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Creatine Loading: Why It Is Important

If you work out regularly at the gym with the goals in mind of increasing strength and building muscle mass for an attractive physique, you know how demotivating and frustrating it can be to workout hard several times a week and see little in the way of results. The fact is that regular workouts at the gym will pay off over time, but it can take a lot of time to achieve the results you want. It may, in fact, take more time than you want, and this is why you may be considering taking creatine supplements or have already started to use them.

As you take time to research the proper usage of this very effective supplement, you will no doubt come across the theory of creatine loading. The dosage instructions for your supplement will typically tell you to take a larger dose for the first five days and then a much smaller dose for about six to eight weeks. This larger dose for the initial five days is known as creatine loading, but what is the importance of it and do you really need to follow these instructions?

Many people who do follow the dosage instructions to the letter will enjoy noticeable increases in their strength during this phase of the creatine loading dosage cycle. However, a drawback to following the instructions so stringently is that the side effects of taking the supplement such as nausea, bloating, diarrhea, and more are more intensive and unpleasant when the supplement is taken at such higher levels. Those who experience these side effects, however, largely notice they are drastically diminished once the dosage decreases after the first five days.

Research widely suggests that the body gets used to storing a certain amount of creatine in the body, and the creatine loading phase of the cycle helps to train your body to store higher levels of this substance in your body. Therefore, for the next phase of the cycle when you take a lower dosage for six to eight weeks, you will be able to retain much of the creatine that you take in the form of supplements. However, at a certain point, your body will normalize at a lower level again. Therefore, at the end of the six to eight week period, it is typically recommended that you stop taking the supplement for about two to three weeks before starting the entire cycle over again. When you stop taking the supplement entirely, it helps to make the creatine loading phase more effective when you start taking the supplement again.

The fact is that everyone's body works differently. Some people who have used the supplement for some time have noticed that their body enjoys the best results when the loading phase is slightly shortened or extended, or when one of the other phases is shortened or extended. There are other people who simply take the lower dosage in the second phase of the cycle on a daily basis without stopping or increasing the dosage at any time. You may find that playing with the dosage instructions slightly will benefit you. However, keep in mind that taking too much of this supplement can be harmful to your health. It is recommended that you follow the usage instructions on the package for optimum results.


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