Take 3 to 6 grams of creatine monohydrate daily. It is recommended to take creatine after training in combination with: protein shakes, gainers, amino acids or sports drinks, you can also take it with juice. On days when you are not training, take 3-6 grams of creatine products in the morning.
Creatine is a unique supplement of its kind that may revolutionize the way you think about building muscle mass. If you have been training for several years but you have not seen any visible progress, you should especially try including creatine in your diet. As a matter of fact, it was derived quite a long time ago, about two centuries ago, but it began to be used in the sports nutrition industry relatively recently, immediately receiving fairly good reviews about its effects on the body of the athlete, but let’s start in order.
What is creatine?
A nitrogen-containing, carboxylic acid called creatine is known to be produced in small amounts in vertebrate organisms, regulating energy exchange in muscle tissues. It also takes part in the formation of new nerve connections, making it a unique substance that makes life a lot easier for professional athletes.
The main properties of creatine formed in sports nutrition products are as follows:
- stimulation of anabolic processes, resulting in increased growth of muscle tissue. Creatine can also increase the rate of new muscle fiber formation in athletes who have reached their genetic limit of muscle mass;
- retention of water in the muscle, resulting in better heat exchange, as well as providing nutrients to the muscle. Similarly, most athletes who take creatine in monthly courses experience significant increases in muscle volume. Formally, it is not the muscles that are increased but the amount of water between the muscle fibers, but during the competition period this effect is particularly important;
- Creation of nerve receptors in muscles, which allows athletes to feel their muscles better and to work out more effectively. Concentration is increased, and strength performance is increased, due to the pinpoint control of individual muscles.
It should be noted that if taken correctly, creatine has a very similar effect to that of anabolic steroids, which also affect anabolism and metabolism and retain a lot of water in the organism. That’s why those who are engaged in «natural bodybuilding» can be extremely interesting because creatine supplementation not only provides all the benefits as from taking steroids, but also has no side effects when used competently.
How to Take Creatine Properly
In order to understand how to take creatine correctly, we must first understand how it works. First of all, creatine from concentrate in sports nutrition does not substitute but duplicates the work of the substance that is already produced in your body, which means that in a short time of its intake, no irreversible effects simply cannot occur.
However, if you take a long course of creatine, our organism accordingly decreases the production of its own substance, which leads to a decrease in the volume of water in the muscles and decreases its volume by 10-15% in the first month if you give up the preparation. Based on this, we can talk about two ways of taking creatine:
- Creatine Loading. This method of how to take creatine is extremely popular with competitive athletes, but it can also be described as quite extreme. The essence of it is to take up to 20 grams of creatine in total during the first days of the course. The weight loss lasts for about 5-7 days and during this period the muscles will lose water
Are loaded to the brim with creatine, after which, for the remaining 14 to 21 days of the course, the daily intake of the drug should be halved.
- Gradual loading. From a medical point of view this is the most adequate way of taking creatine. The essence of it is to take up to five grams of creatine per day during the entire course of intake, which lasts three to four weeks. The advantage of this method is that it is much gentler, and in terms of final results, especially a couple of weeks after the end of the course, athletes who have conducted creatine loading are equal to those athletes who have used creatine gradually.
As a matter of fact, these are the only two ways on how best to take creatine that are the most correct and valid, both medically and according to the training athletes themselves.
Tips on how to take creatine
Creatine is quite a delicate preparation, and therefore, to achieve the best effect, you should follow some specific rules relating to how, when and with what to use it, as well as what should be excluded from your diet for the duration of the course.
Tip #1. Do not drink coffee in your diet. Caffeine, in its structure, is the opposite of creatine, as it is considered a mild diuretic that promotes fat burning and excretion of excess fluid from the body. Correspondingly, if you combine caffeine and creatine, the effectiveness of the latter will be one-quarter to one-third less than stated.
Tip #2. The same applies to grapefruit and black pepper, which have a similar fat-burning effect. Since you are taking creatine, be prepared to gain a few extra pounds during this period, because at the end of the course all the extra water will be gone anyway, and the muscle gain will remain.
Tip #3. Drink more water, even just drink creatine with at least a glass of clean water. Relatively professional athletes use pure water purchased at pharmacies during this period, as some of it will still remain in the body for a long time.
Tip #4. Creatine should be consumed at certain times. On workout days, this time comes right after the end of your workout cycle, as this is when you start to close the protein-carbohydrate window, as well as consume a lot of fluid. Creatine and natural anabolism are closely connected and can achieve very good results. On those days when you are recovering, it is better to take creatine in the morning hours, just after sleeping and before breakfast in order to achieve a similar effect.
Tip #5. There is a little trick that allows creatine to be better absorbed and anchored in your muscles. It is worth giving your body 10-15 grams of fast carbohydrates to stimulate insulin production and after that to take creatine. A similar scheme will allow the active ingredient to be absorbed into the muscles by more than 90% and give an amazing effect.
Now that you know how to take creatine correctly, it’s time to talk about how not to use it. Yes, creatine is produced in the body but that does not mean that it has no side effects, especially in case of overdosing or prolonged intake:
- in case you take creatine much longer than the prescribed monthly course, it may have a negative effect on your bones, weakening and thinning them and, as a consequence, a negative effect on the hematopoietic function;
- If you take creatine in high doses for a long time, it will weaken your kidneys and can lead to kidney failure, which is very difficult to treat.
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