How much creatine should I take?

How Much Creatine Should I Take? Creatine is a popular and efficient dietary supplement for fitness because of the numerous advantages it offers athletes, which include noticeably better performance and stamina during demanding physical activities.

Fitness supplements are more and more widespread, as are the myths about their benefits, risks, and consumption. This article will summarize the important facts, benefits, risks, and instructions on when and how much creatine to consume.

Table of contents:

  • What is creatine?
  • Creatine – effects and benefits
  • Risks and side effects of creatine
  • Creatine dosing – how much should I take?
  • Creatine before and after a workout

What is creatine?

Creatine is an organic substance made from amino acids in the body. It is produced mainly in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It is stored primarily in the muscles and travels to the heart and brain.

We can find creatine in various meals, including beef and fish. On the other hand, athletes seek creatine via meal supplements, which are used to quickly and easily replace the required amount of creatine and to help them increase muscle mass and strength and improve sports performance.

Creatine – effects and benefits

The most important benefit of creatine is its ability to increase strength and performance during training. This benefit of creatine has been well studied, and all the results show that creatine is a helpful supplement. By using creatine in combination with regular training, you can promote the growth of lean muscle mass. In many studies, creatine has also been tested for anaerobic sports activities, showing improved performance.

Creatine can affect cognitive abilities. However, it has yet to be tested enough to confirm this effect fully.

Studies have noted a reduction in mental fatigue in mentally demanding activities, sleep deprivation, or traumatic brain injury. At the same time, creatine can improve working memory, but probably only in people with deficient creatine levels, such as vegetarians or the elderly. Creatine is very popular among fitness enthusiasts because it is a financially acceptable and effective supplement.

Risks and side effects of creatine

Depending on who you ask, suggested side effects of creatine can include the following:

Kidney damage

Liver damage

Kidney stones

Weight gain


Muscle cramps

Digestive tract problems and more

Additionally, some people mistakenly claim that creatine is an anabolic steroid, it is not suitable for women or teenagers, and professional athletes or bodybuilders should only use it. Despite the negative press, the International Society of Sports Nutrition considers creatine extremely safe, concluding that it is one of the most affordable sports supplements available.

Leading researchers who have studied creatine for several decades also conclude that it is one of the safest supplements on the market.

Creatine dosing – how much should I take?

In order to obtain all the mentioned benefits of creatine consumption, it is necessary to saturate the muscle cells with creatine phosphate. There are two methods for achieving this.

The first way is the so-called “loading phase,” in which you take 20 to 25 grams of creatine monohydrate daily for five days, followed by a maintenance period with a daily intake of 3 to 5 grams. This method saturates the cells with creatine phosphate for a week. However, the downside to this method is that most people develop some form of gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort and water retention problems amid the increased osmotic pressure in the GI tract.

An alternative to “loading” is continuously using 3 – 5 grams of creatine daily without a loading phase, which saturates the muscle cells with creatine phosphate for four weeks. The disadvantage of this method of creatine intake is that it takes much longer for the cells to be completely saturated with creatine phosphate, while the positive side is that gastrointestinal problems are almost completely eliminated.

Ultimately, both ways will lead to the desired results, neither form is better, and you should choose the strategy that suits you better.

Creatine before and after a workout

The best time of day to supplement with creatine would be about 30 minutes to 1 hour before training and immediately after training with a protein shake. Taking creatine 30 minutes beforehand allows enough time for the creatine to be digested and utilized by the body to impact your workout directly. Creatine levels in your body can be depleted very quickly. They will take much longer to replenish, so ensure you have enough creatine in your body for the next workout.

Consuming creatine immediately after a workout makes perfect sense when considering that your primary goal should be recovery and maximizing your workout performance. Since the muscles are a bit like a sponge immediately after exercise, the nutrients you take into your body in this period after training are what your body needs to do what it should do: refresh, recover, and strengthen.


Creatine is a handy supplement used by athletes and gym-goers alike to help boost performance and muscle growth. There are a lot of documented benefits we get from creatine, but remember to always talk to your doctor before taking it. Fitness gurus and health specialists recommend a daily dose of 3-5 grams of creatine divided between pre-workout and after-workout.

And remember, while creatine can give you a little extra push, it’s not a substitute for a balanced diet and consistent workout routine. Happy lifting!

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