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Expert Guide: Creatine Supplements

Creatine Supplements Guide: Learn How To Choose The Right Product

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Creatine is the most studied and one of most widely used supplements today. This expert guide teaches you about the different types of creatine products available, what they do, and how to use them for optimal results.

This Guide Teaches You:

  • The facts about creatine and why it is such a wildly popular supplement.
  • What creatine is, and the natural foods that are great sources of creatine.
  • The benefits of creatine for good health.
  • How creatine improves athletic performance and muscle volumization, helping to build strength and muscle.
  • What the different forms of creatine supplements are, and how they are beneficial.
  • How to use creatine supplements for maximum results, including information on loading.
  • When to take creatine, and how high glycemic carbs can increase creatine uptake.
  • How to choose the right creatine supplement.
  • How to stack creatine with waxy maize, protein, carbs, pre-workout supplements and fat burners.

There are hundreds of sites out there that sell you creatine supplements but none of them give you the facts about creatine and whether it's what you need for your goals. This page has everything you wanted to know about creatine supplements. If you are considering creatine supplements you should read this page first. In addition to the information here, if you have any further questions about creatine supplements you can ask us on our forum. It's free to join and you get free advice from experienced bodybuilders.

Understanding Creatine Basics

What is Creatine?

Put simply, creatine is a compound that supplies energy to your muscles. It is made by the human body, and also found in some foods – primarily fresh meat. Creatine is produced in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys, and is transported to the body's muscles through the bloodstream. Once it reaches the muscles, it is converted into phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate). This high-powered metabolite is used to regenerate the muscles' ultimate energy source, ATP. When you workout, your ATP levels drop rapidly. Creatine is responsible for restoring ATP levels.

Creatine and Athletic Performance

Over the last two decades, creatine has emerged as the king of all athletic performance supplements. And with good reason. Creatine intake heightens your body’s creatine phosphate energy system. This allows you to push yourself for longer periods of time, with more energy. Creatine also improves your ability to tap into explosive energy when you need it as critical times in your training. It should also be noted that in clinical studies, creatine has been shown to increase strength and lean muscle mass.

Creatine Food Sources

Though creatine is naturally manufactured in the human body from amino acids, half of all stored creatine comes from the foods we eat. Creatine is primarily found within fresh meats. Beef, pork, salmon and tuna are exceptionally rich in creatine, containing 2 grams of creatine per pound of meat. Herring contains an amazing 3 to 4 grams of creatine per pound of meat. Cranberries are also relatively rich in creatine.

Creatine is very heat sensitive. During cooking preparation, a good portion of a meat’s natural creatine levels are destroyed.

Benefits of Creatine for Good Health

Because of its popularity, creatine’s health benefits have been studied quite extensively. Research has found that proper creatine intake is essential to good health in a number of ways.

  • Creatine and Alzheimer's Disease. Creatine supplementation can lower serum homocysteine levels. High serum homocysteine levels are linked to numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders. These conditions include depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. In fact, a recent study revealed that high serum homocysteine levels doubled the risk of chance of getting Alzheimer’s.
  • Creatine as an antioxidant. Recently, it was found that creatine is very effective as an antioxidant. In fact, creatine is  nearly as effective as glutathione in battling free radicals. Glutathione is an extremely potent antioxidant produced naturally in the body. Therefore, proper creation intake is essential for long term good health.
  • Creatine use with B vitamins. Vitamins B2, B6, B9 and B12 are essential for proper creatine synthesis. Supplementing B vitamins along with creatine optimizes cellular methylation. Proper methylation optimizes beneficial cell growth, in addition to muscular growth. Sub-optimal methylation leads to higher instances of unwanted, cancerous forms of cell growth.
  • Creatine and heart disease. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the Western world. Currently in the United States, over 13 million Americans are battling CHD. Creatine supplementation can help battle the onset of CHD. Creatine lowers serum homocysteine levels. Without proper creatine intake, serum homocysteine levels rise. High serum homocysteine levels contribute to the development of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).
  • Creatine and cognitive function. Not only does creatine battle muscle fatigue, but it also appears that creatine empowers proper brain functioning. A recent study revealed that creatine supplementation directly lead to an improved ability to solve problems, and improved short term memory. Individuals supplementing with creatine also had better IQ scores.

Anabolic Effects of Creatine

The term anabolic is associated with improvements in lean muscle mass. Creatine supplementation works on several different levels to improve lean muscle mass.

Training Performance and Creatine

Because creatine allows you to train longer and harder, with the ability to squeeze out more reps, the intensity of your training is heightened. This heightening of intensity forces your body to adapt and grow, more so then without creatine supplementation.

