What Happens When You Stop Taking Creatine

What Happens When You Stop Taking Creatine

Creatine is a powerful supplement that's been at the center stage of the fitness world for years. It's the secret ingredient that's been helping lifters lift more, runners run faster, and athletes perform at their peak. But what happens when you stop taking it? 

As experts on Creatine HCl, we believe it's important to clarify the facts, debunk the myths, and provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your health and fitness. Today, we’ll talk about the changes you can expect if you decide to stop taking creatine. 


What Happens When You Stop Taking Creatine?

When you stop supplementing with creatine, your body doesn't go into a state of shock. Your body is a smart machine, and it’s always adapting and adjusting. When you stop taking creatine, your body will simply start to realize that it will need to start making more creatine on its own. 

In the immediate aftermath of stopping creatine supplementation, your muscles will gradually use up the stored creatine. This process usually takes around four to six weeks. During this time, you might feel a few side effects, such as noticing a slight decrease in your strength and endurance levels. Don't panic, this is expected and completely normal. It's simply your body adjusting to the lower creatine levels in the muscles.

In the long term, your body will rev up its natural creatine production. It might take a few weeks, but your body will eventually return to its natural state of creatine balance. However, it's important to note that the extra edge you may have had during workouts from creatine supplementation — the ability to push a bit harder and lift a bit heavier — will no longer be as pronounced.

What Is Creatine and Why Do People Take It?

Creatine is a naturally occurring substance in our bodies, primarily found in our muscle cells. It's involved in the production of energy during high-intensity exercise and heavy lifting. In simple terms, creatine helps your muscles produce more ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the key molecule your cells use for energy and all basic life functions.

Creatine was first discovered in 1832 by a French scientist named Michel Eugène Chevreul when he extracted it from meat. However, it wasn't until the mid-20th century that scientists began to understand its role in energy production. From there, creatine slowly started making its way into the sports and fitness world, initially being used by elite athletes and bodybuilders.

Over the years, creatine has exploded in popularity in health and fitness. Why? Because it absolutely works. It helps athletes train harder and longer, supports muscle growth, and encourages recovery. However, that's not all. Beyond the gym, emerging research suggests that creatine may also support brain health, healthy aging, and overall cellular function.

It’s important to note that not all creatine is the same. There are a few different types of creatine supplements that have emerged over the years:

  • Creatine Monohydrate: The most researched and common form of creatine, it's known for its effectiveness in supporting strength, muscle growth, and performance. However, it can cause bloating in some people due to its water-retention properties.
  • Creatine Hydrochloride (Creatine HCl): The star ingredient of CON-CRET supplements, this form is bonded with hydrochloride to improve its solubility and absorption. It won’t cause typical creatine side effects and can be effective in smaller doses as it’s seven times more concentrated than creatine monohydrate. 
  • Buffered Creatine (kre-alkalyn): This is creatine monohydrate buffered with alkaline powder. The idea behind this is to make it more pH balanced, which is claimed to support its stability and reduce side effects, although research hasn't conclusively supported these claims.
  • Creatine Nitrate: This form of creatine is bonded with nitrate. It's highly soluble and may have additional benefits related to nitrate's effects on blood vessels and endurance, but more research is needed in this area. 
  • Creatine Citrate: This is creatine bonded with citric acid. It's more soluble than creatine monohydrate, but not as potent gram for gram, so larger doses are usually required.
  • Creatine Malate: This is creatine bonded with malic acid, a natural substance found in fruits that is involved in the production of energy in the body. It's more water-soluble than creatine monohydrate and may support endurance.
  • Creatine Pyruvate: This form combines creatine with pyruvic acid, which is involved in glucose metabolism. Some research suggests it may support performance and endurance more than creatine monohydrate, but more studies are needed.
  • Creatine Magnesium Chelate: This is creatine bound with magnesium, which may enhance the absorption of both substances. Some studies suggest it could offer similar benefits to creatine monohydrate but with less water weight gain. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.

How Does the Body React to Regular Creatine Supplementation?

Regardless of the type that you choose, when you supplement with creatine, you're essentially helping to top off your muscles' creatine storage tanks. Think of it as fueling your body's energy generators. During intense physical activity, your muscles use this stored creatine to produce more ATP. The result is strength, endurance, and recovery support.



Here's where things get interesting. Your body is a smart machine so when you start taking creatine regularly, your body will adapt to this increased creatine supply. How exactly? Well, your body naturally produces creatine in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. However, our bodies only produce about half the amount of creatine you need to function optimally.

When you supplement with creatine, your body recognizes the increased levels and reduces its own natural production. Don't worry — this isn't a bad thing. It's just your body's way of maintaining balance.

Should You Cycle Creatine? 

Creatine cycling involves periods of taking creatine (loading phase) followed by periods of not taking it (off phase). The idea behind this strategy is to give your body a break and allow it to return to its natural creatine production levels. Some people believe this can prevent your body from reducing its own creatine production over the long term.

However, it's essential to note that the fitness community is split on this. Some swear by creatine cycling, while others see no need for it. The truth is that there's currently no scientific evidence to suggest that cycling creatine offers any additional benefits.

On the flip side, there's no evidence to suggest that taking creatine every day is harmful, either. Many studies have shown that long-term creatine supplementation is safe. So, the decision to cycle creatine, use it daily, or stop altogether comes down to personal preference.

To Continue or Not to Continue Creatine Supplementation?

Using creatine to support your workouts doesn’t have to be a lifeline commitment. While you certainly can use creatine supplements safely for long periods of time, there are no major consequences if you decide to stop taking them for a cycle or for good. 

If you decide to move on from creatine, your body will change gears and increase its natural production again. You might experience a slight dip in your workouts, but your body will eventually return to its natural creatine balance after a few weeks.

If you decide to continue using creatine supplements, then consider using CON-CRĒT Creatine HCl. Our products are designed to provide more solubility and absorption than creatine monohydrate with less bloating and cramping. Basically, you’ll be getting more of the benefits with fewer of the downsides. 

Explore our range of Creatine HCl products and pick which one is the right fit for you. You’re not signing up for a lifetime of supplements here. You can quit whenever you want without hurting your body… or our feelings. Ultimately, your health journey is unique and every step you take should be in pursuit of your ultimate wellness.


Creatine and Phosphocreatine: A Review of Their Use in Exercise and Sport | PMC

Creatine Supplementation and Exercise Performance: A Brief Review | PMC

Beyond Muscles: The Untapped Potential of Creatine | PMC

Metabolic Basis of Creatine in Health and Disease: A Bioinformatics-Assisted Review | PMC

What Happens if You Stop Taking Creatine: Results and Side Effects | livestrong

Creatine Loading Phase: What Is It, and Is It Necessary? | Sports Illustrated

Biochemical Pathways of Creatine and Creatine Phosphate | University of Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange 

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