Creatine Intake Calculator

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How Much Creatine Should I Be Taking?

Creatine is one of the most widely used supplements in both professional athletes and the fitness industry, for a very good reason!
The supplement is naturally stored in your muscle and is used during exercise and really kicks in to help the body during explosive movements and exercises such as sprinting, weight lifting etc.
Creatine supplements help build muscle, strength, improve high-intensity exercise performance and prevent sports-related injuries.
In order to get creatine into your muscles quickly, many althetes will use a loading phase which involves taking a high dosage for the first 5-7 days. Research suggests that a creatine loading phase can rapidly increase your creatine stores, allowing you to reap the benefits faster than just taking a standard dose.
This article examines the benefits and side effects of the creatine loading phase.

What Is Creatine Loading?
We usually recommend a creatine loading phase to rapidly maximize your muscle stores. During this phase, you consume a relatively large amount of creatine in a short period to rapidly saturate your muscles.
For example, a common approach is to take approx. 20 grams of creatine daily for 5–7 days. This dose is typically divided into four 5-gram servings throughout the day.
Research shows that this regimen can effectively boost creatine stores by 10–40%
After the loading phase, you can maintain your creatine stores by taking a lower dose of creatine, which ranges from 2–10 grams daily. Use the above calculator to find out your maintenance dose.

Please Note: you don’t have to take the loading dose. If you go straight into the maintenance dose you will gradually build up the creatine levels in your body, it will just take longer vs using the loading phase.
For example, one study determined that muscles became fully saturated after people took 3 grams of creatine daily for 28 days.

Safety and Side Effects
A number of studies that have been carried out actually demonstrate that creatine is safe over both short term and long term periods.
According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), up to 30 grams per day for five years may be safe and is generally really well tolerated by healthy individuals
Though rare, gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have been reported. Creatine could also cause weight gain and bloating, as it increases water retention in your muscles.
Since creatine is metabolized by your kidneys, supplements may worsen kidney function in people with renal disease. If you have impaired kidney function, consult your physician before taking creatine.
Overall, creatine is safe when taken at recommended dosages. As always, it’s best to consult with your physician before using supplements if you have an underlying health issue or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Dosage
Creatine supplements are widely available in stores and online. The most well-studied form is creatine monohydrate.

The ISSN suggests that 5 grams of creatine monohydrate four times daily for 5–7 days is the most effective way to increase your muscle creatine levels, though amounts may vary depending on your weight.
You can determine your daily dose for the loading phase by multiplying your weight in kilograms by 0.3.
For example, an individual weighing 80 kg (175 pounds) would consume 24 grams (80 x 0.3) of creatine each day during the loading phase.
According to research, 3 grams of creatine taken daily for 28 days may also be effective at saturating your muscles with creatine.
Once your muscles are completely saturated, a lower dose can maintain high levels.

Typically, maintenance doses range from 2–10 grams per day.

Keep in mind that your muscle stores will gradually decrease to your usual levels when you stop taking creatine supplements.

Finally, In order to maximize creatine muscle stores quickly, a loading phase of 20 grams daily for 5–7 days is recommended, followed by a maintenance dose of 2–10 grams per day. Another approach is 3 grams daily for 28 days.

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