Creatine and Cell Growth

We’ve touched upon the subject of cell methylation, and seen that creatine is essential for good health and proper cell growth. A diet that limits the consumption of fresh meat is a diet that is ill-suited for new muscle cell growth. This reality adds another dimension to the daily protein requirement for athletes and bodybuilders. Not only do you need extra protein for amino acids and raw materials, but the creatine derived from fresh meat sources also insures that the cells are strong and healthy.

Creatine and Muscle Volumization

Muscle volumization is, without a doubt, the most talked about form of creatine anabolism. Creatine supplementation causes muscle cells to swell with water. This swelling leads to better muscle feel – or pumps. In turn, muscle swelling also encourages the cell to increase production of vital structural and enzymatic proteins. Simply put, not only does creatine enlarge a cell, but it also strengthens a cell. This volumization of muscle cells leads to an overall increase in lean muscle mass.

Creatine supplementation also boosts muscle growth and repair by:

  1. Working as an antioxidant, creatine works to remove harmful free radicals, strengthening muscle cell membranes, and allowing muscle cells to repair and grow more efficiently.
  2. Creatine works to buffer muscle acidity. Without proper PH balance, a muscle will fatigue more easily.
  3. Creatine assists in regulating proper calcium levels within muscle tissue, which allows for proper contractions. Low levels of creatine can cause calcium imbalance, and a resulting decrease in performance.

Introduction to Creatine Supplements

What are Creatine Supplements?

Outside of protein supplements, creatine supplements are the most talked about and effective muscle building and performance supplements on the planet. Creatine supplements can provide a 10 to 15% boost in overall strength, and a lean muscle mass gain of up to 10 pounds. Because of their popularity, creatine supplements are extremely cost-effective, giving an athlete the most bang for his supplement buck.

Creatine supplements come in powder, pill or liquid forms. Because the powder form of creatine is most popular, many creatine supplements are flavored and sold as powdered drink mixes. Common flavors include grape and fruit punch.

Brief History of Creatine Supplementation

In 1912, Harvard researchers discovered that ingested creatine could boost the creatine content of a muscle. Over a decade later, scientists discovered that creatine impacted metabolism of muscle.

Creatine supplementation first caught the public eye following the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Later that year, The Times (a British newspaper), wrote an article detailing creatine supplementation by several athletes. These athletes included the 100m dash winner, Linford Christie, and several members of the British rowing team.

It wasn’t until a year later that creatine supplements became commercially available. In 1993, EAS (Experimental and Applied Sciences) released a product called Phosphagen. In 2004, Creatine Ethyl Ester first hit the market.

What are the Different Forms of Creatine Supplements?

Creatine supplements are generally sold in the following forms:

  • Creatine Powder. Creatine powder is the most popular, and common form of creatine supplement. Creatine powders are sold as stand alone products, or are sold with flavoring powders as mixable drinks.
  • Creatine Capsules. Creatine capsules, or creatine pills, have gained popularity over the last several years. Creatine pills are sold as either 100% pure creatine, or mixed with other supplements including vitamins and minerals, amino acids, and more.
  • Creatine Liquid. Liquid creatine is packaged and marketed at a more easily digested form of creatine. Despite these claims, liquid creatine is not a very popular supplement.
  • Creatine Blends. Creatine blends combine various forms of creatine, often with other supplements such as simple carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and herbal extracts, to amplify potency, and increase digestion and athletic performance.

Benefits of Using Creatine Supplements

We have already taken a close look at the anabolic and health benefits of creating. Here is a closer look at the primary benefits from creatine supplementation.

  • Extra EnergyCreatine supplementation boosts energy, allowing you to train or compete harder, longer, and dig deep when you need a big burst of energy. When you need quick energy, your body relies on a compound called ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate). ATP stores quickly burnout, and are typically exhausted after 10 to 15 seconds. Creatine works to help restore ATP stores, preparing you to work hard again.
  • Protein Synthesis. A recent study revealed that creatine supplementation stimulates muscle specific protein synthesis.
  • Muscle Volume. Creatine supplementation volumizes muscles, which in turn strengthens muscles cells. With a greater muscular volume, you are generally stronger, and will carry more lean muscle mass.
  • Lactic Acid. Creatine works as a lactic acid buffer, delaying muscle fatigue, and allowing you to work longer into sets, or harder on the playing field.

Who Uses Creatine Supplements?

Though creatine supplements are most popular with strength athletes and bodybuilders, they are actually perfect for anyone that is physically active. Creatine has been shown to boost endurance, strength and muscle mass. Creatine provides an edge when you need to dig deep, and gives you a burst of energy when you are late in the game or pushing for a personal record.

