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September 23, 2015

Understanding Creatine: Q & A

Fitness First USA

Why do some people see better results using creatine?

It is normal that some athletes will see better results than others with or without supplementation. If your friend eats less red meat or poultry than you do, then his body will respond more dramatically to creatine supplementation because he will be low on creatine to start with. There is a limit to the amount of creatine that each person's body can absorb.

How long can I use creatine powder before I need a break?

Because of the large percentage of creatinine waste product caused by creatine powder, many researchers believe that cycling creatine powder is essential in order to ease the pressure on the kidney and liver. The standard recommendation is cycling creatine powder every 2 months, although, there are others who recommend every month. So far, studies of powdered creatine have not discovered any dangers, and many athletes in Eastern Europe have been using creatine for over 10 years without any complications.

Will I lose muscle mass if I stop using creatine?

You will lose strength and muscle mass after you stop using the powder. The lost mass is due to lost water retention in the muscle which had been caused by the powdered creatine. However, there are stablized liquid creatine serums available that do not cause any water retention or create "cosmetic" muscle mass. The muscle that is developed by using the serum is real and will not shrink or lose its size if you stop using the serum.

What are the drawbacks if I stop using creatine?

Most studies support the conclusion that you will not suffer any adverse reactions when you stop using creatine. But, you will notice a decrease in energy and strength when you stop. It is worth mentioning that unlike steroids or hormones, creatine is a beneficial nutrient and is not habit forming or addictive.

What will happen if I take creatine but do not exercise?

You will get an extra boost of energy, but gain no muscle size. Creatine is one part of many steps you need to to build muscle and stay fit.

Can creatine be taken with a meal?

Taking powdered creatine with a meal will hinder the absorption of creatine because creatine binds with food. Research shows it is best to digest food for 1 to 1-1/2 hours before taking powdered creatine. A stabilized liquid creatine serum can be taken with a meal because it goes directly to the muscle without any digestive involvement.

Does taking carbohydrates increase creatine's effect?

Many research findings show that taking creatine with carbohydrates increases the effect of creatine. This is due to insulin release, stimulated by simple sugars which likely play an effective part in transporting creatine into muscle cells.

Can protein be taken with creatine?

Protein is the building block of muscle growth and maintenance. It repairs the muscle tissue broken down while training. Scientists suggest 1 to 1.5 grams protein per pound of body weight per day. Therefore, it compliments your training and it will not conflict with creatine usage. The best time to use protein supplementation is after your workout.

Can creatine be taken on an empty stomach?

Taking powdered creatine on an empty stomach will increase absorption, but may cause stomach cramps. It is advisable to take powdered creatine on a partially full stomach.

Will I lose fat using creatine ?

Most users report that their body fat level dropped simultaneously with the increase of lean muscle mass.