Creatine monohydrate is an odorless and tasteless powder that can be added to sports beverages or water. Creatine is naturally synthesized in the body from amino acids and helps supply our muscles with energy. Studies have shown that creatine is effective in providing energy for the muscles, increasing the volume of your muscles and enhancing protein synthesis. The Bottom Line: Creatine can increase your strength gains.
I recommend cycling creatine to make the biggest gains. Cycling creatine involves a loading phase, maintenance phase and a non-use phase.
- Week 1—Loading Phase: Take between 20 to 30 grams of creatine for four to five days. Doing so will saturate your muscles with creatine and give you greater increases in strength.
- Weeks 2 to 4—Maintenance Phase: Take around 5 to 10 grams of creatine per day for three weeks. You will still see strength gains during the maintenance phase.
- Week 5—Non-use Phase: Cycle off creatine for a week so you can continue to see gains. Repeat the cycle.
The most efficient way for your body to absorb creatine is with a drink that contains simple sugars that cause insulin to be released. Insulin is necessary to help transport creatine into the muscle fibers. Creatine works best when mixed into grape juice or sports drinks. Do not mix creatine into citrus juice, as the acidity can convert it into creatinine, which will not be used by the body. Creatine does not dissolve, so you will need to continuously stir your beverage.
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