Creatine also has numerous health benefits. It strengthens muscle cells, helps combat disease, improves mental functioning, and much more. Creatine is also a must have supplement for vegetarians who don’t derive creatine from fresh meat sources.

Bodybuilders. Bodybuilders use creatine to increase lean muscle mass, and for extra energy and strength.

Powerlifters. Powerlifters use creatine to help endure intense workouts, and for the strength gains that it provides.

Endurance Athletes. Runners, bikers, and other endurance athletes use creatine to amplify their training sessions, and for its ability to help them dig deep when they need a quick burst of energy.

Team Sports. Athletes involved in team sports rely on creatine for extra strength, and for energy when the game is on the line.

Body Transformation. Creatine isn’t just for hardcore athletes. It is a staple supplement, used by many individuals who are turning their lives around, and getting back into shape. Creatine helps them get stronger, and perform better. Also, the added muscle mass from creatine allows them to burn more fat.

Vegetarians. Vegetarians supplement with creatine for good health. As we’ve explored, creatine deficiency can lead to numerous health problems.

Creatine Supplements and Natural Creatine Sources

In general, the average healthy individual receives 1 gram of protein from their daily diet. The following foods are rich in creatine:

  • Herring – 3 to 4.5 grams of creatine per pound of herring.
  • Pork – 2.25 grams of creatine per pound of pork.
  • Beef – 2 grams of creatine per pound of beef.
  • Salmon – 2 grams of creatine per pound of salmon.
  • Tuna – 1.8 grams of creatine per pound of tuna.
  • Cod – 1.35 grams of creatine per pound of cod.
  • Milk – 0.05 grams of creatine per pound of milk.
  • Cranberries – 0.001 grams of creatine per pound of cranberries.

It should also be noted that chicken does not contain a substantial amount of creatine.

At minimum, it is wise to supplement with at least 5 grams of creatine per day. As you can see from the chart, you would have to eat an incredible amount of meat each day to reach the 5 gram mark. Also, as mentioned previously, cooking diminishes the creatine content of a food source. Natural food sources simply do not contain enough creatine to replace supplementation.

Creatine Forms Used in Creatine Supplements

Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine monohydrate is the king of the creatine supplement world. It is the most inexpensive form of creatine, and has been studied exhaustively. It is popular because it works. No other legal non-hormonal bodybuilding or sports supplement can come close to the potency of creatine monohydrate. Creatine monohydrate is 88% pure creatine bound with 12% water.

Early creatine products were filled with large, hard to digest particles. These earlier supplements often caused intestinal issues. Most modern creatines are micronized, and are 20 times smaller. Modern creatines generally do not have the intestinal side effects that older creatines had.

Creatine Ethyl Ester

Creatine ethyl ester (CEE) is a relatively new, but extremely popular form of creatine. It is second in popularity only to creatine monohydrate. Scientists attach an ester to creatine, allowing it to pass through cell membranes much easier. Because of this, creatine ethyl ester absorbs more rapidly into muscle cells.

