The amount of creatine and water that you should take depends on a lot of factors.
Many creatine manufacturers put a recommended daily dosage amount on their packaging.
However, this amount is not always appropriate for everyone.
It is important to speak to your physician or a nutritionist before beginning to take creatine supplements.
Generally speaking, if you are on a consistent workout program, you can consume approximately 0.3 grams of creatine per one kilogram (or 2.2 pounds) of body weight.
As far as water is concerned, you should drink about one pint of water each time you take a dose of the creatine.
What is creatine?
Creatine is made up of a combination of arginine, methionine and glycine. These are three different amino acids that are naturally found within the body.
The role of creatine is to help create energy and provide that energy to your muscles. In turn, you will be able to produce explosive and fast movements which are beneficial in weightlifting or in various athletic events.
This muscle contraction is made possible by adenosine triphosphate, also known as ATP. The body can only create enough ATP for a total of 10 seconds.
Creatine helps the body readily produce more ATP in a short amount of time so it can be replenished faster and in turn used again. This is what makes creatine so beneficial to athletes and weightlifters.
This activity can increase what the muscles are able to do, and also makes the muscles more efficient. Creatine has been proven to be extremely effective both in muscle training, and just as importantly, in muscle recovery.
One of the main reasons for this is because creatine is able to move through your stomach and into your bloodstream still intact, so it has not lost any of its effectiveness when it enters the cells of the muscles. Once it gets to this stage, the creatine nutritional supplement you have taken has now turned into creatine phosphate.
Will creatine help me run faster and lift more weight?
Creatine itself will not make you run any faster or lift any more weight. The role of creatine is to allow you to train at a different level which in turn helps you build more lean muscle and recover faster. This can indirectly lead you to be able to life more and run faster.
The reason for this is because since you are recovering quicker, your body is more rested and ready to start another workout session in a shorter amount of time.
Taking creatine alone will not help you recover quicker. You must eat a sensible diet, have a solid workout routine, and commit to sticking with your plans. Creatine only benefits you if your goal is to progress in your workout, not simply stand still.
Is creatine found naturally in other sources of food?
Yes, creatine is found in certain sources of food, but the average amount ingested is not enough to truly make a difference in your workout efforts. In fact, most people only consume about one gram of creatine in their food per day.
Creatine is also produced naturally by the body, but that amount is also only about 1 gram per day. As an example, one pound of red meat has about 2 grams of creatine, and every 1 pound of herring has about 4.5 grams of creatine. Other fish offer about 2 grams of creatine per pound.
However, if you are a vegetarian, you are most likely to get a more positive reaction to taking creatine supplements. This is because by only eating vegetables, the amount of creatine stored in the muscles is never at its maximum. Creatine can also be consumed by vegans as the supplement is synthetic and does not come from any source of animal.
Is it possible for too much creatine to be toxic?
While there are some side effects from taking too much creatine, such as undue stress on the liver and kidneys, it is difficult to know if the creatine supplement can lead to toxicity.
As long as you are drinking a sufficient amount of water when you take your creatine supplement, and do not exceed the recommended daily dosage amounts, there should be no ill effects. Make sure to research the manufacturer since the FDA does not regulate creatine supplements.
Since the body only produces the 1 to 2 grams per day or creatine, even a 200 pound adult male can take another 10 grams of creatine safely. It is best to speak to your doctor to determine the optimal amount of creatine for you to take.