Creatine is a supplement that many athletes take to help them to gain strength and improve their performance. It is associated mainly with building muscle mass and less with the loss of body fat. Taking creatine supplements while you are trying to lose weight is probably not the best idea. Muscle weighs more than fat and if you are taking creatine and adding new muscle, the odds are that the scale will show gains before it shows a loss.
Understanding Creatine Supplements & The Power Within
Should You Be Stacking?
While some professionals recommend a “stacking” or loading phase, it really isn’t necessary if you know what you are doing in the weight room. The reality is that to use creatine effectively, the muscles must be saturated with it. Once the saturation point is reached, the goal is to maintain it for as long as you plan on performing heavy workouts. You can load the muscles with 20 grams of creatine every day for a week to 10 days and then level off with a dosage of 5 to 10 grams per day for maintenance.
Individuals who choose to saturate their muscles without “loading” may experience gastric distress or other stomach issues. This will depend on their diet and how much of the creatine they are taking on a daily basis. If a person has a sensitive stomach, they can take smaller doses, give or take 10 grams every day until the saturation point is reached. This may take upwards of 3 to 5 weeks to achieve, but in the end, the upset stomach will not have been an issue and the athlete will still have reached his goal.
When Should I Take Creatine?
Most trainers recommend taking creatine either before or after a workout. This allows it to go directly into the muscle tissue where it is needed and where it will do the best when it comes to building muscle mass and increasing strength. Once the muscles have been saturated with creatine, you can take it anytime during the day because you are only replacing what is already found in the muscle tissue. For most athletes, it ends up being personal preference as to what time is best for them. Don’t overdo it when it comes to using creatine. Most athletes gain benefits when moderate amounts are used and when it is taken at the right time for each individual person. Every athlete will need to determine these factors on their own to find out what works best for them.