How To Start Taking Creatine: The Ultimate Guide For Effective Creatine Taking

Creatine is one of the best performance-enhancement supplements recommended by most fitness enthusiasts. It successfully enhances your overall performance, muscle growth, and fitness. However, to achieve the optimum result, you need to take it correctly, especially the beginner.

Throughout my article, I will provide the information you need on how to start taking Creatine. Let’s get started.

How To Start Taking Creatine?

Before you start taking creatine, several things need to consider – your health, fitness goal, and preference. Depending on your fitness goal and health, your dosage can be determined. Besides, it’s purely your preference in which form you want to take it.

So without further delay, let’s explore the necessary criteria that need your attention first.

The Form Of Creatine

There are different ways you can take creatine. Creatine is available in several forms, including-

  • Powder
  • Pills
  • Liquid.

Powdered Creatine is most popular than pills. It is generally the most affordable and offers the most flexibility regarding dosing. Powder and liquid may be more convenient for some individuals, particularly those with trouble swallowing pills.

Besides, several forms of creatine are available – creatine monohydrate, micronized, creatine HCL, etc. However, among the varieties, studies suggested that creatine monohydrate is the most used one that shows maximum absorption and effectiveness.

How Much Creatine To Take?

Too much Creatine can be devastating to your body. That’s why you have to follow a controlled recommended dose. The recommended daily dose is typically 3-5 grams per day.

Some people may take a slightly higher dose (e.g., 5-10 grams) during the loading phase. Taking more than the recommended dose is unnecessary and may increase the risk of side effects.

The recommended dose is based on body weight and other factors.

  • Body weight: Larger individuals may require a slightly higher dose of creatine.
  • Training volume: People with intense and high-volume training may require a slightly higher dose of creatine.
  • Diet: Mostly vegetarian people may benefit from a slightly higher dose of creatine.
  • Age: Natural creatine levels tend to decline with age. Older people might need to take a higher dose.

Besides, young under 18 are not recommended to take creatine if they are not involved with sports or physical activities.

How To Start Taking Creatine: Dosage, Timing, And Methods

Is Creatine Loading Essential?

Creatine loading is a personal decision depending on your goals, tolerance for potential side effects, and fitness level. Loading can saturate the muscles with creatine, promoting faster results with a higher dose for the first few days or weeks.

You have to take 20-25 grams of creatine daily, split into four or five doses of 5 grams each, for 5-7 days. After the loading phase, there’s the maintenance phase of a lower daily dose of 3-5 grams of creatine. It sustains the elevated creatine levels in the muscles.

However, don’t take 20 grams of creatine at once. It’s a large dose that can lead to unwanted side effects.

Do You Need To Cycle Creatine?

Creatine cycling is not mandatory; it depends on your preference and fitness goal.

But Creatine cycling can help maintain the supplement’s effectiveness over time. This protocol involves taking creatine for 8-12 weeks, followed by a 4-6 week break. During the break, natural creatine levels in the body should return to normal.

That allows the body to reset before starting another cycle. However, more research is still needed.

How To Take Creatine?

The most common way to take creatine powder is to mix it with water or a sports drink. Some prefer to mix Creatine with a small amount of juice, flavored drink, or protein shake to mask the taste.

Using the proper amount of water or liquid with creatine as directed on the label is essential. This can affect the absorption and effectiveness of creatine.

Sometimes creatine powders may take longer to dissolve. So, stir it thoroughly. Mixing creatine in warm rather than cold water can make dissolving easier.

Also, avoid taking creatine on an empty stomach as it may cause digestive issues, nausea, etc. Studies suggest that taking creatine with a meal can improve absorption, especially when paired with carbohydrates and protein. You can also mix creatine with protein powder, overnight oats, etc.

Creatine can increase the amount of water retention drawn into muscle cells. That can increase the risk of dehydration if you are not properly hydrated. So, drink plenty of water throughout the day, particularly before and after workouts on Creatine.

Also, avoid taking creatine with alcohol. It can increase fluid loss.

Can You Dry Scoop Creatine?

