Q: I just bought myself some advanced protein and creatine pills as creatine powder is too troublesome for me. A small bottle of 60 capsules cost me RM100 … gulp! And it is recommended on the label that one should take 6 capsules DAILY every friggin day! Yes daily, 3 before my workout and the remaining 3 AFTER workout. At this rate I will finish it in 10 days tops!
Do I need this much? Or maybe I can start slow? I already took 6 this morning… err… man supplements ARE expensive. Hope you can help me out with your experience? Thanks!
I need more information. How much am I to take, etc?
A: I love creatine. Creatine is the best-selling sports supplement of all time mainly because of great marketing and the fact that the supplement actually does have benefits! For both elite athletes and untrained individuals, creatine supplementation increases fat free mass and improves anaerobic and possibly aerobic performance. So, well done in purchasing some creatine.
Now, to answer your question – Creatine comes in many forms (powder, effervescent powder, liquid, serum, capsules) and they all have their ‘so-called benefits/claims‘ made by the advertisers. Its up to you if you want to pay a bomb and get the really fancy stuff, but if you ask me – plain Creatine powder (creatine monohydrate) works just fine, and is what I’m using. Creatine pills (capsules) really just work the same way as the powders. They are easier to take because you don’t have to do the scooping and mixing. In fact, the creatine pills you bought are actually just powder in a capsule but priced way more for that convenience.
The powdered form (creatine monohydrate) is by far the most popular and cheapest form. You simply mix the powder in some juice and drink it! Why do you say that it’s troublesome? If you have an office job and need to carry your creatine around, consider scooping out servings of creatine into individual water containers which you can just add juice into, mix, and drink. Or on workout days, scoop a serving into your protein powder and consume it together post-workout.
As for the dosage required – I would follow the manufacturer’s recommendations if you wish to see results. Normally, 5 grams of powder is the right amount for an average person. Also remember that for creatine, taking double the dosage will not produce twice the effect as you’re just most likely to piss out the excess creatine into the toilet bowl.
Should you do a loading phase?
You may have heard of trying a ‘loading phase’ to yield better results with creatine. That would mean an intake something like below:
20 g / day for 5 – 7 days (“loading phase”)
5 g / day for remainder of cycle (“maintenance phase”)
Is this really necessary? I would say probably not. Everyone who sells creatine wants you to do a loading phase where you take 20 grams a day for the first 5 days (for them – the more you take – the more they sell!).
Unless you are in a hurry to gain muscle mass, loading is not necessary. Studies have shown that people who load do indeed have greater gains than people who take just 5 grams a day after the first 2 weeks. However, after 4 weeks, both groups are at an equal level as both have saturated their muscles with creatine by then.
So, my advice to you:
Finish up your existing creatine capsules (its gonna be a very expensive 10 days), and then invest in something like EAS Phosphagen 1000grams. For RM195, you’re getting 1KG of creatine powder. Thats 200 servings of creatine and would easily last you for AT LEAST 5 months. Also, you will want to immediately continue your capsules with the powder (don’t leave a gap or else the accumulated results will diminish).
Josh Stone, also known as DM, is the author behind the site http://www.dailymuscle.com which offers the author’s personal views on real-life fitness, bodybuilding, sports nutrition, cardio, fat loss, training information, and on all things that surrounds fitness.