Although creatine is one of the most used supplements, it is also one around which many myths and unknowns circulate that in this article we will answer. The idea is to gather here some of the most frequently asked questions and questions about this supplement.
What creatine format should I consume?
Undoubtedly creatine monohydrate and if possible with a quality label such as Creapure. In the market, there are different formats: creatine phosphate, creatine malate, creatine citrate, creatine gluconate, ethyl ester, Kre-Alkalyn. None of them is superior to creatine monohydrate. The existence of these formats responds more to marketing than to the additional benefits they may promise.
How should creatine be taken?
The standard dose of creatine is 5 to 10 grams daily, although if we want to spin thinner we can calculate it by multiplying 0.1 grams per kilo of weight. For a person of 70 kilos would be 7 grams daily of creatine.
When ingesting it, it is not necessary to combine it with any high glycemic food to cause an insulin spike. For decades, the belief that a peak of insulin would improve the absorption and transport of creatine has been perpetuated but this is not necessary since creatine when administered in an aqueous solution has an absorption rate greater than 90 %.
When should I take it?
Creatine works by cellular saturation, that is, regardless of whether we carry out the loading phase or not, creatine levels will end up to the maximum and we will notice all its benefits.
For this reason, the moment of ingestion in general terms is irrelevant although there is some study that concludes that taking it in post-training may be superior.
If this is the case and it is not a disorder when it comes to squaring your meals and supplementation timing, you can take it in the post-workout. If for various reasons it is not possible, take it at any time of the day.
What is an effective dose?
The effective dose is 0.1 grams per kilo of bodyweight or what is the same: 1 gram of creatine per 10 kilos of body weight. In people who are overweight or obese, it is convenient to do these calculations based on lean mass and not total body weight.
Should the loading phase be done?
The justification for carrying out a loading phase may respond to the need of an athlete, who for reasons of training or competitive calendar needs to increase his creatine levels as soon as possible.
Thus, carrying out a loading phase only allows us to shorten the time it takes to saturate the levels of cellular creatine, but once saturated these benefits are the same.
Should its use be discontinued after a certain time?
It is not necessary. It is true that when we supplement with creatine our body decreases its endogenous synthesis, but when we interrupt the supplementation our body produces it again. Obviously, the ergogenic effects on performance will gradually fade as creatine levels return to their physiological levels.
However, although creatine is completely safe, it may be advisable to sin cautiously and discontinue use two or three times a year simply by applying a precautionary principle.
Should I also take it on rest days?
As we have said before, creatine works by cellular saturation so its administration on a regular basis will keep the levels to the maximum.
This way the rest days should also be taken although we can opt for a lower dose. Be that as it may, not taking it for a day or two will not significantly affect our performance.
Can I take it in the definition?
If your goal is to maintain the maximum amount of muscle mass possible during this stage, it is not that you can, but that you should.
Creatine, when stored in the intracellular space, carries with it water, which increases the volume of the cell and its hydration. This property increases the nitrogen balance which results in greater retention of muscle mass.
In addition, creatine can partially mitigate the loss of performance during stages of definition caused by a lower contribution and availability of both muscle and liver glycogen.
Can I take it if I don’t do any kind of sport?
Undoubtedly, yes, since creatine apart from being in muscle cells also does it in other tissues such as the brain, so in recent years it has been increasingly studying its neuroprotective effect and its use in mental diseases such as the Parkinson, depression or simply help in old age
Is it safe?
In healthy people, definitely yes. Do not fear unwanted side effects or hair loss or renal function or any interaction with other supplements such as caffeine.