When your muscles are fully saturated with creatine, you should take around 3–5 grams (14 mg/pound or 30 mg/kg) per day to maintain optimal creatine muscle stores.
If you’re wondering about the best creatine to take, Paul Pardner from Bench-Press.net has compiled a comprehensive guide to help you find the best option.
How many grams of creatine should you take a day?
To maximize your creatine muscle stores quickly, you should do a creatine loading phase of 20 grams daily for 5–7 days. Follow this with a maintenance dose of 2–10 grams daily. Some people also find an approach of 3 grams daily for 28 days works well too.
After you get over the initial loading phase of creatine, it makes sense to move to a more manageable supplement dose. Once your muscles become saturated with creatine, there is no point in continually running a loading phase on your muscle. They cannot get any more saturated.
Once you’ve been running a loading phase for over a week, you should stop and start to move into running maintenance phases.
Are 10 grams of creatine a day too much?
Taking too much creatine (such as 10 grams) after a loading phase can result in stomach discomfort. In one study, athletes supplemented with 10 grams of creatine in one serving experienced diarrhea, stomach upset, and gastric distress. However, those who supplemented with a 2–5-gram single dose did not experience the same side effects.
Once your muscles are saturated from the overall creatine-loading phase, they’ll need a maintenance phase of around 2 – 5 grams after this.
Don’t overthink this and up this dosage to 10 grams because you feel like you’ll get better results, it’s highly unlikely that you won’t. Once your body has enough creatine, it excretes the rest in your urine.
You can learn more about this over on the Wikipedia page for creatine.
Should you take creatine every day?
When taken by mouth, Creatine is likely safe to take daily. Doses up to 25 grams daily for up to 14 days have been safely used for loading phases and lower doses of 4-5 grams can be taken daily. Creatine is possibly safe when taken by mouth, long-term.
We can never say for sure as there are no incredibly long-term studies of creatine use, but it seems safe to use in both the short and long term.
In terms of how often you should be taking it, you should be looking to take creatine daily in doses of 2 – 5 grams after a loading cycle.
What if I miss a day of creatine?
Creatine doesn’t lose its effectiveness if you skip a day or two. You should take Creatine on off days to maintain creatine levels and recover muscles. However, taking a day off will not interfere with your overall progress, especially if you still eat foods containing Creatine (such as red meats, poultry, and fish).
Ideally, you should not be looking to miss any days of creatine, and you should be aiming to take between 2000 to 5000 mg of creatine a day.
How much creatine per day for Bodybuilding?
If you are focused specifically on bodybuilding we suggest you aim to get 5 grams of creatine daily. This is a little over for some people, but not enough to cause stomach problems, and still enough to keep your muscles fully saturated with creatine to give you the best overall size and results for bodybuilding.
READ MORE: 5 Best SARMs for Muscle Growth and Fat Loss
One of the main things that we should mention is that using creatine can cause a small amount of muscle retention at first. This can make your muscles look softer than they do normally. This can be fixed by looking more carefully at your diet and reducing the foods that aid in reducing the overall water weight.
How much Creatine should you take a day: Summary
In closing, you should aim to get 2 – 5 grams of creatine per day after you finish your loading cycle. During your loading cycle, you should aim to get 20 grams of creatine daily for around 5 – 7 days.
After this loading process, you should stick to the 2 – 5 grams maintenance amount. Going over this into the 10 grams area can lead to side effects such as stomach cramps and other gastrointestinal distress.
If you miss a day of creatine, this is not an issue. Your muscles will still have a high level of creatine saturation; remember to take your serving again the next day.
If you want something that agrees with a bodybuilding lifestyle, aim to get at least 5 grams of creatine a day.