First Steps to Using Creatine: A Comprehensive Beginner's Guide

Published on 19 May 2024 at 16:37

Considering starting creatine? You've come to the right place. It can be a tad confusing to find out what method to start using creatine. However, it's fairly straightforward in practice. In this article, we will tell you which methods to start taking and the certain types of creatine to consider.


Types of Creatine

There are actually quite a few types of creatine on the market. Most people have heard of creatine monohydrate, which is the most studied and used. We recommend this type, but we'll list them all just so you know what's out there.


Creatine Monohydrate πŸ‹οΈ‍♂️

  • The most researched and widely used form.
  • Known for its effectiveness in improving strength, muscle mass, and performance.
  • Affordable and easily available.

Creatine HCl (Hydrochloride) πŸ’§

  • Known for better solubility and absorption compared to monohydrate.
  • Requires a smaller dose due to its higher potency.
  • May reduce the risk of stomach discomfort and bloating.

Buffered Creatine (Kre-Alkalyn) βš–οΈ

  • Contains an alkaline buffer to prevent creatine breakdown in the stomach.
  • Claimed to reduce side effects like bloating and cramping.
  • Often marketed as more stable and efficient.

Creatine Ethyl Ester πŸ”¬

  • Modified form of creatine monohydrate with an ester attached.
  • Claimed to have better absorption and effectiveness.
  • Mixed reviews on its superiority over monohydrate.

Creatine Nitrate 🌿

  • Creatine bonded with nitrate.
  • Promoted for better absorption and increased nitric oxide production.
  • May enhance blood flow and endurance.

Creatine Magnesium Chelate 🧲

  • Creatine bound to magnesium for improved absorption.
  • Claimed to provide benefits of both creatine and magnesium.
  • Promoted for enhanced muscle function and recovery.

Liquid Creatine πŸ’§

  • Creatine pre-dissolved in liquid form.
  • Claimed to offer convenience and quicker absorption.
  • Stability and effectiveness are debated.

Micronized Creatine πŸ”¬

  • Creatine monohydrate processed into smaller particles.
  • Improved solubility and absorption.
  • Reduces the likelihood of stomach discomfort.

Creatine Pyruvate πŸƒ‍♂️

  • Creatine bonded with pyruvic acid.
  • Promoted for improved endurance and energy production.
  • Mixed evidence on its benefits over monohydrate.

Different Forms of Creatine

 

Powder πŸ₯„

  • The most popular and widely used form.
  • Easily mixed with water, juice, or protein shakes.
  • Available in flavoured and unflavoured varieties.

 


Capsules/Pills πŸ’Š

  • Convenient for on-the-go use.
  • Pre-measured doses eliminate the need for measuring.
  • Suitable for those who dislike the taste of powdered creatine.

Tablets πŸ’Š

  • Similar to capsules but in a compressed tablet form.
  • Convenient and easy to swallow.
  • Often come in pre-measured doses.

Chewable Tablets 🍬

  • Provide a tasty and convenient option.
  • Often flavoured to improve palatability.
  • Suitable for those who prefer not to swallow pills or mix powders.

Liquid πŸ’§

  • Pre-dissolved creatine for quick and easy consumption.
  • Convenient but less commonly available.
  • Stability and effectiveness can vary.

Effervescent Creatine πŸ₯€

  • Creatine combined with effervescent agents to enhance solubility and absorption.
  • Dissolves in water to create a fizzy drink.
  • May be easier on the stomach for some users.

Creatine Gummies 🍬

  • A fun and tasty way to consume creatine.
  • Convenient for those who prefer chewable supplements.
  • Pre-measured doses ensure consistency.

Step-by-Step Guide to Taking Creatine

  1. Choose Your Form of Creatine πŸ₯„πŸ’ŠπŸ’§

    • Powder: Mix with water, juice, or a protein shake.
    • Capsules/Pills: Swallow with water.
    • Liquid: Drink the pre-dissolved solution.
    • Chewables/Gummies: Chew and swallow as directed.
  2. Determine Your Dosage πŸ“

    • Loading Phase (Optional): Some people start with a loading phase to saturate their muscles with creatine faster. Take 20 grams per day (split into 4 doses) for 5-7 days.
    • Maintenance Phase: After the loading phase or if you skip it, take 3-5 grams per day.
  3. Timing Your Intake ⏰

    • Pre-Workout: Some prefer taking creatine before a workout to maximize performance.
    • Post-Workout: Others take it after a workout to aid in recovery.
    • Anytime: Creatine can be taken at any time of the day, as long as it is consistent.
  4. Mixing and Consuming πŸ₯€

    • Powder: Mix the recommended dose with water, juice, or a protein shake and stir well.
    • Capsules/Pills: Take with a glass of water.
    • Liquid: Drink directly or mix with another beverage if desired.
    • Chewables/Gummies: Consume as directed on the packaging.
  5. Stay Hydrated πŸ’§

    • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Creatine can cause the muscles to draw more water, so staying hydrated is important.
  6. Monitor Your Response πŸ‘€

    • Performance Gains: Look for improvements in strength, endurance, and muscle mass.
    • Side Effects: Be aware of any stomach discomfort, bloating, or other side effects. If they occur, consider adjusting the dosage or form of creatine.
  7. Consistency is Key πŸ”‘

    • For best results, take creatine consistently every day, even on rest days.

Tips for Best Results

  • Combine with Carbohydrates: Taking creatine with a carbohydrate-rich meal or drink can enhance absorption.
  • Cycle Creatine (Optional): Some people choose to cycle creatine (e.g., 8 weeks on, 4 weeks off), though this is not necessary for everyone.
  • Consult a Professional: If you have any health concerns or conditions, consult a healthcare provider before starting creatine.

If you are considering trying Creatine, check out Amazon for a list of suppliers:


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