When Should You Take Creatine

Do you know when to take Creatine or how much Creatine you need? We do get a certain amount of Creatine from the food that we consume, but it is only about 1 to 2 grams per day. This is not enough to see the enhanced strength training performance that you can get from ingesting more Creatine.

In order to get the real benefit of Creatine, research suggests that you first load your muscles up with the supplement, this is called the loading phase. The loading phase requires that you fill your muscles with Creatine. This means taking approximately 4-5 teaspoons daily, spread out throughout the day for one week.


After you finish the loading phase in week one, you can move on to five to ten grams only once per day. This should keep the Creatine in your muscles and keep the gains coming. During this phase, while thinking about when to take Creatine it is important to know that the body will only store about 5-10 grams of Creatine per day. Do not overdo it, or you are basically wasting money. This sums up week two or your maintenance phase.

Another important tip about when to take Creatine is to know what to take it with. Creatine works best in a combination with a liquid carbohydrate supplement such as fruit juice. In fact, studies show that this combination may boost the amount of Creatine accumulated in the muscle by as much as 60%. The reason for this is that the more glycogen you have stored up in the muscle, the more energy you will have for weight lifting and for other physical activities. This Creatine and carbohydrate combo is an energy booster for all types of activities.

It is always best that you take your Creatine on an empty stomach with a carbohydrate such as fruit juice. By taking your Creatine with a carbohydrate on an empty stomach, you will increase the absorption rate.

As far as when to take Creatine during the day, there are many opposing opinions on this subject. Some researchers say that it does the most good before your workout and some say that it is better after your workout.

Let us look at the reasoning for taking it before a workout. Some suggest that you take the powder about 1 hour before your workout. This is because it can take about 1 hour for the Creatine to be absorbed into the bloodstream. From the time that the Creatine hits the bloodstream you have approximately one and a half hours to use the Creatine or lose it. This theory also accounts for some of the Creatine for the day before still being in your muscles so they are already saturated, and this is the supply that you will use first during your workout. Once this supply is gone, your body will use the Creatine that you took the hour before your workout.

Other researchers state that you should take your Creatine as soon as possible after exercising because immediately following exercise your muscles are most receptive to the muscle building effects of insulin.

There are two sides and opinions to every story. You must do your research and find out what will work best for you.

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