Does Creatine Break a Fast?

creatine monohydrate

What is Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting, also referred to as non-linear dieting, is a broad term for several eating planning that revolves around voluntary fasting and food intake over a given time. In a way, intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating and not essentially a diet. It is simply a way of timing your meals in a way that you can get the best out of them. It simply changes when you eat and not what you eat. It’s a great way to lose some weight without necessarily going on a crazy diet or cutting down calories.

At this point you may be wondering, how does this even work? Well, you first need to understand the distinction between fasted states and the fed state. The body works in mysterious ways. The digestion and absorption of the food intake are what is referred to as the fed state. When your body is in a fed state, the food intake lasts for a period of 3 to 5 hours before you begin to feel bodily reactions that digest and absorb the food you just ate. Thus, when your body is in a fed state, it becomes very difficult for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels would have been very high. During this timeframe, your body then enters into a state called the post-absorptive state which means that your body isn’t processing any food. The post-absorptive state lasts for 8 to 12 hours after you last ate. This means that is it way easier for your body to burn fat since your insulin levels are low.

There are a lot of reasons why people practice this dietary tactic ranging from improved metabolism to weight loss. However, a major reason is weight loss. By eating fewer meals, it can lead to an automatic reduction in calorie consumption.

What is Creatine?

Creatine is one of the widely popular and researched supplements within the fitness community. It is the number one supplement for improving performance during workout sessions in the gym. Several studies have shown that it is capable of increasing muscle mass, strength, and overall exercise performance.

About 95% of the creatine in your body is stored in your muscles in the form of phosphocreatine, while the other 5% is contained in the brain, liver, and kidneys. Thus, when you take creatine supplements, you increase the phosphocreatine in your body which is stored in the cells. This helps your body produce more high-energy molecule called ATP. More ATP means more energy which can help the body perform better during physical exercises.

It is a substance naturally found in the muscle cells and it helps your muscles to produce energy during heavy exercises. Thus, taking creatine as a supplement is very common among athletes and bodybuilders as it alters cellular processes to enhance strength, gain muscle and improve overall performance. However, just because creatine is natural does not make it entirely safe to consume. Since supplements are not exactly held to the same standards as medications by the FDA, you can’t always know the exact contents of your supplements. There are still only going research and studies as to the potential long-term effects of taking these supplements, especially for young individuals.  However, most healthy people can take the supplement without any issues. But it can have adverse effects when used in excess. Some of the adverse effects include weight gain; diarrhea; anxiety; headache; fever; kidney problems; stomach upset among others. Also, the supplement is not recommended for those with diabetes, liver disease or any form of kidney problem.

Does Creatine Break Your Fast?

So, now that the foundation has been taken care of, it’s time to tackle a very vital question which is whether taking the supplement breaks your intermittent fast? The short answer is no, taking creatine would not constitute breaking your fast since creatine in its pure monohydrate from is a zero calories supplement. This is applicable whether you are practicing a 12-24 hour or multi-day. This is because the supplement does not the body’s insulin or blood sugar levels as its only protein, carbohydrates and amino acids that do this. Since it doesn’t do this, your body will continue to use body fat as energy while fasting.

No matter the reason you are fasting, whether to lose weight or bodybuilding, creatine is undoubtedly a great supplement to take. It would help you continue workout exercises intensely.

However, to be 100% safe, it’s best to save creatine and other supplements for your eating window. It is also important to make sure that the product you are using contains only pure creatine monohydrate as some creatine supplements contain carbs. They are added for some reasons. One of them is that the insulin spike caused as a result of the carbs can help pump more creatine into the muscles.

Anything Else to Consider?

It should be noted that intermittent fasting is not advisable is you have any underlying medical condition or you are pregnant or breastfeeding, without consulting a certified medical practitioner first. It can be very beneficial but it should be done safely and responsibly. Thus, before practicing this dietary strategy, make sure you are healthy and in good shape. It is also advisable to stick to healthy balanced diets while exercising regularly if you are practicing intermittent fasting.

Bottom Line

We have walked you on an interesting journey on our take on creatine and intermittent fasting. To cut the long story short, creatine is a very effective supplement, so it is intermittent fasting. However, If you want to practice intermittent fasting and you want to be 100% sure that you are not breaking protocol, its best to save your supplements for your eating windows. Nevertheless, we opine that the supplement would have little or no effect on your fasting protocol because creatine contains no calories as we have mentioned above. Additionally, it is important to use an unflavoured supplement that guarantees low sugar content and no caloric energy flavoring. Using supplements that contain added flavors may mostly like have some sugar content which will take your body out of the fast state because of an insulin response. Thus, you must read the label to ensure that there are no added calories or sugar just in case.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does Creatine help during intermittent fasting?

You may be wondering if you should take creatine during your fasting periods. This is usually as a result of deep-seated concerns that these periods will have negative effects on the muscles. Some of the health benefits of intermittent fasting are probably as a result of the fact that your body is not getting any nutrients. Overall, it may not be necessary to take supplements during fasting periods but taking creatine does help increase muscle mass nevertheless.

  • When to take creatine while intermittent fasting?

As we have stated earlier, creatine does not contain any calories, so it can be taken during fast periods. Doing this have some health-related benefits like reducing inflammation, oxidative stress and increasing autophagy. Additionally, during your fasted periods, your insulin levels are low and thus your body switches energy utilization to ketones. Delivering essential nutrients during this state to fuel your body will help your body perform exercises more efficiently. However, to stay on a safer side and to be 100% sure that you are not breaking your fast, it is best and advisable to take creatine or any other supplements during eating windows.

  • Is intermittent fasting bad for you?

Intermittent fasting is a very common dietary strategy that utilizes fasting periods longer than a typical overnight fast but it is not for the faint of heart. However, there are different types of intermittent fasting; time-restricted eating; the 5:2 diet; religious fasting; alternate-day fasting and periodic fasting. Intermittent fasting is not advisable for individuals who are struggling to gain weight, under 18 years of age as they may need sufficient calories daily for proper development. Intermittent fasting is very beneficial and unless you are not in healthy shape, you have a medical condition, kidney issues or you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s best you consult a doctor before you practice this dietary strategy.

  • Is creatine monohydrate keto-friendly?

Yes. Creatine monohydrate is an extensively sought after and researched dietary supplement that has been shown to produce positive and beneficial results especially for those in the fitness community. The one thing you want you to avoid in your supplement is carbs. This is why you should pay attention to every labeling on the supplements you buy. Nevertheless, no form of keto contains maltodextrin or dextrose, thus there shouldn’t be any carbs in them. There is no basis to believe that taking creatine would affect the benefits of a keto diet since the energy systems affected by ketones and creatines are not in competition.

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