How Much Creatine Should I Take

How Much Creatine Should I Take

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Justin
December 26, 2021
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If you frequently shop for popular dietary supplements like protein or collagen powder, you may have come across a popular bottle labeled creatine.

This is a popular sports supplement on the market and a staple in the bodybuilding community for its ability to help you pack on muscles and work out longer and harder.

The supplement helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercises.

However, despite being one of the most common and thoroughly-researched supplements, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding creatine use. For example, there are concerns over the side effects of overdosing and whether it is safe to use.

This article looks at the health benefits of creatine and how much creatine you should take for optimal performance.

What is Creatine

How Much Creatine Should I Take

Creatine is a substance found naturally in muscle cells. Your body naturally produces creatine in the kidneys, liver, and pancreas and stores it in muscles to ensure quick access to it for fast, highly interesting movements like sprinting or powerlifting.

The body creates creatine, meaning you don’t need to get it from food only. As a non-essential amino acid, you don’t need added creatine beyond what’s in a healthy diet.

They also found the compound in food, predominantly animal products such as chicken, beef, pork, and fish. Vegetarians have lower amounts of creatine stored in their skeletal muscles because they don’t eat animal products.

Fortunately, there are creative supplements available for vegetarians to keep their creatine levels sufficiently high.

Therefore, individuals with healthy livers have nothing to worry about regarding the creatine.  However, some people need creatine supplements to increase their stores of phosphocreatine.

Check with your doctor before beginning any creatine supplementation if you have kidney problems.

You can find different creatine supplements on the market for different purposes. Athletes use creatine to increase muscle size, strength, and power. It increases total work or volume in a single training session, a key factor in long-term muscle growth.

There are also health benefits related to brain functioning and aging. For example, the substance increases satellite signaling that aids muscle repair and growth.

How Does it Work?

How Much Creatine Should I Take

Athletes use creatine to increase muscle size, strength, and power. It increases total work or volume in a single training session, a key factor in long-term muscle growth.

There are also health benefits related to brain functioning and aging. For example, the substance increases satellite signaling that aids muscle repair and growth.

When taken, creatine can replenish the adenosine triphosphate in the body, a molecule used to store energy in the cells. It increases your phosphocreatine stores, allowing you to produce more ATP energy to fuel your muscles during high-intensity exercises.

The supplement works by replenishing the ATP molecules used to produce energy. It provides your muscle cells with the extra energy to help the muscles grow stronger, bigger, and more powerful.

There is research on how creatine improves athletic performance. The evidence from this research has shown that this supplement increases strength and muscle power by over 10%.

It is the number-one supplement for improving performance in the gym. In high-intensity exercises, creatine increases the phosphocreatine stores in the muscles.

These phosphocreatine stores produce more ATP, which is the key energy source for the muscles.

Creatine increases athletic performance by increasing muscle strength and overall power. The supplement will help your body produce more energy, so you fatigue less during short, high-intensity exercise.

Athletes who take creatine supplements can increase their performance through muscle power and strength.

However, the creatine benefits go well and beyond athletic performance as the product can help to age. This means taking the supplement helps you to age gracefully and healthily.

Furthermore, the compound can boost your brain function and help mental health.

Because creatine is associated with increased energy production,  the supplements improve energy supply to the brain and protect brain cells, thereby improving brain function.

Supplementation with creatine monohydrate increases the creatinine levels in the body. If you use moderate amounts of creatine, you will enjoy proven benefits.

The recommended amount is usually 3 to 5 grams of pure creatine monohydrate daily. You can take this supplement as a powder or liquid in the form of a healthy shake.

How Much Should I Take?

How Much Creatine Should I Take

Creatine dosage is an important aspect of athletic performance as it provides energy to your muscles. Some supplements come in powder form, meaning you mix with juice or plain water to take just before or after a workout.

When wondering how much creatine should I take, everyone has a creatine requirement depending on their needs.

For example, those who regularly train and don’t eat much meat will need more creatine than those who train less and eat more meat.

