If you have been working out and eating well, but have been unhappy with your weight gain, then you may be thinking of adding a supplement to your routine. One of the most common supplements for muscle building is creatine powder. Creatine can be very beneficial in helping athletes at all levels add muscle mass. However, it does have some small downsides and shortcomings, too. You'd be wise to consider both the pros and the cons before you head off to purchase yourself a jar.
The Pros of Creatine Powder for Muscle Gain
One benefit of creatine is that it has a long track record of use. It's not a new, recently-researched supplement or an herbal blend that was just concocted. Doctors and scientists know how creatine works, and they know that it works. Weight lifters and athletes have been using it for years, so there is little that remains unknown or undiscovered about the supplement.
Another benefit of creatine is that it works in several ways. It reduces muscle fatigue, which allows you to work out longer. It also enhances your recovery rate. When you recover faster, you can challenge yourself with more grueling workouts more often, which allows you to build muscle faster. This compounded effect means creatine has a more pronounced effect on muscle growth than other supplements that may only enhance recovery or only reduce fatigue.
Another benefit of creatine is that it can be taken either before or after workouts. Some athletes prefer to take it beforehand, and others prefer to use it as a post-workout supplement. This flexibility makes it a good choice for athletes with busy schedules or particular routine preferences.
The Cons of Creatine Powder for Muscle Gain
One downside of creatine powder is that it can cause bloating. This is temporary in most cases, but some athletes do find it an annoyance, especially if they begin to feel bloated before having photos taken or participating in a contest where aesthetics are important.
Another downside to creatine is that you do need to take a larger loading dose for the first week or so that you use the supplement. This increases the cost of the supplementation and can be a lot of powder to consume — although mixing it into a shake can help.
For most people, the downsides of creatine are small and not overly worrisome. If you're looking to add a supplement for weight gain, this one is likely a good choice.