|Creatine FAQ: Get All the Answers You Need
What is Creatine? Where does it come
What role does Creatine play in the
Is Creatine a steroid?
Is Creatine monohydrate allowed in drug
tested competitive events?
Why do athletes use Creatine?
At what age can a person use
What are some of the side effects
Where is the proof?! Are there any
How will Creatine help me gain lean muscle
mass? How can I maximize my gains while supplementing with
When I stop taking Creatine will my gains
Is the loading phase with Creatine
necessary to experience any benefits?
Should I cycle Creatine? For example,
should I take Creatine for 12 weeks, then take 12 weeks off,
What is the best time of the day to take
Do you take it on days that you do not
What are some benefits of stacking
Creatine with other supplements such as glutamine, protein powder,
How long is Creatine stable in
Should Creatine dissolve fully in
If I'm trying to lose fat, should I worry
about the calories in Creatine?
Will I lose fat using Creatine
What is the effect of caffeine on
Is Creatine monohydrate recommended for
Is Creatine monohydrate effective for
Will my consumption of red meat and fish
increase my Creatine level naturally?
Does taking carbohydrates increase
enhance the effect of Creatine monohydrate?
Do I have to load again if I missed one
or two days of maintenance?
Does Creatine Monohydrate Cause
Does Liquid Creatine Work?
What is the Best Time to Take
Can Caffeine be Consumed While Using
How Long is Necessary Between Loading
Is it ok to Drink Alcohol While Using
What is a Creatine "Non
Will Creatine Affect Blood Test
Is German creatine superior to non German
How long is required between loading
Is creatine beneficial for people with
ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease)?
Creatine serum...creatine powder...Which
is the best?
Does creatine react with any prescription
Can creatine be taken by people with
Will creatine cause
VISITOR REVIEWS OF THIS FAQ!
Q: What is Creatine?
Where does it come from?
A: Creatine is an metabolite, which is produced naturally
in the body by the liver and kidneys, and is found in diet in items
such as meat and animal products such as steak and fish.
Q: What role does
Creatine play in the body?
A: In the body, Creatine serves as a storage supply for
energy after it is changed into a molecule called
“phosphocreatine”. Phosphocreatine is especially
important in tissues such as the voluntary muscles and the nervous
system which periodically require large amounts of energy.
Q: Is Creatine a
Short Answer: No
Q: Is Creatine
monohydrate allowed in drug tested competitive events?
A: In some cases, yes, but in many cases, no. For a
complete list of rules, you should contact a representative from
the federation you are talking about. Creatine is not illegal in
the Olympic games.
Q: Why do athletes use
A: Athletes use Creatine because it is known to increase
the level of performance by giving them quick bursts of energy.
This is especially helpful in Olympic events such as sprinting or
weight lifting where recovery from quick bursts of energy would be
Q: At what age can a
person use Creatine?
A: People of all ages can use creatine. For weight training
athletes, Creatine Monohydrate lengthens energy for high intensity
workouts. For older individuals, supplementing with Creatine will
help with the body’s own supply of Creatine, which lowers
with age. The dosage for Creatine in teenagers is normally smaller
than that of adults. Be sure to check out all labels before
supplementing with Creatine.
Q: What are some of the
side effects of Creatine?
A: Creatine Monohydrate is known to increase performance
during athletic exercises requiring short bursts of intense energy.
Long term studies are still being conducted to try to conclude
whether or not Creatine supplementation can lead to long term
kidney damage, but the results so far have been inconclusive and
point to Creatine being safe. Some users of powdered Creatine
Monohydrate reported upset stomachs, gas, muscle pulls or cramps.
