Creatine is one of the most famous and actively discussed sports supplements. In this article, we will figure out how to take creatine monohydrate for muscle growth and strength. You will learn the best way to take creatine monohydrate in powder or capsule form.
The safety and efficacy of creatine monohydrate are devoted to hundreds of scientific papers. In fact, no other bodybuilding supplement in the world can boast so much in-depth research. And this is great news, because we have a strong evidence base on the safety of using creatine monohydrate to build muscle and strength, as well as increase muscle performance.
Creatine is an organic substance synthesized in the liver from 3 amino acids: methionine, arginine and glycine. The body naturally produces about 1 gram of creatine per day. We also take it with foods such as beef, salmon and pork. 95% of creatine is stored in skeletal muscle tissue.
Creatine serves as a source of energy when performing anaerobic exercises, for example, during intense strength training. In the form of supplements, it is taken because of the proven ability to increase strength, which as a result leads to greater muscle growth.
Today I’m going to talk about when and how to take creatine and I won’t go into details about its functions in the body. Earlier, I wrote a detailed post about this. You can read it at this link.
So, let's figure out what type of creatine should be taken, as well as when and how to do it in order to achieve maximum results.
Which creatine is better
Creatine is available in various forms, such as monohydrate, ethyl ester, citrate, malate, and also in the form of serum. In principle, all types do the same job, but additive manufacturing companies convince us otherwise. There is a wealth of conflicting information on how to use creatine for best results. Forums and websites dedicated to bodybuilding are filled with pseudo-scientific theories and rarely contain reliable data.
We often see how a new type of creatine appears on store shelves and is touted as a real breakthrough in the world of sports nutrition, which surpasses all the previous ones. However, this noise and hype is aimed at increasing sales.
In fact, creatine species differ only in their solubility and absorption rates. There is not a single study that would prove the superiority of any form of creatine over monohydrate.
All experiments performed again and again demonstrated its effectiveness and safety in building strength and muscle mass.
So save money and choose proven, affordable and inexpensive creatine monohydrate.
How to take creatine
There are many schemes for taking creatine, but the so-called creatine loading, followed by the maintenance phase, remains the most common and well-studied.
The purpose of supplementation is to replenish creatine in the muscles. The best way to achieve this is to take creatine in an increased dosage of 20-25 grams for 5-6 days. The daily dose should be divided into 4-5 doses.
For example, if you decide to load 20 grams per day, do 4 doses of 5 grams of the substance.
After the 5-6-day loading phase, the creatine reserves in the muscles will be replenished, and you will be able to go into the maintenance phase, which involves taking 5-10 grams of the substance.
How long should creatine monohydrate be taken?
Many studies show that long-term use of creatine is safe. However, when taking it for several months, special attention should be paid to the quality of the product. Some additives contain potentially harmful impurities, so I recommend choosing only trusted brands that use only high-quality raw materials.
Pay attention to the creatine creature produced in Germany, which is now recognized as the "gold standard". This is the best form of creatine that is constantly being examined for the presence of impurities and unwanted by-products. In other words, the brand is creatine monohydrate of almost 100 percent purity.
As a rule, creatine is recommended to be taken in cycles of 8 weeks. Here's an example plan for effective creatine intake with dosage.
8 week creatine cycle
First week : 20 grams of creatine during the loading phase (4 doses per day, 5 grams each)
From the second to the eighth week : 5 grams of creatine daily
Break for 1 month, after which repeat the cycle for 6 weeks.
As mentioned above, there are no studies confirming the need for cyclical intake of creatine or cessation of its use after a certain period of time. If you take high-quality supplements (for example, creatine creapur), then you can extend the maintenance phase for at least a whole year. However, consult your doctor if you plan to take creatine for a long time.
There are several options when drinking creatine. During the loading phase, creatine should be taken 4 times a day, 5 grams each. A single dose of too large a dose can cause gastrointestinal upset, therefore, a 20-gram dose must be divided into 4 doses.
Take 5 grams of the substance for breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner.
There is no evidence that taking creatine at a specific time of the day leads to a greater increase in muscle mass. One study showed that creatine exposure continued for several weeks after the end of the dose. Its reserves in the body remain at a high level and are easily accessible after the loading phase, so take a maintenance 5-gram dose at any time convenient for you.
Based on materials: relentlessgains.com/how-and-when-to-take-creatine-monohydrate/