There are two ways to supplement creatine. Many studies use a loading protocol, which is characterized by higher creatine doses during the first week of supplementation, after which a lower maintenance dose is used instead. The other approach simply starts supplementation at the maintenance dose and continues indefinitely. Both of these methods have been shown to have similar effects in the long run. To supplement creatine through a loading protocol, take 20 – 25 grams of creatine a day, in divided doses of five grams throughout the day; this is for the first week of supplementation. After the loading period, take a five-gram maintenance dose.
The most popular and practical approach is to take five grams of creatine a day. After the first week or two, muscular creatine content will be at the same level as it would have been after a loading protocol. Some high-intensity athletes may benefit from doses of up to ten grams of creatine a day, but more research is needed to confirm this effect. There have been no cases of creatine toxicity as a result of oral supplementation.