Creatine is found naturally in meats such as beef, eggs, and fish. However, supplementation is suggested in order to experience the benefits creatine has to offer, such as power output.*
Which Form of Creatine is Best?
Creatine monohydrate has the most scientific studies supporting its benefit claims. It’s also usually the cheapest. Due to these factors, it’s not usually worth investing in other forms of creatine citrate or creatine ethyl ester.
What About Micronized Creatine?
Micronization is a process by which a powder’s particle size is reduced. This leads to a finer powder and easier mixing. As to whether or not micronization enhances effectiveness of creatine monohydrate is debatable. Micronized creatine is usually preferred since it’s less “gritty” when mixed with a drink or shake.
How and When to Take Creatine Monohydrate Powder
Creatine supplementation optionally starts with a loading phase for 5 days in order to saturate the muscles with creatine. But a loading phase isn’t necessary. If you are taking creatine long-term, a steady 3 to 5 grams daily will be enough.
Loading Phase Dosage
If you are starting creatine monohydrate supplementation and would like to experience its benefits faster, then start with the optional loading phase. Load with 0.3 grams per kg of body weight (or 0.66g per pound) per day. Break this up into about 5 gram doses spread throughout the day (with meals if possible). For most, this equates to around 20 to 30 grams per day for the loading phase. Be sure to drink plenty of water while in the loading phase. Otherwise, gastrointestinal discomfort may occur.
Here’s a simple body weight chart for daily creatine 5 day loading dosage:
- 100 lbs – 14 grams daily for loading (5 days)
- 150 lbs – 20 grams daily for loading (5 days)
- 200 lbs – 27 grams daily for loading (5 days)
- 250 lbs – 34 grams daily for loading (5 days)
- 300 lbs – 41 grams daily for loading (5 days)
Lower Dosage, Longer Loading Phase
If you experience any gastrointestinal issues while loading, drink more water, and then halve your loading phase daily dosage, and extend this phase to 10 days.
Here’s a breakdown of the 10 day loading phase if you are gastroinestinally sensitive to creatine:
- 100 lbs – 7 grams daily for loading (10 days)
- 150 lbs – 10 grams daily for loading (10 days)
- 200 lbs – 13 grams daily for loading (10 days)
- 250 lbs – 17 grams daily for loading (10 days)
- 300 lbs – 20 grams daily for loading (10 days)
Maintenance Phase Dosage
After your 5 day loading phase, continue with a much lower maintenance dosage. 3 to 5 grams is enough for a maintenance phase, or if you want to skip loading and will be taking creatine long-term. Creatine does not need to be cycled.