You might think that most creatine research will be related to whether it works at all, and if so, how. But there has also been extensive research on how you should – or should not – take it to maximize its effectiveness.
One thing is clear: if you want it to work, you have to take it daily.
“Creatine is not easily absorbed by the muscles, as many think,” says Ph.D. Darryn Willoby in the video “How to get more from your food.” "Instead, creatine takes some time to saturate the muscles."
For this reason, you probably need to take it consistently over several weeks to see any results in the gym. Also for this reason, if you just went through a preliminary workout containing creatine monohydrate several times a week and thought that would be enough … probably not. Sorry.
Conducting an intensive five-day creatine “loading phase” may help speed things up a bit, but probably not much. And it definitely increases the likelihood of some stomach discomfort, bloating and some other temporary side effects.
As for when to take creatine on this day, fitness journalist Adam Bornstein outlines options in his article “Before, after, or when: the best time to take creatine?” different, or just "anytime," and the differences were minor. For this reason, according to Bornstein, he is in the camp "Take it anytime and as much as you like."
However, some researchers believe that taking creatine at certain points in time may have some slight benefits. Jim Stoppani, Ph.D., recommends taking it before and after training for maximum benefit. And José Antonio, Ph.D., who co-authored creatine time in 2013, said there could be a slight advantage if taken specifically after exercise. However, he adds that once you take it enough consistently to have a full supply of creatine in your muscles, it is much less important when you take it. Only if you do not take it regularly can a difference appear.
How to take creatine monohydrate
If you have never taken creatine before, Ph.D. Krissy Kendall says the best way is to make it simple: take creatine monohydrate 3-5 g per day. Do not miss a single day, and at least for the first time, do not worry about the "download protocol". Just add this to what you are already doing, and see what happens!