How to Use Creatine for Maximizing Muscle Growth
Since the 1990s, creatine has been the most popular bodybuilding supplement on the market, boosting physical performance and maximizing muscle volume more effectively than any other ingredient available.
However, just because it’s popular doesn’t mean that it’s easy to use. Creatine is also one of the most widely debated supplements as well, and finding out how to take it effectively for the best results can be a confusing and difficult process.
To save you time and help you get the best results, we’ve decided to ask the experts how to use creatine in order to build muscle and boost performance.
Recommended Creatine Dosage
Dosing varies depending on the type of creatine you use, your physical size, and how quickly you want results.
According to MayoClinic, the most effective dosages are as follows:
• To increase anaerobic capabilities: 5 grams, 4 times daily for approximately 5 days
• To increase strength and stamina: 20 grams per day for 4 to 7 days
• To maintain athletic performance: 2-5 grams per kilogram of bodyweight daily
When to Take Creatine
Creatine times vary depending on the supplement you chose. Some require that you take creatine at night before bed, immediately after a workout, or an hour before a workout – the key is to double check the label of the product you are currently using.
Those who favor creatine before a workout believe that creatine will be immediately available in the blood stream, so you have an ample supply to replace the creatine you will lose during strength training. Unfortunately, creatine is used to encourage water to flow directly to the muscles, and taking creatine before a workout could cause a large shift in body fluid during exercise which can be hazardous to your health.
Those who favor creatine during a workout believe that creatine could give you more energy, for more intense and explosive workouts. Yet studies have shown that taking creatine during a workout could increase the risk of dehydration and hamper performance.
On the other hand, those who take creatine after a workout believe that muscle cells will be more receptive to creatine’s effects and will readily absorb creatine and the extra nutrients that it brings. The most popular consensus is to take creatine after a workout to speed muscle recovery time while allowing the muscles to fully saturate themselves with the ingredient.
Keep in mind that creatine is stable and can be stored in the body without needing to be “fresh” so it might not matter what time you supplement with creatine.
How to Take Creatine
Creatine is available in a wide variety of juices, serums, and supplements, but the most popular form of creatine is in a powdered extract that can mixed with liquid.
In order to increase absorption, creatine is best taken with glucose due to the fact that carbs can cause the insulin to spike, which in turns increases creatine uptake. While any high sugar beverage will do (such as kool-aid, sports drinks, etc), the most popular method is to combine powdered creatine with fruit juice.
Note: You can chug down creatine with a simple glass of water, as it is absolutely imperative that you consume more than the usual 8 glasses of water a day in order to prevent dehydration. Don’t rely on thirst to tell you when to drink.
How Long to Take Creatine
How long you take creatine depends on your dosage and how fast you want results. You can get the same results by taking smaller dosages of creatine for longer periods of time as you would saturating your muscles with creatine for only week.
Experts recommend that creatine be taken cycles to prevent the body from shutting down its own creatine production. Additionally the long-term effects of creatine have not yet been studied, so it’s best to give your body a break and stop supplementing with creatine after you’ve experienced those initial “first month results.”
Whether you’re a professional athlete or an ordinary Joe looking to pack on a few pounds of muscle, creatine can be a great tool for sculpting a bigger, better, stronger body when it’s used correctly. With these tips you can optimize your creatine absorption for even better results.
There are numerous benefits to supplementing with creatine on a regular basis, including an increase in muscle size and physical performance. Now that you know how to use creatine, click here to find out more about what creatine can do for you.