Creatine Loading: Fact or Fiction
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
Week 1: Load creatine for 20 grams per day for the first
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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