While the ketogenic diet is a healthy and effective approach to nutrition, there are a lot of questions asked in regards to staying in ketosis. Simply, being fat adapted or in ketosis means that your body is running primarily on ketone bodies, fat sources, after a period of low carb dieting mixed with activity and higher fat intake.
Staying in ketosis is a process of fueling those ketones so it makes sense to be wary of anything that might kick you out of ketosis. Can you take creatine on a ketogenic diet?
Yes and you absolutely should.
While on a keto diet, you may notice that you aren’t as strong as you previously were. This is a result of a lack of muscle glycogen due to a lower carb intake. Studies have shown that taking creatine on a low carb diet actually improves glycogen storage without carbohydrates. Even with trace amounts of carbohydrates, creatine seems to increase glycogen synthesis.(1)
(Here's some keto pre workout options for you)
Creatine increases ATP production. As we learn in basic science class, ATP is the energy currency of our cells. ATP is quickly burnt up for energy and creatine has been shown to increase ATP in both muscle and brain cells (creatine and brain health).
While our carbohydrates are lower, creatine on a keto diet will enable you to train harder than without creatine.
(Yes, women should get on the keto diet too)
Creatine on a keto diet: Water volume.
Carbohydrates store water. Anyone that goes on a crash diet and cuts out carbs knows that in the first few weeks they drop a bunch of water weight. Without carbohydrates, we’ll store less intra cellular water. Unfortunately for us, cell hydration is an anabolic, muscle building signal in of itself.
Creatine can help pull water into the muscle cell. Not only is it an anabolic signal but it also improves post exercise muscle recovery.
If you're looking for a pre workout keto supplement we've formulated one with creatine.
Will creatine kick me out of ketosis?
No it will not. The Physique Formula creatine monohydrate is calorie free and contains no artificial sweeteners or sugar that can raise your blood sugar. You’ve got to be careful when purchasing creatine as many are packed with sugar and artificial sweeteners.
How much creatine should I take on a keto diet?
While most of the research is on 5 grams of creatine per day, any time of the day, I’ve been experimenting with a higher dose. Around 10 grams per day or more for hard training athletes. You’ll get the majority of the benefits at 5 grams but if you have a large amount of muscle mass or are training hard daily then 10 grams may provide additional benefits.
That’s it. Creatine monohydrate on a keto diet can greatly improve your performance. Give it a shot.