Creatine Bloating & Water Retention: Fact Or Fiction?

Hey guys, Sean Nalewanyj here of,
and in today’s video I want to quickly address the topic of “creatine bloating”. So there’s
no question that creatine is the real deal when it comes to effective natural muscle
building supplementation. It is absolutely research proven to improve training performance
and to increase muscle cell hydration, and creatine is easily the most effective natural
muscle building compound available at this point. But despite creatine’s positive effects,
some people still shy away from creatine supplementation out of fear that it will cause their muscles
to appear “soft” or “bloated”. In reality, the entire notion of “creatine bloating”
is a completely false concept. Yes, creatine does increase water retention, but in order
for that water retention to cause any form of “bloating”, that water would need to
be stored subcutaneously, or directly underneath your skin in other words. The water retention
that results from creatine supplementation is almost entirely intra-cellular assuming
that you’re using a high quality product. In other words, creatine pulls water into
the actual muscle cell itself with little to no effect on subcutaneous water retention.
If anything, creatine should cause your muscles to appear harder and more defined. So where
did this whole “creatine bloating” myth originate from? Well, it’s probably the result
of 2 main causes. First off, it could simply be the result of those who are using creatine
in conjunction with a very high-calorie mass gaining diet. When your overall calorie intake
and carbohydrate intake reaches an excessive level, you’re likely going to experience
a noticeable increase in subcutaneous water retention, and this is going to cause you
to appear flatter and softer looking. Those on a high calorie diet who are not accurately
tracking their total macronutrient intake may mistakenly think that it’s the creatine
that is causing the bloating, when in fact it’s just a simple issue of their excessive
food intake. Then add in the fact that most people follow the unnecessary “creatine loading
phase” protocol of 20 grams of creatine a day for the first 5 days (which is usually
split up into 4 servings of 5 grams), and they consume that alongside 20-30 grams of
simple sugar in each serving, and you end up with an extra 300-600 daily calories from
pure sugar alone. And secondly, it’s simply a made up problem created by shady supplement
companies in order to sell you new “advanced” forms of creatine. You’ll basically see
the whole “doesn’t cause bloating” selling point for virtually every single creatine
produt out there, including creatine ethyl ester, buffered creatine, creatine serum,
creatine hydrochloride, these are all examples of products that are promoted in this way.
The truth is that it’s nothing more than marketing hype designed to push over-priced
creatines that are equally or even less effective than standard creatine monohydrate. So, don’t
allow these false myths to hold you back. Creatine is a safe and effective supplement
for those who are looking to maximize their muscle gains and their gym performance, and
creatine monohydrate is still the best form available. Unless you fall into the “creatine
non-responder” category, which does affect anywhere from maybe 15 up to as high as 30%
of the population, then creatine will increase your strength and power, it will volumize
muscle cells and increase lean muscle growth, and all without causing any subcutaneous water
retention or so-called “bloating”. My suggestion is to stick to a product that uses
“Creapure” creatine monohydrate as the source, as that will ensure that you’re
getting the highest grade of creatine possible, and I will link one product in the description
box that does use Creapure creatine, but you can use any brand that you want. So thanks
for watching this video, I hope you found the information useful here today. If you
did enjoy the video as always please make sure to hit the “like” button, leave a
comment and subscribe to stay up to date on future videos. Also make sure to check out
my complete step-by-step muscle building and fat loss programs over at
by clicking the icon at the top of the video or using the link in the description box below.
And make sure to check out my official blog over at for all of my latest articles,
tips and other updates. So thanks for watching this video and I’ll talk to you again soon.

53 thoughts on “Creatine Bloating & Water Retention: Fact Or Fiction?

  1. What is the big difference between creatines, I am not talking about all these blends of 10 creatines? Like Creatine Magnesium Chelate, Kre-Aklyn, Creatine HCI, Creatine Pyruvate, Creatine Nitrate, or the Micronized Creatine?

  2. Sean nice video!  You should also address the hair loss speculation involving Creatine. It's the reason I haven't been taking it yet.

  3. Hey Sean, hate to bother u so much! I just really trust your advice! Quick question, my pre-workout has creatine hcl in it but I'm using optimum nutrition creatine creapure, should I have concerns? Or is it completely safe?

