How to take creatine: What is the ideal daily amount and Benefits of Creatine
Creatine supplements are used to improve exercise performance . Discover how they help your muscles and what you need to know to take them correctly.
Creatine is a substance made up of three amino acids ( arginine , methionine and glycine ) that is synthesized naturally in the body. It is located in the muscles and in the brain of people. You probably know creatine because it is used as a very popular supplement in the diet of athletes , with the aim of increasing muscle mass, strength and improving workout performance. (source)
How should I take creatine?
SahilFitness, personal trainer, explains in the following video that creatine can be consumed in pills or powder , but the way it is presented does not affect its properties . Also, he talks about the best time to take it and indicates that the time of day is not important. “Even though science says it doesn’t matter, it works for me to take it an hour before training ,” he shares.
How Much Creatine Monohydrate Should to Take Daily
Creatine is marketed as a monohydrate , that is, in powder form . Myprotein experts talk about the loading protocol to start taking creatine monohydrate . According to its indications, you have to take 5 grams four times a day for 5 or 7 days to fill your body ‘s muscle creatine reserves . After this first phase, you should maintain these stores by eating between 3 and 5 grams once a day.
How do you take creatine for the first time?
As previously shared, you can start with a high intake, consuming 20 grams of creatine per day , and then reduce this number to about 5 grams . Recommended amounts may vary based on the user’s weight and build.
How does creatine work?
Creatine has several benefits for health and athletic performance. One of its main functions during high intensity exercise is to boost the phosphocreatine levels in your muscles.
Creatine also helps you gain muscle in the following ways:
- Boosted workload. It enables more total work or volume in a single training session, a key factor in long-term muscle growth (Source).
- Improved cell signaling. It can increase satellite cell signaling, which aids muscle repair and new muscle growth (Source).
- Raised anabolic hormones. Studies note a rise in hormones, such as IGF-1, after taking creatine.
- Increased cell hydration. Creatine lifts water content within your muscle cells, which causes a cell volumization effect that may play a role in muscle growth (Source, Source).
- Reduced protein breakdown. It may increase total muscle mass by reducing muscle breakdown (Source).
- Lower myostatin levels. Elevated levels of the protein myostatin can slow or inhibit new muscle growth. Supplementing with creatine can reduce these levels, increasing growth potential (Source).
Benefits of Creatine if you take before workout
- Improves the ability to contract muscles.
- Promotes the increase in strength.
- Contributes to muscle development.
- Increases performance in anaerobic exercises.
- Facilitates recovery when training.
- It speeds up cognitive functions.
When do the effects of creatine begin to be noticed?
Powergym states that the effects of creatine begin to show in “improved energy , strength and power ” after consuming this supplement for a week . The increase in muscle mass can be perceived from six weeks , as long as you take care of both your training and your diet.
The daily amount of creatine that can be taken
The trainer José Ruiz explains that it is recommended to consume 0.07 grams of creatine for each kilo of body weight , which means “between 3 and 8 grams per day for most of the population.” Therefore, a corpulent person can receive a higher dose of this supplement.
What should I avoid if I take creatine?
If you take creatine , try to avoid alcohol , caffeinated drinks , and energy drinks , as they can inhibit its effects. Sahil experts point out that the use of this supplement is safe in healthy people, but diabetics should be careful. They also indicate that it is not advised for those who suffer from kidney problems or suffer from bipolar disorder. In addition, they note that it is unknown if it is suitable for pregnant and lactating women.
How do you take creatine with water?
Powdered creatine is usually taken dissolved in water. Use at least 300 milliliters. If it is hot it can help with the process: ” Creatine monohydrate dissolves somewhat more slowly in cold water or other cold drinks, but it is no less effective,” says the firm Creapure. Keep in mind that you should consume it right after dissolving it, since it can lose its properties if you leave it mixed with a liquid for a while.
What happens if I take creatine on an empty stomach
Foodspring emphasizes that the moment of taking creatine is not decisive to feel its effects. “On rest days it is recommended to take creatine in the morning on an empty stomach. After going all night without eating, the body is less busy digesting other foods and creatine reabsorption occurs more quickly.” This substance will remain stored and will be used when the body needs it.
What happens if I take creatine and do not exercise?
Creatine is consumed to improve physical performance when training and increase muscle mass. If you take this supplement and do not exercise , you could experience diarrhea , nausea , stomach aches , and muscle cramps.
Creatine effects on the brain
Supplementing may improve the following conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Huntington’s disease
- ischemic stroke
- brain or spinal cord injuries
- motor neuron disease
- memory and brain function in older adults