How execute I take it my creatine supplement? exactly how much? carry out I take it it every day? must I load it initially? start using creatine the ideal way!


Pro: that works! Adam Gonzalez, Ph.D., a complement researcher and natural bodybuilder, favors the loading approach.

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"Research has shown the most effective way to rapidly boost intramuscular creatine concentration is a loading method," he explains. "A usual loading protocol is composed of consuming high doses, like 20-25 grams per day, split between 4-5 daily doses, for 5-7 days. Complying with the loading protocol, athletes can usually maintain stores through a daily maintenance dose of 3-5 grams per day."

Jose Antonio, Ph.D., the co-founder that the International society of sports Nutrition, additionally labels the loading protocol "something you should absolutely do" in his video clip "8 Questions around Creatine Answered."

Con: feasible side effects. in spite of what part gym bros can tell you, creatine will certainly work just fine without a loading protocol. And the conventional loading protocol have the right to be a bit unpleasant for part people.

"No, a loading protocol is no necessarily required," Gonzalez admits. "And the larger everyday dosage may cause gastrointestinal discomfort for part athletes."

If you"re someone who has actually tried monohydrate in the past but didn"t choose the bloating or stomach distress the came through it, climate you have to definitely shot the everyday low-dose approach.

Method 2: Low-Dose everyday Supplementation

The alternate an approach is to simply take 3-5 grams the a creatine complement each day, without loading. In around three weeks, this method will obtain your muscular level to the same allude as a loading protocol.


Pro: It"s simpler, and also it quiet works. "With creatine becoming so popular, many civilization have ideas around the best means to take it come maximize the effect," notes Willoughby, who by-line has actually been ~ above a variety of creatine studies. His advice? "Keep that simple. The most essential thing is just to take it it daily."

Willoughby calls acquisition 3-5 grams everyday "the many effective, simple way to supplement." over time, that protocol has been shown to develop strength and size benefit on par with loading.<1-2>

Con: feasible lower levels, and an ext time. research has shown that loading could an outcome in higher overall levels, come the tune of 10-44 percent.<3> therefore what if friend temporarily acquire a small bloated or have a slight ship ache? and some research has actually indicated the the loading phase doesn"t even need to be a mainly long. It could be as little as 2-3 days and still be effective, as lengthy as you nail the protocol and also take 3-5 grams day-to-day afterward.<4-5>


The Verdict: need to I Load?

Both viewpoints work, as long as you follow up through a regular "maintenance dose" of 3-5 grams every day afterward. It"s just a issue of preference, and a willingness to endure part slight discomfort.

When must I take it Creatine?

You have four options: before a workout, after, both, or "whenever." Fitness reporter Adam Bornstein breaks down the options in his article "Before, After, or Whenever: The finest Time to take Creatine," however the short answer is the they can all work.

Researchers have looked right into the differences in between taking creatine at different times, and also differences have actually been minor. Because that this reason, Bornstein is in the "take the whenever, as lengthy as you take it" camp.

However, various other researchers think there may be slight benefits to acquisition it at details times. For example, Jim Stoppani, Ph.D., recommends taking it before and also after a workout because that maximum benefit.

How carry out I take Creatine?

Because it"s tasteless, odorless, and easily disappear in any type of fluid, creatine monohydrate is possibly the easiest supplement come take. Just dump a scoop in water, protein powder, amino acids, or every little thing else girlfriend drink transparent the day, swish that around, and also drink. You won"t notice it at all!

Most scoops are 5 grams, i beg your pardon is a good dose because that athletes of every size. If you"re fairly small or lightweight, you have the right to probably gain by with 3 grams, or just over half of a regular scoop.

There is some study showing increased uptake if taken with carbs or protein, but it will job-related without these additives, as long as you take it it consistently.<2> However, if you"re make the efforts to execute a brief loading protocol, choose 2-3 days instead of the typical 5-7, taking it with carbs is probably a good idea.

One study verified that taking roughly 100 grams the carbs with 5 grams that creatine increased full muscle creatine through 60 percent.<5> another showed similar results by acquisition 5 grams with approximately 50 grams that carbs, and also 50 grams of protein—the tantamount of two scoops that protein and two bananas, a cup that grape juice, or a cup of cook rice.

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What if I miss a Day?

Once you"ve completed saturation, either by a loading protocol or consistent low-dose supplementation, don"t sweat that if you miss out on a day or two. Her levels deserve to stay elevated because that as long as 4-6 weeks.<6,7>