Other Forms of Creatine

  • Creatine anhydrous. Creatine anhydrous is creatine monohydrate without the water molecule. Creatine anhydrous provides approximately 6% more pure creatine per serving compared to creation monohydrate.
  • Creatine citrate. Creatine citrate appeared not long after creatine monohydrate.  Creatine citrate is a creatine molecule bonded to a citric acid molecule. Because citric acid is instrumental in providing aerobic energy within muscle tissue, it is speculated that creatine citrate will provide an athlete with more energy. This theory has yet to be proven.
  • Creatine phosphate. Creatine phosphate is another early form of creatine. Creatine phosphate is a creatine molecule bonded to a phosphate molecule. This bonding is a process that naturally occurs within muscle cells. It was thought that by pre-bonding creatine with phosphate, that it would amplify results. Ultimately, creatine phosphate was found to be less effective then creatine monohydrate.
  • Creatine malate. Creatine malate is a relatively new version of creatine. It is creatine chemically bonded to malic acid. Malic acid works in much the same way that citric acid does, and assists muscles with aerobic energy production. There is little current research for or against creatine malate’s effectiveness.
  • Creatine tartrate. Creatine tartrate is creatine bonded to tartaric acid. This form of creatine is often used in pills, capsules, bars and chewables. It offers no benefits over creatine monohydrate.
  • Magnesium creatine. Magnesium creatine is creatine chemically bonded to magnesium. Magnesium assists in the digestion of creatine, primarily helping it pass through the stomach. Magnesium is also involved in the process of turning creatine phosphate into ATP. Magnesium creatine has been shown to be an effective form of creatine, but only in the bonded state. Taking creatine together with magnesium, but as separate supplements, is not as effective.
  • Creatine glutamine taurine. This form of creatine has creatine bonded with glutamine and taurine. Because both glutamine and taurine act to volumize cells, it is hoped that – in conjunction with creatine – their benefits will be heightened. One side benefit to taurine use is that it has been shown to improve strength.
  • Creatine HMB. Creatine HMB is creatine chemically attached to HMB (beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate). HMB, by itself, assists muscle recovery and growth. This form of creatine is generally easier for the body to digest. Once in the bloodstream, the creatine and HMB are separated. Creatine HMB is a relatively new form of creatine, and there is very little research to back its effectiveness.
  • Effervescent creatine. Effervescent creatine has been available for a number of years. Effervescent creatines usually contains creatine monohydrate or creatine citrate, along with citric acid and bicarbonate. When effervescent creatine is placed in water, a chemical reaction takes place, resulting in the formation of creatine carrying a neutral charge. This form of creatine passes through the stomach better then creatine monohydrate. It also retains its stability longer in solution then creatine monohydrate, making it a solid option for those that mix and take their creatine solution with them.
  • Creatine titrate. Creatine titrate (different from creatine tartrate) works in a similar manner to effervescent creatine. Creatine titrate changes the PH of the water solution when it is mixed, allowing for a more stable solution that is easier to digest.
  • Liquid creatine. Liquid creatine is a form of creatine that is completely dissolved, and supposedly, easier to digest. Unfortunately, creatine is very unstable when dissolved, so many early liquid creatine products were failures. Modern liquid creatine products are improved, and can remain solvent for up to a year.
  • Creatine gum. Creatine gum allows for a slow, steady creatine release as you chew.
  • Time released creatine. Time released creatine is a new creatine product. It provides a slow, steady release of creatine. The debate over the effectiveness of time-released creatine is very heated. Because of its very nature, time-released creatine does not provide a high concentration of creatine in the blood. Many believe that a certain “concentration threshold” is required for creatine to be effective.

How to Use Creatine for Maximum Results

A Look at Creatine Loading

On the average, the human body contains 120 grams of creatine. 95% of this creatine is stored in skeletal muscle. In general, muscle can hold an addition 30 to 40 grams of creatine, for a total of 150 to 160 grams. Of course, existing muscle mass is a huge factor in this equation.

There are two primary means of taking, or loading creatine. They are:

  • Rapid loading. Rapid loading involves taking 20 grams of creatine for 5 to 7 days, then taking 5 to 10 grams per day thereafter. Creatine is generally taken 5 grams at a time, in a non-acidic fruit juice, or with dextrose.
  • Slow loading. Slow loading, or gradual loading, is simply taking 5 to 10 grams of creatine a day without the rapid loading, 20 gram per day phase.

Both rapid loading and slow loading are effective. It is recommended that you experiment with both approaches, and determine which is best for you.

Should Creatine be Loaded?

There has been no substantial research against the long term use of creatine. Still, many experts recommend cycling creatine. 4 week cycles are very popular. Long term cycles can be used, but should be limited to 3 months in length. Here are some popular creatine cycles:

4 week cycle

Week 1 – Creatine loading, 20 grams per day (4 servings x 5 grams).

Weeks 2-4 – Maintenance phase, 5-10 grams per day.

Weeks 5-8 – No creatine.

9 week cycle

Week 1 – Creatine loading, 20 grams per day (4 servings x 5 grams).

Weeks 2-7 – Maintenance phase, 5-10 grams per day.

Weeks 8-9 – No creatine.

Taking Creatine with Carbs/High Glycemic Carbs

It is recommended that you take creatine in 5 gram servings along with a non-acidic fruit juice, preferably grape juice. Creatine can also be taken with the high glycemic carbohydrate dextrose. Taking creatine in this manner improves absorption. High glycemic carbs - such as dextrose - create an insulin spike, which dramatically increases creatine uptake. It is recommended that you take 70 grams of these carbs to get a quality insulin spike.

When to Take Creatine Supplements

There is no evidence supporting a best time to take creatine. But taking it post workout is a logical and convenient time. Creatine stacks well with post-workout waxy maize and whey protein. There is evidence revealing that taking creatine with a 1 to 1 ratio of carbs to proteins can increase creatine absorption.

When loading creatine, it is best to take creatine at the following times:

  • Morning – 5 grams with grape juice
  • Pre-workout – 5 grams of creatine with waxy maize
  • Post-workout – 5 grams of creatine with waxy maize and whey protein
  • Evening – 5 grams of creatine with grape juice

Creatine and Water Intake

It is recommended that you drink ample amounts of water while supplementing with creatine. Creatine supplementation causes muscle tissue to hold more water. Drinking a less then adequate amount of water as your body is taking on creatine can lead to diminished benefits, or in some cases, mild dehydration.

