You train hard. You eat correctly. You certainly enjoy enough rest. And you don’t miss your supplements. But are you taking them correctly? Let’s examine your creatine usage and determine if you are dotting all the I’s and crossing all the T’s in order to ensure you are deriving the most possible benefit from this very useful supplement.
Creatine monohydrate works by forcing the muscle cells of your body to hold a little extra water for a little extra time. This small amount of new volume in the muscle fibers leads to you, the lifter, being able to complete more repetitions with more weight. This, in turn, leads to new growth of actual muscle. It’s a form of a crutch that leads to the leg (in this case your muscles) being stronger for its use.
Ideal dosing of creatine is well-documented and pretty straight forward. Initially, you will want to mix 5 grams (one teaspoon) with fruit juice, four times per day. Do this for 5 days, and your body’s creatine levels will be peaked. From there, you can ‘cruise’ on 5 grams per day for the next 28 days without fail. Then, it is time for another loading phase.
Water consumption should be very high when taking creatine. Your body will suddenly need more water to be drawn to the muscle cells, which means your organs may be deprived if you do not raise your water intake immediately. Most people on creatine will drink 1.5 to 2 gallons of water each day as a rule.
Do you have any family or personal history with kidney ailments? If this is the case, then you may want to avoid creatine use altogether. At the very least, you should consult with your doctor and have a blood panel done to ensure your kidneys are strong and healthy enough for creatine use. If you consume a fair amount of alcohol, or even some prescription drugs which have been known to cause the side effects of dehydration, then you will want to be very cognizant of this fact while loading then using creatine.
Consistency is the key when it comes to effective creatine usage. You cannot use it twice per week and expect to see very good results. Rather, you must use it consistently, mixed with quality fruit juice and with plenty of water, in order for results to be optimal. And did we mention you’ll have to be training extremely hard and heavy too? This should be a given for some lifters, but it does bear repeating. You will get out of creatine what you put into it – hard work and consistency pay off!
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