Now that you have decided to add Creatine to your training regime, you may be wondering how to take it properly. There is no one set in stone way to take it. What may work for one person may not be the best for another person. Here is a breakdown of the four basics to taking Creatine powder.
1) What Brand or type of Creatine powder should I take?
This is one of those questions that is batted back and forth among experts and athletes alike. The brand isn’t important. There is nothing better when it comes to company/product names. There is also no proof that enhanced formulas or mega formulas or any other extra, super, or plus formulas are any better. Creatine phosphate or citrate are no better than monohydrate. Not one has been proven to outperform monohydrate. These false statements and gimmicks are the only thing that could possibly cause problems taking creatine – buying into the gimmicks. The one and only kind of creatine you need to be concerned with is 100% creatine. No flavors, no sugars, no fillers – just pure creatine. Why fill your body up with extras that may do more harm than good? You will most likely have to pay a bit more than those with all the added fillers, but you want pure – creatine monohydrate powder.
2) How much Creatine powder should I take?
Again, we run into a whole new set of one says one thing and another says the opposite. Understand that product labels are going to push you to take more. The more you take, the faster your product supply is deleted and the faster you will buy more. Once again, it kind of stays in that personal preference stage – to a point. Your goal with creatine is to saturate the muscles. Since each person’s metabolism, body composition, body fat, and weight is different there are two suggested methods. One thing to note, right off the bat is that you do not have to load creatine. No loading necessary. Can you safely? Yes, but do you have to, no. If cost is an issue, skip the loading phase and just do a straight 3 – 5 grams a day. It will take a few weeks to really saturate, but, it will do the trick. If you want faster results, then load for a week using 15 – 20 grams a day, then down to 3 – 5 grams a day. Again, you know your body best and will know what results you are seeing at what level.
The second suggested choice is to use a formula of your bodyweight x .05 = creatine amount in grams. This is the second most consistent choice found in research. Just remember, your body can only soak up so much, anything more is wasted. So, start small and build up if necessary but most likely, the 5 gram option will suffice. You can rest assured, though, that whatever amount you take – within the parameters of one of these suggestions, that creatine powder is perfectly safe. It has been tested again and again and has yet to produce any side effects. You can take it with confidence.
3) When should I take Creatine powder?
For the third time, we run into the personal preference situation. It also goes hand in hand with how much you take. Some say to take it before you work out, some say after for faster absorption. Creatine does not work the way a lot of other supplements do. It does not give an immediate burst of energy in fact, it has no instant effects. Creatine is a “long haul” type supplement. It works at a slow, even, consistent rate. Because of this, when you take it has no bearing on how it works. You can take it when you get up. You can take it at lunch, before a workout, after a workout, before bed – it does not really matter at all. Some claim it has healing effects for muscles post workout, but, again, this has yet to be studied and proven. Just be sure to take the right amount and be consistent.
4) What should I take my Creatine powder with?
Luckily the debate isn’t as harsh on this as with some of the other aspects. Most prefer to take it with water. Why? Water is something your body needs, especially when working out and it has no fat, sugar or calories. People take it with just about anything. Juice is a very popular option, but, again, watch how much sugar, chemicals and calories are in it. That is the biggest concern – your calorie uptake by drinking juice or sugary drinks, with your creatine powder, can shoot through the roof. Added calories and adding fat weight is the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. You can drink it with whatever you like.
Creatine is the powerful/laid back supplement. It is easy to use and the rules are mostly dependent upon you and your body. The rules are pretty lax, and that is okay. It doesn’t matter how you get it into your body. It doesn’t matter (within in reason) how much you take. It doesn’t matter when you take it. Creatine will get in and do its job – saturate your muscles. So really, you can’t mess it up. Just keep in mind you want to use only pure, 100% creatine. Be consistent with whatever amount you decide is right for you and watch your calorie intake when it comes to what you mix it with. The benefits of creatine powder will do your body good – and that is one thing that is indisputable.