How Much Creatine Should I Take?

creatine monohydrate

Consume no more than 5grams creatine daily.  That’s the short answer.  The thing is, most of us shouldn’t just start supplementing our diet and exercise with 5 grams of creatine alone each day.  It would be a colossal waste of money.  The amount of creatine you ingest each day should be decided by the amount of exercise you intend on doing, the amount of calories you intend on eating, the types of foods you will be eating to get those calories, and the other supplements you are or will be taking.  Height and weight can also play a role but it’s not as influential as the other factors [1].  Let’s take a closer look to answer the question “How much creatine should I take?”

How Much Creatine Should I Take for it to be Effective?

At the very minimum, you should start your supplementation at 2 grams per day.  No matter your physique.  2 grams will be enough for your body to sense the increase and your heavy lifting or high-intensity exercises should go a bit more smoothly as your muscles will have an extra amount of energy.  There is a good chance you will be able to do a few extra reps every set or you will be able to perform cardio for a bit longer without feeling like you want to die.  You will notice 2 grams right away.

What to Eat to Maximize Benefit?

Creatine and protein go hand in hand.  Make sure your diet is comprised of protein with a nice balance of water and fiber.  Creatine is a nonessential dietary supplement but it is really similar to protein and by combining the two together, you are creating a super compound that you and your muscles can leverage to improve your workouts.  Combining protein and creatine has been proven to improve resistance exercise and sports performance without causing health problems in most humans [2].

When do I Increase my Creatine Dosage?

It doesn’t take long.  You can safely increase your dosage by a gram a week, assuming you’re being diligent in taking the same amount daily.  Continue on with your exercise and take the supplement in the morning before you start your day as part of your morning routine.  You’ll be golden from there out.

What’s the Best Form?

The most effective form of creatine will always be powder.  Mix it right in to your morning shakes or into your pre-workout shake.  You can always split your dose and do both.  Other options include liquids, pills, and protein bars.  It probably doesn’t matter how you’re going to be ingesting the creatine so much as it matters how consistent you are with it [3].  It’s readily available at fitness centers, on the internet, and even at the grocery stores so there is no excuse for you to not be able to find a supply.

I’m Still Unsure

That’s okay.  You just need to do a little bit more research to better understand what creatine exactly is and what it can do for you [4].  The sooner you become friends with the supplement, the sooner you will see amazing progress in your muscular composition and physique.  Take some time to really understand creatine by reading this in-depth creatine article we wrote last summer.

References

  1. Thomas W Buford,1 Richard B Kreider,corresponding author1 Jeffrey R Stout,1 Mike Greenwood,1 Bill Campbell,1 Marie Spano,1 Tim Ziegenfuss,1 Hector Lopez,1 Jamie Landis,1 and Jose Antonio1
    International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise
    J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007; 4: 6. Published online 2007 Aug 30. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-4-6
  2. Robert Cooper,corresponding author1 Fernando Naclerio,1 Judith Allgrove,1 and Alfonso Jimenez1,2
    Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update
    J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 33.
    Published online 2012 Jul 20. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-33
  3. Hall M1, Trojian TH.
    Creatine supplementation.
    Curr Sports Med Rep. 2013 Jul-Aug;12(4):240-4. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e31829cdff2.
  4. Lisa A. Riesberg,1 Stephanie A. Weed,1 Thomas L. McDonald,2 Joan M. Eckerson,3 and Kristen M. Drescher1,*
    Beyond Muscles: The Untapped Potential of Creatine
    Int Immunopharmacol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2017 Aug 1. Published in final edited form as: Int Immunopharmacol. 2016 Aug; 37: 31–42. Published online 2016 Jan 8. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2015.12.034
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