Creatine Loading

In order for creatine to work, your muscles must be saturated with it. It takes the body awhile to process creatine, and so it's not a supplement that you just take, go work out, and reap the benefits. In order to saturate the muscles, then, you must take it every day, and many people find it helpful to get a jumpstart on the process by loading for a few days first.

First, multiply your weight in pounds times .14. Or you can just say 25 if you're lazy. This is the number of grams of creatine you will be loading with for the first few days. So, take that number of grams and split it into 4 or 5 servings over the course of a day. So if you are taking 25 grams, you would dose with 5 grams 5 times a day.

When you dose, try to take it with a sweet drink like Snapple or fruit juice or any of your favorite sugary drinks. The sugar will cause an insulin spike which will help move the creatine into your muscles more efficiently. However, don't use any drinks with citrus, like orange juice as the citrus breaks down creatine into a useless form.

Loading for more than 4 days or so is useless and a waste of money, so after 4 days, go to a mainenance phase. Multiply your weight in pounds by .013. If you're still lazy, just go with the number 4. This is the amount of creatine in grams you should take daily. Take it with a sugary drink as usual, but only one serving per day and right after your workout. This will prime your muscles to saturate themselves with creatine.

And now for a caveat. There is some controversy about whether loading is necssary at all. In general, it seems to speed up the process of creatine saturation in the muscles, but after a few months, a person who began by loading and another who just began with the maintenance phase will be at the same levels as far as amount of creatine in their bodies. Some say that loading just fastfowards you two weeks ahead of where you would be otherwise, and that it's pointless.

So should you load, or not? Well, if you have the money and you're really dedicated to your training program and you feel you should do whatever you can to get an edge, then go for it. If you're not sure, then we suggest just starting up a maintenance phase and keeping it going for awhile. Before you buy a creatine supplement, be aware that there are many, many different types. Some with sugar, some without, some with other chemicals.