Are You Using Creatine Correctly?
Step into any gym, and you'll hear the word "creatine" echo from every corner. It's a powerhouse supplement that can help drive you to achieve your ultimate fitness goals.
But there's a catch, a secret many overlook: it's not just about taking creatine; it's about pairing it with the right amount of water.
Only then can you tap into its full potential, fuel your muscle cells to the max, and ward off unwanted side effects. Intrigued? Let's unravel the relationship between hydration and creatine, one sip at a time.
- Creatine is a potent supplement known for energizing muscle cells and promoting muscle mass growth.
- Proper hydration is crucial when taking creatine to maximize benefits and minimize side effects such as muscle cramps.
- Recommended water intake with creatine is 3 liters a day and upwards, depending on body weight and workout intensity.
- Creatine can lead to water retention, but with adequate hydration, the effectiveness of creatine is optimized.
- Get the Best Creatine Supplement on the Market Now - (Best Price Online).
How Much Water Should I Drink?
While the recommended daily water intake generally falls between 2-3 liters, when taking creatine, this can change. Studies suggest that one should aim to drink more water to ensure proper hydration and to optimize the benefits of the supplement.
Loading Phase: The Importance of Water
In the initial 'loading phase' of creatine supplementation, where you take around 15 to 20 grams of creatine for 5-7 days, staying well-hydrated is vital.
Drinking a minimum of 3 liters of water a day will help to transport the creatine into your muscle cells, improving the supplement's efficacy and mitigating potential side effects.
Following the loading phase, you can transition into taking 3-5 grams per day. During this stage, it's critical to continue drinking at least 3 liters of water daily.
Remember, if you don't drink enough water while taking creatine, it may reduce its effectiveness and potentially cause discomfort or muscle cramps.
Ways to Stay Hydrated with Creatine
Knowing you need to stay hydrated is one thing, but ensuring you drink enough water each day can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:
- Mix 3-5 grams with Water: When taking your daily creatine supplement, mix it with a full glass of water. This not only helps with ingestion but also contributes to your daily water intake.
- Set Reminders: Set reminders on your phone or use a hydration tracking app to ensure you drink enough water while taking creatine.
- Use a Large Water Bottle: Having a large water bottle on hand can make it easier to drink more water throughout the day.
Top Ranking Creatine Supplements
To maximize the benefits of creatine and achieve your desired muscle mass, it's crucial to use high-quality creatine supplements. Here are our top picks:
Creatine by Psycho Pharma
Creatine by Psycho Pharma has a stellar reputation for its purity and efficiency in muscle mass building.
- Pure, high-quality creatine that boosts muscle growth
- Enhanced muscle recovery after intense workouts
- Can lead to improved strength and performance
Dosage & Servings Per Container: 5 grams per serving / 60 servings per container
JetMass by GAT Sport
Known for its potent post-workout recovery properties, JetMass by GAT Sport is a favorite among athletes.
- Fortified with other nutrients and ingredients for better intra-workout support or post-workout recovery
- Enhances muscle volume and lean body mass
- Provides a significant boost to strength and endurance
Dosage & Servings Per Container: 5 grams per serving / 30 servings per container
Creatine Nitrate by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals
With the added benefit of nitrate, Creatine Nitrate by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals aids in muscle pump and endurance.
- Nitrate compound increases muscle pump and vascularity
- Enhanced absorption due to the nitrate compound
- Contributes to improved muscle strength and endurance
Dosage & Servings Per Container: 1000 mg per each tablet / 120 tablets per bottle
Creatine HCI by SNS
Creatine HCI by SNS stands out due to its quick absorption rate, helping you to achieve your fitness goals faster.
- Creatine hydrochloride for better absorption and efficacy
- Promotes quicker muscle gains and strength increase
- Less bloating or discomfort compared to other forms of creatine
Dosage & Servings Per Container:
Creatine HCI (Pill Form) by SNS: 750 mg per capsule / 120 capsules per container
Creatine HCI (Powder Form) by SNS: 750 mg per scoop & 150 scoops per container
Water Retention When Using Creatine
Creatine has a well-documented side effect that's important to understand: water retention. This term refers to an increase in the amount of water held in your body's cells. When you take a creatine supplement, your muscle cells start to retain more water. This water retention is primarily due to creatine's role in boosting the water content of muscle cells, a process known as cell volumization.
