The overage takes this into account. Going over this into the 10 grams area can lead to side effects such as stomach cramps and other forms of gastrointestinal distress. How Much Creatine Should I Take a Day to Build Muscle. This leads me to believe that taking creatine in divided doses all day long is probably unnecessary. How Much Creatine per Day? Follow this with a maintenance dose between 2–10 grams per day… You can find out much more about this over on the wikipedia page for creatine. Don’t take creatine with coffee. Your cells build up a surplus of CP and ATP during rest—and you can tap into this surplus for rapid energy. I won’t go over all of these in any detail, because it’s possible to create your own creatine “salts,” but also because it’s kind of pointless. Creatine phosphate then delivers the phosphate to the area of the cell that does work, where creatine kinase removes the phosphate from creatine phosphate and combines it with ADP at the source of the work, converting the ADP back into ATP. Typically, you take only 5 grams at a time. The other, the ATP-CP system[15-18], actually kicks in before the glycolytic cycle. Believe it or not, we’ve known about creatine for over a century[1], and we’ve known for nearly that long that supplementing with it does good things. During your loading cycle, you should aim to get 20 grams of creatine a day for around 5 – 7 days. These three systems don’t operate in isolation—they definitely overlap—but they each have a period where they produce the majority of the energy for the entire system. Some people also find an approach of 3 grams daily for 28 days works well too. Each of your cells contain mitochondria, which convert fatty-acids, ketones, and glucose into ATP via the Krebs (or citric acid) cycle. Although I think researchers are on the right track here, I actually think it has more to do with an interaction with GLUT4, which I’ll get to in a moment. However, those who supplemented with a 2–5-gram single dose did not experience the same side effects. Burning up the CP prevents the buildup of ADP, which can decrease energy production when levels get too high. Creatine is the most scientifically significant supplement of the past thirty years, and I’m not just talking about the bro-science here. Supplementation, however, seems to have the ability to help here. The same protocol—20 grams per day, then maintenance of supraphysiological concentration with 2-3 grams daily after that—has been used since 1996[43] with little to no deviation in the research. If you're in a loading phase, space your 5-gram servings evenly throughout the day. One of the main things that we should mention is that using creatine can cause a small amount of muscle retention at first. This can make your muscles look softer than they do normally. Again, this may have something to do with GLUT4 transporters, since caffeine can prevent GLUT4 activation. If you miss a day of creatine, this is not an issue. A maintenance dose is about 5-10 grams a day. Creatine transports the energy produced by mitochondria directly to the working parts without invoking a long series of chemical steps. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. You should take Creatine on off days to maintain creatine levels and recover muscles. Supplementing with creatine can increase CP levels by up to 20 percent[21-23], giving you a bigger battery when you need it. It then picks up a phosphate molecule from ATP in the mitochondria, turning the ATP into ADP[6-10]. One of the anaerobic systems, the glycolytic, is where glucose is burned to produce ATP. Learn how your comment data is processed. Creatine is possibly safe when taken by mouth, long-term. ... As you want to know how much creatine should you take, you must always keep in mind DO NOT over supplement. Other forms of creatine may be more soluble, but that has nothing to do with effectiveness. Well, ingesting creatine with large amounts of carbohydrates can actually increase retention of creatine within muscles[49-52]. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. DH Kiefer is a Physicist turned nutrition and performance scientist. Consider the fact that a 150 pound male (70 kilograms) will burn through about two grams of creatine naturally every day[44]. This alleviates the need for a loading period. Just make sure you take enough. In fact, one group of researchers may have proven that you don’t need to take creatine all day—and that you don’t need to take it every day—as long as you’re averaging the necessary amount per day[59]. We can never say for sure as there are no incredibly long term studies of creatine use, but it seems to be safe to use in both the short term and the long term. You can learn more about him at Once your muscles become saturated with creatine, there is no point continually running a loading phase on your muscle. We recommend taking 3–5 g of creatine per day. After you get over the initial loading phase of creatine, it makes sense that you move to a more manageable dose of the supplement. They cannot get any more saturated. The second or maintenance phase keeps your muscles saturated with a much smaller daily dose. This is important because your creatine levels can affect nearly every cell in your body. He’s a featured writer in every issue of FLEX and Power Magazine. Your cells burn through the ATP stores, and creatine phosphate recycles ADP into ATP, but CP becomes exhausted in the process. There are several different types of creatine supplements on the market. Once your muscles are saturated from the overall creatine loading phase. During your loading cycle, you should aim to get 20 grams of creatine a day for around 5 – 7 days. If you’re looking for something that agrees with a bodybuilding lifestyle, aim to get at least 5 grams of creatine a day. When you begin intense activity from rest, you already have a huge store of ATP and creatine phosphate. The 20 grams-per-day mark was little more than an arbitrary choice by early investigators, and for some reason, it stuck. This is a little over for some people, but not enough to cause stomach problems, and still enough to keep your muscles fully saturated with creatine to give you the best overall size and results for bodybuilding. Creatine’s benefits are numerous, but what most people—including most supplement manufacturers, if labels are any indication—don’t understand is what it does at the cellular level. Do take it with training and/or carbs. So, how should you take creatine? Creatine doesn’t lose its effectiveness if you skip a day or two. Instead of taking 30 grams per day, it may be possible to take 60 grams every other day for the same results. Want to lose weight? It’s been shown by research that training may not be able to do anything to specifically alter the ATP-PC system in isolation, because it’s always tied with the peak output and timing of the glycolytic cycle[38-40], acting only to bridge the first five seconds of high-output performance. Creatine monohydrate is simply your best—and cheapest—choice. Again, this has never been directly tested to see whether it’s necessary. This can be used in beverages or in other types of products such as energy bars, capsules or tablets. | Terms,, POUNDS: Bodyweight * 0.15 = grams of creatine monohydrate to ingest, KILOGRAMS: Body mass * 0.3 = grams of creatine monohydrate to ingest. ATP-CP is critical for resistance training, sprinting, and HIIT because of the relatively sort timeframe during which it acts. The two-grams-per-day maintenance level is the current recommendation by the American College of Sports Medicine’s expert panel on creatine[45]. This can be fixed by looking more carefully at your diet and reduce the foods that aid in reducing the overall water weight. There may be a better way to estimate the minimum daily dose, but the data for this doesn’t yet exist. ATP is the energy currency of your cells, and ADP results from the breakdown of ATP, which releases a phosphate molecule and ADP.