Choosing the Right Creatine Supplement

Price vs. Quality

All creatine supplements are not created equal, and all supplement companies are not created equal. Lower price supplements are also generally lower quality. Manufacturers can cut costs by purchasing lower quality raw ingredients, and by using inferior packaging and quality control methods.

When choosing a creatine supplement, compare reviews. And if no reviews are available for a product, head over to the Muscle and Strength forum and ask for advice on finding quality, reasonably priced creatine supplements.

Benefits of Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine monohydrate increases lean body mass, muscle hypertrophy (growth), strength gains, and leads to better power output in short bursts. It has a proven track record, and is an extremely inexpensive supplement. Creatine monohydrate has also been studied exhaustively by the scientific community. Currently, over 200 studies exist, revealing the effectiveness of creatine monohydrate.

Benefits of Creatine Ethyl Ester

Creatine ethyl ester (CEE) gives you the same muscle, strength and performance benefits as creatine monohydrate. It also provides you with some additional benefits. Creatine ethyl ester is a faster absorbing form of creatine, and is easier on the stomach. Creatine ethyl ester is less likely to leave you feeling bloated. It should also be noted that CEE tastes very bitter. There are also very few clinical studies on creatine ethyl ester.

Comparing Creatine Supplements

Because of its popularity and effectiveness, creatine supplements are packaged and solid in many different ways.

  • Creatine monohydrate. The most popular form of creatine monohydrate is pure micronized powder. Pure creatine monohydrate contains no calories, protein, fat or carbs. More advanced creatine monohydrate products are flavored and sold as mixable drink powder. Popular flavors include grape and fruit punch. It is not uncommon for creatine products to include other added supplements, such as glutamine, taurine, amino acids blends, or even blends of numerous other creatine forms.
  • Creatine ethyl ester. Creatine ethyl ester, although very bitter, is sold in pure powder form as well. In general, creatine ethyl ester products are slightly more expensive, but are still an amazing value. Creatine ethyl ester products are very similar to creatine monohydrate products. CEE is sold as flavored powders. You can also find creatine ethyl ester mixed with other forms of creatine in creatine blends. Because of creatine’s popularity, CEE is also often mixed with other supplements, including products like Cellmass that contain proprietary blends.
  • Creatine pills. Creatine pills come in a variety of price ranges and products. Simple creatine pill supplements are generally just creatine monohydrate or creatine ethyl ester in capsule form. They are easy to swallow, and in general, more convenient. Creatine pills also leave no bitter taste in your mouth, and cause little to no bloating. Create pills do tend to absorb more slowly. There are also many advanced creatine pill formulas on the market, many containing other supplements and proprietary blends. These pills can be great for heightening the benefits of creatine.

Benefits of Creatine Blends

Creatine blends are supplements that contain one or more forms of creatine mixed with other ingredients, such as vitamins and minerals, amino acids, simple carbohydrates and proprietary supplements blends that work towards amplify the effects of creatine.

Creatine blends are generally formulated based on the latest clinical research, meaning that they are the most high quality, well thought out creatine supplements on the market.

Stacking Creatine with Other Supplements

Creatine and Waxy Maize

Creatine stacks well with waxy maize. Creatine and waxy maize work well together before, during and after a workout. The simple sugars in waxy maize allow for proper creatine absorption, and insure that you are maximizing your workouts.

Creatine with Protein and Carbohydrates

Research has revealed that creatine taken in conjunction with a 1 to 1 ratio of simple carbs (dextrose) to protein is an optimal combination for efficient and effective creation absorption. This combination is nearly equal in effectiveness to just taking creatine and dextrose alone. Because of this, creatine stacks well with waxy maize, and protein powders and bars. The pre and post workout stack of creatine, waxy maize and whey protein is especially effective in maximizing a workout, and recovery from the workout.

Creatine and Pre-Workout Supplements

Most pre-workout formulas contain some form of nitric oxide (NO). The combination of creatine and nitric oxide creates an amazingly powerful pre-workout stack. Pumps and energy will be intense. The heightened mental and physical state that comes from NO will allow you to aggressively push deeper into sets, maximizing creatine, and forcing your body to respond with new muscle growth.

Creatine and Intra-Workout Supplements

Intra-workout supplements generally include waxy maize, BCAAs, and vitamins and minerals. Some intra-workout supplements also contain creatine, so often, there is no stacking required! The stack of creatine with intra-workout formulas makes sense. As we’ve already explored, creatine is generally taken pre or post-workout. Taking creatine with an intra-workout formula can allow for fast creatine absorption and delivery, powering you past the point of fatigue, and preparing you for recovery and growth.

