T Nation

Advanced Creatine Cycling Approach?

I’m about to go back on creatine and am thinking about modifying my typical creatine approach. I’m thinking about trying the following approach combined with a low carb diet, so I’ll use casein hydrolysate and 4-hydroxyisolueucine as my insulinogenic agents.

The pattern goes like this:

  1. Load for 3 Days
  2. Abstain For 3 Days
  3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2

Creatine Dosage

The daily dose of creatine will range from 15-25 grams/day depending upon the size of the individual. If you weigh over Over 180 pounds, go for 25 grams per day. The are no further details unfortunately from Cribb on this but I think the following is a pretty good dosing strategy:

  1. 180 pounds - 25 grams

  2. 150 - 180 pounds - 20 - 25 grams
  3. 140 - 150 pounds - 15 - 20 pounds
  4. < 140 pounds - 15 grams

How To Use Creatine Monohydrate

  1. Take 1 serving 10 mins before your workout
  2. Take 1 serving 10 mins after your workout with your post workout shake
  3. Take 1 more serving within 3 hours of working out
  4. Take 1 or 2 more (if necessary depending on your dosage) throughout the day, morning and/or night.

Note: Creatine needs water to work effectively. So along with every 5 gram dose of Micronized creatine, take 15 to 20 oz of water.

There is already a thread on this exact protocol http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/diet_performance_nutrition_supplements/creatine_cycling_2 however some of the commentary that I’ve included was not included on that thread.

According to Paul Cribb, [quote]the traditional approach could be destroying

â??70-80% of the potential gains that could be obtainedâ??,

because the traditional dosage pattern fails to maintain high muscle creatine concentrations over a longer period of time (6 to 12 weeks) ( Volek et al. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 31: 1147-1156, 1999.)

According to Cribb, the traditional approach could be destroying

â??70-80% of the potential gains that could be obtainedâ??,

because the traditional dosage pattern fails to maintain high muscle creatine concentrations over a longer period of time (6 to 12 weeks) ( Volek et al. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 31: 1147-1156, 1999.)

Also, the traditional loading period (20 grams per day for 5 days) may cause creatine saturation outside the cell which prevents effective muscle uptake for weeks or maybe even months! Bad news! :frowning: (Guerrero-Ontivers, M.L. and Wallimann, T. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. 184: 427-437, 1998)

Apparently a small maintenance dose (2-5 grams per day) is next to useless for maintaining high muscle creatine concentrations. Using a small dose after loading ensures that high muscle creatine concentrations virtually disappear within 6 weeks. (Van Loon et al. Clinical Science 104:153â??162. 2003)

So what is it that we want from our creatine anyway?
The goal is to:

Maximize the uptake of creatine by muscle cells to create and maintain the maximum muscle creatine concentrations possible

Cribb suggests we do this by way of â??creatine cyclingâ?? but not in the usual sense (see above).

So theoretically this strategy accomplishes the goal of maintaining high muscle creatine concentrations and preventing whatâ??s known as â??creatine receptor down-regulationâ??. Down-regulation refers to creatine receptors in muscle cells becoming desensitized. The frequent â??off-periodsâ?? should prevent this.

Want a tip? Get A Calendar!

3 days on and off can be tricky to implement as itâ??s not a nice weekly cycle. Youâ??ll need to mark out your days in advance. Itâ??s also important to know that this cycle continues regardless of whether or not it is a training or non-training day.

Now the (slightly) bad news. If you are currently a creatine taker, I would advise an off-period before starting this. For the past 2.5 weeks I have been off creatine in preparation for this new method. Start to cycle off creatine for about 2 - 3 weeks to allow muscle creatine concentrations to lower in order to allow a re-sensitization for loading.
[/quote]

What do you guys think?

How independant is he? Not sure I buy the “science”.

your making it too complicated.

just take it. 5-15g. relax your brain. you’ll get more out of that then frying your brain on shit like this.

[quote]B rocK wrote:
your making it too complicated.

just take it. 5-15g. relax your brain. you’ll get more out of that then frying your brain on shit like this.[/quote]

Is it really that complicated? I mean I really only need to take a total of 4 heaping scoops (broken into 4 individual servings taken peri workout) to equal the 25 grams.

Morning shake = 20 grams CH + 6 grams creatine
W - 15 = 1 scoops Surge Workout Fuel + 20 grams CH + 5 grams creatine
During training = 1 scoop Grow! Whey + 5 grams leucine + 5 grams creatine
W + 15 = 1 scoop Grow! Whey + 20 grams CH

**this is applied to my ketogenic diet

I would only have to do this 3 days a week (4 days off is probably okay)
Mon 20 g creatine
Tue 20 g creatine
Wed 20 g creatine
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun

I do understand though that the science referenced is not fully supportive. This is just a theory. I can’t get the full studies, but the available abstracts do not reference creatine receptor down-regulation and that really is the key to all this.

I’m probably going to do it so I’ll report back as the progess comes.

[quote]Boffin wrote:
How independant is he? Not sure I buy the “science”.[/quote]

He’s probably not independent, but is creatine really that expensive to at least give this a try for a month? We’re looking at less than a pound which is like $10. I’ll give it a go.