T Nation

End of Creatine Cycling


Does anyone roughly know how long it takes for the body to return to normal after ending a creatine cycle? Will the added water weight and bloat dissapear in a day or two afterward completing the cycle or will it take much longer? I have read on the internet that creatine levels return to normal after about 4-8 weeks after finishing the cycle, will it take this long for the added water to go?


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.


In the initial loading phase, it takes a couple of weeks to fully saturate your muscles with creatine. So, if it takes this long just to saturate the muscles, think how long it will take to return them to pre-supplementation levels.

How long was the cycle? If your doing that one month on, one month off bullshit I recommend you stop. If your constantly saturating your muscles and then allowing them to return to normal, low levels then you aren't reaping the full potential of the supplement. Just do what I do: take it for nine months straight (in the off season) and then just cut it in the summer, to lose some of that bloat.


how are you guys getting 'bloated' from creatine?


Well for me, its not necessarily a "bloat." Its just that water retention around my midsection, causing me to lose definition. Its really not a problem, but I prefer to lose that little bit of
"extra" for summer.


creatine is a string of amino acids that slightly increases intracellular fluid retention in the muscle and aids in the ATP/PC energy cycle. It shouldn't blur out your midsection as it only adds to fluid inside your muscles.


Many people use creatine during a mass gain / bulking cycle, gain a ton of fat and then blame it on creatine. If your midsection is "bloated", it's fat and has nothing to do with the creatine you use. Period.

Creatine is not a string of amino acids, by the way, but a single molecule that is structurally related to amino acids. Is synthesised from arginine and glycine.
Is slightly increases intracellular osmotic preasure via increased paticle concentration (if there are more particles, i.e. ions, amino acids, simple sugars, etc., in the cell than in the extracellular space, water is forced into the cell to generate an equilibrium).

You'll have to lose some fat - not water - to get ready for summer...

Studies showed that the bodies own creatine production is back to normal in 4 weeks or less after a cycle. The level of intracellular creatine will be lower than during a cycle, of course (that's the very idea behind the supplementation...).


I have never "cycled off" creatine since I started using it. I may miss a day here and there while travelling or because I didn't remember to take it on a day I didn't lift. But if I lift I always sip a protein shake during and add creatine and chug the remainder after I am done.

I have never experienced a bloat or any other side from using it.