Well, I do get the logic on this one, if you have read a bit about creatine then you will have possibly picked up on info that says ‘creatine make’s you retain water’.

This is true, and it’s due to creatine being ‘osmotically active’ which for the non-biochemists amongst us is basically the shift of water from an area of low solute concentration, to an area of high solute concentration.

Osmosis is a critical part of life, it’s how the action potential’s are created in the heart, which is why our hearts beat…so it’s pretty important.

This osmosis process happens all around the body and it’s the reason why creatine supplements cause you to store water.

However, the fear that creatine supplementation will cause you to retain water (via osmosis) around your mid-section is fundamentally not true! This is osmotic shift

In the Journal of Athletic Training, Powers, M, E. et al. (2008) explain the relationship between creatine consumption and fluid retention stating that the water was intramuscular and not around the mid-section. This does appear to cause a relative increase in total weight and TBW (total body water) but the implication on aesthetics i.e. the way we look, is generally considered to be favourable. Muscles look fuller and thicker and the impression of size goes up.

Of course you then get the ergogenic benefit too meaning creatine supplementation, at least in my mind, is a stone wall winner.


Powers, M, E., Arnold, B, L., & Weltman, A, L. et al. (2008). Creatine Supplementation Increases Total Body Water Without Altering Fluid Distribution. Journal of Athletic Training.

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