It’s pretty common to see questions about creatine on Internet forums. It’s one of the world’s most popular and widely researched supplements. A paper published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutritionmight help fill in some of the blanks for those seeking answers.
The majority of studies used creatine monohydrate, and the consensus is that this sports nutrition product helps increase strength and fat free mass with resistance training better than resistance training by itself. Creatine may also assist with high-intensity sprinting, but the effects start to decrease with the duration of your workout.
How does it work? The generally accepted explanation for creatine’s impact on performance is increased creatine storage promotes faster regeneration of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) your muscles use to fuel short bursts of intense energy.
How much do you need to use each day? The paper references new research suggesting 0.1 gram per kilogram of body weight which amounts to 7.9 grams for a 175 pound adult. This would be considered a daily maintenance dose and not intended for a ‘loading’ phase.
True Strength Moment: The old school approach to creatine supplementation began with a week-long loading phase where you’d take four separate 5-gram doses spread between morning and evening. After that, you went to a 5-gram maintenance dose. Then there was the question of cycling on and off. Everyone responds a little differently to creatine, so experiment for a few weeks at a time to see what works best to support your goals.