Potentially the most popular bodybuilding supplement on the market is that of creatine. Creatine has been used for many years by those looking to help build muscle mass and get more from their workouts.
By helping to restore the CP stores in the muscle, taking creatine allows you to work out longer in the gym and for an extended period of time. Without it, you may find your workouts begin to lag, and as such, you don’t experience nearly the same muscle building results as you would have if you were
But one question that many ask themselves is exactly how they should be taking creatine. Is it best to take before a heavy weight lifting workout? Or should it be spread out throughout the day? And what foods or drinks should you have it with? All are common questions that are asked.
When To Take Creatine
For most people, taking creatine immediately following a workout will be the best method since this is when your muscles are going to be most receptive to taking up nutrients – the creatine along with them. Creatine gets stored better in the muscle cells when an insulin spike is present, and as such, if you are drinking a post-workout beverage with dextrose, adding creatine is a very smart idea.
Taking it with juice also works, but keep in mind that juice is about 50% fructose, which has no effect on insulin levels at all. Taking it with straight dextrose is a more effective approach.
When you are in the loading stage though and taking 20 grams per day for the first five days, then you’ll want to spread this out into 4 even dosages so that you are not as likely to experience stomach upset.
Creating and Low Carb Diets
For those who are trying to build muscle while following a bodybuilding lower carb approach, creatine can still definitely be used, but keep in mind it might be taken into the muscle cells slightly slower than if you had taken it at another point in the day.
Keeping Muscle Creatine Stores Full
Finally, the last critical thing to know about creatine is that in order for it to actually be of benefit for you, you must keep your muscle creatine stores full after the loading phase. If you are going to approach your supplement protocol in a haphazard effect, taking it just every now and then, you likely are not going to see many benefits from supplementing with it.
After the loading phase is complete, you must be sure to then continue on to maintain yourself by taking in 3-5 grams of creatine per day thereafter, depending upon your current body weight (heavier individuals will need more).
So, if you’re currently contemplating creatine – or are taking it but not in the right way, give these points some consideration. Taken correctly, creatine can make a big difference in the results you get from your workout.