Some people prefer to dry scoop creatine. A popular belief is that dry scooping can enhance absorption; however, no conclusive evidence proves any additional benefits of scooping compared to mixing it with liquid.

Instead, dry scooping Creatine can be dangerous. It can cause-

  • Inconsistent dosage
  • Choking
  • Breathing Issues
  • Vomiting
  • Wastages
  • Decreased effectiveness.

When To Take Creatine?

Everything, especially any supplement, has its best time effect. It’s said you can take Creatine any time you want, even at bedtime. But taking creatine immediately after a workout can help replenish the body’s stores of ATP, known as the energy molecule.

Ultimately, the best time to take creatine depends on your preferences and schedule. Just remember consistency is key: it is more important than the specific timing of each dose.

 So try to establish a routine that works for you and stick with it.

How To Incorporate Creatine Into Your Fitness Routine

To effectively increase creatine levels during workouts, it is recommended to take creatine 30-60 minutes before exercise. However, research shows that the timing of creatine intake can vary based on the type of exercise.

Taking creatine shortly before or after exercise or splitting the daily dose throughout the day is more effective for muscle building.

I found a 10-week study on weight-trained adults. Among them, a group took a dietary supplement containing creatine, carbs, and protein before and after exercise. They gained more muscle and strength than the group that took it in the morning and evening.

Another study was conducted on male bodybuilders. That study found that taking creatine before or after exercise produced similar lean mass and strength results.

How To Start Taking Creatine With Fitness Routine

Can You Take Creatine On Rest Days?

You can take creatine on rest days, just like your workout days, maintaining consistent creatine levels.

A daily dose of 5 grams is recommended for maintenance. Creatine can be taken at any time of day and does not impact fat metabolism.

Though not mandatory, the consistent supply of creatine offers enhanced recovery, desired muscle creatine levels, more energy in the next day’s workout, the gradual growth of creatine saturation, etc.

Creatine Side Effects

Creatine is declared a safe supplement. However, as you start taking Creatine, you must learn about the side effects it may induce.


Creatine doesn’t cause dehydration; it helps improve electrolyte absorption, which is crucial for hydration. A three-year study showed that creatine could help athletes stay more hydrated.

However, a lack of fluid intake can cause muscle cramps due to water retention. So it’s essential to drink enough water, especially when taking creatine supplements.

Digestive Discomfort

Taking creatine can lead to digestive discomfort – gas, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, cramping, etc. It mostly occurs if you take too much creatine or for a long time. Take the correct dose and drink plenty of water to avoid these effects.

Effect on Liver and Kidney

Some theories suggest potential toxicity from creatine may increase oxidative stress from carcinogenic compounds. However, several human studies have found no connection between creatine and liver problems.

But there have been rare cases of acute liver failure caused by ingesting a significant amount of creatinine. Another study reported kidney disease in a male weightlifter taking creatine and several other supplements.

Effect on Hormone 

Research has suggested that creatine supplementation increases dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels in men. The increased DHT can lead to male baldness and hair loss.

However, most studies have found no significant changes in total testosterone, free testosterone, or DHT with creatine supplementation.

One 10-week study reported a peak in testosterone levels due to creatine and strength training. The effects of creatine on hormones may differ among individuals due to age, sex, and hormone levels.

Hormonal imbalances from creatine supplementation may pose health risks. But the changes are typically minor and temporary. It’s recommended to consult a healthcare provider before supplementing.


Creatine has been shown to increase the metabolic rate of subcutaneous and brown adipose tissue by stimulating mitochondrial ATP turnover in fat tissue. This results in burning more calories both at rest and during physical activity.

That leads to increased breathing and sweating as signs of a higher metabolism rate. Creatine synthesis also plays a significant role in amino acid and nitrogen metabolism, especially in arginine and methionine metabolism.

Creatine And Its Effects On You


I would suggest you stay on your regular diet before starting to take Creatine. Your daily diet can produce enough Creatine for your body and your performance.

Only start taking Creatine when you see results from your workouts. Then enhance the development by starting Creatine with the proper procedure.

Read our blogs to learn more about safe supplementation.

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