When your muscles are fully saturated with creatine, you’re recommended to 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 put together a full comprehensive guide to help you find the best option for you.
How many grams of creatine should you take a day?
For maximizing 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 between 2–10 grams per day. 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 that you move to a more manageable dose of the supplement. Once your muscles become saturated with creatine, there is no point 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.
Is 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 who 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. All they’ll need is a maintenance phase after this of around 2 – 5 grams.
Don’t overthink this and up this dosage up 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 find out much 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 be taken every day. 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 to be safe to use in both the short term and the long term.
In terms of how often you should be taking it, you should be looking to take creatine on a daily basis 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 are still eating foods which contain Creatine (such as red meats, poultry and fish).
Ideally, you should not be looking to missing 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 that you aim to get 5 grams of creatine per day. 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.
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 reduce 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 be getting 2 – 5 grams of creatine per day after you have finished your loading cycle. During your loading cycle, you should aim to get 20 grams of creatine a day for around 5 – 7 days.
After this loading process, you should stick the maintenance amount of 2 – 5 grams. Going over this into the 10 grams area can lead to side effects such as stomach cramps and other forms of 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, just remember to take your serving again the next day.
If you’re looking for something that agrees with a bodybuilding lifestyle, aim to get at least 5 grams of creatine a day.