Build Muscle

A Complete Guide to the New Creatine

New twists on an old favorite make the already-effective creatine even better.

Fall Supplement Guide: BCAAs

CREATINE KNOW-HOW

No matter what type of creatine you select, use these five tips to get the most out of it:

  1. Drink plenty of water. That means at least half of your bodyweight in ounces -- for a 200-pound guy that's 100 ounces or just over 3 liters a day. In addition to its effects on strength and energy in muscle cells, creatine also acts as a volumizer, increasing the size of muscle cells by pulling water into them, expanding them like a balloon. Drinking plenty of water ensures cells have enough to draw in and expand with.
  2. If you want immediate results, do a five-day creatine-loading phase during which you take the recommended dose 4-5 times a day with food (this includes pre- and postworkout shakes). After that, follow the typical dosing guidelines below.
  3. On training days, take your creatine dose before and after a workout with your pre- and postworkout meals.
  4. On rest days, take only one dose of creatine with a meal. You can occasionally skip a day because research shows that once the muscle is loaded with creatine, you can miss a day of dosing without compromising your muscle-creatine levels.
  5. Give each type of creatine you try at least a full month before deciding whether it's right for you. Either try each of the different types on their own, or go with a mixed creatine product that provides several types of creatine to cover all the bases.

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