So today I’m going to discuss one of the most popular supplements for athletes – for building muscle, strength, and stamina – and that’s creatine.
Make sure you read until the end of this article because I’m also going to discuss the #1 cause for building muscle and losing fat, which I assume is the reason most people take creatine.
Now, getting back to creatine. It’s a very old supplement, and until 2024 it’s been highly researched, and because of this, it’s also misunderstood and so much of the information about it is wrong.
And this comes from the fact that I first tried it well over 25 years ago and it was super expensive back then. I remember it was something like 100 grams or about 3 oz was $50.
Since then, I’ve tried multiple versions and variations trying to see what works the best, IF at all.
I bring this because someone asked me:
“Hey Dr. Sam – I’m so confused about creatine. First, does it work or not? Is it safe? I heard it’s bad for the kidneys. Also, which form is the best? There are so many – creatine monohydrate, ethyl ester, hydrochloride, buffered, liquid, magnesium, and on and on. You’ve never steered me wrong. please give me the 411.”
Yes, there are so many different forms of creatine because the supplement companies know that it’s so popular that they keep wanting to sell you something “cool” or “new and better”. It’s mainly about making money.
I hate it because just like you, I am tired of being ripped off and lied to.
Which Creatine Works Best?
Anyway, the bottom line is the best form and most researched is the original Creatine Monohydrate. It works the best, it’s the safest, and guess what – also the least expensive.
Now you can get that same amount of 100 grams for about $4 vs the $50 I used to spend. And I’ll give you the link to this at the end of today’s article.
One problem with creatine is that it doesn’t dissolve very well and thus, doesn’t get absorbed fully.
So my suggestion is to get micronized creatine monohydrate.
Put it in 8-16 oz of warm water and I suggest using about 2.5 grams at a time. Less, but more often.
How Much Creatine Should I Take?
As far as the total daily use: forget the “loading” phase of using 20 grams for a week or two. These higher doses are linked to kidney problems and even kidney damage.1-2
It’s just safer to take about 5 to a maximum of 7.5 grams daily.
So, my suggestion is to take 2.5 grams, which is half the recommended dose. Do it with 8-16 oz of warm water preferably. And do this 2-3x daily.
How Often Should I Take It?
The best times would be about 1-2 hours before your workout and also immediately after your workout.
Otherwise, just spread it throughout the day, 2-3x daily.
You might take 7.5 grams total on workout days. 5 grams on NON-workout days. And, I also suggest you take OFF one day a week – this can be your non-workout day.
It’s always good to take a break from all supplements, even if it’s just once weekly.
Will It Surely Work For Me?
Keep in mind that creatine doesn’t work for everyone. For some people, it works better, like anything else. I’ve noticed that for those who don’t eat red meat, it works better for them. Vegetarians see the most effects.
So there you have it for the creatine – save your money and get the most benefits with micronized creatine monohydrate.
However, if your goal is to gain muscle and strength while losing belly fat – you MUST optimize your hormones.
This means increasing your anabolic, muscle-building hormones such as testosterone while minimizing your “negative” hormones such as female and stress hormones.
All the creatine in the world won’t do anything if your hormones suck and you have low testosterone. This is a simple fact of life.
You can read about a formula that you can use, that’s guaranteed to optimize your hormones and thus, maximize your muscle-building, and fat-burning potential – at any age.
Click the link, try the formula, and speed up your progress at the gym.