Creatine Loading Phase: Benefits, Precautions, & Proper Dosage
If you’ve ever set foot in the fitness or supplement arena, chances are you’ve heard a thing or two about creatine. Coveted for its muscle and strength-building powers and the ability to improve performance while preventing sports-related injuries, it’s easy to see why creatine is such a popular supplement.
Used by bodybuilders and fitness fanatics alike, if you’re thinking about adding creatine to your routine, you probably have some questions —like does it really work, and what exactly is this creatine loading phase you keep hearing about?
You have questions, and we have answers. Read on to discover everything you need to know about one of the world’s most popular supplements and the best way to take it for maximum results.
Let’s dive in!
First Things First: What Is Creatine?
Did you know that your body naturally produces creatine? Yup, it’s true— most of your creatine stores are in your muscles, but there are small amounts found in your brain, kidneys, and liver, too. You can also find creatine in certain foods like poultry, red meat, and fish.
The amount of creatine we get from food and produced by our bodies is relatively small — which is exactly why we supplement.
A natural compound produced from amino acids; creatine helps to regenerate a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) — your body’s main energy source. When your creatine stores are depleted, ATP production comes to a screeching halt, and your energy levels drop substantially.
Thankfully, taking a high-quality creatine supplement can help to increase the available fuel to power ATP, which may increase muscle size, strength, and power output.
Who Can Benefit From Taking Creatine?
To be clear, supplementing with creatine isn’t just for bodybuilders or the muscle heads who hog the weight rack at the gym. Anyone looking to take their fitness up a notch may benefit from a great creatine supplement.
Here are a few incredible benefits of incorporating creatine supplementation into your routine:
- Enhances athletic performance
- Improves muscle strength
- Reduces post-exercise fatigue
- Supports healthy brain function
- Accelerates muscle repair
- Delays age-related muscle loss
Needless to say, creatine is pretty powerful and can greatly improve one’s health and overall well-being.
What Is The Creatine Loading Phase?
Simply put, the creatine loading phase refers to the practice of taking a higher dose of creatine (typically 20 grams) each day for about five to seven days to super-saturate your muscles.
Most creatine serving sizes are five grams, so this means during the loading phase, you’ll take four servings spread throughout the day. Once the loading phase is over, most people will drop their creatine dosage to three to five grams per day to maintain elevated creatine levels.
When Is The Best Time To Take Creatine?
As mentioned, during the loading phase, you will be taking 20 grams of creatine broken up into four separate doses:
- Five grams first thing in the morning
- Five grams at lunch or after your workout
- Five grams at dinner
- Five grams right before bedtime
Avoid taking more than the recommended dosage. Why? Because once your muscles are full, the remaining creatine will be absorbed by your kidneys and liver before getting flushed out of your body. To put it another way, taking more creatine than needed is a waste of product.
Is Creatine Loading Necessary?
Not at all! Creatine loading is not necessary to achieve the great benefits of creatine supplementation. Although, a loading phase will help you to experience the benefits of creatine sooner rather than later. In other words, the creatine loading phase is a shortcut.
However, if you’re a pretty patient individual, you can still see great results with typical creatine doses — no loading phase required.
What Are The Benefits?
The creatine loading phase is arguably the fastest way to benefit from the beloved supplement’s effects. In fact, according to research, the creatine loading phase has shown that it can maximize muscle stores in as little as one week. Pretty impressive, don’t you think?
Some of the top benefits of super-saturating your muscle stores with creatine include:
- Muscle mass - Many studies have tied creatine supplements to a substantial increase in muscle gain when combined with resistance training.
- Muscle strength - Believe it or not, studies reveal that power and strength may increase by an incredible 5 percent to 15 percent after practicing creatine loading.
- Injury prevention - In addition to boosting power and strength, studies also show that creatine may help to prevent sport-related injuries.
- Enhanced performance - After completing the creatine loading phase, your performance may jump by 10 percent to 20 percent.
Creatine is a naturally occurring substance produced by the body and is perfectly safe for consumption — even in high dosages.
When performing a creatine loading phase to fill your creatine stores, a lot of water gets pulled into the muscle fibers. This water comes from other areas of the body, and if you’re not drinking enough H2O to compensate for this, it can quickly lead to some uncomfortable side effects, such as:
- Muscle spasms
- Weight gain
Thankfully, these icky symptoms can usually be avoided by simply drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Overall, creatine is a great supplement. But like all new supplements that you introduce to your body, it’s best to consult with your primary care provider — especially if you have an underlying health issue.
Can Creatine Loading Hurt The Kidneys?
Creatine is one of the most heavily tested and studied supplements on the planet that has been used for many years. With that in mind, while some may tell you that the popular supplement can damage kidneys, you can rest easy because this is certainly not the case.
You see, creatine supplements raise creatinine levels in the blood, which can falsely create the appearance of kidney problems during routine blood tests. Fortunately, high creatinine levels from taking creatine supplements are completely harmless.
As long as you let your doctor know that you are taking a creatine supplement, they shouldn’t be alarmed.
If you’re still a little worried, you might be surprised to know that researchers have proved that even taking high doses of creatine daily is safe for up to five years — and perhaps even longer! What’s more, creatine is commonly used to treat a wide range of health-related issues.
In short, creatine is considered to be one of the best and most effective supplements and is used by people all over the globe.
How To Find The Best Creatine Supplement
Ready to hop on the creatine train to maximize gains, boost performance, and reduce the risk of injury? Awesome! We couldn’t be more excited for you. Just be sure to purchase a top-quality creatine supplement to ensure you’re getting the best of the best — like our CreActive!
Here at BioHealth, we wanted to create a beautifully simple performance product that truly delivers. We took the most researched-backed supplement ingredient on the planet, found the best source, and optimized the dose for efficacy and economy. But we didn’t stop there — we then took the most cutting-edge vasodilator and added it for instant performance, nitric-oxide enhancement, and nutrient partitioning.
Ingredients that work in perfect synergy for immediate and tangible results, whether you’re on the field, across the court, in the ring, or under the bar, you can count on CreActive to support you on your journey to push boundaries and set records. Are you ready?
A Final Word
Creatine is the king of performance ingredients offering a wide range of incredible benefits, including improved strength, more muscle mass, and faster muscle recovery. While it’s great to take in low doses as an everyday supplement, creatine loading is for you if you’re hoping to see some serious results sooner rather than later.
As the pioneers of the Grass Fed/Pasture-Fed movement, we take pride in creating some of the cleanest products on the market and having some of the most advanced flavors in the industry. With us, your choice is always simple, your nutrition is second-to-none, and your body is better than yesterday.
Don’t settle for mediocre products when your goal is excellence. Check us out today and see what our CreActive powder can do for you tomorrow. Perfection for results you can count on.