I happen to be one of the most impatient people, when I start a new routine or regime I want results and I want them fast.
So, I’m happy to report that this is the case with creatine, you can get results in as little as a week or two.
According to Heathline, research proves that when you take creatine during the “loading phase” (a more in depth explanation is mentioned in the previous blog post), you rapidly maximize your muscle storage.
This again requires you to take 20 grams of creatine a day, for 5 to 7 days in order to saturate your muscles rapidly.
After that period of time passes you should move on to the “maintaining phase”, and switch to 2-10 grams of creatine daily to maintain your high levels.
Are there immediate effects of taking creatine?
Featured in the article “The Art Of Manliness” they go into detail about how you do in fact see immediate effects when you start taking creatine supplements.
First, the creatine causes your muscles to store more water, which in turn causes your muscles to appear fuller and larger as a result.
You can notice this change and increase in muscle size in as little as few days to a few weeks.
Another immediate effect of taking creatine is weight gain. Though it is important to know this isn’t weight gain due to fat resulting from an unhealthy diet.
(Unless of course that you are tossing back Quarter Pounders like they’re going out of style)
Rudy Mawer, MSc (Master of Science), CISSN, (Certified Sports Nutritionist, from the International Society of Sports Nutrition.) points out that in the long term, those who use creatine continue to have a greater increase in overall body weight than in non-creatine users.
But the plus side is that the weight gain is from the additive of muscle, not because of increased body fat.
How do you know when creatine is working?
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, how exactly do you know if it’s working? An article published in Men’s Health helped give a clear and concise answer. Here we go!
The best part about creatine is that it’s one of the most highly studied supplements, it even surpasses protein powder.
Nutritionists and scientists alike both agree that when taken correctly, creatine is safe, effective and it delivers on its promise of muscle gain and increased strength.
The one negative to creatine is that, if you choose to take it incorrectly you are wasting your precious time and money, a good supplement is not cheap, and it’s also not a “fix all”, you get out what you put in.
So it’s important to start healthy eating and start a strength training program or routine that will work with your new supplement to supply you with those enviable muscles you’ve long been dreaming about.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus, which is a trusted government website, creatine is effective when taken, and it seems to improve your upper and lower body strength.
One of the more encouraging aspects of taking creatine is that these improvements were seen in younger and older adults.
Athletes who started a proper creatine routine noticed an improvement in their performance with rowing, soccer and with an increase in there jumping height.
Michael Russell PhD and lead nutrition advisor for Men’s Health says the most effective way to take your create supplement would be to mix it in with your shake via powder form, or take it in a pill or capsule with your pre or post workout shake.
Your protein shake, ( plenty of water), and the added supplement of creatine will help you become stronger, and a muscle building machine that everyone will notice.
Another sign that your creatine supplement is working? Weight gain! Creatine is an excellent way to add muscle, but you can’t avoid the dreaded water weight gain. But this is a good sign that your muscles are fully absorbing the creatine by pulling in more water to make your muscles fuller, bigger, and stronger.
Carolyn Brown, R.D, couldn’t agree more. She explains that a sign your creatinine supplement is effective is if you gain between 2 and 4 pounds within your first week of taking it.
As previously mentioned it doesn’t take a long time to figure out if creatine is the supplement for you. Within your first week your training volume should increase.
While you won’t become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger of your gym within the week, you should notice an increase in your ability to lift more, train longer, and go farther. If none of these results are happening for you, you are what is considered a “nonresponder”.
You can discontinue the use of your supplement as it won’t work for you, this is a genetic condition and creatine affects every individual differently.
Other benefits that can accrue from taking a creatine supplement include: increase and improvement in exercise performance, helping your body recover faster after a period of intense exercise, help athletes tolerate heavy training and lifting, prevent or reduce the severity of an injury, and finally, help increase your fat free muscle mass during training.
The most popular form of a creatine supplement is creatine monohydrate according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Other forms of creatine have not been shown to have added benefits for those looking to increase muscle performance with high intensity training, such as strength training, weight lifting, and cycling.
Cathy Wong Fogros, MD, writes that the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada and the American College of Sports Medicine have all drawn similar conclusions in reference to using creatine monohydrate for increasing athletes high intensity exercise for building more lean body mass.
But remember if you feel any negative side effects, such as: stomach cramps, excessive weight gain, (that is not because of the small amount of water retention associated with taking creatine), nausea, diarrhea or muscle cramps, you should stop taking your supplements and talk to your doctor.