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I am on a low-carb diet to lose fat. Should I consume a protein shake and creatine in order to build muscle mass?

There's a bit of an issue with a low carbohydrate diet and those supplements you mentioned.  Low carb diets are designed for users to lose body fat, which I am sure that you've experienced.  It isn't a diet that has been designed to build muscle.  This is because it is a low calorie diet and it is also low in carbohydrates.

If you are seeking to build any substantial amount of muscle mass, I would definitely recommend a post-workout protein shake as I believe that this is a vital element to muscle growth.  However, this will have little to no effect on your progress if the remainder of the diet is not in tact to support your goals.  Since a low carbohydrate diet is not a muscle-building diet, you would be receiving very minimal results (with regards to building muscle), even if you added in a protein shake after your workout.

The same goes for creatine monohydrate.  Basically this supplement allows you to produce more force by increasing the availability of energy within muscle cells.  The theory is that more force contributes to more overload which will result in bigger muscle gains.  Creatine is a very well researched supplement with some solid evidence to back it's effectiveness.  However, as with your protein shake, your muscles will not significantly increase in size if your training and supplementation is not backed by an eating plan to support muscle growth.

When it comes to building muscle, there are four key elements that must all work together in order to produce the desired result:

  • Your training regime
  • Your diet plan
  • Your supplementation plan
  • Your recovery

If just one of these factors is not up to scratch, you will not reach your full potential.

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