5/g day is about twice the rate of clearance for an adult male. http://www.creatinemonohydrate.net/creatine_doses.html
Short term (like 5 day) studies have been done with that amount. If you're going to take it for 6 months at a clip, I wouldn't use that much. Especially if you have a decent amount of red meat in your diet.
When you start taking creatine, you'll probably gain a few pounds. It's just water and it's normal.
I second the 5g a day. That is the standard in most circles. If you do a loading phase, it is generally understood that after about a month you will begin to level out and the increases will eventually meat at the same level if you would not have loaded. Loading just gets you there a little faster. Mostly it's a waste of money.
Drink lots of water. Especially if you start noticing cramping. That happens a lot. People take the creatine but don't increase the water intake.
The only thing I didn't like about taking creatine was the bloating in my gut. But as soon as I went off it, it went down. No biggie.
For the bloating, the key thing is to not mix the creatine with water until you're ready to drink it and then drink it quickly. Creatine breaks down in water (to creatinine, I believe) and that's what tends to give people bloating. It's also why creatine comes as a dry powder.
Originally Posted by Diesel_tke
Well, that wouldn't help any because that is the only way I have ever taken creatine. I mix it and drink it immediately. I'm usually still stirring it while I drink it.
Another note for the OP is to watch what kind of mix you are getting. Some creatine mixes come flavored and high in sugar and sodium. I've had a lot better experience with strait creating and drinking it with just water.
Thank you all, again! Helped me greatly!
So, day 3 of my first experience with creatine.
Makes a notable difference; not as much as the accidental roids, but still, I notice.
Now, two questions that you might already have answered:
1. Would I have to take creatine even on resting days?
2. I do a lot of cardio, too. Should I use the creatine then, too? - Or, related, should I cut my cardio for the time I take the wonderpills?
Well, you probably shouldn't actually have had any affect from the creatine yet actually, but who am I to say you're not benefiting? Reaching the point of saturation should take longer, but why fight a good thing?
Originally Posted by Hiro Protagonist
Since the point of creatine is to increase glycogen stores I think it would probably be ideal to take creatine daily. I've heard conflicting advice on this, but creatine is cheap and safe. The minutia of nutrition advice almost always seems to be arguing good vs. better with the rare "that's dangerous and stupid" or "that flies in the face of science". Which leads me to...
I'd never heard of this before, but I really really hope you're joking based on a quick search. The very first result was from the NIH
Originally Posted by jubei33
What are your training goals? Get as huge as possible? Cardio beast? Crossfit freak? MMA comp? I would research recovery suppliments (best time to take, best ratio of protein fat carbs.
Thank you very much, again! Confirms what I read elsewhere, so, yeah, daily doses, it seems, until mid-October.
Originally Posted by Gypsy Jazz
As to the effects, of course I am not expanding in a hulk-like fashion, or whatever, but I indeed noticed that my recovery time was distinctively shorter than usual. Not as short as when I accidentally tried the roids, but let's put it like this:
I did a max power leg workout yesterday; should have made my legs hurt quite considerably.
Yet, I was out all night, and when I got up this morning after relatively little sleep, I felt no pain/muscle ache whatsoever.
Originally Posted by Gypsy Jazz
One point of technicality, creatine supplementation is not designed to increase glycogen stores so much as actual Creatine Phosphate (CP) stores. In practice, the difference is relatively insignificant, but I'll explain briefly:
Originally Posted by Hiro Protagonist
A muscle cell has 1 source of direct energy, Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). This provides energy by breaking the bond of one of the phosphate groups, turning it into Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP). To replenish to energy supplies, it must reattach a phosphate group to turn ADP back into ATP. There are 3 cycles which do this. The first is the CP cycle, which basically takes a phosphate group off the CP molecule and attaches it to the ADP, turning it back into ATP, which can then be used again for energy. The others are the glycogen cycle, which is another anaerobic cycle, and the aerobic (or oxidative) cycle, which is where the well-known Krebs cycle comes into play. The Krebs cycle is the most efficient at doing this, but is inhibited by the presence of oxygen. The CP cycle is the fastest, but also most limited cycle. As such, it primarily is utilized during high-intensity, short-duration exercise. Once you run out of available CP, you'll switch over to another cycle. (Note: In reality, a muscle cell will use all 3 cycles simultaneously, but will use one or another predomianantly based upon chemical availability). The benefit of creatine supplementation is in increasing the cellular storage of CP, which permits a longer time to be spent in the CP cycle. Since this is the high-intensity phase, that is what allows you to "workout harder, longer" as they say.
Hiro, GypsyJazz is correct in that 3 days is a very short time to be seeing positive gains. Usually, there is a loading phase associate with creatine supplementation wherein the muscle cells acquire a saturation of CP and increase their available stores. But if you're already seeing gains, then good on you.
I would recommend doing a little more individual research to determine what is exactly the best supplementation cycle for your needs. But yes, it is appropriate to continue to supplement the creatine during your cardio focused days. The level you supplement on these days (once you've finished the loading phase) will probably be somewhat less than on strength training days, but you want to maintain muscle saturation. It's difficult to give you exact advice, because everyone's training schedule is different and, in all honesty, it's been a little while since I've done in depth research on the subject.
That said, Creatine is one of the few supplements that has been around long enough and in large enough use to have reliable long term study data available. As far as I know, the large majority of that research indicates that it is one of the few supplements that regularly provides quality results and is also safe for long term use. Most other supplements don't ultimately provide quality results. Those that do are usually hormone-based (read: steroids are pre-steroids), and these tend to have negative health effects.
One caveat: Creatine tends to drastically increase the body's water requirements. From what I've read, your body's water requirements can as much as double. Creatine itself is safe, but make sure that you're significantly increasing your pure water intake to meet the altered cellular requirements.
Don't expect wonders from taking creatine. Sure it works, but the difference is minimal. I wouldn't even stress about it. Your overall diet and program design will make considerable more difference than any protein/creatine supplement.
....Steroids... well that stuff is great.. but don't take it up.