Posted July 21, 2012 by Shannon in Nutrition

Should You Use Creatine?


One of the most common muscle building supplements that many people are turning to in their quest to add more lean mass to their frame is creatine.  Creatine has been used for a number of years and poses few side effects when used properly, but still, it’s important to be sure that you’re a good candidate for use before jumping on it.

So who is best suited to using creatine? And, are there any additional factors you should be taking note of?

Let’s have a quick look at some of the main facts to know about creatine.

Who Creatine Is Best For

The very first thing that you need to think about is whether creatine is going to support your workout efforts. Some people simply will not benefit much from adding it to their plan, so there’s no sense wasting your money if that’s the case.

Creatine is going to be best used by those who are performing short duration, very intense exercise.  It’s this form of exercise that relies on the creatine-phosphate system and therefore the exercise that will deplete your stores.

If you’re someone who’s going to the gym and performing a moderate paced run for instance, you aren’t going to be utilizing your creatine stores to any large extent.

This means little depletion will occur, reducing the need to supplement with this product.

If, on the other hand, you’re performing intense weight training or interval sprints (or alternatively stop and go sports like basketball, soccer, hockey, or of the like) creatine will be incredibly beneficial for you.

These sports will deplete your natural creatine stores very quickly so if you don’t have high levels to start with, fatigue is going to kick in rapidly.

What Creatine Will And Will Not Do

If you’ve identified yourself as someone who would benefit from creatine use, then it’s important that you come to realize what it will and will not do.  Some people have unrealistic expectations of what creatine could potentially bring to them and this leads to much disappointment.

As much as you may have heard it before, creatine is not automatically going to make you develop large muscles.  Creatine can help you work harder in the gym so that you build muscle faster, but without that hard work present, you won’t be seeing results.

Don’t let yourself believe that you don’t have to work hard just because you’re using creatine.

What creatine will do however is allow you to perform more reps and more sets without experiencing high rates of fatigue.  In addition to that, it will also help you recover faster between your workout sessions, so you might be able to get back into the gym sooner again.

For those who are training hard, this can make a huge difference.

Using Creatine Properly

So if you’ve decided that creatine is a supplement that you would be well-suited, you need to learn how to use it properly.

Most people will see ideal results from performing a loading phase where you take 20 grams per day, divided up into four doses.  Do this for 5 days straight and then move into a maintenance phase where you consume five grams per day either before or after your workout.

There is no need to cycle creatine at all – you can continue to use it as long as you feel it’s helping your training.

So there you have the down-low on what creatine is and who it’s best suited for.  If you are a strength, power, or sport athlete, it’s one that you should definitely consider.