Creatine can unlock your full athletic potential – well, who doesn’t know that? But what most people know pretty little is the proper way of taking creatine to get the maximum outcome.
But it’s important to know how to properly take creatine. After all, from dosing to timing to potential side effects, there’s much to consider.
In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about taking creatine correctly to maximize your gains and achieve your fitness goals. So grab your shaker bottle, and let’s get started!
How To Properly Take Creatine?
Creatine indeed can provide you with better strength and muscle gains. However, you must take the supplement correctly to get the best out of it.
So, here is the guideline on how to take creatine properly.
Choose High-Quality Brand
High-quality brands typically have a better reputation for producing pure and effective products, which can lead to better results and fewer side effects. Always choose the ones backed by scientific evidence, have clear labels, and are free from contaminants or allergens.
So, research and choose a reputable brand to ensure you get a safe and effective creatine supplement.
Start With A Loading Phase.
To saturate your muscles with creatine, you must undergo a loading phase where you consume 20-25 grams of creatine for 5 to 7 days. After completing the loading phase, you can switch to a lower maintenance dose of 3-5 grams daily.
Although the loading phase can increase your creatine levels, achieving optimal results may not be essential. Hence, you can skip the loading phase and continue with a lower dose daily.
According to studies, taking 3 g of creatine daily for 28 days can significantly improve your muscle metabolism and performance.
But always seek advice from a qualified medical expert to determine what will suit you most. Remember, taking more than the recommended dosage won’t give you extra benefits and can increase the risk of side effects.
Learn about the pros and cons of taking creatine.
Maintain The Timing
The timing of when you take creatine can impact its effectiveness.
Studies suggest that you will get a slight yet significant benefit if you take creatine post-workout rather than pre-workout. Taking creatine after your workout can aid in muscle recovery and growth.
Combine Creatine With Carbohydrates and Protein.
Take creatine with carbohydrate or carb-protein duo instead of taking it alone. It will enhance absorption significantly. Taking creatine with 47 g of carbs and 50g of protein is usually the recommended dose to enhance creatine retention.
According to a study, taking carbohydrates and creatine together – 100 grams of carbs with 5 grams of creatine – may enhance muscle creatine by 60%. It can improve performance, strength, and muscle growth.
So, pair creatine with foods rich in carbohydrates and protein. You can combine creatine with fiber-full oats for a healthier option.
Drink Plenty Of Water.
With creatine, hydration is a necessity.
Although there is limited research supporting the idea that creatine rarely causes dehydration, it should still be essential to maintain adequate hydration levels while taking the supplement. Aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water daily to keep your body hydrated.
How to take creatine with water?
The process is simple if you want to include creatine in your daily water consumption. All you need to do is mix the recommended amount of creatine powder with water and stir it well until it dissolves completely.
Mix 3-5 grams of creatine with 8 fluid ounces of water to make the most of this supplement. This approach facilitates a gradual absorption rate, amplifying the supplement’s advantages and helping you achieve your fitness goals.
Tips To Maximize The Effect Of Taking Creatine
Here are some useful tips to get the optimum result of creatine.
Take creatine at the same time each day. Whether it is in the morning, afternoon, or evening, to maintain consistent levels in your body. By following a loading phase, maintaining a consistent daily dose, and taking it at the same time each day, you can ensure that your muscles have a steady supply of creatine to support your fitness goals.
Incorporating resistance training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your exercise routine can maximize the benefits of creatine. Resistance training can increase muscle mass and strength, while HIIT can improve endurance and cardiovascular health.
Diet plays an essential role when taking creatine, as it can impact how effectively your body absorbs and utilizes the supplement. High carbs and protein-rich food with sufficient hydration can greatly enhance muscle growth, repair, and creatine absorption.
Monitor Overall Health
Keep an eye on your body’s response to creatine, and stop taking it if you experience any adverse symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, or nausea.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications, consult your doctor before starting creatine supplementation.
Creatine is not a quick fix, and its benefits take time to show. Consistent use over several weeks may be necessary to see improvements in muscle strength and endurance, so patience is key.
Many often mix other supplements with creatine – BCAAs, Protein powder, etc. But research and consult with a healthcare professional before taking other supplements alongside creatine due to potential interactions.
Learn the impact of mixing creatine with protein powder.
What If You Miss To Take Creatine For A Day?
Generally, creatine is stored in your muscles, so skipping a day won’t significantly impact your overall creatine levels. But if you do miss a dose, there’s no need to double up on the next day to make up for it. Just resume your regular dosage the following day.
But remember, you won’t see the full benefits if you regularly miss taking it. So, make creatine intake a part of your daily routine.
Set a reminder on your phone, leave creatine in your workout gear or a visible spot, or pair it with a meal you have every day.
Find a time that works best for you – in the morning, at noon, or before or after workouts. You can also take creatine at night. Just ensure you don’t forget.
By consistently taking creatine as part of your routine, you’ll be able to experience the full benefits of supplementation over time.
Should I take creatine every day?
Yes, taking creatine daily is generally safe, especially if you’re physically active. Follow the recommended dosage and consult a healthcare professional for any health conditions.
Is 10 g of creatine too much?
Consuming 10 g of creatine may not be immediately harmful. But it exceeds the recommended daily dosage and could result in adverse effects such as dehydration, kidney damage, or gastrointestinal issues. It is advisable to adhere to the recommended creatine dosage, typically around 3-5 g per day.
Can I mix creatine with protein?
Consuming creatine and protein powder together is considered safe as long as you follow the recommended doses for each supplement. However, combining these two supplements may not provide extra advantages for building muscle or strength, despite potentially improving recovery after exercising.
Is creatine better before or after a workout?
When it comes to the optimal timing of creatine supplementation, the research is inconclusive. Some studies suggest that taking it before a workout can improve performance, while others show that taking it after exercise can help with recovery. Ultimately, choosing when to take creatine depends on individual preference and what feels most effective for their fitness goals.
If you’re looking to maximize the benefits of creatine, taking it rightly is the key. But how to properly take creatine?
Well, start by choosing a quality brand and sticking to recommended dosages. Then, experiment with timing to find what works best for your goals. And don’t forget to be patient and consistent.
With a little effort and dedication, you can unlock the full potential of this powerful supplement and achieve your fitness dreams in no time. Learn more about creatine and its impact with our blogs.
I started my professional career as a sports medicine consultant in Rola, Missouri. My primary role was to suggest suitable supplements for my patients according to their pre-existing conditions and lifestyle goals. I believe a healthy lifestyle is the most important if you want to make your life really meaningfull.