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Creatine Loading: Fact or Fiction
Creatine Loading

There has been much controversy in recent times over the signifigance of loading with creatine versus using creatine as per the directions on the container MINUS the loading phase. The question is, should athletes supplementing with creatine load creatine or not? It is an important question and has brought upon much debate in both the bodybuilding and scientific community.

As it stands now there is no clear scientific evidence that creatine loading is necessary to make the same gains as without. If you have already done some research on the subject, or paid attention to your fellow gym rats, you may notice some of the same comments and observations regarding creatine loading. Basically, the consencus is that creatine loading will help you gain muscle mass and strength quickly at the beginning, but if you plan on using creatine for a period of time of 12 weeks, for example, you will experience the same OVERALL gains by the time you complete your creatine usage. These are merely common observations from some creatine users, but be weary, as sometimes the best advice comes from those who apply the principles in the real world. In fact, that's accurate most of the time!

Another point to be weary over is the fact that companies which manufacture creatine are trying to maximize profitability like every other company, and so recommending a loading phase will require the consumer to purchase more product which is in turn beneficial to the company. If you are going to seek advice about creatine loading, articles written by the company may not be the best to read, since they will be slightly biased. The best articles to read on the issue would be studies conducted by a number of university institutions who do not have profitability in mind when writing these articles.

If you are going to load creatine, do it the right way by following the advice below:

Creatine Loading Phase:

If loading is to be included, a "creatine cycle" will consist of both a loading phase and a maintenance phase. Creatine cycling involves using creatine for a period or time, followed by a period of time off creatine, and once again on. This is said to help your body get used to using creatine and time away from using creatine, and as a result, maximize gains made through using the supplement. An example of creatine loading follewd by creatine maintenance is described below:

Week 1: Load creatine for 20 grams per day for the first week.
Weeks 2-4: 10 grams per day

Remember, the purpose of creatine loading is to get the creatine into your system quickly and help your body adapt faster than would be possible without loading. The idea of using more creatine towards the beginning makes sense, but at the same time, more is not always better. If you want to determine if creatine loading works for you, try to load it once, and not load it during a second cycle, and see what results you make from either one. If the results are comparable, then it is likely that creatine loading is not working for you.

Remember - the scientific evidence for creatine loading is sketchy at this point in time and until further research clarifies research at present time further, you should be extra cautious when reading creatine packages that call for a very high amount of creatine to be used. Even if loading with creatine is necessary, sometimes the amount of creatine recommended by companies during a day and the number of days required to load creatine during the week seem a bit high. Ask for opinions and advice from people who have used creatine before you formulate any conclusions.

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