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Does Creatine Help With Abs? (Or Cause Bloated Abs?)

Creatine helps with abs as research shows it helps increase muscle gains. So, as long as you’re training abs while taking creatine, it should help you develop your abs.

man showing his abs in a gym

In this article, we cover the science behind six packs, why creatine helps build abs, how to take creatine for abs, and much more!

The Science Behind Six Pack Abs

Before we dive deep into the science of why creatine can help you build abs, it’s important to cover the foundations of building six pack abs.

Now, there are 2 components to having an impressive set of abs.

1. Developed Abdominal Muscles
2. Low Body Fat

Let’s cover these in a bit more detail!

Developed Abdominal Muscles

Anyone with impressive biceps has developed bicep muscles.

Anyone with wide, round shoulders has developed deltoid muscles.

And likewise, anyone with an inspirational set of abs has developed abdominal muscles.

So, the first part of building abs involves increasing the size of your abdominal muscles.

You can do this by training your abs frequently and intensely.

Low Body Fat

Subcutaneous fat is the fat that sits between your muscles and skin.

So, the more subcutaneous belly fat you have, the bigger the distance between your ab muscles and your skin.

This means you could have the largest abdominal muscles in the world, but if you have too much belly fat, then no one would be able to see them!

And so, the second part of owning a sexy set of abs is to lower your body fat enough so that they’re visible.

You can do this by ensuring you’re in a calorie deficit, so that you’re burning more energy than you’re consuming.

Reasons Why Creatine Helps With Abs

Creatine Helps Improve Muscle Gain

Creatine works by increasing the amount of energy your muscles can use when working out.

So, when you take creatine, your workouts tend to be more intense. This results in more micro-damage in your muscle tissue.

Our bodies respond to this micro-damage by repairing the muscle tissue and making it bigger – a process called hypertrophy.

So in theory, creatine should help you build more muscle…

Well, the good news is that plenty of research supports this theory.

For example, a summary of 22 studies compared the difference in muscle gains of creatine takers and others who didn’t take creatine.

The results showed that the creatine takers gained an extra 1.37kg of lean muscle on average, compared to the others.

And so, by taking creatine when training abs, you should be able to develop your ab muscles even more!

Creatine Helps You Burn More Calories

As briefly touched upon earlier, the main factor when it comes to fat loss is a calorie deficit.

(That’s right – forget about your keto shakes, superfoods and all that other marketing nonsense.)

In simple terms, a calorie deficit is when your net energy intake is negative.

In other words, you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming.

Now, there are 2 ways to increase a calorie deficit.

You can either:

  • Consume less calories (i.e. eat less food)
  • Burn more calories (i.e. exercise more)

Since creatine helps make your workouts more intense, it can help you burn more calories which will do the world of good when it comes to fat loss.

Can Creatine Give You Bloated Abs?

Research shows that creatine significantly boosts water retention.

This means it makes your muscles hold more water, which can make you look bloated.

Now just to be clear, if your body fat levels are low and your ab muscles are well developed, then a bit of bloating won’t ruin your six pack.

It just means that your abs will appear less vascular.

So, all things considered, it’s still a good idea to take creatine if you want to build that chiselled core.

How To Take Creatine For 6 Pack Abs

So, you’re now convinced that taking creatine will help you get that dream six pack.

But how should you take creatine?

Well, I’m glad you asked!

The first thing you should do is take creatine consistently while you’re working out your abs.

So, to keep things simple, let’s say to take 5g per day – ideally after your workout on training days.

Then, once you’ve built a decent set of abs and your body fat has decreased sufficiently, you may want to stop taking creatine to reduce the bloating.

The less bloated you are, the more defined your abs will be.

But won’t I lose my hard-earned muscle and gain fat again when I stop taking creatine? I hear you cry.

Don’t panic – as long as you keep training your abs and eat sensibly, you should maintain your new impressive midsection.

Best Creatine For Abs

on micronised creatine powder

I’ve been taking 5g of Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine after each workout for over 2 years now.

It’s from a trustworthy brand, and more importantly, it works.

And since it’s micronized, it’s super dissolvable so you don’t get that nasty bitty texture that other creatine powders have.

(If you want more detailed analysis on this product, then check out my original review of ON Micronized Creatine.)


In summary:

  • Creatine does help with abs as it can increase abdominal muscle growth.
  • Creatine can make your workouts more intense, which helps you burn more calories leading to more fat loss.
  • Taking 5g of creatine after your workout is ideal for muscle growth.

That’s all for creatine and abs, but is creatine good for beginners? Or does creatine increase vascularity?

Hope this helped!