After its discovery in the 1800s, creatine was not identified as a substance that improves athletic performance until the 1970s. Soviet researchers found that creatine is an organic acid found in the body that naturally helps improve your body’s performance. Although it still is not completely understood, and the answer to “how much creatine per day” varies, it is known that creatine helps your body produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which provides muscles with needed energy.
What Does Creatine Supplementation Do?
As a whole, creatine supplementation allows the cells to have more energy which in turn gives them the ability to function at optimal levels.
As one of the most common supplements for sports performance, creatine is associated with improving muscle regeneration, the amount of energy produced by muscles, muscular endurance, and muscle strength.
Some other studies have shown that creatine supplementation may enhance your cognitive abilities or even act as an antidepressant to improve depression symptoms in females. There are other benefits such as preserving cellular integrity and increasing the longevity at a cellular level that are still being researched and discovered.
How Much Creatine per Day?
Your muscles will be fully saturated with creatine by supplementing with 3-5 grams daily. Keep in mind that 1 teaspoon is equal to 5 grams, so in actuality you really do not need a tone. You also have to take into account your athleticism.
How many grams of creatine you take in a day varies. The less athletic or physically active you are, the less creatine your body needs. Since your body already naturally produces this organic acid, you do not need to use a lot of supplementation. If you are not very active in your daily life, then you may only need 2-3 extra grams; whereas if you are an athletic person who is highly active every day, then you may need up to 5 extra grams a day. Most of the time, you will find that 2-3 grams is still sufficient.
After 3 weeks of daily dosages, you will have complete saturation within your body. How much creatine per day that you consume will change; at this point you will be able to cut back on the dosage and still maintain the muscle function and growth that you wish.
Learn the 6 golden rules about taking creatine by watching this video:
Is It Safe to Take Creatine?
Currently there are no serious side effects no matter how much creatine per day you consume. This means that studies have not shown any health related issues such as liver damage or kidney damage due to ingesting too much creatine daily.
However, if you do ingest too much, you may find that you have diarrhea. This is caused by your body drawing more water into your intestines and your intestines not being able to absorb as many fluids.
Another side effect that you may notice is muscle cramping. Creatine helps your intramuscular system absorb water, if you have too little fluid in your body, you will begin to cramp.
Other strains and tears within your muscles may occur if you have too little water in your body. You may also experience an upset stomach or nausea.
You can avoid these health symptoms by taking creatine with water and not taking too high of a daily dosage. Drinking 1 pint of water with each dose will greatly improve your results without much distress.
Do I Need to Cycle Creatine?
No, you don’t. Your physical activity levels will determine how much creatine to take a day. It has been found that using the traditional cycling of 1 week to load, 3 weeks to maintain, and 1-2 weeks off, is unnecessary.
There are no sensitivities to creatine that have been found, plus your body does not use the creatine as quickly as once thought. Most of the time, it is recommended that you cycle certain products because of your body building a tolerance; however, this does not happen with creatine.
Natural Sources of Creatine
Since it is possible to get creatine naturally, the creatine you need from supplements is very little. The amount is more or less depending on how much you actually consume from the foods you eat.
The average person only digests about 1 gram from the foods that he eats. Vegans and vegetarians consume the least amount of creatine from the foods they eat. On the other hand, if you consume large amounts of fish you consume about 2 grams of creatine for every pound of fish you eat. Likewise, those who consume 1 pound of beef are also able to naturally consume enough creatine.
Those who do eat red meat and fish will see less results from creatine supplementation than those who are vegetarian. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you will most likely need to supplement with creatine. You do not have to worry about creatine supplements, even if you are a hardcore vegan because the supplements are completely synthetic and are not derived from any animal sources.