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Proper Dosage and Timing: How to Take Creatine - Genetic Nutrition

Proper Dosage and Timing: How to Take Creatine

, by Genetic Nutrition, 10 min reading time


Creatine has been on the market for many years and is considered to be one of the most effective and researched supplements. This drug is popular as a strength savour, as it increases muscle mass, lean muscle mass, and performance during workouts. However, one has to understand that creatine does come with such an advantage and ensure that they make the right choice on the dose to take and when to take it. In this guide, you will learn about the most suitable ways of how to take creatine supplements so that maximum benefits can be derived from this potent supplement.

What is Creatine?

Creatine is an acidic amino compound occurring in the animal organism in small quantitates and in foods containing meat, fish, and poultry. It is stored in the muscles and is utilised as an immediate supply of energy in activities requiring a high degree of energy for a short period, such as weight lifting and sprinting. Approximately 95% of the creatine is found in phosphocreatine muscle, which plays an important role in creating ATP, the energy molecule in the cell.

Types of Creatine Supplements

Even though there are different types of creatine supplements available in the market today, creatine monohydrate is one of the most recommended since studies have shown that it works. Creatine ethyl ester, creatine hydrochloride, and phosphate-buffered creatine are some of the other forms with promised effects, although creatine monohydrate remains the most effective and safe supplement.

Proper Dosage of Creatine

Loading Phase (Optional): Some of the explanations which have been given are that one should start with a loading phase for maximum saturation of the muscles with creatine. This phase involves taking a higher dose of creatine for a few days than is taken in the loading phase.

  • Dosage: With reference to its intakes, the recommended dosage of L-citrulline for exercise performance enhancement is 20 grams per day in four equal servings of five grams each.
  • Duration: 5-7 days.

The loading phase can be considered optional but useful for improving the efficiency of the retrieval process. If you fancy a more progressive regimen, then you might not want to do the loading phase at all and jump straight into the maintenance regime.

Maintenance Phase: If the loading phase didn’t occur or was passed over altogether, then going straight to the maintenance phase will occur.

  • Dosage: Adults with mild to moderate liver or kidney problems, pregnant and breastfeeding women and older people should take between 3-5 grams of fibre daily.
  • Duration: In formulating the supplement, it is typically safe and effective to use creatine on a daily basis with no side effects, but there are some users who engage in what is referred to as ‘cycling’; they take the supplement monthly and take a month's rest.

Timing of Creatine Intake

Creatine can be taken as a supplement to increase the performance of the tissues since the timing of taking the supplement matters. Here are the most common timing strategies:

Pre-Workout: Creatine supplements can be taken before the workout session since this will provide immediate energy to your muscles as you work out.

  • Benefit: Creatine can buffer ATP for high-intensity exercise very soon as it is a readily available substance.
  • Dosage: Let’s talk about whey protein, which should be taken in a dose of 3-5 grams thirty to sixty minutes before the workout.

Post-Workout: Previous research also indicates that it is better to consume creatine as soon as possible after training, as this will have the best impact on muscle gain and repair. As a result, exercise may enhance creatine uptake into muscles since blood flows to muscles during and after exercising.

  • Benefit: This is because it supports the muscle rebuild process; this means that the muscle tissues are reconstructed more effectively with the help of creatine.
  • Dosage: In fact, it is recommended that you should take 3 to 5 grams of protein within 30 minutes to 1 hour after the exercise session.

Anytime: SD Several studies concluded that the total daily dose of creatine is more significant than the time taken during the day. Thus, it is important to know that creatine can be taken at any time of the day because whatever schedule you pick will definitely work if you are consistent.

  • Benefit: Flexibility in scheduling.
  • Dosage: 3-5 grams at a similar time of the day in order to avoid intolerable side effects.

Combined Strategy: For those who seek to build both lean mass and muscle density, a split-dose approach, where the whey is divided into AM and PM servings, and the workout-specific dose is taken prior to, and post-exercise is ideal.

