Medical Articles

When to Take Creatine

Over the past twenty years, creatine has become one of the most popular nutritional supplements on the market, in part because it helps people put on massive amounts of muscle in a short period of time. However, as with many nutritional supplements, getting to the science behind it can be a little difficult and you may not be able to get an answer on how to take it, when to take it, or how much to take. It sometimes seems like everyone has their own method and theory.

Knowing when to take creatine is essential to its use and there are several theories. The first thing you must understand is that creatine builds up in your body until it reaches a maximum level, after which point it will just flush out of your system. You can reach that maximum level quickly by loading, or slowly. The choice is really up to you.

If you choose to load, then you should be taking larger doses (up to five times your usual dose) during the first week of creatine use. Then, back it down for five to six weeks. After this time, you will want to take a break from the creatine for a month or two to let your kidneys rest and your muscles settle down. Chances are very good that you will have put on a lot of bulk during this period of time.

If you prefer not to load and don't mind waiting an extra few weeks for the muscles to start feeling the extra creatine in your system, then you just take your regular dosage, which generally is around 5mg per day. Knowing when to take creatine during the day can be difficult since it often plays havoc on the stomach.

Most people find that by spreading out the dosage into three to five separate amounts during the day is the best way to give your kidneys a rest and still get the full effectiveness of the product. If you want to know when to take creatine at a particular time of the day, it is usually taken right after your large workout, when you are getting food in your stomach and drinking plenty of water.

It is vital that no matter how much creatine you are taking, that you make sure you are taking in sufficient amounts of water. Although creatine is a natural product, it can put a lot of pressure on your kidneys and liver if you don't have enough hydration to flush it through. Therefore, adding creatine to a beverage is a good idea and will also help it absorb more fully in the intestinal system.

Creatine will not work on its own - in other words, if you aren't working out to the fullest, don't expect to put on muscle. But, when proper creatine supplementation is added to a proper diet and a vigorous workout regimen, you will find that you can put on the muscle and increase your power in ways that you never could have imagined.

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