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   Creatine Monohydrate

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Creatine 4 - Using Creatine
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Creatine use and cycling
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Creatine Loading and Creatine Use

Proper Creatine Loading and How to Use Creatine

As we've already established in previous articles, creatine is a top notch supplement to help you gain weight; however, to do so effectively, you need to learn about creating loading and creatine use. Also, while creatine monohydrate isn't expensive by any means, you still don't want to waste a good thing. You'll want to get the most out of your money by putting your creatine to produce maximum results for you. So take a few minutes and read about creatine cycles, creatine uses, and creatine loading and maintenance phases.

There are various competing methods and opinions on the best way to use and cycle creatine supplements. In this article, we're making reference only to pure creatinemonohydrate powders. Some advice simply taking 5 to 10 grams of creatine a day without a loading phase, others recommend a one week loading phase of 20g per day, and then 5g per day for the rest of the cycle, where a cycle typically last around 4 to 8 weeks, and sometimes a little longer.

For a more detail discussion of creatine loading and creatine use, please see here.

Creatine Cycling: Creatine loading-maintenance phases

If you know what creatine is, you've probably heard of creatine cycle, creatine loading phase, and creatine maintenance phase. So what's the big idea? Sure, creatine is great, and can really help you pack on a few good pounds quickly, but most people find that after a few weeks on creatine, their gains taper off, and almost disappear.

So it's a common belief among athletes (mostly bodybuilders) that creatine cycling will help fight off that progressive loss in weight gain from creatine use. The idea is that, after using creatine for a period of time, your body 'gets used to it', so the gains and results disappear.

What creatine cycling is designed to do is to take creatine for a period of time, then stop for a period of time, then go back on it. The belief here is that, doing so will help you maintain the gains you make with creatine use. Kind of like doing workout cycles - where you always change your routines to prevent your muscles from getting used to the exercises.

How to properly do creatine cycles and phases

So, there are 3 phases in a creatine cycle... well, actually 2, but resting counts as well. The first phase is called the loading phase, because this is when you fill up your muscles with creatine, which is then used for ATP re-synthesis. After the creatine loading phase (first week), you lower the amount of creatine use - this is the maintenance phase.

Here's a typical creatine loading and maintenance cycle:

Week 1: creatine loading phase (20g / day)

Weeks 2 to 4: creatine maintenance phase (10g / day)

Weeks 5 to 8: no creatine

As mentioned ealier, a typically cycle could last around 4 to 8 weeks. In our example about, it is a 4 week cycle, with another 4 weeks off from creatine supplements. You could just as easily make it a 8 week cycle with creatine, and then take four weeks off after that. It could be different for you, and there are many variation of this cycle, so test it out, and figure out what works best for you..

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During the creatine loading phase, I typically took 4 servings a day. Once before breakfast, once before lunch, once before workout, and once in the evening. Tip: you should take creatine with grape juice or some kind of high GI carb drink.