Sometimes diarrhea was caused when individuals in studies took more
than the recommended daily dosage. Once the dosage was corrected
and reduced to the appropriate level, symptoms stopped. Generally
speaking, the side effects of consuming Creatine Monohydrate are
very limited and insignificant when compared to other dietary
supplements. Be sure to always take the recommended dosage of
Creatine, as more is not better. Your body only has a limited
capacity to absorb Creatine Monohydrate and this varies from person
to person. Generally speaking, depending on your age, sex and body
weight, it is fairly simple to determine a dosage to consume which
your body can successfully absorb.
Q: Where is the proof?!
Are there any scientific studies?
A: Creatine is one of the most popular supplements in
bodybuilding today, and studies have shown why this is the case.
Creatine has been shown to significantly increase lean body mass in
very short periods of time, often as little as only several weeks.
It has also been shown to improve performance in athletic exercises
requiring short bursts of energy in periods of high intensity.
Perhaps most beneficial, it has been shown to dramatically increase
recovery rates between workout sessions when taken properly.
Creating does all this by it’s muscle protein synthesizing
action, while minimizing protein breakdown. Creatine has the effect
of super - hydrating muscle cells with water, and that can explain
this occurrence. It enhances the growth of muscle fibers by making
them bigger and stronger. Many studies have been done on Creatine
in the past few years, and many are currently ongoing. Of the many
tests conducted, it was proven that Creatine increased energy
levels, resulting in increased strength, endurance levels, and of
course, rates of recovery between workouts. Some studies have even
indicated that Creatine can help the body accelerate fat loss,
while simultaneously building lean body mass.
Q: How will Creatine help
me gain lean muscle mass? How can I maximize my gains while
supplementing with Creatine?
A: The best advice would be to consume Creatine in a post -
workout shake approximately 15 minutes after your workout. Consume
the recommended daily dosage and train hard, and very soon you will
see great progress in your strength / endurance levels, and also
faster rates of recovery. And of course, you will build a lot of
muscle in the meantime.
Q: When I stop taking
Creatine will my gains be lost?
A: Short Answer: No. You will not lose muscle mass my
discontinuing your use of Creatine Monohydrate. However, you will
likely experience some losses in strength.
Q: Is the loading phase
with Creatine necessary to experience any benefits?
A: This question is still being discussed with many parties
disagreeing with each other on the right answer.
“Necessary” is a very definite and strong word, and so,
it is extremely hard to come to a conclusion. Studies have shown
that loading with Creatine may help you to reach the muscle -
Creatine saturation point faster than if you just started out with
the maintenance level dosage. However, you will more than likely
experience great gains with or without Creatine loading. Creatine
loading simply increases the speed at which you reach the muscle -
Creatine saturation point, and is especially helpful for those with
little patience, as the point can be reached in as little as five
days, while it may take up to 30 days without a loading phase.
Q: Should I cycle
Creatine? For example, should I take Creatine for 12 weeks, then
take 12 weeks off, etc.
A: Cycling can be defined as a period in which an athlete
discontinues his or her supplement use for short periods of time
then resumes the use. Creatine Monohydrate is not harmful to the
body and does not need to be cycled. Once again, there are many
arguments regarding this topic, and a definite answer will not
likely be seen for some time.
Q: What is the best time
of the day to take Creatine?
A: Take it after you workout; whenever that may be, and do
so on an empty stomach. This will help your body quickly replenish
it’s Creatine stores.
Q: Do you take it on
days that you do not exercise?
A: Often, yes, and sometimes, no. But it depends entirely
on how you are using it. Try to be consistent. Follow the
directions on your Creatine label and you will get the best
Q: What are some
benefits of stacking Creatine with other supplements such as
glutamine, protein powder, etc?
A: Stacking Creatine with other supplements have shown, in
many cases, to increase the positive effects of all those
supplements. Taking Creatine with Glutamine for example, may
significantly help you to decrease the time in which it takes you
to recover from your workouts, while taking Creatine with protein
powder may help you to develop more lean mass. At the very least,
no harmful effects have been shown from stacking Creatine with
other supplements. However, be sure to check the labels to make
sure this is possible in your case, depending on the supplements
you are stacking with it.
