Creatine monohydrate – dosage, effects, side effects


Creatine is the basic ingredient supplemented in sport. Manufacturers offer a wide range of products containing creatine in various forms. One of them is creatine monohydrate. The process of synthesis of creatine by the body is long-lasting, therefore nutrients with this substance allow it to be delivered to the muscles more quickly. Creatine monohydrate is a molecule composed of creatine and water. The widespread occurrence of water in the natural environment, as well as the occurrence of creatine in the human body makes the monohydrate one of the most popular and commonly found forms of creatine in the world.


Creatine monohydrate – dosage

The dosage of creatine monohydrate depends on the label placed by the manufacturer on the packaging. It is he who guarantees us the best effects of the preparation used. Differences may be irrelevant, because the same result can be obtained using creatine monohydrate in a wide gram range. The minimum and maximum dose, guaranteeing optimal results, may have a discrepancy of up to half the value lower, which makes it difficult to make a mistake.

A frequent practice of monohydrate supplementation is to introduce the organism into the saturation phase. This is known as the “loading” of creatine and lasts for the first three to seven days. Then the dose is lowered to maintain the effect.

A simpler variant of the dosage is taking a solid portion of monohydrate or differentiating doses depending on whether we have a day of training or not. Then the dose on the training day is around 10 g, and on the non-training day 5 g.

We can often hear that creatine should be taken on an empty stomach, and under no circumstances should it be combined with products containing fat or protein. It is worth knowing, however, that there is no evidence that taking creatine with a meal weakens its absorption, or otherwise reduces the use by the body. Likewise, there is no evidence that taking this substance on an empty stomach carries with it particular advantages. On the contrary, food can support supplementation due to the influence of carbohydrates and proteins on the growth of insulin – a hormone that improves the transport of creatine to muscle cells. For this reason, creatine is best sipped with juice, which is rich in glucose and raises the insulin concentration.


Creatine monohydrate – effects

The effect of supplementation with creatine is to increase its muscular stores in the form of phosphocreatine, which provides the opportunity to increase the number of repetitions made during the training. In muscular cells, creatine enters the mitochondria, where it converts into the form of phosphocreatine and in this form it is responsible for the transfer of ATP in the human body. As a result, it allows you to maintain the intensity of training at a high level, detailing strength training and interval training characterized by violent outbursts of activity.

Supplementation with creatine monohydrate accelerates the growth of lean body mass thanks to the anabolic effect, and also significantly reduces the process of muscle catabolism. It also reduces muscle acidification. The neutralization of excess hydrogen ions occurs through buffering. This extends the time after which lactic acid production in anaerobic exercise will start to cause fatigue resulting in muscle pain. As a result, the effects of intense training are not so annoying.


Creatine monohydrate – side effects

Creatine monohydrate is a molecule of water combined with a creatine molecule. It binds and also retains water in the cells. Creatine can be harmful for people with kidney problems and for people who are poorly supplementing it because it breaks down under the influence of gastric juice to harmful creatinine. According to statistics, such cases happen very rarely, but you have to keep this in mind when starting the creatine cycle.


Due to the construction of a molecule of creatine monohydrate, one must also take into account the increase in the amount of water in the body, which is bound by this form. Importantly, local water retention can cause symptoms characteristic of dehydration. This is due to the movement of water into muscle cells. The solution to this problem seems to be the strategy of “loading” with creatine, where the body has moments throughout the cycle to normalize the distribution of water. Creatine is recommended for cyclic use. The optimal duration of the cycle is a period of 4 to 8 weeks, followed by a period of about one month’s break. Due to the risk of dehydration, additional intake of fluids during this period is also recommended to reduce side effects.

Posted on: November 22, 2018

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