Creatine Trial Week 1: Everything You Need to Know.

It's important to have a complete understanding of creatine before deciding if it's right for you.

There’s a lot of information – and misinformation – about the supplement known as creatine.

I’m very careful about any supplements or medications that I take, and I refuse to ingest anything without fully understanding its function and consequences. So when I became curious to try creatine, I knew I’d have to dig deeper.

Turns out, creatine is one of the most popular and researched supplements available. In a nutshell, creatine is involved in making the energy your muscles need to work. For most people, taking additional creatine enables you to lift heavier weights or complete additional repetitions – which, in turn, builds additional muscle.

The biggest misconception is that creatine is a steroid. It’s not. In fact, it’s allowed in professional sports, the Olympics and the NCAA. Creatine is a chemical that is manufactured by the body – and it is naturally consumed through meat and fish.

Moreover, creatine is generally safe. It’s possibly unsafe for people with existing kidney or liver concerns or diabetes, though more research in this particular area is needed. Creatine is less effective for older populations over 60, and it should be avoided by people ages 18 and under as additional research is needed to determine safety in younger populations. As with many things, ingesting massive amounts of creatine may be dangerous, so consume it responsibly.

Creatine is probably a good fit for people:

  • Between the ages of 18 – 60 and who
  • Are looking to increase muscle mass or improve strength and who
  • Exercise regularly with free weights and/or machines and who
  • Have no kidney concerns, issues with the liver or diabetes.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to consult with a doctor or health professional before trying a new supplement like creatine.

After doing my research, I decided to give creatine a try – and to document the experience here. As carnivores tend to see less dramatic results from creatine (creatine is found in meat), I wasn’t really sure what to expect. One thing seems quite certain: Most creatine users see a dramatic increase in their weight – and it usually happens fast. Many articles claim 10 pounds of weight gain in the first few weeks of use – though most of the initial gain is additional water weight in the muscles (for this reason, it’s especially important to stay hydrated while on creatine). It’s not fat – and it doesn’t make you look flabby, etc.

Creatine is usually taken in cycles called “loads” or “loading”. For the first 5 – 7 days, people take as much as 20 grams (or 4 teaspoons). And then for the next 5 – 7 days, they take 5 grams (or 1 teaspoon). After a few cycles, people generally come off creatine. A few weeks later, they may start up again depending on their individual goals.

To be cautious, I spent my first week taking just 5 grams. I wanted to see how I felt, and how my body reacted. More than 7 days later, I haven’t really noticed many changes. My weight is fairly steady – though I may be a pound or two heavier according to the scale… but that could be anything. I did feel a bit stronger at the gym, and was able to increase my weights on a few exercises. Nothing dramatic or unusual, though.

For week 2, I’ll try my first loading of 15 grams per day (I’m weary to try the full 20!), and I’ll let you know how it goes.

I plan to continue the cycle through week 4, and probably come off the creatine for good. It’s more an experiment and learning experience than anything else – getting much bigger isn’t a goal of mine. But I’ll keep you posted on the results!

Have you ever tried creatine? If you have, share your experience in the comments below.

About Davey Wavey

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Comments

  1. I have used Creatine off and on a few times. Each time I did notice a bit more strength games in the gym. But I noticed more improvements in my swimming and running. I felt that my body handled the cardio workouts for longer periods of time.

  2. I really appreciate this blog… Recently started taking MuscleTech CreatineX3 Elite and have been pleased with the results. Though, I’ve been taking it as directed on the container, no loading, cycles, or off periods. The container doesn’t tell me how many grams of actual creatine are in each heaping scoop, unfortunately. I didn’t know that creatine is not meant for continuous consumption after achieving your fitness goal. That’s disappointing because after my workouts I look forward to my creatine shake, which taste great and dread my protein shake, which is disgusting. How essential are the loading cycles? Thanks again.

  3. Joel Bauza says:

    What brand are you trying out, Mr. Davey?

  4. I tried creatine a few times. The first time I saw a pretty decent increase in the amount of reps I was doing. I also noticed some pretty decent muscle gains, but after the first cycle, it seemed to not be having as much of an affect on me. I’m interested in seeing the rest of your “experiment” though.

  5. I used creatine years ago for a several months. I didn’t really notice much gain, but I may try it again. I have tendon issues so that has a marked impact on my progress anyway. But one thing I did not like was the texture.

    The creatine I consumed, usually in a drink of some sort, was like drinking sand. I’ve heard it’s available in liquid form now. Does anyone have any comments on delivery form and comparison of liquid versus the granulated, versus other forms if they’re available?

    Thanks

    • Creatine only works for certain people that respond to it and then there are the people who will not benefit from taking creatine at all so you just have to find out if your a responder or not

  6. I agree that creatine is probably safe. But if you are a teenager or under 25 or so your body already produces more than enough on its own. So you may be just wasting your money.

  7. I am over 60, so what is the negative which makes it not appropriate for me to use?

    Thanks.

  8. you got the info right I did a class about renal failure and found this information too a while back and you are right, creatine could cause harm if you misuse it

  9. Thanks for posting this Davey! I’ve been waiting for this article. ๐Ÿ™‚
    If I’m using a creatine drink, when should I take my protein drink? Right after the creatine?

    P.S. I look forward to the rest of your trial. It’s great that you’re trying it out, so we can get your honest opinion.

  10. christopher says:

    this has been very informative-however i read the precautionary label on creatine-if youre taking anti-depressants-intake of creatine is a no-no.—any alternatives?

  11. What about liquid creatine? Supposed to have no loading, no kidney issues. Have you tried it? Considered testing it after the powder?

  12. tell me how to use it
    and how much workout needed

  13. This whole thread is a joke! Oh my god? – I can’t believe people who used creative here didn’t notice a HUGE, immediate impact. Creatine is GODLIKE! I am superman who can lift and endure x3 times more than what I would normally. Simply put – creatine will make you x3 more awesome than you already are. Period.

  14. Hlo,I am 18 old,my wieght is only 53 kg,can I take creatine monohydrate for one month can I gain upoto 75 kg????

  15. iam 40 years old can i take creatine monohydrate ?

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  1. […] marked the end of my 2nd week using creatine. Last week, I shared some information about creatine and spoke about my experience. Just to recap, creatine is a popular supplement that aids in muscle function. It’s not a […]