Q: How long is Creatine
stable in solution?
A: Creatine is not totally stable in solution, so it's
definitely not a good idea to keep it mixed with liquid for days,
but there shouldn't be a problem mixing it six to eight hours
before it's consumed. Any longer than that and you may be pushing
it. Creatine monohydrate is unstable in a liquid form. In order for
the supplement to be stable it has to pass through many
stabilization steps which can only be created by educated
scientists in a laboratory environment who are familiar with the
detailed patented process required to perform this conversion.
Q: Should Creatine
dissolve fully in solution?
A: Creatine monohydrate powder does not dissolve completely
and it leaves some chalky taste. Stir it to disperse it and quickly
drink it before it settles.
If I'm trying to lose
fat, should I worry about the calories in Creatine?
A: No. Creatine has no caloric value.
Q: Will I lose fat
using Creatine monohydrate?
A: Yes, you should experience some losses in fat while
supplementing with Creatine Monohydrate. However, the primary
function of Creatine is to help you gain lean muscle mass, so do
not expect dramatic losses in fat while supplementing with
Q: What is the effect
of caffeine on Creatine monohydrate?
A: Some research has stated that caffeine neutralizes the
effectiveness of Creatine, while other studies have shown just the
opposite. Like so many other questions, more research will be
needed before a definite conclusion is reached.
Q: Is Creatine
monohydrate recommended for women?
A: Yes. Creatine Monohydrate is safe for both sexes.
However, side effects of powdered Creatine Monohydrate have been
more predominant for women, and have included water retention,
bloating, and stomach cramps. Other forms of Creatine eliminate
Q: Is Creatine
monohydrate effective for vegetarians?
A: Yes. The main reason for this is because Creatine is
naturally found in different forms of meat, all of which will not
be consumed by a vegetarian. As a result, it is very effective for
a vegetarian to supplement with Creatine Monohydrate.
Q: Will my consumption
of red meat and fish increase my Creatine level
A: Yes. However, it would be difficult and impractical for
one to supplement with Creatine through natural foods, because the
foods contain low amounts of Creatine for the most part. For
example, one pound of raw round steak contains about 0.9 grams of
Creatine, some of which is lost in the digestion process, and some
may also break down during the cooking process. This would equate
to eating about 10 pounds of steak a day to maintain a good level
of Creatine consumption, and the levels of fat you would end of
consuming if you did so would be so high they would cause more
adverse effects in your training than they would do good. With this
in mind, Creatine supplementation is practical, convenient, and
much safer than trying to get the same quantities naturally.
Q: Q: Does taking
carbohydrates increase enhance the effect of Creatine
A: Creatine Monohydrate is absorbed best when it is taken in
combination with foods containing a high glycemic index. Those
foods would contain a high concentration of simple sugars. Research
has shown that taking Creatine with drinks such as grape juice
(with a high glycemic index) increases the effect of Creatine
Monohydrate due to insulin release stimulated by the simple sugars
take part in transporting Creatine to the muscle cells. Studies
have shown that taking Creatine in this manner dramatically
increases Creatine uptake, sometimes as often as 50%.
Q: Do I have to load
again if I missed one or two days of maintenance?
A: Not likely. One or two days will not cause much of an
upset in your muscle - Creatine saturation levels as long as you
are getting some Creatine in your diet to minimize the losses.
Q: Does Creatine
Monohydrate Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?
A: Not likely. Other than the decreases in strength and
energy levels, you are not likely see any affects at all. Creatine
Monohydrate is not an addictive supplement.
Q: Does Liquid Creatine
A: Creatine is less stable in solution, and liquid creatine
is known to degrade over time. That said, liquid must be consumed
immediately to obtain the full quality of the supplement. To be on
the safe side, a micronized powder is preferable.
Q: What is the Best
Time to Take Creatine?
