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Creatine

THE SUPPLEMENT DISCLAIMER
Supplements are the 3rd step in a performance diet. Step 1 - optimized base diet, Step 2 - optimized sports nutrition manipulations using foods, and Step 3 - supplement trials (take note of the word "trials"). If you want to get to the 3rd step work closely with a sports dietitian.

WHAT IS IT?

  • Creatine is the name of an energy delivery substance that is made by our muscles.
  • Creatine is found naturally in animal muscle cells (meat and fish included).

Learn more about creatine from this review.

REASONS TO TAKE CREATINE

  • Possible gains in strength and muscle mass following resistance training
  • Possible performance enhancement during high intensity "sprint" sports

I enjoyed this man's story about taking creatine. Just remember it is not your story.


HOW TO TAKE CREATINE

Load up for 5-7 days OR Load up for 1 month

LOAD UP FOR 5 to 7 DAYS
Take 15 to 20 grams daily in small doses of 5 grams (or less), spread out throughout the day and preferably after a meal. Use this method for a quick loading phase.

LOAD UP FOR 1 MONTH
Take 3 to 5 grams daily for a minimum of 4 weeks preferably, after a meal. This way produces the same increase in muscle creatine as high dose loading.

MAINTAIN IT
Maintain the higher levels of creatine you may now have in your muscles by taking a small dose of 2 to 3 grams daily during competition or training phases.


IS THERE A DOWNSIDE TO CREATINE USE?

When creatine is used as indicated above, there are very few negative effects. Some may feel they experience water retention or bloating. Be aware that most of the research in sports nutrition is on adult males. Teens and females are less well represented in the literature. 


BRAND RECOMMENDATIONS (COMING SOON)

While you wait to hear about a brand I recommend to my athletes, you can review the lists of products batch tested to be clean for sport by clicking the images below. Keep in mind these products may be tested for purity but still pose a risk to athletes under WADA control and the nutrients they contain may still be inappropriate for use when the specific situation for use is not properly assessed.

 

Learn more about the science of creatine by reading this collection of journal articles.