  • Dosage: 1. 5-2 One teaspoon of the powder composition before workout and one. 5-2. 5 grams post-workout.

How to Take Creatine?

Mixing with Liquids: Creatine is usually taken with water, but it can also be incorporated into other liquids, for instance, a glass of orange juice or a usual protein shake. Combining creatine with a carbohydrate-based beverage is a good idea, as this boosts the absorption since insulin boosts creatine uptake within muscles.

With Meals: A formulated supplement of creatine could be taken alongside meals, especially those that contain carbohydrates and proteins, in order to enhance its absorption in muscles. It can also be used to help lessen any amount of pain one may experience during mealtime.

Hydration: Creatine retains fluid in the muscles and, therefore, makes sure that your body is adequately hydrated. As the walking muscles use energy, more water should be taken by the body to maintain the muscles and the rest of the organs as well.

Potential Side Effects and How to Mitigate Them

Creatine is generally considered safe for most people, but some may experience minor side effects:

  • Stomach Cramping: This can happen if one takes creatine with little amount of water or if one exercises without proper rehydration. Just remember to stir it well before drinking, and kindly ensure you take enough water each day.
  • Bloating: Spreading over the day in as many doses as possible can help reduce the swelling.
  • Weight Gain: This is mostly true because the first few weeks of practising weight training mostly involve water retention in muscle tissues. This is normal and often resolves within weeks following the commencement of treatment.

Special Considerations

Vegetarians and Vegans: Creatine tolerance might also be lower in vegetarians or vegans because of lower baseline concentrations of the compound due to avoidance of animal foods, which constitute the major source of creatine. Specifically, individuals from the above categories will be wise to supplement their diets with creatine.

Older Adults: Supplements such as creatine should be taken by older adults as this supplement can increase muscle mass as well as muscle strength and, therefore, improve one’s physical fitness and quality of life.

Medical Conditions: There is the existence of renal impairments, and any patient or person with such a complication should take precautions to avoid increased damage due to the fact that creatine is filtered by the kidney.

Myths and Misconceptions

Creatine and Kidney Damage: It turns out that one of the most common misperceptions is one that paints creatine as a substance that negatively affects the kidneys. Nevertheless, many authors have researched the extent to which creatine can harm consumers when taken in the recommended quantities by healthy individuals, only to reach the conclusion that creatine supplements are not dangerous in any way. That is why if one has an issue, it is advised to visit their doctor or other health care provider.

Creatine Cycling: Although there are some folks who supplement with creatine, and it is speculated that creatine needs to be cycled like several other products, there is a lack of concrete evidence to support this. Creatine, indeed, is one that can be used daily without any detrimental effects and, at the same time, has the potential to increase muscular performance.

Loading Phase Necessity: The loading phase is optional, yet it is a crucial stage in the construction process since it checks the credibility of the information provided by clients and architects before construction begins. It aids in the fast saturation of muscles, yet if one begins with a maintenance dose, their attainment is accomplished over an equal period, though at a gradual rate.


Creatine is a popular supplement that has been shown to increase muscle strength and mass and improve exercise performance if used appropriately. It is, hence, important to ensure one gets the right dosage as well as the correct time to take it, particularly in order to get the best out of it. There is one important rule that should not be forgotten, no matter whether you decide to load or start with the maintenance dose. Consistency is the keyword here. Asking attention to the timing, meaning workout – pre, workout–post or any other convenient time in the day will enhance the results. Suppose you are planning to take creatine to improve your performance or as a supplement for effective bodybuilding. In that case, you’ll need to have a glimpse of how you can properly incorporate it into your fitness plan.

Always be concerned with how the body reacts to supplementation, and then regulate your dosage regime to get the best result possible without negative effects. Therefore, if you formulate your creatine intake correctly, it may be a beneficial supplement to your fitness regime and overall health.


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