I just invested in some creatine powder. It says it’s got 5g per serving. I was wondering if anyone has some advice on the best way to use creatine. The best way to, and time to take it, etc. It says take it 4 times daily for the first 5 days for some reason, then just once for maintenance. Can some people give me some feedback with more information about how to take it, how much, when, and how it works. I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!
seek and you shall find…
Creatine is basically a pronounceable word for a compound made up of three different amino acids. Now the fun stuff… when your muscles contract they use up an energy source called ATP. When the ATP releases its energy source to the muscles, it is reduced to another compound called ADP. This ADP in its current state can no longer provide energy to the muscles, a bad thing when you’re only half finished with your work-out. Creatine, however, alters the ADP such that it is converted back to ATP. This ATP can then be used to power your muscles through those last few sets.
I would stick pretty closely with the loading schedule. This makes sure that the creatine reaches the highest level that your body can store (excess gets washed out), and as a result makes the maintenance stage more effective. 5 grams a day should be fine for maintenance, that’s what I take. And as far as when and how to take it, I usually take it with 16oz of cranberry juice/water right after I work-out. Some people argue that it should be taken before, but I don’t think (even with high glycemic drinks) that it gets to the muscle cells fast enought to make much of a difference. Some of the other science buffs out there might be able to explain the way creatine works a little better, but I hope this helps a little.
Some say you have to load, most say you don’t. I’ve found that it wasn’t necessary. I do 5g dissolved in green tea with breakfast, and 5g in my postworkout Surge.
Should creatine (maintenance) be taken even on non-training days?
Yes, Creatine should be taken on days you don’t workout. In the morning preferebly to maintaion the amount of creatine in your system. Otherwise, the levels will get and low and before you know it, you won’t even notice a difference from taking it.
Yes, it should be taken on days off.
I think it is best to take the maintenance dose every day. Why? because your muscles can use up some of that stored creatine even when your not working them at the gym. Therefore, by skipping your dose on non-training days, it is likely that you won’t have the maximum amount of creatine available to you on workout days.
There have been times when I’d completely forgotten to take it on days off, and I definitely noticed on my training days. Bodge does make an interesting point though.
I know I’ll get flamed for this one,but…I like to load,and I use 10 grams post-workout,and another serving of 10 grams,or 2 at 5 grams.I just don’t find much from 1, 5 gram dose.Try what works best for you.If 1 dose works,then extra would be a waste.