It is important to understand that there is no standard creatine dosage that applies for everyone. A Creatine dosage routine depends on your body type, regular physical activities, and body requirements. There are also other factors to consider such as your body weight, body fat percentage, fitness goals, and intensity of training. Each user must follow a unique dosage guide that should be adjusted to suit individual needs or as recommended by a nutritionist or healthcare provider.
Recommended Creatine Dosage
Creatine supplements come in different types and forms. Usually, creatine supplements sold in the market contain creatine monohydrate and come in powder form. The recommended dose for creatine monohydrate ranges from 10 to 30 grams per day. Other creatine products may contain different creatine derivatives. Be sure to read the product label and follow the specific dosing instructions.
Dosage is divided into 3 phases namely: loading phase, maintenance phase, and wash out phase.
Loading Phase: Majority of creatine products and healthcare practitioners recommend an initial loading dose to completely saturate the muscles with creatine. The usual loading dose ranges from 20 to 30 grams per day taken for at least 5 days. You can also calculate the loading dose according to your body weight – usually 0.3 grams of creatine per kilogram of body weight. The daily dosage should be divided into 3 to 4 doses.
It is important that you increase your carbohydrate intake during the loading phase to maximize the benefits of creatine; otherwise your supplemental creatine will remain unused and eventually excreted from the body.
If you are preparing for an upcoming high-intensity activity or an athletic event, you should start creatine loading dose several weeks ahead.
Maintenance Phase: Once the loading phase is completed, the daily dose may be adjusted for the maintenance phase. Usually, the recommended maintenance dose ranges from 2 to 5 grams of creatine. The daily maintenance dose replenishes the creatine in the muscles lost during physical activities.
Most health practitioners recommend that the maintenance phase should not last more than 1 month. In most creatine users, taking creatine supplements after 1 month does not give any added benefit. The muscle and weight benefits gained during the 1 month of maintenance phase can be easily maintained through proper diet and training. After completing 1 month of creatine, some athletes take a “rest” from creatine for several months, before starting again with creatine. However, since there is inadequate information about the possible effects of long-term or chronic use of creatine, users are advised not to take more than recommended.
Wash Out Phase: After the completing the loading and maintenance phase, the body needs to restore its normal creatine levels. This is the reason why a wash out phase is recommended. Most healthcare practitioners recommend a wash out phase of at least 1 month.