When should creatine be taken? | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

When should creatine be taken?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • The best time to take creatine is immediately after completing your workout routine.
  • Taking more creatine than is recommended will have negative effects.
  • Just like any nutritional or dietary supplement, the amount of creatine you should take depends on your individual needs and wants.

The best time to take creatine is immediately after completing your workout routine.

This allows the creatine to absorb into your body and muscles quicker and more efficiently, and in turn, helps maintain energy levels and enhance muscle growth.

Of course, muscle growth is unlikely to occur if you are not exercising alongside your creatine supplementation. Go PRO today for access to muscle-building workout plans.

Is It Possible to Take Too Much Creatine?

Yes, it is quite common to consume too much creatine which will have many negative effects on you and your body.

It is vital not to overdo the number of supplements you put into your body.

Many weightlifters and athletes make the mistake of trying the build lean muscle and lose fat too quickly.

It is important that you take your time, doing it safely, effectively and following the directions.

Taking more creatine than is recommended will have negative effects.

It can force your body to try to store creatine when it is no longer able to, or it can cause an undue amount of stress on your system by taxing your liver and kidneys.

The bottom line is that taking too much creatine is not only a waste of time, creatine, and money, but can also be extremely dangerous.

Is There a Standard Amount of Creatine That I Should Consume?

Just like any nutritional or dietary supplement, the amount of creatine you should take depends on your individual needs and wants. Unlike what many of the creatine manufacturers say, there is no standard amount of creatine that should be taken.

In addition, the dosage recommendations on creatine bottles and packages do not take women, the elderly, or teenagers into account. The amounts are strictly geared towards adult males.

It is always best to speak to your physician before beginning a creatine supplement regime or adding any nutritional supplement to your diet. Creatine supplements are not regulated by the FDA.

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What Are the Typical Doses of Creatine?

The average 150-pound male can consume anywhere from 2 grams to 25 grams of pure creatine per day. However, not all creatine supplements contain pure creatine, so it is important to look at the additives and check if to see if the amount you are taking if appropriate.

However, be sure to speak to a medical professional about the dosage since some manufacturers recommend higher doses of the creatine.

More creatine is not necessarily more beneficial to you and your workouts. In fact, there are recommended maximums of creatine consumption based on body weight.

Average sized males at around 150 pounds should never take more than 20 grams per day of creatine.

How Do I Calculate My Creatine Dose?

There are three different stages of taking creatine, and they are known as loading, maintenance and wash out.

The loading phase is intended for you to quickly fill the amount of creatine into your muscles in a short amount of time.

During this phase, you should only consume about 0.3 grams of creatine for every 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) of body weight. Dosage should be split up into four equal parts during the course of one day.

It is important that you refrain from taking the entire dose at one time, as this is too much creatine in your system in a short amount of time.

If you take creatine during the loading phase for more than 5 consecutive days, the extra creatine will simply not be stored by your muscles. It will be excreted from the body through the urine.

The maintenance phase is to take place immediately after the load phase, and requires just a small amount of creatine per day. This stage should not last longer than 30 days, and you should only take the amount that replaces the levels of creatine that you are losing daily.

The final phase is the wash-out phase. This is to make sure that you are avoiding any possible side effects from the creatine use and also allows you to completely recover from taking the supplements. At least 30 days are required for the wash-out phase.

Are There Any Benefits to Not Going Through the Loading Phase?

If you do not go through the loading phase, you will prevent your liver and kidneys from excess stress as well as the potential for gastrointestinal distress. In addition, studies have shown that some individuals do not need the load phase and can instead simply just take three grams of creatine per day for 21-28 days and get similar results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

– What are the benefits of creatine?

Creatine helps you build muscle. Research has shown that people with more muscle tend to have a higher metabolism, allowing them to use calories from food intake more effectively. In short, when you have more muscle you burn fat easier.

– Do I have to take supplements?

Unless your doctor has instructed you to take certain supplements, you do not have to take them.

– Are supplements safe?

Whether or not dietary supplements are safe to take depends on a number of factors. Learn more about the safety of supplements here.

  What supplements do I need to take?

No one can answer that aside from your doctor. To learn more about the various supplements that doctors commonly recommend, check out this article.

When supplementing with creatine, it is important to have a structured workout plan in place. Go PRO today for access to workout plans, certified personal trainers, and more.

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