Creatine and Post-Workout Supplements

Most trainees take creatine post-workout. Most post-workout formulas - such as Dark Matter or Torrent by Universal Nutrition - contain the potent post-workout stack of creatine and waxy maize, saving you time and money.

Creatine and Fat Burners

Creatine is a natural fat burner. Because it helps mobilize energy, and allows you to train harder, longer, and with more weight, you will burn more calories. Add a fat burner to this mix, and you will be propelling your fat loss to a whole new level.

Creatine Myths and Facts

Is Creatine a Steroid?

No. Creatine is not a hormonal product. It is not a testosterone pre-cursor, nor is it a prohormone. Creatine is a naturally occurring organic acid that helps in providing energy to muscles.

Does Creatine Supplementation Cause Side Effects?

No serious side effects have ever been documented in the clinical researching of creatine. After cycling off of creatine, you may feel like you have less energy. Proper water intake is necessary while supplementing with creatine.

Does Creatine Make You Fat?

No. Creatine pulls water into skeletal muscle, giving you more lean muscle mass. It does not make you fat.

Should Pregnant Women Take Creatine?

This is a question that should be answered by a physician. During pregnancy, a woman should consult with her doctor before taking any new supplement.

Can Women Take Creatine?

Of course! Creatine will help then tone up and lose fat. Creatine is a perfect supplement for active, athletic women.

Should Teenagers Take Creatine?

There is no supporting evidence that reasonable creatine use by teenagers has any negative side effects. Creatine is a proven, and safe supplement. With that said, creatine hasn’t been on the market long enough to rule out the possibility that its use by teenagers might cause side effects.

Can Vegetarians Use Creatine?

Absolutely. Because vegetarians derive very little creatine from the foods that they eat. Creatine supplementation is not so much an option as it is a necessity for vegetarians.

I Just Started Training. Can I Use Creatine?

Yes. Creatine enhances energy and strength, and can heighten the efforts and muscle gains of a beginning trainee. Creatine is safe and effective for athletes of all skill levels. Creatine can’t replace a good training approach, but it can improve all training efforts.

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Comments (101)

Add a comment

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sagar
Posted Tue, 03/13/2012 - 05:48

this info was really helpful..thanks!

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Wyatt
Posted Sat, 03/17/2012 - 21:38

ThiS the exact review I have been searching for. Incredibly helpful!

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miguel
Posted Wed, 03/21/2012 - 15:10

What about gainers and creatine?should I drink water after I take my supplement?

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 03/22/2012 - 15:25

You can take both at the same time.

Should you drink water after creatine? Not necessarily, but you do want to stay hydrated.

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Aaron
Posted Tue, 06/12/2012 - 10:38

Steve, I have been mixing my creatine with a scoop of the powder Gatorade because of the carbs and dextrose in the Gatorade. It says in the guide to stay away from acidic compounds when taking creatine. Is it ok to continue to mix even though the gatorade contains citric acid in the gatorade ingredients?

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dani
Posted Thu, 03/22/2012 - 14:31

I have a question about using creatine people saying that creatine will devolp a kidney stone is that true

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 03/22/2012 - 15:26

No that's a myth.

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dani
Posted Fri, 03/23/2012 - 15:57

thank u steve

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Kunal
Posted Tue, 03/27/2012 - 18:26

really useful tips.. i was just gonna start taking creatine and i saw this article. very nice

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WiseMan
Posted Mon, 04/02/2012 - 08:03

Once if I stop taking creatine.. will lose all the strenght that i gain during the loading process.

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Abhisek Paul.
Posted Wed, 04/04/2012 - 14:04

Any side effect after stoping creating intake one year?

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Ravikumar
Posted Thu, 04/05/2012 - 03:58

Hi stave. am doing the best workout with more sets like a 5to7 sets 3hour workout is it any plm

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Keith
Posted Sat, 04/14/2012 - 02:53

Should I just take creatine on work-out days?

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Sat, 04/14/2012 - 19:53

No. When using it you want to take it 7 days a week.

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Brian
Posted Sat, 04/14/2012 - 08:05

Should pre-workouts that contain creatine like assult my musclepharm be cycled?

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Dave
Posted Mon, 04/16/2012 - 03:26

Is the Six Star Creatine x3 a viable creatine supplement, or would you suggest to just buy some creatine monohydrate?

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Nitin
Posted Sat, 04/28/2012 - 03:47

Can I take weider amino fuel with creatine in pre workout and on whey protein (Gold Standard) with cretaine post workout. please suggest

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Raj Godiyal
Posted Thu, 05/17/2012 - 04:02

Hi
which creatine is best?

