Clearing Up the Creatine Confusion: Steps for Correct Use!
When you start using a creatine supplement for the first time, you may get a little confused. Creatine supplements are used by athletes all over the world and many of them like to recommend their own methods of using the supplement. If you currently feel a little confused about creatine use, no need to worry! Below, you will find the correct use of creatine supplements!
The Loading Phase
Many athletes who use supplements go through a loading phase before they use the recommended dose for a long period of time. It is important to know that not every supplement has a loading phase, so it is good to do some research on the specific supplement you intend to use.
Most creatine supplements have a loading phase, although this loading phase is not essential to get results. The loading phase is meant to increase the amount of creatine in the muscle, so the athlete in question will have all the creatine they need to get the energy they require. Over a period of time, the athlete can move to the maintenance phase and switch to a lower dose. During the maintenance phase, your levels of creatine will be kept on the same level.
The average dosage during a Cr loading phase amounts to twenty grams. This loading phase is maintained over a period of five days. It is the fastest way to increase the Cr levels in the muscles and then switch to the maintenance period.
Some athletes may struggle with some stomach pains during the loading phase, considering the elevated dose of the supplement. If you are prone to such problems when taking supplement, you can switch to a lower dose during the loading phase. Athletes who are sensitive to digestive distress use ten grams of the supplement over a period of two weeks. By lowering the dose, side-effects such as bloating and stomach pains are less likely to appear, but it does mean you will have to stay in the loading phase a little longer.
That being said, there are many athletes who skip the loading phase all together and start with the recommended dose of 5 grams per day. In order to determine the most effective method for you, it can be a good idea to start a loading phase and observe the results for future reference.
The Maintenance Phase
Athletes can use variable doses during the maintenance phase and it does somewhat depend on the creatine variant you are using. While most people take five grams a day during the maintenance phase, a dose of two to three grams is also possible.
There are athletes who keep their dose as high as possible during the maintenance phase, especially when they cannot obtain their creatine or Cr from food sources. Vegans and vegetarians have difficulty keeping their Cr levels up, so a long-term maintenance period can benefit them greatly.
Most maintenance periods can be continued over a period of six to eight weeks. Once this period has expired, the athlete has to take into account a rest period of approximately two weeks. The length of the maintenance period and rest period does depend on your Cr supplement, so be sure to read the directions to get the best results.
What Is the Best Way to Take My Cr Supplement?
Studies have shown that Cr is absorbed into the muscle cells quicker if there is an elevated level of insulin in the body. For that reason, you will hear many athletes recommend taking a Cr supplement in combination with some fruit juice, grape juice or orange juice.
There are some indications that the best way to take your Cr supplement is after a workout, preferably with a snack high in carbohydrates, protein or a good meal. Taking a Cr supplement on an empty stomach is also possible, but will be less effective.
Taking your Cr supplement in combination with a meal can also benefit those athletes with a delicate digestive system. If you experienced problems during the loading phase and had to switch to the maintenance phase, it is best to consume your Cr supplement in combination with carbohydrates.
Can I Still Take Cr Supplements During a Low Calorie Diet?
Cr supplements are associated with bulking up, so not many people want to use it during their low calorie diet. That being said, Cr supplements will not make you gain fat, quite the contrary actually! The weight gain that is experienced in the beginning of Cr supplementation can be explained by water absorption. When you use a Cr supplement, water will be transported into the muscle cells and create a better environment for muscle growth. Muscle also weighs heavier than fat, so you may experience a little weight gain as your muscle mass increases.
Loss of fat may not be visible on the scales right away, but it will be visible on your body. Pockets of fat will be replaced by lean muscle, providing you are willing to put in the work and use the Cr supplement to its maximum potential.
Is Creatine Effective for Women?
Many women wonder if a Cr supplement is useful for them, considering that this supplement is mostly associated with bodybuilders and men looking for serious muscle growth. The answer to this question is yes, because women like to have lean muscle as well.
Women also tend to eat less food sources that contain Cr. Because of this, it can be difficult for women to build lean muscle. A Cr supplement can therefore be a good addition to a diet or the workout routine of any woman.
Which Cr Supplement Is Most Effective?
There is not really one supplement that sticks out over all the others, but most scientists claim that creatine monohydrate is the most effect Cr supplement on the market. Still, with a large amount of Cr supplements available, athletes can easily find different supplements with a specific set of benefits. For that reason, it can be a good idea to research various supplements before choosing one in particular.