T Nation

Break from Creatine?

When taking creatine on a daily basis, about 5 times a week,(5 grams a day, none of that loading bullshit) how long should you continue to take it for before you take a break from it?

How long should this break be? A week? A month?

As a sidenote, creatine elevates the amount of creatinine found in blood. How long until after you stop taking creatine do creatinine levels return to normal?

I would go with at least a month.

I’ve never found any reason or reasearch to prove that you ever need to “stop taking” creatine. It’s not a drug, it’s a vitamin-like supplement. You take it, your cells volumize and you get more ATP ready for use.

You don’t take it, that doesn’t happen. No tolerance is ever developed, in the same sense that we never develop an immunity to vitamin C/A/whatever.

[quote]Kromlic wrote:
I’ve never found any reason or reasearch to prove that you ever need to “stop taking” creatine. It’s not a drug, it’s a vitamin-like supplement. You take it, your cells volumize and you get more ATP ready for use.

You don’t take it, that doesn’t happen. No tolerance is ever developed, in the same sense that we never develop an immunity to vitamin C/A/whatever.[/quote]

Some have argued that taking “artificial” creatine reduces your body’s ability to absorb it from foods that already contain it, such as red meat. And by “artificial”, I mean not found in food.

[quote]The Greek wrote:
Kromlic wrote:
I’ve never found any reason or reasearch to prove that you ever need to “stop taking” creatine. It’s not a drug, it’s a vitamin-like supplement. You take it, your cells volumize and you get more ATP ready for use.

You don’t take it, that doesn’t happen. No tolerance is ever developed, in the same sense that we never develop an immunity to vitamin C/A/whatever.

Some have argued that taking “artificial” creatine reduces your body’s ability to absorb it from foods that already contain it, such as red meat. And by “artificial”, I mean not found in food. [/quote]

This isn’t a jab at you at all but this is one of my pet peeves.

People (once again not you) make claims but then biochemically have no clue what is going on. These people that argue this should either offer a real biochemical/physiological explanation or point you in a direction to some real research. Otherwise it’s just a claim with no substance.

They could be right but until they can back it up I tend to ignore claims like that.

So to answer your question I tend to go on it and stay on it for a while (3+ months) with no negative drawbacks.

AssonGrass hit the nail on the head.

Yeah, it sounds cool to say your body will stop producing it, but let’s see some actual evidence.

If you’re body stopped producing creatine you would be able to tell.

There are studies (at least 2) that show a washout period of at least 28 days.

In one (which I don’t have) after 28 days the levels were still slightly higher than pre-creatine supplementation.

So nothing is going to happen too quickly. It would make sense to stay on for several months at least and if you wanted to cycle, cycle off for at least a month.