Why does Water Retention Happen?
Creatine works by increasing the amount of creatine phosphate stored in your muscles. The extra creatine phosphate pulls water into your muscle cells.
This results in your muscles appearing larger, and you may even see an increase in body weight. This is not fat gain, however, but rather, a temporary increase in water weight.
Water Retention: A Double-Edged Sword?
While some people may see water retention as a drawback (especially those watching their weight or bodybuilders aiming for lean, defined muscles), it's essential to note that this process can have its advantages. Water retention in your muscle cells creates an anabolic (or muscle-building) environment, which may promote muscle growth.
Staying Hydrated with Water Retention
Since creatine pulls water into your muscle cells, it's crucial to drink enough water while taking creatine. Failing to do so could potentially lead to dehydration, especially during intense workouts. Aim for at least 3 liters of water a day to ensure your body remains properly hydrated.
Conclusion: Drink up and Power On
From the "loading phase" to everyday intake, the mantra remains the same: proper hydration is a non-negotiable companion to creatine supplementation. The adage "stay hydrated" carries newfound weight, reminding us that the key to maximizing creatine benefits, such as muscle mass increase and improved athletic performance, is found at the water source.
Drink the recommended liters of water a day, keep muscle cramps at bay, and elevate the effectiveness of your creatine routine. Pair this commitment to hydration with our top-ranking creatine supplements, and you're on your way to achieving your fitness goals.
Written and Sponsored by Leonard Shemtob
Leonard Shemtob is President of Strong Supplements. Leonard has been in the supplement space for over 20 years, specializing in fitness supplements and nutrition. Leonard has written over 100 articles about supplements and has studied nutrition, supplementation and bodybuilding. Leonard's articles have been published in many top publications around the web. Leonard enjoys weight training, playing basketball and yoga, and also enjoys hiking. In his free time he studies and works on improving himself. His personal blog is www.leonardshemtob.com
Can I drink too much water while on a creatine supplement?
It's rare, but possible. Drinking excessive amounts of water can lead to a condition called water intoxication. However, sticking to around 3 liters a day is typically safe and effective for creatine use.
What should I drink with creatine for maximum absorption?
Many people mix 3-5 grams of creatine with water, but you can also mix it with a carbohydrate-rich drink for increased absorption.
What happens if I don’t drink enough water on creatine?
A: If you fail to stay properly hydrated while taking creatine, it may reduce its effectiveness and lead to side effects like muscle cramps and discomfort.
Is creatine safe for vegans?
Absolutely! Creatine is indeed safe for vegans. It's essential to note, however, that creatine is naturally found in meat and fish, so vegan diets typically provide less creatine. That said, most creatine supplements are synthetically made and do not contain animal products, making them suitable for vegans. Just be sure to read the label carefully or choose a product specifically marked as vegan to ensure it aligns with your dietary preferences.
Click here to read more about Creatine For Vegans
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- Buford, T. W., Kreider, R. B., Stout, J. R., Greenwood, M., Campbell, B., Spano, M., ... & Antonio, J. (2007). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4(1), 1-8
- Mayo Clinic. (2020). Water: How much should you drink every day?
- PopSugar Fitness. (2017). How Much Water Do I Need to Drink When Taking Creatine?
- Healthline. (2019). Creatine 101 — What Is It and What Does It Do?
- Labdoor Magazine. (2020). Top 10 Creatine Supplements.
- Camic, C. L., Hendrix, C. R., Housh, T. J., Zuniga, J. M., Mielke, M., Johnson, G. O., ... & Schmidt, R. J. (2010). The effects of polyethylene glycosylated creatine supplementation on muscular strength and power. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 24(12), 3343-3351.