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Teresa Eudy
Posted Sun, 05/20/2012 - 10:55

I was wondering is there was another way to take cretaine in the mornings without all the grape juice? for one thing I'm hypoglycemic and that much sugar makes me crash and for another reason I'm 52 years old and I have to watch calories and that's a bit much added to my diet, any suggestions?

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Paul Ani
Posted Sat, 09/28/2013 - 01:36

You could use blended creatine that has flavouring so you just mix with water and drink, i think.

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benjy
Posted Wed, 07/04/2012 - 20:08

hi guys i am new to this creatin episode, i have been on high potency formula creatine caps 700mg have been working out for an hour everyday for the past 5 weeks and i dont see any difference frm what i have been before i am starting to think i am waisting my time let alone the money i spend to buy the caps, what could i be doing wrong or what should i do any tips

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carms
Posted Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:41

Hi! I'm a 33 yr old female. weigh 130-132lbs. My body fat as of 2 weeks ago is 24.9. Most of it is definitely in my tummy area. I'm very active in the gym - both cardio and weight training. I also try and stay active outdoors in the summer (racket ball, running, cycling...). My diet is not super strict, but it isn't bad at all. I started taking a fat burner for about 2 months (LIPOLYZE) and stopped about 3 weeks ago because I noticed my legs were becoming thinner. I started again TODAY because I realized my legs weren't as muscular as I thought (they've become smaller, but still look lean - I've always had muscular legs, so I thought). So now I'm trying to build muscle in my legs and also tone other areas while burning fat. I've read a lot about women taking creatine and so I wanted to possibly begin taking that supplement. I'm not sure where to start, which one is best, in what form, etc. (I also take a multivitamin, CLA and drink Whey Isolate at least once a day if not twice - morning in a breakfast shake and after workout, if not definitely after workout). Please help! Thanks so much!

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Honey 1993
Posted Sun, 07/22/2012 - 03:23

hi, im looking into this for a friend he is very active and big built, he dose manual labour work 5-7 days a week 8+ hours a day which one of these products would be best for him to increase mussle mass and strengh as well as reduce fatigue mentally and physicalls ?? he currently bench press about 150+ kgs and is very active in a training retuine.

any advice would be greatly appreashated as i dont what him to turn to harmful products to gain the results he wants.

manythanks a very worried and concerned friend x

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Ryan
Posted Thu, 08/02/2012 - 06:05

Hi all,

Sorry to be a spoil sport but the effects on cognitive function have not yet been proven. Please see the peer reviewed extract of a 2008 article below (not the only one I found):

Creatine supplementation has been reported to improve certain aspects of cognitive and psychomotor
function in older individuals and in young subjects following 24 and 36 h of sleep deprivation. However, the
effects of creatine supplementation on cognitive processing and psychomotor performance in non-sleep
deprived young adults have not been assessed with a comprehensive battery of neurocognitive tests. The
primary objective of this study was to examine the effects of creatine supplementation on cognitive
processing and psychomotor performance in young adults. Twenty-two subjects (21±2 yr) ingested creatine
(0.03 g/kg/day) or placebo for 6 weeks in a double-blind placebo-controlled fashion. Subjects completed a
battery of neurocognitive tests pre- and post-supplementation, including: simple reaction time (RT), code
substitution (CS), code substitution delayed (CSD), logical reasoning symbolic (LRS), mathematical processing
(MP), running memory (RM), and Sternberg memory recall (MR). There were no significant effects of group,
no significant effects of time, and no significant group by time interactions for RT, CS, CSD, LRS, MP, RM, and
MR (all pN0.05), indicating that there were no differences between creatine and placebo supplemented
groups at any time. These results suggest that six weeks of creatine supplementation (0.03/g/kg/day) does
not improve cognitive processing in non-sleep deprived young adults. Potentially, creatine supplementation
only improves cognitive processing and psychomotor performance in individuals who have impaired
cognitive processing abilities.

I know this is a website dedicated to articles relating to muscle and strength training but I thought it might be important to highlight that there could be some bias in this article. Not to say it wasn't a very convincing and informative (in some parts) introduction to the subject.

Cheers

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James Smith
Posted Fri, 08/03/2012 - 03:59

How much time-gap is needed to take creatine after the workout???

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shaun
Posted Fri, 08/03/2012 - 15:07

Hi when taking creatine with high carbs to cause a insulin spike how long are we looking for this spike to last. The reason i am asking this as being a diabetic i will be deciding how much insulin to give myself. the insulin i use starts immediately and lasts for about an hour. any advice much appreciated. Thanks Shaun

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Marco
Posted Sun, 08/12/2012 - 13:21

I start the gym and cardio 6 months ago and i lost the 25lb is need to, now I'm taking whey isolate, but I'm planning to buy creatine, but how i will take it? post workout I drink the creatine with grape juice and then i take the whey isolate few minutes later? or how?

please help.

