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Creatine Loading

creatine loading
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Do you Need a Creatine Loading Phase

Many researches on creatine believe that there should be a "concentration threshold" that is needed when getting the maximum benefit of creatine. It is for this reason that many believe the only way to achieve that is by loading creatine before you start on the recommended 5mg a day.

Recent studies done on creatine show that the human body contains 120 grams of creatine and 95% of this creatine is stored in skeletal muscle. These studies show that muscle can hold an addition 30 to 40 grams of creatine making a total of 150 to 160 grams. Of course, existing muscle mass is a huge factor in this equation.

There are two primary means of taking, or loading creatine and they are shown below as recommended by studies done specifically on this idea of loading:

Rapid loading. Rapid loading involves taking 20 grams of creatine for 5 to 7 days, then taking 5 to 10 grams per day thereafter. Creatine is generally taken 5 grams at a time, in a non-acidic fruit juice, or with dextrose.

Slow loading. Slow loading, or gradual loading, is simply taking 5 to 10 grams of creatine a day without the rapid loading, 20 gram per day phase.

It should be noted that both rapid loading and slow loading are effective. It is recommended that you experiment with both approaches, and determine which is best for you. There has been no substantial research against the long term use of creatine.

But there are still many experts who recommend cycling creatine. 4 week cycles are very popular. Long term cycles can be used, but should be limited to 3 months in length. Here are some popular creatine cycles:

The 4 week cycle:

Week 1 Creatine loading, 20 grams per day (4 servings x 5 grams).

Weeks 2-4 Maintenance phase, 5-10 grams per day.

Weeks 5-8 No creatine.

The 9 week cycle:

Week 1 Creatine loading, 20 grams per day (4 servings x 5 grams).

Weeks 2-7 Maintenance phase, 5-10 grams per day.

Weeks 8-9 No creatine.

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