How to use a creatine supplement

Creatine (creatine monohydrate) is a substance that is produced naturally by the body. It assists in improving muscle performance during exercise, especially exercise that involves short, intensive bursts. Creatine is arguably the most popular sports supplements for various reasons. Creatine can increase energy, improve performance in intensive exercise and can improve recovery times. It is also suggested that creatine can aid in protein synthesis, thus improving lean muscle mass.


Does it work?

Many studies have found that creatine increases energy, performance and lean muscle mass. It is allowed by most sporting regulatory bodies (at the time of writing).

How to use a creatine supplement

You should always follow the dosage instructions and any guidelines on any supplements that you purchase.

Typically, however, most products on the market will advise you to follow the three phase cycle outlined below. Dosages will differ depending on the brand and strength of the creatine you buy. Always follow the guidelines.

Ø Phase 1 (loading phase)

The loading phase involves saturating the muscles with creatine. Typically, between 20g – 30g per day, divided into 3 – 5 doses. The loading phase should last no longer than 1 week.

Ø Phase 2 (maintenance phase)

Once the muscles have been saturated with creatine during the loading phase, a maintenance dose of between 2-5g is all that is required. It is generally recommended that the maintenance phase lasts no longer than 1 month.

Ø Phase 3 (rest)

The rest stage is very important. It is generally advised that a rest period of 1 month is taken from a creatine supplement. This is to ensure that the body does not become dependent on the supplement and continues to produce creatine itself.

 

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