Should You Pre-Load Creatine? To Load Or Not To Load
Whether or not to do a loading phase when starting out on a creatine cycle has been a steamy debate. Basically, in the early days the thought was that to saturate your muscles, or to have a high creatine concentration within a short period was the best way to start a cycle. One of the recommended ways was to take 5 grams of creatine with grape juice or dextrose 3-4 times a day for about 5-7 days. (The variance being everyone's body type is different and reacts differently to a loading phase.) Then with the completion of the loading phase your muscles are primed with ample concentrations of muscle building creatine. So instead of waiting say 14 days, you've reached the concentration level within 5-7 days, cutting the time in half.
Really the only way of knowing concentration levels (other than lab tests which most of us do not have ready access to) is to analyze how you feel. So after some simple testing, a few willing participants, creatine makers could easily recommend a loading phase because, test subjects reported strength and muscle "pump" within 1 weeks time. And if you are preparing to take a basic creatine like GNC Pro Performance or something similar, this strategy can still be a good one. Just adjust the dose to how you feel. If you are feeling bloated or lethargic, cut it back slightly.
Having said all that, to load or not to load?
Well, it really rests with you. It's your body and as you experiment you will begin to become more self aware. You are the best person to decide if there is any difference between loading or no loading.
And the bottom line is this; most of the creatine's on the market today have evolved past the traditional load cycle. They are cocktailed with proprietary blends that do all the work for you. So no need to load. But they are also way more expensive. So try both ways and evaluate how you feel and how your body performs. That's the true test...performance!
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