How should I take creatine?

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  • Creatine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the body, and it’s perfectly safe for both men and women to take.
  • Creatine can be taken in two phases — first by loading it and then by maintaining it — or via steady consumption.
  • Some people display minor short-term side effects related to water retention from taking creatine.

Knowing what creatine is and how to take it is very important before starting supplementation.

It’s also important to remember that the purpose of creatine is to help you get results at a faster pace. When taking creatine there are some simple steps to keep in mind.

Before starting any new workout routine or supplement it’s important to talk with your physician for your own safety and wellbeing.

There have been short-term studies that show creatine works well with weightlifting, rowing, and sprinting.

The most significant improvements with creatine usage in these studies were seen in those people who were either vegetarians or who had low initial creatine stores.

Supplementation is pointless if you don’t have a well-designed workout plan to pair it with. Go PRO today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, and more.

What’s the Best Proven Way to Take Creatine?

The best form of creatine has shown to be the powder form. When taking creatine, it’s important to use some kind of liquid carbohydrate, either with another supplement or even juice.

This increases the amount of creatine taken up by the muscles by almost 60%. The more your muscles take up creatine the better the results will be.

Another benefit to using creatine with a liquid carbohydrate is that carbohydrates give you energy. With the combination of creatine and carbohydrates, your body will be fueling itself for a supercharged workout.

Is Timing Important When Taking Creatine?

Timing is important when taking creatine, especially if you are using the two-phase method of consuming it.

During the loading phase, which is typically five to seven days, the amount taken can be 15 to 20 grams per day spread over several small doses. Each dosage should not exceed five grams. Another amount that can be taken during the loading phase is three to five grams per day for four weeks.

During the maintenance phase, you split these servings into one-tenth of what you were using during your loading phase. The maintenance phase can last as long as you want to see the benefits of creatine usage.

Making sure creatine is available for your muscles to take up during a workout is very beneficial.

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How Long Is Creatine Effective After I Take It?

When you use the powder form of creatine monohydrate it should remain in your bloodstream for about one to one and a half hours. This period of time is essential for muscle growth because this is when the creatine is absorbed into your muscles.

Once ingested, the creatine takes about one hour to reach your bloodstream and then your muscles. With this knowledge, you can plan your workouts accordingly. You want your muscles to be able to take advantage of that creatine supply they need.

To break it down simply, if you take your creatine at 11 a.m., it becomes effective at 12 p.m. and will be in your system until 1:30 p.m. Let’s say your workout is for an hour, you’ll have an extra half hour where your muscles can replenish their creatine supply.

So as to not deplete your creatine store, you can ingest another serving of creatine after your workout.

Are There Any Short or Long-Term Side Effects When Using Creatine?

Many studies have been done on the safety of creatine and it’s been proven safe as long as it’s used properly and in the correct amounts. There can be short-term side effects for some people.

Most people have no problems with creatine supplementation, but there are the few who show some negative effects. These can include side effects such as diarrhea, upset stomach, dehydration, and muscle cramping.

These side effects of creatine supplements can be minimized by drinking lots of water. As for long-term side effects, there have been no studies that prove creatine is dangerous.

As stated above, it’s very important to discuss taking any new supplement with your healthcare provider before you start. You want to make sure it won’t conflict with any medications you may be taking or any medical conditions you may have.

It’s also important to take some time to research what supplements you are interested in taking. By doing this you can weigh the pros and cons of incorporating the supplements into your lifestyle.

And don’t forget that taking supplements is just part of total body health and wellness. Check out our PRO plan today to see how we can help you stay motivated, fit, and focused all year long!