La créatine vous aide-t-elle à perdre du poids ?

Does creatine help you lose weight?

Creatine has quickly become a popular and trendy supplement that seems to promise a long list of benefits. And it's not just for bodybuilders!
From improving athletic performance to weight loss to improving brain function, creatine is believed to give a boost to many aspects of your health.

But is creatine effective for weight loss goals? Is it safe? And where does creatine actually come from?

What is creatine?

Creatine is an amino acid complex composed of arginine, glycine and methionine. It is produced naturally by the kidneys and liver. However, you can also get this nutrient "exogenously" or from outside sources, through your diet and supplements.
The majority of creatine is found in skeletal muscles (+-95%). Your body needs to replenish approximately one to three grams of creatine per day to maintain normal creatine stores (without supplements), depending on muscle mass.
Fortunately, about half of your daily creatine needs are obtained from your diet, in foods such as meat and fish. For example, a pound of uncooked beef or salmon provides about one to two grams of creatine.
The remaining amount of creatine is synthesized primarily in the liver and kidneys from precursor amino acids including arginine, methionine and glycine.
Some people prefer to increase their creatine intake using dietary supplements. Although there are a few different varieties, the most studied type of creatine supplement is creatine monohydrate.

So why is this amino acid so important?

The benefits of creatine

Creatine is one of the most popular ergogenic aids among athletes, especially bodybuilders. This supplement is often used during the growth phase, that is, while building muscle and consuming a calorie surplus over a period of time.
This period is then followed by a cut, where we seek to burn fat by following a calorie deficit.
Given the popularity of creatine supplementation, here is the existing research on the benefits of creatine for athletic performance.

Here are some potential effects of creatine supplementation:

Improved exercise performance
Increase in muscle mass and adaptation of muscle strength during training
May prevent and/or reduce the severity of injuries
May improve rehabilitation after injury
Improved glycogen synthesis
May help athletes tolerate heavy training loads
Improved exercise recovery
Neuroprotection of the brain and spinal cord

In addition to these benefits, there are a few other potential health benefits and clinical uses of creatine that are still being investigated, including

Use in neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, ALS, etc.)
Prophylactic creatine supplementation may be beneficial for patients at risk of myocardial ischemia and/or stroke.
May help prevent sarcopenia and bone loss in older adults.
May help reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
May reduce fat accumulation in the liver
May reduce homocysteine ​​levels
Can serve as an antioxidant
May improve blood sugar control
May slow tumor growth in certain types of cancer.
May minimize bone loss
May improve functional capacity in patients with knee osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.
May positively influence cognitive function
Can serve as an antidepressant

Creatine and weight loss

As you can see, creatine can play an important role in a number of different bodily processes. But what about weight loss?

A study on the weight loss benefits of creatine found mixed results. Some research suggests that creatine may be helpful because it can reduce body fat, while other studies have not found such a benefit.
At the cellular level, however, creatine influences adipocytes, or fat cells, and adipose tissue and their metabolism in certain ways. It can also influence the synthesis of triglycerides in different cell types.
A study using animal models suggests that creatine supplementation can reduce fat accumulation in the body. So why doesn't this translate into increased fat loss in men?
Perhaps because other factors, like exercise, come into play.

Let's look at the effects of combining creatine supplementation and resistance training for weight loss.

Research shows that the combination of creatine supplementation and resistance training can help burn fat more than resistance training alone. A meta-analysis examined the potential role of creatine in reducing body fat in aging participants.
The study found that those who consumed creatine lost about one pound more of fat compared to those who did not consume it. The authors also found that those who consumed creatine gained a significant amount of lean muscle mass.
Based on these results, it appears that the combination of strength training and creatine may be beneficial for the aging population, as they may be more prone to sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss. The muscle gain achieved by combining these two lifestyle strategies may also contribute to age-related weight gain.
Another study looking at the effects of creatine and resistance training in young men also found similar benefits. The authors of this study found that those who consumed creatine and engaged in resistance training experienced a significant increase in muscle mass.

But how can the combination of creatine supplementation and resistance training lead to fat reduction?

One idea is that increasing muscle mass can increase your basal metabolism. As your body burns more calories at rest (and also during exercise), fat loss may be more likely.
The exact mechanism behind the decrease in fat is still not very clear, but scientists believe it may involve a mixture of changes in metabolic rate, energy expenditure, and bioenergy from fat.

How to boost creatine?

If you want to reap the benefits of creatine, there are several ways to increase your intake of this amino acid through your diet or supplements.
About half of your daily creatine needs are obtained through diet. Beef, pork, salmon and herring are the best sources.

So, how much extra creatine should you consume and what are the best ways to increase your creatine intake?

This is what we are going to discover.

Who may need more creatine?

Based on the research discussed in this article so far, populations that may benefit from additional creatine supplementation include:

Aging adults
Fitness enthusiasts
Anyone looking to lose weight

There is currently no dietary reference intake for creatine, as it is not considered an essential amino acid. However, some people may have genetic changes that impair creatine production and may require greater supplementation.
Vegans and vegetarians may have lower intramuscular creatine stores because they do not eat meat and may also benefit from supplementation.

Larger athletes engaged in intense training may need to consume five to ten grams of creatine per day to maintain optimal creatine stores throughout the body.

4 tips to help you benefit from creatine

In addition to increasing your creatine intake, there are a few tricks you can try to maximize your body's absorption of creatine.

If you are taking a supplement, make sure your recommendations come from a qualified healthcare professional or registered dietitian. The guidelines presented here are considered general research findings and further customization may be necessary.

Tip 1: favor meats rich in creatine
If you eat animal products, increasing your animal protein sources such as beef, pork, herring and salmon can help. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you may want to talk to your doctor more about supplementation.

Tip 2: Add Carbs
Adding carbohydrates and protein to a creatine supplement appears to increase muscle creatine absorption and creatine retention. Here are some types of carbohydrates that you can favor:

Sweet potato
Brown rice
Colorful vegetables, including winter squash

Tip #3: favor small daily doses
Lower daily doses of creatine supplementation (three to five grams or 0.1 grams per kilogram of body mass) are effective according to research. Recent studies suggest that a creatine loading phase may not be necessary to achieve benefits.

A creatine loading phase (taking an amount up to five times the normally recommended dose during the first week) is popular among bodybuilders. This is believed to help “load” muscle tissue with sufficient creatine stores.

However, higher levels of creatine supplementation for longer periods may be necessary to increase creatine concentrations in the brain, compensate for deficiencies in creatine synthesis, or influence disease states.

Tip 4: Embrace Resistance Training
Incorporate resistance training into your regular workouts, while ensuring your training is tailored to your individual health needs and medical conditions). This can help you get the most out of your creatine intake in terms of body composition (increased lean muscle mass, decreased fat mass).

Are creatine supplements safe?

When it comes to creatine, long-term studies suggest that anyone taking a dose ranging from 0.3 to 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day (up to 30g/day) for up to at five years can be considered safe, as it does not present any adverse effects.
Some researchers have suggested exercising caution around people with kidney disease. However, there is insufficient evidence to date that creatine consumption has a negative effect on kidney function.
Researchers also found that creatine supplementation does not increase the risk of muscle cramps, gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, or dehydration for most people. In some people, oral creatine supplements may cause fluid retention. However, this is usually a short-term symptom that improves over time.