What Happens When You Stop Taking Creatine? (5 Side Effects You Need to Know)

Losing your hard earned gains is a scary thought, so it’s important to know exactly what happens when you stop taking creatine.

When you stop taking creatine, your creatine levels drop. Because your muscles don’t have as much creatine as there used to, you will definitely notice some changes, but there is no need to worry.

Your hard-earned gains won’t disappear when you stop taking creatine, but here are 5 side effects you’ll want to know.

What Exactly Is Creatine?

Before you understand what happens when you stop taking creatine, you have to know what creatine is first.

creatine pills

Creatine is a natural energy source that your body makes. 95% of your creatine is in your muscle, the other 5% is in your kidney, pancreas, liver, and brain.

Your body produces about 2 grams of creatine each day, and this energy is used for exercises and physical activity.

 Creatine helps your muscles recover from physical activities, gives you energy for your exercises, improves lean muscle mass, and improves strength.

What Happens When You Stop Taking Creatine?

The main five side effects when you stop taking creatine can be less energy, decreased muscle mass, a decline in strength, an increase in fatigue, mental challenges, and changes in muscle size.

what happens when you stop taking creatine

Less Energy In Muscles?

Since creatine is energy for your muscles while exercising, when you stop taking it you will slowly notice more tiredness, and not be able to exercise as long as you used to.

This can be more extreme in certain people depending on how their body reacts to taking creatine supplements, but usually results in the loss of 1 or so reps in a set of 10. 

Decline In Strength?

If you stop taking creatine, it’s possible to see a decline in your strength.

Creatine doesn’t magically make you strong, so if you stop taking it you’ll have the exact same strength as before. However, the extra energy that creatine gives your muscles can make it a lot easier to grind that lift out.

As a result, it can be a little more mentally challenging to lift heavy when you stop taking creatine.

Increase In Fatigue?

As we’ve mentioned before, when you stop taking creatine, your energy levels can drop.

With your creatine levels lower than normal you will experience more fatigue in your entire body, not just your muscles. This can make you feel weak and tired and can make it hard to finish a challenging workout.

More Mentally Challenging

Creatine isn’t just a great energy source for your muscles, it also provides a steady stream of phosphate for energy to the brain, and is a neuroprotective substance.

This means that taking creatine actually allows for better mental concentration! This can be super valuable when focusing on a workout and can be one of the most challenging effects of when you stop taking creatine.

Not only does creatine give your brain a big energy boost and help with concentration, but it also helps combat the side effects of depression as well, helping your lifestyle goals even more.

Lose Muscle Size?

Creatine is osmotically active, which means it draws water to your muscle and holds it there, which can make your muscles look fuller and bigger without adding more muscle tissue.

When you stop taking creatine, the osmatic effect of creatine goes away and your muscles lose some of their stored water. 

This can make your muscles look a little smaller, but shouldn’t make that big of a difference.

Will You Lose Weight If You Stop Creatine?

Because creatine stores water in your muscles, when you stop taking creatine and lose the stored water it will lower your weight as well.

Now depending on the amount of time you’ve been taking creatine and how much water your body stores, you can lose as much as 7 pounds of water weight when you stop taking creatine.

So you will definitely lose water weight, but will you lose your muscle gains?

If I Stop Taking Creatine Will I Lose My Muscle?

The answer is no, no you will not lose your muscle. Your muscle will stay the same, the only thing that changes is the water weight.

creatine capsules

You will lose a little endurance, muscle recovery will take longer, and energy and creatine levels will lower, but it will not be night and day differences.

But should you stop taking creatine?

Should You Stop Taking Creatine?

I believe that there is no reason to stop taking creatine. There are no downsides to taking creatine, and it has only been shown to benefit lifters.

There have been around 300 studies on creatine, and the only downside that has been found is the occasional upset stomach.

If you’re not taking creatine already, you should definitely consider it! We put a couple of our favorite creatine brands below, and make sure to check out how long creatine takes to work!

Where To Buy Creatine

The creatine that I personally use is ON creatine. I like this creatine because it’s not overly expensive and is really good quality. I bought the 120 servings bottle, and it has lasted me many months.

Naturebell is another high-quality creatine supplement, and I really like how easily this one dissolves in water. It’s absolutely tasteless, so it’s great combined with a meal.

Final Thoughts

Creatine gives you energy, makes you look fuller and bigger, improves strength and recovery time, and most of all creatine is cheap.

I have been using it for many months now and the two main effects that I’ve noticed are my muscles looking fuller, and my strength has increased a lot because I’ve been able to lift harder with the extra energy creatine provides.

However, you don’t need creatine and you can workout and exercise and still see muscle gains, but I think creatine is definitely worth it.

Comment below with your thoughts on creatine, and happy lifting! 

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