The Mythical Creatine Dosage and How You Can Get it Just Right for You

If you ask “how much creatine should I take?”  Invariably the answer given is 5 grams as a typical creatine dosage.

But did you know it’s WRONG(it’s generally acceptable but technically incorrect)

Have You Ever Heard the Creatine Dosage of 5 grams?  

I’m sure you have as it’s the most common recommended serving size given verbally and on almost every single brand of creatine monohydrate you can purchase.

Dosage is commonly between 2-25 grams a day (5 grams is an average recommended amount) depending on your body weight, the stage you are in, and any special circumstances.  

Read the comment section on the dosage argument HERE !

A Typical Recommended Creatine Dosage is 5 grams.

But did you know that is true for a 367 lb person?. You can use a lot less creatine and get results. Learn how to find the right creatine dosage for you based on your body weight.

The more muscle mass you have, the greater the requirement for creatine supplements.

The information below is not the typical dosage that you see on almost any website or product. 

To date, there have been no negative effects reported by such a higher dosage so there’s no real reason to change it. 

Keep in mind that almost every study to date has not measured the long-term effects of a 5 gram a day creatine dosage. 

It’s just nobody has any negative consequences yet after 15 or more years being on the market so it’s generally accepted as safe.

 

Why Almost Everybody Says 5 Grams of Creatine per Day

The 5-gram daily maintenance dose that every company says to take and almost every fitness professional asked will tell you if the daily dosage is wrong.  

But the real reason nobody is going to change it is that it’s too difficult to re-educate the consumer and if you recommend such a dosage, it’s going to work for 99% of the population that would take it and respond to creatine.

Hence, the shotgun approach to supplementation.

So how much creatine can your body absorb?

creatine absorbtion

Image credit: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123964540000400

The bottom line, it depends on your overall body weight which determines your maintenance dosage.  A person who’s 250 lbs will require more than a person who is 130 lbs to maintain muscle saturation (the ultimate goal of creatine supplementation). 

Once you’ve reached the saturation point, if the muscle can’t hold anymore, it won’t keep it and will flush out any excess creatine.  Look at the table below to find your perfect dosage based on your body weight.  Any more and you are wasting the product.  Too much and it can technically be dangerous.

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The Drawbacks to an Improper Creatine Dosage

Unused (not absorbed excess creatine) ends up in the toilet.  It puts stress on the kidneys and other filtering organs to eliminate it.  It’s a waste of products.  

So if you really only need 2.5 g a day dosage based on body weight but all the labels tell you to take 5 grams, you are wasting 2.5 grams and putting a small bit of unnecessary stress on your body.  It’s worth the effort to get it right rather.  

Unlike protein where 1g per 1 lb of body weight is actually pretty accurate, 5 g. per day for everybody is well off the mark.

An overconsumption:

    • reduces the efficiency of creatine absorption by muscle,
    • over-supplementation is (athletically) futile,
    • (physiologically) stressful and
    • (economically) wasteful

Creatine Loading Phase

Players can choose to lose one Rep Movement speed and one Aim Point to gain two more Ability Power, increase Rep Turnover to two every second, and no longer lose their speed. Legacy: Accelerated Reactions. Reduces the cooldown of Adrenaline Rush by three seconds. This is pretty much right in the sweet spot for a Support to be able to, based on everything I’ve outlined for Support Performance and Rep Turnover. Adrenaline Rush also grants the Ability Power buff, which most Support players can have in their deck. It’s not super-important to have this one in your arsenal because it’s a pretty small nerf to your ability, and just because it isn’t the most useful of buffs doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value.

If it were much bigger, it would go a long way to making a Support perform more. Intellect-Only Ancestral Healing. Gives Tassadar a longer duration Healing Surge buff while below 20% HP. These are pretty handy for some stats-focused Supports, and a portion of their abilities usually turn the corner at low HP, so having a quicker Tassadar heals them well.

First, it’s important to mention you do not need to load creatine for it to be effective.

This creatine loading phase is optional.  Almost every study done starts off with the loading phase.  

loadingThis is a quick way to get your muscles saturated with creatine.  It’s important to note that your body can only absorb so much at one time.  5 grams is correct for the average-sized male.  

So there’s no need to take too much at one time during the loading phase.  

The idea is to split up the dosage during the day.  You get the muscles to the saturation point much faster and you start receiving the benefits quicker.

How Long is the Loading Phase

If you use the loading phase, in about 5 days give or take a day, your muscles are at full capacity.  

