If you are hitting the gym regularly, creatine is a familiar name. It’s praised for its benefits in high-intensity workouts, but recently, there’s been talk about its potential side effect: increased hunger. Let’s set the record straight and answer the question: ‘Does creatine make you hungry?’
Creatine: A Quick Overview
Creatine is a compound found naturally in our muscles. It’s crucial for short bursts of power and strength. When supplemented, with high-quality creatine like Approved Science® Creatine Monohydrate, it aids in replenishing ATP, our primary energy currency, allowing for improved workout performance (1).
So, Does Creatine Make You Hungry?
The science is pretty clear: there isn’t direct evidence pointing to creatine as a cause for increased appetite. But there are related factors worth noting:
Intensity In Workouts
One thing creatine is known for is amping up workout performance. When you supplement with creatine, your muscles have a richer store of quick-access energy, allowing for more reps, heavier lifts, and longer sets. This means your usual gym routine might get more intense, even if you don’t consciously push yourself harder. As a result of this boost in intensity, your body starts to increase caloric expenditure. As you burn through calories at a faster rate, it’s only natural for your body to signal an increased appetite, demanding more fuel to aid recovery and prep for the next workout session.
The Hydration Factor
Creatine increases water retention within muscles (2). While this isn’t directly related to hunger, it’s crucial to differentiate between feelings of thirst and hunger, as they can sometimes overlap. Ensure you’re hydrating adequately, especially when supplementing with creatine.
Building muscle, especially with the support of supplements like creatine, can elevate your body’s protein requirements. If these aren’t met, it might translate to increased feelings of hunger as your body pushes for the nutrients it needs. Additionally, protein is known to promote feelings of satiety, so if you aren’t getting enough in your daily diet, you are more likely to feel hungry, especially if you are working out on a regular basis (3). Try adding more protein into your diet, whether that be grilled chicken breasts, tofu, or an on-the-go protein shake.
The Bottom Line
While creatine itself doesn’t cause hunger, the heightened workout intensity and potential need for increased protein can lead to a stronger appetite. It’s essential to be aware of these nuances, adjust your diet if necessary, and ensure you’re staying hydrated.