T Nation

To Creatine or Not Creatine

Ok I know there are lots of Creatine posts, but I'm not finding the information I need.

1)Water gain,how much are we talking here? Is my face going to swell up and end up looking like the pilsbury dough boy? Anyone have some before and after pictures?

2)Dosage: Is a loading phase actually required?

3)Are the muscle gains permanent? Or will they go away if I stop taking it?



Answers to your questions are going to be all over the map because creatine response is very individulaized.

Some people respond great, others have little or no effects. Personally, I do not respond to creatine (no weight gain, no strength increases). However I'm sure people will chime in who have do respond well to it.

My advice - give it a go. It's relatively cheap and unfortunately self-experimentation is the only way to get the low-down on creatine.



First, I'll remind you that individual results vary, so ultimately the only way you'll know for sure is self trial.

1) water gain is often 3-5 pounds. This is intracellular water retention, the water is stored in the muscle cells. Bloating may occur in the gut, but not often in the face.

2)loading is not required, but may get you results faster. I've seen a recommended daily dose as low as three and up to ten grams. I go with five (at 200 pounds). Of course, the bigger you are, the more you want.

3)Yes and no. The muscle gained while 'on' won't go away. Any muscle gained is real muscle, a gain that you would make with or without creatine. You may lose a few pounds of water weight, and lose a little fullness in your muscles. Strength should stay the same as far as maxes, but your reps may drop some.




Yes do the creatine-I love the stuff
did not experience bloating but it is not much if you do and mostly in your muslces

it makes it hard to get tired lifting weights and J Berardi thinks it is a good nutrient to add to your diet-somehow helps your brain which you know all us weightlifters need right? :^)


Does it matter if you take the capsules or powder?

Also, I heard long time ago that you have to consume a lot of water to be safe. Is this true?


it must be dissolved-buy micronized and melt it in hot tea or coffee


yes drink water


i was thikning about mixing it in a protein shake. i guess that's not the best idea then?

Also, do you take creatine even on off workout days?


1) No. You'll probably experience a little water gain, but it's not real noticable as it's within the muscle fibers.

2) 3-5g/day is usually enough. No load is necessary.

3) You'll "let the water go" that was held osmotically by the creatine, but the proteins built by the extra work you've been able to do will remain. You may lose a little bit of strength since you won't have so much enhancement in the ATP-CP system.

This is all, of course, if you're a responder.

Have a good one,



Thanks for all the great responses guys! I went out and picked up a container of a 100% Mono last night and today will be the first dosage.

So a few more questions:

A) Someone mentioned taking it with a protein shake. Is that a good way? I read that you are supposed to take it with juice but I try and limit my carb intake to whole rolled oats, veggies and fruits, and I dont drink juices.

B) Time to take it? 3-5 grams sounds about right for me based on what I have read in articles. Should I split the dosage for before and after my work outs? or just after. And also what about off days? I know that uptake is maximized from exercise.

Thanks again for all the responses!


That buffalokilla is a smart fella.

Basic nutrition should have you consuming high glycemic carbs with protein (such as whey hydrolysate) after working out. This is the best time to take the creatine.


Also, creatine uptake and absorption being maximized is more a factor of carbohydrates and insulin response than exercise.

And yes, take it on off days.


Tdog, just to confirm what you said:

Taking creatine with muscle milk protein shake is perfectly fine?


Honestly, I do not know much about the muscle milk shakes, but would imagine they are something like the Met-Rx RTD 50. If that is the case I would say yes it is fine, but you would benefit more from a PW drink that was high in high GI carbs and protein. A good, simple shake could be gatorade, whey hydrolysate and creatine. A better shake would be Surge plus creatine.


I just bought some of Biotest's creatine, and on the bottle it says that one of the things you can take it with is whey isolate. So I just add it to one of my shakes. Hope that helps.


I've been using one of the CEE products now for about a month and am seeing some results from it. I'm taking a pill form (as I hear the bulk form "tastes like ass").


Yeah, it does. Probably smart of you. I am bought in bulk. Tastes like ass is a good description. Or battery acid. I think monohydrate is just as good though I've been very easy with the CEE. Once, it runs out, I'm likely to go back to the CEE.


Note: you can take creatine with anything at any time. For optimal absorbtion, it is probably best to take in a PWO shake like Surge, or something with similar propertites. Not necessary though.


So taking the creatine in pill form is perfectly fine also?