 29
One other thing about creatine is that it's usually taken to gain weight (by adding muscle) so it may not really be what you're looking for until you get down to the 200-220 lb range.
post #10 of 29
Quote:
There is your reason not to take creatine, besides the fact that it's a drug, and taking drugs to enhance performance is just stupid. Creatine is only for the hardcore lifters, and the extremely vain.
Er...creatine isn't any more 'hardcore' than protein powder. It sounds like you're equating it with pro-hormones or steroids, which is a common public misconception. Creatine, for the most part, is harmless and has a place in any athlete's regimen. To summarize, creatine can assist slightly with increasing strength and muscle mass. Although it makes you retain some water, and you lose that water after you stop taking it, you still benefit from the increased strength and muscle obtained during its use.
post #11 of 29
there are 3 issues here - first, the more muscle mass you have, the more callories you will burn. creatine will help you build muscle mass, making lean muscle a larger proportion of your body, making your at rest metabolism burn more callories. so, creatine can be very helpful, if you want to have more muscle mass and a higher percentage of lean muscle to fat in your body. using creatine, while lifting, will give you a much stronger body, not so much the lean bar body look that is often considered atractive in our culture,(think brad pitt) but more of the look of a pro-wrestler. if you should slow down or stop lifting, that mass will go right to fat. once you start taking creatine you are commiting to a life of lifting wieghts with intesity or being fat (this is from experience).
post #12 of 29
Quote:
if you should slow down or stop lifting, that mass will go right to fat. once you start taking creatine you are commiting to a life of lifting wieghts with intesity or being fat (this is from experience).
Not true.  Muscle doesn't turn to fat.  Muscle can atrophy and decrease in size.  Fat is generally caloric intake in excess of one's energy needs.  The two are largely independent.  Obviously, if one stops working out, both muscle atrophy and a decrease in energy needs are experienced.  If that were coordinated with a corresponding decrease in caloric intake, muscle atrophy would not be affected but fat buildup could be prevented. Just as with any workout program, creatine supplementation will be more effective for some people than for others.  When I first started using it, I experienced significant power and strength gains.  A good friend experienced little benefit.  I suspect that was partially due to his body type (more ectomorphic than me) and partially due to the lower intensity of his workouts.  The only way you can tell what it will do for you is to try it, and I believe you can try it with little or no risk. I would suggest that you wait until you experience a training plateau.  Building strength is an endeavor in diminishing returns.  The farther one moves beyond one's physiological equilibrium, for lack of a better concept, the more effort is required in terms of workout intensity, diet, and sleep.  If you are continuing to make strength gains now with your current regimen, enjoy it and save the extra effort for when you need it. Also, try things for yourself and take others' suggestions with a grain of salt.  According to what I've already read on this thread, I'm some combination of the following: - a competitive athlete - too dumb to see through marketing untruths - about to lose significant muscle mass since I recently cycled off creatine - doomed to taking creatine for the rest of my life - stupid for taking "drugs" to enhance performance - extremely vain Congrats on your current weight loss and best of luck with your workouts. dan
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Quote:
(globetrotter @ 15 Dec. 2004, 08:44) if you should slow down or stop lifting, that mass will go right to fat. once you start taking creatine you are commiting to a life of lifting wieghts with intesity or being fat (this is from experience).
Not true.  Muscle doesn't turn to fat.  Muscle can atrophy and decrease in size.  Fat is generally caloric intake in excess of one's energy needs.  The two are largely independent.  
actually, what I said was that mass will turn right to fat. If you mass 100K and of that 9 of that is fat while you are lifting weights 8 hours a week, when you stop lifting wieght you will eithr have to drop your body weight, fast, to remove the extra mass, or that mass will become fat (unless you grow some extra bone or something - which seems less likely).
post #14 of 29
Quote:
actually, what I said was that mass will turn right to fat. If you mass 100K and of that 9 of that is fat while you are lifting weights 8 hours a week, when you stop lifting wieght you will eithr have to drop your body weight, fast, to remove the extra mass, or that mass will become fat (unless you grow some extra bone or something - which seems less likely).
That's absolutely not true. Besides, if you weren't talking about muscle, what "mass" are you talking about?
post #15 of 29
debaser, focus for a second - john weighs 100K. of that X is muscle, Y is bone and various other tissue (more or less non variable) and z is fat. Lets say that muscle represents 40K, fat 10K and Y is 50K. to keep this mass up, you are eating a certain ammount of calories - lets say 3500 calories a day. now, if you stop lifting wieghts, you will lose muscle. granted, that muscle will not turn into fat cells magically. what will happen is that muscle will shrink. you, however, will continue to mass 100K unless you drop your caloric consumption dramiatically (probrably to less than 2500 calories for a period of time) or encrease your burn rate of calories dramatically. now, if X and Y and Z = 100K. and Y is constant, and X is decreasing. what is left to encrease? now, you could choose to grow a bony ecoskeleton that will make up the delta, but aside from that the only variable is fat. clear?
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