T Nation

Creatine Help


#1

I'm 17, been lifting for 10 months now. I'm 6 ft 1, 190 lbs, and am still not very strong (190 lb bench, 280 lb squat, 360 lb deadlift). Nutritionally I know a lot, I have done a lot of resaerch on that and I understand nutrition as well as anyone with my experience can. I have made good progress since I started (50 lb increase on bench, 100 lb on squat, 150 lb on deadlift).

I don't take anything right now except Surge Recovery, and was thinking about starting creatine, mainly because so many people say how helpful it is. I've been doing a lot of reading around, but haven't found answers to some of the questions I have.

  1. Would creatine really be that helpful for someone at my age/experience/strength levels?

  2. Would I have to cycle it on and off? If so, how often? I remember reading somewhere on T-Nation that teenagers should cycle creatine. Something about how creatine supplementation could be harmful while someones body is still developing by not allowing it to produce as much creatine naturally. Sorry I don't have the link, I read this a month or 2 back.

I want to be as big and strong as possible without any supps (other than protein powder) but it seems everyone who has decent strength uses at least creatine.


#2

http://www.tmuscle.com/..._up_on_creatine :

  1. A daily maintenance dose of 3 grams or less of simple creatine monohydrate is more than enough for almost any healthy individual.

  2. You can estimate your creatine requirement by multiplying your body weight (in pounds) by 0.02. So if you weigh 200 pounds, your body can use 4 grams per day. If you get 2 grams through food and your natural ability to make some from amino acids, that means 2 grams a day from supplements should be all you need.

  3. Loading phases aren't necessary, but if you choose to do one, 10 grams a day for three to five days is more than enough. Anything more will be wasted and increase the potential for side effects.

  4. To limit side effects, make sure you mix your creatine with enough water to fully dissolve it.

  5. The best time to take creatine is in the post-workout window, along with protein and carbs.

Not originally my advice, but very good.


#3

First of you don't HAVE to use it, but why not try it out and see for yourself, first time users usually have the best experiences with it.
BTW; Go for some plain good ole micronized creatine monohydrate, none of that cem3- glow in the dark- whatever bullshit!

As far as the cycling goes, I would say yes (0.3g per kg of bodyweight for one week, followed by 4-6 weeks of one tenth of that dose; 6 week break in between cycles).
In case you have an idea about your lean body mass, apply it to the 0.3g recommendation istead of bodyweight.

Edit: I guess it's old-school vs new-school here, why don't you wait for other responses and see what the consensus is...
Personally I'm not entirely convinced of the "risk of drying out your tendons",if I retort correctly, from too much creatine. Thus I'd say you don't have to be too concerned about taking "too much" but again, that's just my opinion.


#4

I added creatine into my diet about 6 months ago and it's been amazing since. Just add a scoop of Biotest's Micronized German Creatine into your post workout shake, everyday. It's cheap and there are a 100 servings to a can.


#5

I also recommend not cycling creatine. The theory behind cycling makes sense. For creatine to enter the cell, it must move through a transporter that scientists have conveniently named the creatine transporter. Scientists theorized that if the transporter is constantly bombarded with creatine, it will develop a level of resistance to the suppement, similar to how Type II diabetes begins. When it develops this resistance, creatine becomes less effective.

To circumvent this, they recommended avoiding creatine intake for â??xâ?? amount of days to refresh the creatine transporter. There was one study (that I know of) that supported this theory. However, it was done in rats, and the dosage, if extrapolated to a human dosage, would have been astronomical. Thereâ??s just never been any human data supporting this theory, and itâ??s fallen out of favor within the last 5 years. Bottom line: donâ??t cycle your creatine.


#6

i must not be the only non responder to creatine lol i have loaded and cycled the shit outta this product. the bottom line is that for such a inexpensive supp then you would be doing your progress injustice not to try a cycle.


#7

When creatine first hit the market in the 90s, the standard dosing protocol was 20 grams in divided doses for 3-5 days followed by 5-10 grams daily thereafter. Thatâ??s still an effective dosing regimen. However, recently coaches have been recommending a slightly more individualized dosing regimen similar to how most prescription antibiotics are dosed. They suggest 0.3mg/kg/day for 3-5 days, followed by 3-5 grams daily thereafter. So for a 200lb male, thatâ??d be around 27 grams (in divided doses) of creatine for the initial 3-5 days, followed by 3-5 grams daily thereafter.

The new dosing regimen makes sense. Creatine is stored primarily within your muscles. The more muscle you have, the more creatine storage capacity you have. A 120lb beginner should not be using the same amount of creatine as a 260lb professional bodybuilder. The difference in muscle mass is huge. Itâ??s like the difference in the amount of water used to fill up a water balloon and a pool. Also, if we calculate our daily protein intake in a similar fashion, why shouldnâ??t that apply to creatine? But the real question is: does it matter? Yes and no. Will, in the end, both dosing regimens give you the same result? Yes. However, the original dosing regimen is just going to take a little longer so the results will not seem as dramatic.

As far as when to take it, thatâ??s a little more un-scientific. In fact, itâ??s largely my opinion. During the initial 3-5 days, I take 5 grams in the morning, at lunch, at dinner, and before bed. I always try to take it with my meals because there have been several studies that have shown that carbohydrates and protein actually increase the amount of creatine that gets inside your muscles. After the initial loading dose, I take 3 grams before my workout, and 3 grams immediately after. By taking 3 grams 30-45 minutes before my workout, I get assurance that my muscles are going to have a supply of creatine waiting for them. After my workout, my muscles are usually begging for nutrients. With the proper postworkout nutrition, I can get more creatine back into my muscles than at any other time.

I also recommend not cycling creatine. The theory behind cycling makes sense. For creatine to enter the cell, it must move through a transporter that scientists have conveniently named the creatine transporter. Scientists theorized that if the transporter is constantly bombarded with creatine, it will develop a level of resistance to the suppement, similar to how Type II diabetes begins. When it develops this resistance, creatine becomes less effective. To circumvent this, they recommended avoiding creatine intake for â??xâ?? amount of days to refresh the creatine transporter. There was one study (that I know of) that supported this theory. However, it was done in rats, and the dosage, if extrapolated to a human dosage, would have been astronomical. Thereâ??s just never been any human data supporting this theory, and itâ??s fallen out of favor within the last 5 years. Bottom line: donâ??t cycle your creatine.


#8

Thanks for the replies. So I could take creatine for years on end and never cycle it off until im 40 and there would be no negative side effects from this? How do I know if im a non responder anyway?


#9

You won't have any water retention and strength gain if you use it. But again you can have the placebo effect in your head.


#10

A friend of mine has been taking creatine since has was 13 (we're both 23 now) and he's perfectly normal aside from being a f***kin beast. I started taking it in high school and found varied results with different brands and strategies. If you don't feel like your getting the results you want then it doesn't necessarily mean you're not responsive. It could just be crap creatine or your not taking it efficiently. The week after I started in high school I set my shot put PR... maybe a coincidence, maybe mental, but I've been convinced ever since.