Beyond doubt, creatine monohydrate powder is among the finest pre-workout supplement out there in the market. You may know that creatine is usually supplemented in three phases – Loading phase, Maintenance phase, and No creatine phase. Each of these phases lasts for a certain number of days or weeks. Well, today, in this article, we are going to learn everything about the first phase of creatine supplementation i.e. the loading phase.
What is Creatine Loading?
The creatine loading phase or popularly known among athletes and bodybuilders as creatine loading cycle is that duration when all you have to do is to saturate your muscles with creatine.
Infact, the only aim of creatine loading is to make sure that your intramuscular creatine stores are maxed up within the given time period.
Simply put, during this phase, one has to consume considerable amounts of creatine monohydrate powder for certain days so that he can attain a stage where his muscles can no longer store the same amount of creatine dosage.
By now, you may wonder that why there’s so much emphasis on loading and saturating the creatine phosphate stores in the muscles anyway? Let’s see.
Related article: How Creatine is made? Know the Answer
Does Creatine Loading Work?
Well, let me be more precise with the question – Is creatine loading necessary?
The short answer is NO. The long answer is that although creatine loading is not necessary, it can be beneficial if you do so.
In simple terms, if you do follow creatine loading then it will only take a week to achieve the saturation. However, if you don’t then it might take you almost a month to achieve the same.
One thing worth mentioning here is that following a creatine cycle i.e. the three phases of creatine intake is not at all necessary. Cycling creatine or be it for any other supplement is practiced as a precautionary step to prevent our body from an adverse adaption.
Is Creatine Loading Safe?
Let me put it this way – Is it even safe to take creatine supplement in the first place?
You will be glad to hear that although creatine is a relatively newer supplement in sports and fitness arena compared to whey protein and casein protein, it has been heavily researched and tested for side effects. And to this day, there hasn’t been a single reputable study that confirms creatine has any major side-effects.
However, it’s also important to note that it will still take a number of precise studies to truly exempt creatine from its long-term ill effects.
Related article: Creatine – Is it safe for you?
What are the side effects of Creatine Loading Phase?
As quoted above, there aren’t any proven dangerous side-effects of taking creatine powder. However, there’s this one study that shows that after following a week of loading phase of creatine, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels increased by almost 60%. Well, you should know that DHT is related to hair loss and receding hairline.
Having said that, you should also consider the fact that creatine itself cannot cause hair loss; rather it acts as a catalyst that may accelerate your hair loss when you are balding.
Creatine Loading Phase Dosage
As it is a loading phase, you need to increase your creatine intake by a huge margin. During the loading phase, it is advised that you consume a total of 20-25 grams of creatine each day for 7 days. Yes, you should load your creatine stores for atleast a week.
The easiest way to do it is by splitting up the entire creatine intake for the day in 4-5 small dosages of 5 grams each. Consume 5g of creatine four times a day during the loading phase.
Related article: Which Creatine is Best for Building Muscle?
How to take Creatine Monohydrate during the Loading Phase?
Once you know the dosage, it’s time to know how you can fit creatine monohydrate powder in your nutrition regime. What is the ideal timing to take creatine and what do I consume it with?
Ideally, when you are in a loading phase, you will have to consume creatine for atleast 4-5 times a day. The best timings to take creatine during loading phase are – first thing in the morning along with breakfast, with lunch, pre-workout shake and post-workout shake.
Besides this, creatine can be absorbed at a quicker pace by your muscles when you take it with a high GI food source like fruit or dextrose monohydrate (fast carbs).
Lastly, you should always be wary of the creatine supplement you use. Not all manufacturers sell genuine creatine. That’s why I personally recommend you to purchase creatine from a well-reputed supplier like MyFitFuel. MFF’s Creatine Monohydrate is one of the finest creatine supplements you can buy online in India. With 200 Mesh Grade, it is specifically designed for better absorption. And not to mention, it is way cheaper than other supplement brands in India.
Take some time out of your day and do a brief research before buying any supplement online.
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