At which point, they can be maintained with just a few grams a day.  

The stage after the loading phase is called the maintenance phase.  You can skip the loading phase and just start with a maintenance phase and still derive the full benefits of creatine supplementation.

Creatine Dosage for Weight Lifting

Is A Higher Solution All You Need by medical advice? In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of people using creatine, for a variety of reasons. The primary one being that it’s one of the fastest-growing supplements in the US, seeing an explosion in sales, particularly amongst bodybuilders and powerlifters. However, the surge in the popularity of creatine has also seen the popularity of much more advanced powders, which use a much higher dosage than traditional brands. Are they effective? First of all, it’s worth highlighting that It has been around for a long time, albeit as a research tool, before being moved into consumer products for exercise perfromance. 

And it is that research that’s behind much of the marketing for some of these so-called “pure” products. Such supplements are often promoted as containing no fillers, hormones, or other substances that people associate with steroids or other types of performance-enhancing drugs. However, while we cannot verify the lack of those things in those supplements, we can look at the amount of creatine in the product. The reason for this is that monohydrate, or CHM, is used to build muscle by binding to proteins in the body that are critical for muscle protein synthesis. When this occurs, muscles grow. So by increasing the amount of monohydrate in the body, you can ensure that the muscle cells are receiving an adequate amount of the compound. Therefore, can be seen as the amount needed for the desired effect. With that said, it is also important to note that when you increase the dosage, you also increase the amount converted to creatine phosphate (which is the active form of the compound), which impacts performance. This article does not examine the benefits and side effects of the loading phase before resistance training. For example, if you take a dose of 1 gram, it will be broken down to creatine phosphate in your bloodstream.

Is the Loading Phase Really Necessary?

To load or not to load, that is a matter of personal decision and your tolerance to higher levels initially.  On one hand, the loading phase will aid in results happening quicker.  

On the other hand, if you omit the loading phase you will put less stress on the kidneys (renal) and reduce overall stress on your filtering organs.  Most of the stomach discomfort people report are is their intolerance to high creatine levels. 

Skipping the loading phase can help with that situation. Because of the increased susceptibility of older people to kidney dysfunction, anyone over 70 years of age is strongly encouraged to skip the loading phase.

If you skip the loading phase, a dose of 0.045 g. per kilogram of body weight is recommended for 4- 5 weeks before incorporating the washout phase explained below.

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The Maintenance Phase Explained

You can take just a few grams per day and in about 20 days or so, you’ll be at maximum levels. The dose only needs to cover the amount of loss per day.  

This phase lasts about 3 to 5 weeks before taking a break from creatine sports nutrition called the Washout Phase.

How Do You Calculate Your Personal Creatine Dosage

The loading, phase takes 0.3 g. for each kilogram that you weigh. Reduce the dosage to 0.03 g. per kilogram of body weight during the maintenance phase; 10-times less.

Daily creatine dose according to body weight:

Weight
Pounds 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190 200
Kilograms 45.4 50 54.5 59 63.6 68.1 72.7 77.2 81.8 86.3 90.9
Dose (grams)
Loading 13.6 15 16.3 17.7 19 20.4 21.8 23.1 24.5 25.9 27.2
Maintenance 1.36 1.5 1.63 1.77 1.9 2.04 2.18 2.31 2.45 2.59 2.72

This table gives doses during the loading and maintenance phases of supplementation for a range of body weights.

It is rather insoluble. Five grams requires at least 13 ounces (385 mLs) of liquid to go completely into the solution. Therefore, mix your creatine in at least 13-16 ounces (474 mLs) of liquid.

When is the Best Time to Take Creatine

Take one part of your loading dose and your entire maintenance dose immediately after exercise. Include carbohydrates and protein in these meals.  If you aren’t doing the loading phase, then just take your calculated dosage.

Do You Need to Take Creatine Every Day?

Your creatine stores won’t empty in a day or two if you miss a dose.  It takes about a month for your stores to return to normal.

The Washout Phase – When to Stop Taking Creatine

After 4-6 weeks of supplementation, stop taking.  This allows your body to recover and return to normal levels.  This phase lasts for about 1 month. Some research has shown that levels drop in muscle even with continual supplementation. This is reason alone to stop using creatine for a short period so that the effects and levels and results can be achieved again.

This is a good little summary of creatine monohydrate by About.com

Questions? Comments? Tried Creatine yet? What are your results? Thoughts? Share!

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