How to Use Creatine Powders

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Creatine is a supplement used by many body builders and weight lifters in order to gain both strength and muscle size. As with any supplement, there are things one must know about taking creatine before he or she begins taking it. Both Body Building for You and Building-Muscle 101 state that creatine should be taken in phases in order to maximize the affects of the supplement. Knowing about these phases as well as what you should mix your creatine powders with can help you see and feel the desired results.

  • Mix the creatine powder with either your favorite sports drink or grape juice. As Creatine Journal explains, grape juice causes insulin to be released to the body, which will thus carry the creatine powder mixed into the juice to your muscles more successfully. The sports drinks are a good option, as is any carbohydrate or protein drink. Whichever you choose, use the same thing to mix your creatine powder every time you take the supplement.

  • Finish a creatine mixture four different times throughout the day. If, for example, you're taking 20 grams of creatine powder a day, you should take it in four doses of five grams instead of one large dose of 20 grams. Many athletes will take a creatine mixture as soon as they wake up, then one around lunch time, then one both before and after they work out. Whether or not you take creatine on a completely empty stomach will be determined by whether or not your stomach can handle it. Many people find that taking a supplement on an empty stomach makes them feel queasy.

  • Finish one week of what is known as the “loading phase.” The reason it's called the “loading phase” is because your are “overloading” your consumption of creatine during this first week. Body Building for You and Building-Muscle 101 suggest taking between 20 and 25 grams (4 to 5 teaspoons) of creatine each day during the first week of your training.

  • Complete two to four weeks of the “maintenance phase.” During this phase, your intake of creatine consumption should be about half of what it was during the “loading phase.” In other words, if you were taking 20 grams per day during week one, drop it down to 10 grams per day during your “maintenance phase.”

  • Be sure to take anywhere between two and four weeks off of the creatine powders. When taking any supplement, your body stops producing as much of that nutrient as it did before you began taking the supplement. The reason you want to stop taking creatine is to make sure that your body can naturally absorb creatine without any type of supplement. To be safe, go one entire month with taking any creatine powder.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult your doctor before taking any substance such as creatine powder.

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