Creatine is an essential element for the body, in essence it is a nitrogen-containing carboxylic acid. First of all, it is a source of energy. The main property of the substance is the saturation of cells with water molecules.
Creatine is found in meat and fish, and is also partially synthesized from amino acids. According to experts, the daily allowance for an athlete is 2-4 gr.
In order to benefit from the use of creatine, you need to dissolve it in the “right” liquid. Pure water is not suitable for this.
The fact is that the human gastrointestinal tract perceives pure creatine rather poorly. That is, if your stomach and intestines are empty, and a portion of creatine gets there along with water, then full assimilation will not occur.
Creatine molecules will stick to the intestinal walls and will wait for some nutrient or substance that will allow them to pass further and be absorbed into the blood.
In the absence of “carriers”, the body will perform a standard response procedure: flatulence, bloating and subsequent occurrence of diarrhea, in order to flush out the contents of the intestine.
The simplest and most convenient carrier is glucose. Simple carbohydrates are quickly absorbed and easily carry creatine molecules along with them.
That is why manufacturers directly on the packaging indicate the importance of mixing creatine with various sugary drinks, be it juice, soda or ordinary syrup. The best option is ordinary store-bought juice in packs.
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How long does it Take for Creatine to Kick In?
Creatine can be consumed in plain water if you eat it first. In this case, all nutrients obtained from food can play the role of “carriers” of creatine.
This property is used by people prone to obesity, who, even when gaining muscle mass, do not consume carbohydrates with a high glycemic index.
One of the problems with taking powdered creatine is its poor solubility in liquids. Try stirring the monohydrate in a glass of juice and letting it stand. You will see that most of the creatine will settle to the bottom over time.
Our Top Picks of Creatine Powder
However, creatine react with glucose, fructose, or citric acid. In this case, as a rule, the taste of the drink becomes bitter, and the color is darker.
These are all hallmarks of true creatine monohydrate, which is why some manufacturers add flavorings to eliminate the true bitterness of creatine.
How do I take other forms of creatine?
Taking capsules or creatine tablets also obeys the rules already described above. However, you should be aware that some manufacturers add glucose, maltodextrin or fructose molecules to the capsules in advance.
Although there are practically no such additives lately, it is still necessary to be aware of their existence.
How long does it Take for Creatine to Kick In with Different Gainers?
Any gainers, protein complexes or amino acids will play the role of “carriers” of creatine, therefore, it is not necessary to use juice or sweet syrup.
The most preferred mixture is Gainer + Creatine, because this supplement contains simple carbohydrates that will do a great job of transporting creatine.
The claims of some manufacturers about the synergistic effect of co-consumption of creatine and other types of food are nothing more than marketing fiction, because creatine never binds to anything.
That is, from the fact that you use it along with protein or amino acids, you should not expect any additional effects.
When and how much creatine should you take?
It is best to use the standard dosage indicated on the package. Typically, this is 5-10 grams of creatine per day. A 5-gram portion of creatine is stirred in 150 ml of juice or syrup.
Most importantly, if your drink has stood for a long time, shake it well before drinking. The most preferred time is the carbohydrate-protein window.
On rest days, consume the supplement after meals. By the way, in this case, you may not use sugary syrups or drinks, since the digestive tract will be saturated with carbohydrates.
“Loading” with creatine: is it necessary?
Many athletes interested in information about proper creatine intake have heard of this expression: “creatine loading”.
Recall that loading involves the use of creatine in large doses (20-30 grams per day) for 6-7 days, and the subsequent support phase (5-10 grams per day) for 25-30 days.
Consumption of 20-30 grams of creatine per day can have a negative effect on human health, especially for those who suffer from renal failure or from various liver pathologies. Of course, this negative effect is minimal, but it’s better to warn yourself.
In general, “creatine loading” is a stereotype of thinking about its use.
The real and, perhaps, the only plus of loading is that the person accumulates the maximum amount of creatine in the muscles faster.
However, it should be noted that over the course of a month, the total amount of creatine will be identical for both, those who used the load and those who took it in the standard safe regimen. Let’s show it on the graph.
What does it Take for Creatine to Kick In?
Take creatine according to the standard scheme: no more than 10 grams per day, every day for a month from the very beginning.
Then take a break for 14 days. By the way, any course of creatine intake should be interval. And this is not connected at all with a decrease in the sensitivity of creatine receptors, as many think.
The main reason is the lack of studies confirming the safety of the supplement in the long term (more than 2-3 months).
It should also be noted the importance of fractional reception. Creatine can have negative effects on the body as a whole, which we are talking about in a separate article.
In addition, taking relatively high doses of creatine can contribute to inadequate absorption of it.
Creatine to kick in Conclusion
1. Do not practice “loading” with creatine. Do not exceed the daily allowance of 10 grams;
2. Divide the daily creatine requirement of 10 grams into separate portions of 5 grams.
3. On training days, all 10 grams can be drunk during the “carbohydrate window”, that is, directly within 30-50 minutes after training, since at this time the digestive tract is able to assimilate nutrients much more actively and efficiently.
4. Shake the creatine drink before consuming it. In this case, the amount of liquid can be small (50-100 ml);
5. Eat creatine after meals (or in conjunction with carbohydrates).
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