Creatine is naturally present in the human body. This amino acid, produced in the liver, supplies energy to cell throughout the body, especially muscle cells.
Creatine monohydrate supplements are primarily used by people who wish to increase their muscle mass. By maxing the creatine stores in your body you are able to work out more effectively and see results faster.
There are many different types of creatine supplements on the market, from capsules to powders. Most personal trainers and other authorities recommend powdered creatine over capsules because the body is able to absorb a liquid faster. Powdered creatine supplements come in many different flavors so you’re sure to find one that you find palatable.
Loading with Creatine Monohydrate
The first phase of taking creatine monohydrate is the loading phase. Loading simply kickstarts the body by saturating your creatine stores. Doing this is safe and recommended. Remember to listen to your body when loading. It is common to have some bloating or an upset stomach when loading. If this is the case, cut back on how much you are taking.
General loading guidelines are to take 20 grams (approx. 4 tsp) of your creatine monohydrate supplement per day for 5 days in the form of 4 drinks. If you have a sensitive stomach take 10 grams (approx. 2 tsp) for 12 days in the form of 2 drinks or 4 small drinks. For those who don’t want to load for whatever reason, go straight to a maintenance schedule
Do not take more than 20 grams per day or health complications will occur.
Maintaining Creatine Monohydrate
If you’ve already loaded or you don’t want to load, you’re ready to go on a maintenance regimen. General guidelines for maintenance are 5 grams (1 tsp) of your creatinesupplement every day in the form of 2 drinks. If you find you’re getting the results you want, you can take 5 grams every other day
How to Take Creatine Monohydrate
Taking creatine monohydrate supplements is pretty straightforward but there are a few ways you can maximize the effectiveness.
- Creatine is better absorbed by the body during an insulin spike from some type of juice. You can mix your creatine powder right into juice or drink juice after taking the supplement. This works well for capsules too. To find out more about the difference between creatine powder vs pills, check out this article(link to article).
- You can take a dextrose monohydrate supplement with the creatine supplement and juice. Dextrose and the fructose from the juice will help your body absorb it much more quickly.
- It is advised to steer clear of gel or liquid creatine supplements since they generally far less effective. Creatine begins degrading once it’s mixed with liquid- which is why it’s important to drink your powdered supplement right away.
- Taking creatine monohydrate supplements can be done anytime during the day but studies have shown it will be most effective right before your workout and again right after. Always at least take your supplement after a workout as your body is more apt to fill its creatine stores.
- Your post-workout drink or capsules should also be followed by some type of high-protein meal. This tip is especially helpful for those who tend to have stomach upset after taking a creatine monohydrate supplement.
- Unlike most other supplements, you don’t need to cycle through different types of creatine monohydrate in effort to prevent your body from adapting. If you have a creatine supplement you like there is no need to change it out.
- These supplements are processed through the liver and kidneys so it is especially important to stay very well hydrated. On that same not, if you have any issues with your liver or kidneys consult with a physician before taking any creatine supplements.
- If you have any blood pressure issues or take medications, check with a physician about whether creatine will be safe for you.
- Women can take creatine monohydrate supplements just like men. Women do have smaller creatine stores compared to men but this doesn’t mean this supplement won’t help them increase lean muscle mass.
supplements are safe when used properly and are very effective for people who want to increase energy and improve their workout results. Studies have shown that there are no dangerous side-effects of taking an approved creatine monohydrate supplement.
Health enthusiast, runner, protein nut. Owen likes to write about protein, particularly alternatve supplementation and supplement comparisons.