Creatine: The Best Supplement There Is

Creatine is the most overlooked supplement there is in the supplement market. Even though Creatine is the most researched supplement out there, majority of people spend their money on supplements that are less effective only because they are marketed well. In this post, I want to tell you everything that there is when it comes to creatine!

What is Creatine?

It is an amino acid derived substrate or fuel coming from – Methionine, Arginine and glycine and is found in your skeletal muscle. It is made primarily in your liver. Creatine can also be found in some foods and is most prevalent in meat and fish.

How does it work?

Creatine is stored in muscle cells as Creatinine Phosphate. ATP is the energy currency for your body. It is called so because it consists of 3 phosphate molecules. When you perform any physical exercise, we lose one molecule of ATP to give ADP which is 2 phosphate molecules. So by supplementing with creatine we are increasing our ATP store in order to produce more explosive energy in the long term. So by consuming creatine for a period of 2-3 months+ we can eventually see a noticeable increase in explosive strength and lean muscle mass (only if our nutrition, training and recovery approach is tailored for that as well)!


It depends! If you take the recommended does of about 3-5g per day, it will take roughly 2-4 weeks to reap the benefits of it and reach a saturation point. But if you load creatine and take roughly 20-30g per day, you can reach that saturation point in about 5-6 days – thats what the loading process basically is!

So if you are someone who has not taken the supplement ever or is taking it after a very long gap, you can start with a LOADING PROTOCOL with 20g a day for the starting week and then go to the daily recommended dose of around 3-6g per day. This will only saturate your stores faster and not get you any long term or added benefit by doing so. Do you need to do this? NO!

Ideally 3-6g per day is a solid amount to stick to for it to do the work and no you don’t need to cycle on and off it, its something you can stick to long term!

Do you need to Cycle off it? No, you don’t need to. Like I mentioned earlier, creatine is found in the food we eat as well and it’s not a drug of any kind that you need to cycle off it. Consuming the recommended dose on a daily basis is what you should look to do.

Side Effects of Creatine?

Some people fear that creatine adversely affects the kidneys! If you get your kidney tests and your levels of creatinine are high without any supplementation, yes that means that your kidneys might not be functioning optimally.

If you are consuming more than the recommended dosage of creatine (loading) and your levels are high then definitely reduce the dosage to around 3-6g per day and keep it constant. You can do this and get your tests done again and you should see a difference.

What you don’t want to do it load creatine with 10-30g and not stay hydrated! As mentioned before Creatine has the propensity to draw water to it and this will cause the water to be drawn to the intestine which can create muscle cramping, diarrhoea and bloating. All of this can be easily avoided by just not taking a higher than recommended dose and not loading creatine or just making sure that you are well hydrated when you start taking creatine.

Benefits Of Creatine

Creatine is the most researched supplement out there! There have been multiple meta analyses showing the benefit of creatine use over time, some of which are:

  • In terms of maximum weight that can be put on the bar for 1RM, 3RM, 5RM or a 10RM, you can see about an 8% increase
  • In terms of how many reps you can do for a given load, you’re looking at roughly 14% increase over time

These are just average numbers that have come out of studies that have been undertaken over a period of 6 to 24 weeks. Creatine’s response to an individuals body also varies a lot so you can get less or even more results than what I’ve mentioned, that is something that you need to figure out yourself once you give it a shot!

Creatine and body composition

Just like how you increase muscle glycogen content with a carb dense meal, it comes with a lot of water. You’ll see your weight go up but you won’t see any fat gain or change in body composition because that doesn’t happen! Creatine has the same effect as a carb load, it pulls similar amount of water for every gram of creatine store in the muscle. It increase the muscle fiber diameter because the muscle is more hydrated and this also leads to increase in muscle growth because it stretches the muscle cell. But primarily, like mentioned before the reason you will be gaining lean muscle mass is due to increase in performance!

Yes, you might put on weight when you start taking creatine but this this purely intra cellular water weight within the muscle cell. But since creatine has the propensity to draw water towards it, I wouldn’t advise loading creatine but taking the regular dose is completely safe since you reach your saturation point very gradually when you take it and even if you go off it. And you don’t want muscle creatine levels to fall below normal levels either because it will reduce the size of your muscle cells!

Should you supplement with it?

Creatine is found in your diet as well – mostly fish and meats but in very less quantities. You can never reach the minimum amount required through whole foods which is why you need to supplement with it to see its effects!

Creatine and bloating?

A lot of you complain about bloating due to creatine monohydrate and thus want alternatives or stay away from it completely. Just know that this water retention is intracellular. What you want to avoid is subcutaneous water weight under the skin and around the stomach! The loading phase is why a lot of people get the bloating issue. So if you stick to 3-6g per day long term, you will not face an issue with bloating.

Another option is to switch over to Creatine Hydrochloride which has lesser quantities of creatine with the same anabolic effect. It can help with reduced bloating but will be slightly more expensive than monohydrate.

Is it good for children and adults?

As far as research goes, yes creatine supplementation benefits multiple age groups. Since it helps with building lean muscle mass, someone who is 50-60 years old will be on their way to losing muscle mass through what is called Sarcopenia and adding creatine can delay that process!

With children is not only aid with building lean muscle mass but also improves brain health so creatine can be consumed by people of all ages and both genders!

Caffeine and Creatine

Theres a lot of talk around the two not complementing each other! There was a study done in 1996 and it showed that caffeine negates the effects of creatine but over the years there have been 3 different studies showing the exact opposite with more conclusive evidence. there just isn’t enough research on the topic but enough to show that both caffeine and creatine can be taken with one another so there is no need to go off either or cycle either of them out.

Leave a Reply