If you have been looking for ways to bulk up really fast with increased muscles mass, you may want to consider taking supplements such as creatine. There are several formats you take creatine monohydrate such as tablets, gel capsules and powder mixture mixed with water or any liquid beverage. Whenever you take such a supplement, it is of importance to know the appropriate time and the formalities involved while taking it in order to maximize its benefits to the fullest.
This kind of supplement is ideal for increasing muscle mass, strength and body stamina, and is commonly used by serious bodybuilders, athletes among many others. Some time back, it was highly recommended that you take creatine monohydrate before engaging in your workouts. This supplement helps replenish the stores of creatine in your body, but should it be taken before a workout? Well, creatine is actually a substance found naturally in the body, and it helps the body to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is used for a short period of time but in large energy bursts, therefore, it is highly required during intensive workouts.
To understand the best time for taking this supplement, it is important to be familiar with the three stages involved- the loading and maintenance phases and cycling. Cycling is optional, but you can take a break of say one month, after three months of use. After the break, you can enter the loading phase once again and experience the same results.
When you first start taking the supplement (loading phase), and try to build creatine in your muscles, there is a certain dose you should take. It is highly recommended that, during the loading phase, to take 4 doses of creatine monohydrate of 5 grams (one rounded spoon). Take one in the morning when you wake up, another before and after your workouts and one before you sleep. This phase has tremendous results, but not necessarily the best it can offer. The phase takes about 3-4 weeks, after which the maintenance phase follows.
During the maintenance stage, you only take one dose of creatine a day (5 grams) in order to maintain the creatine levels in your muscles. It is highly recommended that you split the dose into half, take one before your workouts and the other after. This way, you can increase muscle mass greatly. Scientific research has shown that, in combination with proteins and carbs, the supplement has amazing results.
If you are considering taking this supplement therefore, you may want to take it at the best time to experience maximum benefits from it. There is evidence to support the claim that it can benefit you when you take it with carbs and proteins within half an hour of completing your workout. Creatine works perfectly well almost any time of day, so that is why, people have different views about the best time to take it. 80% of users however, admit to the fact that it works much more effectively before and after a workout.
The problem with creatine monohydrate is with its absorption. You definitely want it to be transported fast from the stomach to the muscles. Insulin is responsible for carrying glucose in cells where it is deposited as glycogen, and not only, that, it transports creatine. Therefore, what needs to be done is to provoke a spike of insulin, to help in rapid transport of creatine to muscles from the stomach. To achieve this, you need carbohydrates in the stomach, which will break down into glucose that is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Whenever you take creatine monohydrate, you also need carbohydrates.
There has been a standard practice of always mixing creatine with a high sugar drink like grape juice, dextrose powder or Gatorade. Basically, the idea is to use simple sugars to spike insulin levels which increase absorption of insulin. However, it is important not to overdo it since, mixing creatine with 30g of simple sugar every day adds up to extra calories, about 840 per week.