  4. if your creatine makes you bloat its gotta be genetic creatine actually makes my muscles look and fel fuller not bloated

  5. i've been doing a mass gainer plus creatine mono like everyday. I was wondering why my arms got bloated as shit lol

  6. hey Sean i just wanted to say that your channel is fantastic. full of great infortmation, which is why i have to ask for your advice. im 30 years old im 5, 10 tall at 185lbs and a 32 inch waist. im train regularly and hard. however i started taking creatine to add a bit more size and strength. my diet is great and i drink a gallon if water a day. but i like to sweat out for 20 mins post workout in a sauna for detox. my question is…does the extra sweating in the sauna effect the creatine doing its job. will less water be absorbed into the muscles?? i would really like to get an answer from you. please. thank you in advance

  7. Dont want to deter anyone from taking it but when I use creatine, I bloat. When i dont use it, I dont bloat. I dont care about al the info on consuming too much calories. The fact is when I use it, I bloat. End of story, for me anyway.

  8. Hey Shaun what creatine do you recommend for someone who is on a high protein low fat diet? and goes to gym 1 hour a day

  9. Its not at all false. Caused my face to bloat tremendously and developed a double chin. I had excellent gains and strength but looked like shit. Fuck this guy talking about subcutaneous water retention. He is naturally skinny dude who transformed himself into a youtube trainer. Based on his body type he probably doesn't bloat. However, if you have a medium build you will absolutely bloat. Stay away from creatine if u care about your appearance

  10. I've tried mono, hcl, and CEE and I bloat on all of them. Within a few days, I gain 3-8 lbs of water, and if I stop, I will piss it all out within a few days as well. It absolutely DOES make my muscles look bigger, especially my arms, but I HATE being bloated, especially when we are talking about appearance, it's important. I'm to the point where I can't justify taking creatine because the bloat makes me hate myself. If it doesn't affect you that way I am jealous but I just don't think I can do it anymore.

  11. Nope, caused me to bloat like crazy, particularly in the face and around the waist.  The bloating stopped when I stopped taking creatine.  Pre creatine, I weighed 185.  Eight months later, I was a very bloated 205.  My girlfriend used to call me "Chubby Chops" due to my bloated face.  I gained a lot of strength, but looked like a fat sack of shit with all the water retention, and running was absolutely out of the question.  When you go off creatine, you lose .25 – .50 of your gains.  I wouldn't recommend taking creatine, as every source says its harmless, yet I can assure you that carrying around all that water weight is not healthy.

  12. Completely agree with the comments rather than the video.  Bloating is not a myth.  Especially if you do a loading phase.  I am naturally thin, and literally two or three days into loading, I looked 5 to 10 pounds heavier.  Some people don't experience this, some do.  But it's not a myth.

  13. Creatine supplementation puffy face explained:

    1. Creatine supplementation draws water into your muscles, making them bigger.
    2. Your face has muscles.

  14. Creatine def works but it's not worth the puffy fat face it gives me, I can never do enough cardio to get rid of it. If I stop taking it I'll piss out the water and I can see my fucking jawline again

  15. Edema= “water under the subcutaneous tissue” which is a whole different medical issue. I have used overpriced creatine and definitely gained weight for the couple of hours right after drinking.Bloating means having any kind of tissue swollen up, in this case muscle because of the water retention.

  16. I heard somewhere that the water retention in your muscles makes you look bloated because it just pushes the fat you have up. If you were truly lean then your muscles wouldn't look bloated and would look larger.

  17. Thank you so much bro I’m 14 turning 15 soon and I’m going to start taking 3 grams of creatine after the gym.

  18. With all due respect, it give me a weird looking double chin by day 3, I pretty much maintain 9-10% BF now a days, as soon as I get off it the double chin is gone, My surplus is only 300 call/day. I have only use the mono-hydrate not sure about other variants though

  19. I don't even look elsewhere. When I have a doubt and I want direct, scientific, no bullshit information, I come direct here. Sean, you're the real deal.

  20. Ugh I'm so tired of people being pussys and not taking creatine, just because a little bit of bloating. It's such a small amount of bloat it should be worth it, because that's how you know you've got real creatine and not just fillers!

  21. My on the toilet right now because of creatine. Only took it for one week, first three days were the loading phase, my stomach feels like it's going to bust! I feel super bloated, it's like everything I eat and drink just sits in my stomach, I'm never taking creatine again.

  22. Ehh tru I’m on a bulking phase . And I just gained a shit ton of weight and my body looks worse 🙁 so I’m just go back to taking bcca cause damn I was slim waisted and huge on top. I’ll just take creatine again when I cut cause my carb intake is about 400g so I’ve noticed a shit ton of water retention

  23. This is not a myth my stomach feels and looks more bloated and my muscles are more soft and could this be a sign of any health threats?

  24. Well ummm your stomach has muscles (abs) and so does your face….so yeah…makes you look puffy

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