How long does creatine take to have effect on muscles? Creatine is one of the most popular dietary supplements when it comes to building muscle and strength. If you follow a regular diet consuming high protein foods like meat and fish, you are obtaining your creatine stores into your muscles from those foods. But it will probably have you at 60 to 75% creatine stores. So, you would need to add a creatine supplement to help maximize your creatine stores to your muscles.
How Long Does Creatine Take To Have Effect On Muscles? – iStock- photo credit: Jun
There has been research that has been shown that if you do creatine loading that it will maximize and saturate your muscles with creatine stores. And your muscle mass will be saturated within a week. Creatine loading is taking 20 grams of creatine per day for 5 to 7 days. And this typically divided into 4 time a day of 5 grams servings per day.
“Creatine is one of the most popular dietary supplements when it comes to building muscle and strength.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike
Research studies have shown it can increase your creatine stores by 10 to 40%. And then after the loading phase for a week you can take a lower dose of 2 to 10 grams servings of creatine daily.
Although some studies say you need to do loading for creatine to get maximal creatine stores in the body. But is it necessary? You can still get maximal creatine stores in the muscle with lower doses it may take a little longer but can be done.
From an economical perspective that is the best approach, so you don’t go through a creatine bottle in just 3 weeks. Doing the loading phase, it isn’t necessary to optimize the creatine stores effect in the muscle.
There was one study where the group took 3 grams of creatine per day for 28 days and their muscles were fully saturated at that amount.
The benefit from creatine supplementation whether you do the loading phase or take consistent lower doses is the following:
- Increase muscle growth by combining weight-training.
- Increase strength by at least 5 to 15%.
- Improve exercise performance- high intensity exercise can increase by 10 to 20%.
- Prevention of injuries.
Some of the side effects of taking too much creatine is the following:
- Water retention
- Kidney function issues
There are several diverse ways to take creatine there is the loading phase of 20 grams of creatine per day for 5 to 7 days. And then followed by maintenance doses of 2 to 10 grams per day.
Or the 3 grams per day for 28 days which allows your creatine monohydrate bottle to last longer. And that is the best economical approach. And with this moderate approach you will benefit tremendously from its positive effects.
The Bottom Line is creatine is one of the most effective dietary supplements when it comes to building muscle and strength. And that is provided that you are taking moderate to safe doses.
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- Hickner, R. C., Dyck, D. J., Sklar, J., Hatley, H., & Byrd, P. (2010). Effect of 28 days of creatine ingestion on muscle metabolism and performance of a simulated cycling road race. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 7, 26. https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-7-26
- Kreider, R.B., Kalman, D.S., Antonio, J. et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 14, 18 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z
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- Cooper, R., Naclerio, F., Allgrove, J., & Jimenez, A. (2012). Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1), 33. https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-9-33