The amount of creatine you should take depends on your individual goals and body weight. Generally, creatine supplementation follows a two-phase approach: loading and maintenance.
- Loading phase: The purpose of the loading phase is to saturate your muscles with creatine rapidly. This phase typically lasts for 5-7 days, during which you would consume 20 grams of creatine per day, divided into four equal doses of 5 grams each. The loading phase helps to maximize the benefits of creatine supplementation more quickly.
- Maintenance phase: After the loading phase, you would transition to the maintenance phase, which involves consuming a lower amount of creatine daily to maintain muscle creatine stores. The maintenance dose is generally around 3-5 grams per day, although some individuals may benefit from slightly higher or lower doses depending on their body weight and training goals.
It’s important to note that the loading phase is optional. Some people choose to skip it and start with the maintenance dose immediately. This approach will still lead to increased muscle creatine stores, but it may take a little longer (usually 3-4 weeks) to reach the same level of saturation as with a loading phase.