A: Creatine should be consumed with protein in the 15
minutes immediately following post-workout.
Q: Can Caffeine be
Consumed While Using Creatine?
A: Caffeine can both help and
harm your creatine results, depending on the type of results
you are looking for. For example, stacking caffeine with creatine
may help the performance enhancing effects of creatine. If your
goals are to run faster, for example, using caffeine combined with
creatine may help you to achieve that result best. However, since
caffeine is a diuretic, and it will drain water out of your system.
Good results using creatine are dependent on drinking enough water.
That said, caffeine should not be consumed very frequently, or more
water should be consumed to account for the water being drained
from your body through caffeine use. However, caffeine does not
directly affect the cell volumizing effect of creatine.
Q: How Long is
Necessary Between Loading Phases?
A: Between 1-2 weeks is recommended betwen loading phases
Q: Is it ok to Drink
Alcohol While Using Creatine?
A: Alcohol is not good to drink regardless of whether or
not you are using creatine. Although I will not advocate drinking
alcohol, I do not want to say everyone should eliminate it
altogether. However, alcohol is something in which less truly is
more, and that said, it should only be consumed in moderation.
Specifically regarding creatine, it is not a good idea. Like
coffee, tea or hot chocolate, alcohol will drain water out of your
system, and this is the last thing you want while supplementing
with creatine, as proper levels of hydration are essential to get
the most out of creatine use.
Q: What is a Creatine
A: A creatine "non responder" is an individual who
correctly supplements with creatine and experiences no noticeable
improvements in strength, muscle mass or endurance. However, no
studies have been yet reported on this concept, and as a result, it
is highly possible that individuals who do not respond well to
creatine are lacking in other areas, ie, training, nutrition or
overall water intake. Otherwise, a lack of response to creatine
supplementation is likely due to genetics if all factors of proper
supplementation are adhered to, in which case, alternative
supplements should be experiemented with to see if they get
Q: Will Creatine Affect
Blood Test Results?
There's a compound in your body called creatinine. We measure it
in the blood as part of most routine blood work. The value obtained
can be correlated to how well your kidneys are functioning.
Creatinine is an inactive derivative of creatine. Supplementing
with creatine can affect creatinine levels in the blood. This is
very minor and if you tell your doctor you are using creatine, the
tests will still be easy to interpret for him or herself.
Q: Is German creatine
superior to non German creatine?
Yes, because German creatine is micronized. However, micronized
creatine is not restricted to solely German creatine. Any type of
micronized creatine is superior.
Q: How long is required
between loading phases?
It is normally recommended to have one to two weeks between
Q: Is creatine
beneficial for people with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease)?
Studies have shown that creatine may be beneficial for ALS.
Studies have shown that creatine can cause an increase in strength
in people with such disorders. Researcher M. Flint Beat of Cornell
University Medical Center published work on the issue in March of
the 1999 for the issue of Nature Neuroscience.
serum...creatine powder...Which is the best?
This topic is part of a continued debate, and will always be open
for discussion. You won't be able to know which one works best
until you try them, but regardless of your response to either, they
are generally the same.
Q: Does creatine react
with any prescription drugs?
No research has shown that creatine will react with any
prescription drugs. Current research is always ongoing, but the
results always suggest that no reaction takes place. Creatine is
naturally produced in the body and is not the same as mixing one
drug with another.
Q: Can creatine be
taken by people with diabetes?
Creatine alone does not contain any sugar. However, some brands of
creatine may add sugar for flavour. Check the label and consult
with your doctor before taking creatine.
Q: Will creatine cause
No studies have shown that creatine will result in cramps.
Cramping is normally caused by dehydration, so be sure to drink
plenty of water throughout the day. If you
are on a bodybuilding regiment, one gallon of water per day is
I hope this helped you to determine whether or not Creatine
supplementation is right for you. If you have any further questions
or concerns, feel free to e-mail me at the
address listed below.
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