Loading is the standard way to consume creatine. It involves taking 20 grams of creatine daily for 4 to 7 days. Split the daily dose into about four or five doses. After the loading face,  take between 3 and 5 g daily to maintain their stores of creatine in the muscles.

The focus is to saturate your muscles with creatine much faster so that the benefits manifest sooner.

You could also use the maintenance dosing method that does away with the loading phase. This method maintains a daily dose of between 3 and 5 grams of creatine. It takes about 28 days for the benefits to manifest, which is longer than the loading method.

However, it is still effective eventually and is easier to use as you only need one dose compared to four or five involved in the loading method. 

Another common practice of consuming creatine is known as cycling. This is where you take creatine powder for 3 to 4 weeks, and then take a week or two off before starting up again.

Most people use this method out of concern for any potential complications, However, you don’t need to cycle since creatine is safe.

If you’re not lifting heavy weights or doing high-intensity workouts, your body probably makes as much creatine as it needs. The human body naturally produces 1 to 2 g of creating every day.

If you want to build the muscles, take 20 grams of creatine per day for a limited time, Followed by 3g to 5g daily after that.

Can I Overdose With Creatine?

How Much Creatine Should I Take

Creatine is considered safe when properly taken as it’s not a banned substance. It has been extensively studied and considered safe to use.

However, while creatine is considered safe, it is still a supplement, not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any overdose could have some serious complications in the form of side effects.

Regular supplementation with creatine causes its levels in tissues to reach a threshold that you can’t exceed. However, every day a portion of the creatine pool is converted into the biodegradable product creatinine and then excreted through a natural process.

If you take more creatine than the body actively requires, it is excreted in the urine. This is why you don’t need to overdose with the supplement, as it will be a waste. It doesn’t make sense to take unnecessarily high doses of creatine over a longer period.

People take creatine overdose because it is inexpensive considering its effectiveness. They also believe higher doses have the potential for more dramatic benefits.

While taking creatine supplements poses little to no risk, overdosing is unnecessary and may result in unpleasant side effects like stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and belching.

Your muscles have a saturation point of creatine. Once they reach this saturation point, you are supposed to stick to between 3  and 5-gram doses to keep your muscle stores saturated.

Taking more than this required dosage will cause the excess creatine to be excreted from the body in the form of urine since your body cannot store all the extra creatine. This means you are subjected to a range of side effects while wasting money.

In most cases, the creatine overdose happens during a loading phase of about a week, designed to saturate the muscles.

Sometimes overdosing creatine through the loading method can result in significant weight gain due to gain in muscle mass and water intake of your muscles.

While this weight gain is hammerless, it can lead to bloating.

If you use the loading method to take creatine, split the 20 to 25-gram dose into four to five different doses spread throughout the day to avoid experiencing the side effects.

Also, note that this loading phase is not entirely necessary. While it allows you to fill the benefits of creatine slightly faster, some people skip this phase without much consequence.

Therefore, taking a higher dose of creatine will not increase your strength or health benefits. Instead, it can cause behavioral problems and hormonal imbalances. Also, the high doses and creatine loading strategies are unnecessary.

Conclusion

The article has looked at everything you need to know about Creatine and its benefits. This is a popular sports supplement that significantly improves athletic performance.

It is not prohibited by any regulatory sports bodies and is considered safe to use for athletic performance.

However, ensure you stick to the recommended dosage to avoid experiencing severe side effects.

If you’re interested in boosting your muscle mass and strength or exercising harder for longer,  consider adding creatine to your dietary routine.

However, if you are engaging in lighter-weight or less intense intervals, that makes sure you eat plenty of animal protein and your body will produce enough creatine.

Resources:

Justin

Justin Rodriguez has spent most of his adult life inspiring people to take their fitness more seriously. He is not new to the business of providing practical solutions for those looking to set and smash their fitness goals. From sharing professional tips and tricks to recommending awesome products, Justin Rodriguez helps just about anyone who wants to get the best out of their workout routines.Having gathered a lot of experience both in and outside the gym, Justin Rodriguez uses DSW Fitness as a medium to show you exactly how to get that great-looking body with toned muscles you’ve always wanted.