T Nation

Coming Off Creatine


I'm an experienced lifter, and I've used creatine before; I love the gains and the recovery but the two times I've taken it I experience tons of soreness, achy muscles and incredibly slow recovery after my maintenance period ends. My recovery is slower than when I'm not on creatine and soreness from my workouts seems like it lasts FOREVER.

For the two cycles I've done I've used the traditional cycle: 5-7 day loading phase (22g for me), 3-4 week maintenance phase (5g a day) and then off after that. Like I said during the cycle gains are great, and recovery is awesome but as soon as I end my maintenance phase the pain comes. I've reduced my volume back to what it was before my cycle, so I'm not overtraining.

My diet is good, my sleep is quality and I'm getting enough of it, and I'm doing all the usual (daily erection, multivitamin, workouts or active recovery). I don't think it's a hormonal thing, the only reason I could see for any drop in test is the drop in volume of training, but I'm still training 4-5 days/week. Has anybody here had a similar experience coming off creatine, or does anyone know ways to solve this problem?

Right now I'm thinking of trying to drink more water and get more fruits/veggies daily to reduce the soreness, try to get more anti-oxidants into the diet. Other than that I have no clue what to do.


Never experienced anything like that, ever. You should just keep taking creatine all the time. It's safe and it's been around for more than 20 years.

I think it's your program, not the creatine.


Only cycling for financial reasons, if I could afford to take it all the time I would.

So too high volume maybe?


You can get 800g for 20$ from this site. Thats 160 5g servings, or almost 6 months of creatine maintenance for 20 bucks....what kind of creatine are you buying??


There is so much in this OP that's just leaving me scratching my head...


If the OP isn;t younger than 18, I feel sad for him.


This is odd. Never heard of such a thin being due to creatine so I too would lean towards some other aspect of your routine. I guess we will see if smarter people come in here with the answer.

Also, you can't afford to take it all the time?
Micronized creatine monohydrate is 10 cents per serving with one serving needed per day.(no Loading)
You are really saying you can't afford 10 cents per day?
If this is true I feel bad and wish I could send you a tub.


The OP's hub says he's 18. So yea, he's a super-experienced lifter.

Seriously op, creatine monohydrate doesn't need to be cycled. It can be had from almost anywhere for a very low price as mentioned.


what does your normal PCT look like?

edit: at this point i would just blast/cruise


Take 3-5g everyday for the rest of your life. Why on earth would you cycle creatine???


Aragorn: Didn't know that, I'll look into it. and I'm just taking pure creatine monohydrate n mixing it with kool aid.

Never said I was super experienced or advanced, just said experienced (aka I know what I'm doing).

like i said only reason i'm not taking all the time is b/c of money


But it's only lime 6p a day, I would argue that creatine is THE most affordable supplement.

As stated there is no need to cycle creatine nor is their a need for a 'loading' period, just take 5g a day and be done.

The loading idea was made by companies to make you use up ore creatine, not doing gives the same results and cost less


the loading methodology comes from people who advocate actually cycling it.

there is a max amount your body will store, obviously, so before you start you are at baseline. having 5 grams a day will take longer to hit that capacity than 20 grams a day for a couple days then backing down to 5 to "maintenance"

but yeah for those who just keep taking 5g every day continuously, like you should be then no, there is no need for loading.


Aside from what has been said:

You need to drink a lot of water when taking creatine, it's the nature of the product. I'm talking about a gallon a day.

Dehydration increases muscle soreness which is likely part of the problem along with calorie intake. Try drinking more water and if the problem persists, increase your food intake.

What is your caloric level, protein intake and what is your weight and height?


You dont eat enough to support the amount of work yuou do. Plain and simple.

Creatine is a non issue here.

Creatine is not some new supplement that the world is still trying to figure out.

If you made this post and left out the pyscho-babble about your 'cycles' of creatine, every single reply in this thread would have been 'eat more' or 'post your diet'.

It's simply not the case that you are the one person to present all the 'side effects' of under eating and not have that as the primary culprit.

Occam's Razor people




You definitely have to make sure you're hydrating with enough H20 as creatine can cause muscle cramps if you are dehydrated. In a worst case scenario you could even risk tearing a muscle without drinking enough water.
If you feel like you're sore too much you should consider supplementing with 5g of L-glutamine both pre- and post-workout.


I'm 6'2" 174 lbs 5% BF

I eat 2800-3200 Calories/day with about a 30/45/25 (protein/carbs/fat) ratio.

And I drink probably 2 32 oz bottles/day of water.

Should I be higher than this calorie wise?


depends on your goals... but 6'2 and 174lbs is pretty skinny


Damn 'murricans and their imperial system, had to convert that just to get an idea how much water that was.

Add another 32oz bottle along with this food intake.