Supplementation

Do you want to know how to use creatine?

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Creatine is an absolutely great supplement for people who are serious about reaching health and fitness goals that involve adding strength, speed, and endurance. It comes highly recommended from a wide range of people and professionals because it has proven to work and work well. But just because you know that you should use something, it is not always clear how you should use it.

So, do you want to know how to use creatine?

When to Take Ithow to use creatine

Ideally the best time to take creatine is right after your workout. During the workout phase your body will be burning through its stores of creatine as it is converted to creatine phosphate and then used to replenish your ATP stores (which were burned up during the workout). So you want to immediately get more creatine back into your system to make up for what was used. Many people like to use a post-workout shake and just add the powder in.

On days when you are not working out you should still take it around the same time of day. While some people say it is more easily absorbed on an empty stomach, it is much more important to maintain a similar timeframe because the human body tends to become rather clock oriented for its processes. This is often an overlooked idea when understanding how to use creatine.

How Much?

The amount of creatine you take in depends on which phase you are in. Initially when you first start there is a ‘loading phase’ you go through. This is where you completely overload your system with small amounts each day to saturate your body and build up the overall stores. After that you are in ‘maintenance mode’ only ingesting what you need each day to make up for what was used.

Loading Phase

The loading phase should be done over 6 to 7 days. For the first 2 to 3 days you want to take in 10 grams over 3 to 4 small doses of 2-3 gram each. Your body is getting used to absorbing it into your system and it is better to take in little bits every few hours instead of all at once. Then for the rest of the week double the dose to 20 grams a day in 3 to 4 gram increments over the day. Not everyone agrees on starting small for the first few days. The reasoning behind this is to make sure your body won’t have any sort of reaction to the creatine. If it does then it is better that it happens on a smaller dose rather than large.

Maintenance Phase

After the first week of loading you only need to take 3 to 5 grams of creatine per day. Your body burns anywhere from 3 to 4 grams a day from high energy burst activities and because you have already loaded you only need to replenish. A good rule of thumb might be taking 5 grams on workout days and 3 grams on non-workout days. This will save a little money over time as you won’t use excess amounts when not needed by your body.

What Do you Mix it With?

Another important thing to understand about how to use creatine is the optimum way to take it. As it is in powder form you can easily mix a shake or similar styled drink to consume it. Milk is a perfectly good option because any liquid based drink will absorb more quickly into the bloodstream compared to solid foods. But, because of the nature of creatine it actually works better to mix it with a sports drink or juice.

As the sugar from the juice or sports drink is absorbed the glucose helps act as a transporter for the creatine. This gets it moved to where it needs to be faster compared to using milk or water. For people who use a post workout protein shake with supplements, the easy answer is to have an additional glass of juice with the creatine. Your body will need the fluids.

That covers all the basics for how to use creatine.

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