Creatine was first sold commercially as a popular supplement back in the 90s. Back then supplementation was nothing new, but creatine was and it was getting popular fast. However, it was sold in little bottles of 150 grams each, which lasted about a month. The prince was about 70 bucks a bottle, which in today’s terms is inconceivably high. Today, you can go out and buy three pounds of good, quality creatine for less than 20 dollars.
The company that first sold creatine grew intensely rich, with the owner going luxurious and buying Lamborghinis and whatnot, but he wasn’t the only one noticing the trend – hundreds of companies came out of the woodwork to sell creatine and they didn’t hold back. You could get creatine in all shapes and sizes, including whimsically-colored candy and of course gummy bears. Everyone started putting creatine in as many products they could find and it got to a point where creatine wasn’t even an individual thing – people bought it paired with a bunch of other supplements.
After some time, the people who used creatine at the time didn’t seem to care, and why would they? The creatine they had been using had been weak, badly crafted or in a very tiny dose to make a difference, which just led to more people not caring about it. When you’ve been using something for a while, you can’t really remember what it was like before you started using it and you remove it from your dietary supplement shelf and throw it on your pile of things you’ll never use again.
This doesn’t have to be just, but it does happen very often. Creatine held its reputation though, since it’s very effective and has stayed consistently effective over the past two decades. No matter when you start taking creatine, it will always give you the very same muscle gain. This just leaves you with two very important questions to answer: first, when should you take creatine and how do you load with maximum efficiency? The latter has been answered through thorough research in the past, but new information has been coming up about when to actually take creatine.
1. How to Load Creatine?
Creatine achieves its maximum efficiency after it has been loaded in your body. “Loading” means getting enough creatine in you, time and time again, until your cells have had enough and are just plain swollen with the stuff. Richard Kreider who pioneered creatine had two pieces of advice to give about loading:
- You will need to take three tenths (0.3g) of a gram for every kilogram of your bodyweight, four times a day for five to seven days. If you don’t want to do any simple math, just take 5 grams of it per meal. When you’re done with that, you’ll need to eat two to three grams of creatine every day to keep your cellular capacity packed.
- Or, you can forget about math altogether and just eat three to five grams of creatine once a day for 28 days, which is four weeks.
2. When to Take Creatine?
Logic says that you should take your creatine before you start exercising. This is the exact same logical process that makes you drink coffee before something boring happens, not afterwards – and a lot of lifters follow this formula with most supplements or drugs. Recently, there has been a scientific research study at Nova Southeastern University in Florida that put this tactic to the test. They got a group of 19 weightlifters and divided them up in two groupings which performed the exact same exercises every day, for four weeks. Both of the groups ate the same amount of creatine daily – five grams.
However, one of them took their creatine before the workout began, and one took it after it ended. The people that took their creatine after exercising packed double the muscle mass on their bodies as the group who took it before working out. Also, this group even lost weight – 2.2 pounds of fat on average, and people became a little bit stronger as well, being able to lift more than the people in the group that took their creatine before working out.
Even though the people conducting the research weren’t exactly certain what had happened with the creatine, the results were obvious – the group that took it after the workout got the better results. The exact biological process of how this is done isn’t clear, but the results are, which means that taking creatine after a hard workout is much better than taking it beforehand. Might be an insulin spike, might be creatine uptake efficiency, but the end result is – you need to go and buy some creatine right now if you aren’t already using it because nothing works as efficiently.