There is some terrible information on here. Pretty much everyone should be taking creatine. Not just lifters but everyone on Earth.
Yes, you should cycle creatine.
It does not give you energy or stamina and taking it to get an "edge" in a single work out is fucking retarded.
You can't feel it working.
Creatine is a product of ATP-PCR energy metabolism. You use this energy system when you do extremely intense work. Creatine can do 2 things once it has been seperated from its phosphate:
Bind to a new phosphate to continue ATP-PCR cycling, assuming your efforts are intense enough.
- Signal the creatine shuttle to bypass aerobic metabolism, beta-oxidation and krebs cycle, to activate ETS during rest (all recovery, ATP regeneration, is done aerobically).<~~~ this has always facinated me why there are no studies on creatine as a means of accelerating fat loss... because it does if you train smart and if that is your goal.
With those in mind, all that matters is taking enough to keep your levels topped off. You should take more during a cycle where your workouts are more intense and when relative training volumes are highest. You should take less, because you don't need it as much, earlier in your training plan... if you even have. A rule I follow:
Recovering from a meet: Basically no extra creatine other than whatever is in the meat I eat
Initial training cycles: 3-5g a day
Closer to a meet (final 3-4 weeks): 6-8g a day
Its another tool in the tool box. If your diet sucks, none of this matters. If your training sucks, none of this matters. Just like every other training variable, its a part of a whole.