People who use or think about using creatine always question how efficiently they’re using the supplement. Today’s article is all about how to take creatine correctly. You must learn how to take it in order to maximize your muscle-building potential.
There’s a lot of false information out there spread by the internet, on TV, and especially by your “gyms bros.” Unless your friends have taken the time to actually research the supplements, it’s safe to say they probably get their information from another “gym bro.” For instance, did you know that loading is entirely unnecessary? Stay tuned!
Let’s discuss what exactly creatine is made of in order to get a better understanding of how it works in the body. I have a full article dedicated to creatine inside the body here if you’d like a full description, but for now, here’s a brief overview of creatine.
Creatine is an amino acid composed of three other amino acids; arginine, glycine, and methionine. The amino acid creatine is produced by the liver and kidneys naturally. However, it’s not produced in abundance. We produce very little of it. So with that, creatine supplements were invented to make up for the missing creatine. (1✔)(2✔)
Why Do We Need Creatine?
Our bodies use creatine as energy for our muscles. It converts into phosphocreatine before it can be used by the muscle. The more creatine there is at your body’s disposal, the more energy you’ll have for your muscles in the form of ATP, adenosine triphosphate. (3✔)
If there’s more creatine for your body to use, your muscles will have more energy when exercise, or lifting weights. With this, you can hit heavier lifts and produce more strength for potential muscle growth. (4✔)
How Much Creatine Do We Need?
If your goal is not to gain muscle and look like a bodybuilder, the creatine amounts you’ll need won’t be as much. You won’t need as much energy compared to someone who lifts regularly. The average person needs about 2-3 grams of creatine per day. (5✔)
For an individual who would like to put on some muscle and increase their energy expenditure, they’ll be needing around 3-5 grams of creatine. Fortunately, supplements have servings of 5 grams of creatine or more in every scoop, so a supplement would be ideal in this situation. (6✔)
How To “Load” On Creatine
When people refer to creatine loading, they refer to loading on high amounts of creatine in the beginning stages of taking creatine. The point is to jump-start the creatine’s effects by consuming about 20 grams per day for the first week. (7✔)
The practice of loading is heavily debated among lifters. Many people swear by creatine loading. Others find no benefit. It’s all cleared up when you look into the research behind creatine loading.
The research shows that creatine loading is completely unnecessary when starting to take creatine. A consistent low dosage from the very beginning of use is just as effective as loading. The effectiveness is the same, but it may take a bit more time with low dosages. (7✔)(8✔)
How To Take Creatine After “Loading”
After choosing to load, the creatine dose decreases dramatically. From about 20 grams a day, you drop to about 5 grams daily. That’s all you need to maintain the benefits of creatine, only 5 grams. (8✔)
You could potentially start off at 5 grams per day when taking creatine since you still reap the same benefits. However, loading is always an option, and after the loading phase, 5 grams per day will do plenty.
What To Take Creatine With
You can take creatine with many things that will do fine since most creatine powders are tasteless. The creatine I take, link here, is completely tasteless without any gritty taste, so I can scoop it into any of these options below.
As the most common way to take creatine, at least for me, is through a protein shake. Pouring a scoop of protein powder from my favorite protein powder, and then a scoop of creatine completely hides the creatine.
Sometimes I forget I even have creatine in my cup because of how tasteless it is. This is a great way to enjoy the benefits of your protein shake while also having the benefits of your creatine without having to change the
Mixing creatine in water is a hit or miss ordeal. The thing I don’t particularly like about mixing creatine with water is the fact that you can see it. I don’t really like seeing my water being anything other than clear.
The white powder gives the water a milky look that tastes pretty much the same but does not look appetizing. Some people may like taking creatine with their 8oz cup of water, which is fine, but it isn’t for me.
Another favorite of mine when I don’t feel like having a protein shake is scooping creatine into some juice. I have little 8oz bottles of Gatorade in my fridge, and I like pouring creatine in them when I drink them.
It tastes completely the same, and I still get the benefits of creatine. It’s a great alternative to water since you don’t really see the juice change, and it doesn’t taste any different. There’s plenty of other juices you could pour creatine into and enjoy.
In conclusion, knowing how to take creatine correctly is essential to experience maximum benefits from creatine. It’s a supplement that can give you outstanding benefits when used correctly.
Whether you choose to load or not, the research says it doesn’t matter. You must be consistently taking creatine every day. Take it with your favorite protein shake, a glass of water, juice, a smoothie, or any other beverage you can think of. Creatine is tasteless and can be utilized in several liquids.
Got any questions? Leave them down below, along with any comments you may have!
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