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RHINO
Posted Fri, 08/17/2012 - 03:28

I FIND THIS A VERY HELPFUL AND INFORMATIVE ARTICLE ALL YOU WANTED AND NEEDED TO KNOW. THANK YOU

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robert
Posted Fri, 08/17/2012 - 07:53

what do you recommend?...im 40 years old ,i want to use creatine ,and something to repair muscle damage.any helpful hints?is being stiff from the muscle damage or can i take something for that as well?

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Joey
Posted Thu, 08/23/2012 - 15:22

Hey Robert,

I would highly suggest the use of creatine. Also for muscle repair and recovery, supplementing BCAAs can help tremendously! Take a look at the BCAA guide. http://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/bcaas

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kranthi
Posted Sat, 08/18/2012 - 08:48

wt will be the price of creatin and where will i get it

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Joey
Posted Wed, 08/22/2012 - 16:08

Hey Kranthi,

Check out all the different creatines we offer here: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/store/category/creatine.html

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Arijt Sengupta
Posted Thu, 08/23/2012 - 01:32

Does it stops the growth of muscles at all?

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Joey
Posted Thu, 08/23/2012 - 15:23

No, that shouldn't be an issue.

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lUIS
Posted Thu, 08/23/2012 - 15:10

Hello, Its ok to drink creantine and BCAA, or with the creatine is enough?

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Joey
Posted Thu, 08/23/2012 - 15:24

Creatine and BCAAs are a great combo. Take a look at the BCAA guide. http://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/bcaas

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saran
Posted Mon, 09/03/2012 - 07:14

it was great and thanks

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Nur
Posted Tue, 09/11/2012 - 16:54

I am looking to get back into running and lose 40 post baby fat. I want to take whey, creatine, and glutamine but not sure which ones and if they are all seperate products. Can anyone suggest type and amounts?

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anonymous
Posted Sun, 09/16/2012 - 22:13

I've heard that creatine supplements stop your bodies natural production of creatine.
1) Is this true?
2) If so, would a small supplement be a good way to keep your body naturally producing it with a little extra boost?

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Joey
Posted Fri, 09/21/2012 - 10:10

From what I have read, supplementing with creatine may slow down your body's natural production of creatine. As soon as you stopped taking it, your body would resume normal production. I might suggest supplementing 3-5 grams on workout days.

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Paine
Posted Wed, 09/26/2012 - 12:43

My boyfriend will soon be going through a 4 to 6 round of Chemo. He also went through it last year.
What I was wondering: since he lost so much muscle mass from last year, would it be good for him to start taking it now, so as not to lose so much?
And how long does it take before you notice it working on the body?
We know he will lose weight and mass, we ("I") just don't want him to lose so much this time.

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Joey
Posted Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:49

Hey Paine,

Definitely a question for the Doctor. It should be fine, but ask first! In my experience, you can usually notice a difference after only being on creatine for a week or so.

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MRa1000
Posted Tue, 10/09/2012 - 15:17

Wowowowow! Wait!. Patients under chemo usually have a bad renal (kidney) function. Don't (I repeat) DON´T use suplement like these in that kind of conditions. You could produce damage to the leaver, kidney, brain......
Go to a nutricionist (it's much cheaper).
Good luck
Ps:I'm not a nutricionist (I´m a surgeon but still remember something about medicine).

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Nur
Posted Thu, 09/27/2012 - 09:26

I am looking to get back into running and lose 40 post baby fat. I want to take whey, creatine, and glutamine but not sure which ones and if they are all seperate products. Can anyone suggest type and amounts?

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Joey
Posted Thu, 09/27/2012 - 12:01

Hey Nur,

I would prioritize with Whey and Creatine. You'll likely get ample glutamine with your diet and the whey. Think of the whey as a food, take a look at the nutritional info and then fit it into your fat-loss diet as needed. As for creatine, I would recommend a creatine monohydrate from a reputable brand. (3-5 grams per day)

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Nur
Posted Tue, 10/02/2012 - 18:25

Thanks Joey.

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ragy
Posted Fri, 09/28/2012 - 11:16

Can I take 20g of creatine at once will say first thing in the morning??!

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Joey
Posted Tue, 10/02/2012 - 15:31

Hey Ragy,

There is no need to take more than 5g of creatine in a day.

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Juan
Posted Mon, 10/08/2012 - 21:13

It is exactly what I wanted n needed! Just a great way to explain what creating is all about. Thank you very much for that.

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Pamella
Posted Mon, 10/15/2012 - 15:10

Thanks for the comprehensive information. I started training 6weeks ago and I started taking creatine 2weeks ago I feel great and so much stronger

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