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5/5 - (1 vote)

  • Increases muscle size and strength.
  • 20g/day creatine monohydrate for 5 to 7 days “loading phase”
  • 5g/day creatine monohydrate thereafter
  • There is no difference in types of creatine on outcome, creatine monohydrate is typically cheapest and most effective.


What does it do, why take this supplement? 

Creatine has been shown to increase strength associated with short bursts of energy, like when biking, sprinting, jumping, bench pressing, squatting and other similar exercises (1).  It has been suggested to be best for sports like soccer, football, squash and lacrosse (1).  In the context of lifting though, we can easily see how strength gains in short burst exercises can help us lift more in the gym.

Hypertrophy, also known as increased muscle size, has also been seen in studies (3).  The study backed up the increased muscle size by looking at the actual protein changes in the muscle, and found that up to 76% was associated with changes in protein content of the muscle cells themselves! This means there is a definite basis for saying that muscles increase in size due to creatine supplementation.

How do I take this supplement?

You would split this up into a loading phase of 5-7 days, where you take 20 grams of creatine split into 4 doses of 5 grams. After the loading phase, you would take 5 grams every day.
Day 1-7: 4 doses @ 5 grams
Days 8-Ending: 1 dose @ 5 grams.

What type of Creatine should I take? 

Creatine Monohydrate is the most widely tested and accepted form of creatine.  A recent study shows that the claims of other forms or derivatives of creatine working better or faster is baseless, and since there has been less testing, may, in fact, increase their likelihood of having adverse problems associated with their ingestion(4).

How does it work? 

The easy understanding is that it basically holds more energy for the cell.  Several different ways also contribute:

  1. The most popular understanding is that Creatine-Phosphate recharges ADP to create ATP, which translates as energy for cells.
  2. Increases cross-bridge cycling and maintenance of tension.
  3. Buffers pH changes to maintain optimal pH environment.
  4. Decreased Creatine-Phosphate in cells can stimulate PFK which is a necessary enzyme in glycolysis.
  5. Increased Creatine-Phosphate can induce protein synthesis, as well as muscle hypertrophy.

What about dehydration, overheating, or cramping? 

There was some speculation that creatine might cause these effects, but a very recent paper released, that looked across many studies done, showed that there was no basis for these concerns, and that it was very unlikely that creatine would cause these issues(2).

In summary, creatine is a great addition to a well rounded diet, with goals of increasing strength and muscle size.  As always, best of luck as you move forward toward your goals, we’re rooting for you.

Works Cited:

  1. Bemben MG, Lamont HS. “Creatine supplementation and exercise performance: recent findings.” Sports Med. 2005;35(2):107-25.
  2. Lopez RM, Casa DJ, McDermott BP, Ganio MS, Armstrong LE, Maresh CM. “Does creatine supplementation hinder exercise heat tolerance or hydration status? A systematic review with meta-analyses.” J Athl Train. 2009 Mar-Apr;44(2):215-23.
  3. Cribb PJ, Williams AD, Stathis CG, Carey MF, Hayes A. “Effects of whey isolate, creatine, and resistance training on muscle hypertrophy.” Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Feb;39(2):298-307.
  4. Jäger R, Purpura M, Shao A, Inoue T, Kreider RB. “Analysis of the efficacy, safety, and regulatory status of novel forms of creatine.” Amino Acids. 2011 May;40(5):1369-83. Epub 2011 Mar 22.

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