Let's Talk Creatine!
Creatine is one of the most highly studied supplements around today! In regards to high-intensity exercise and sports, we know that taking creatine may lead to improvements in performance and recovery.
In general, it can improve recovery, may help with injury prevention, thermoregulation, rehabilitation from injury, and concussion neuroprotection.
Even more interestingly, there have been so many studies on creatine that we also know that it may be useful in a number of clinical situations such as in neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, aging, and more!
It’s not necessary for everyone to take creatine, but if you’re curious, it may be useful to talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian about it.
The only consistently reported side effect from creatine supplementation that has been described in the literature has been weight gain.
How to Use it:
So, how should you start taking creatine?
The most effective way to increase muscle creatine stores is to take 5g of creatine monohydrate (or 0.3g of creatine per kg bodyweight) four times daily for 5–7 days.
After that, stores can be maintained by taking 3–5 g/day. Taking it with carbohydrate and/or protein may help your body absorb and store it better.
An alternative protocol – one that may be less likely to result in weight gain than the typical “loading” technique – is to take 3 g/day for 28 days. The only drawback of this method is that because it’s more gradual it may have less of an effect on exercise performance until those stores are fully saturated with creatine.