How to take creatine

Food supplements with creatine

Creatine supplementation has been shown to have positive effects on the energy supply to muscle cells during and between exercise units. But what is the most useful dose? We recommend an intake of 3 to 5 grams of creatine per day. The most common and well-studied form of creatine is creatine monohydrate. This can be used in beverages or other forms such as energy bars, capsules or tablets. When taking creatine, make sure that you also consume enough fluid, e.g. 3 grams of creatine monohydrate in a glass of water.

Intake of powder

Creatine monohydrate is often offered in the form of a powder, which should be dissolved in water or juice. Warm water or tea makes the dissolving process easier. In cold water or other cold drinks, creatine monohydrate dissolves more slowly but is not any less effective. After intake, it has a bioavailability of more than 95 percent.

It is useful to take creatine with sugary drinks, such as grape juice, or with a meal, as the muscles can absorb creatine more rapidly in the presence of insulin. The intake of creatine without sugary drinks is just as effective. It is not recommended to take large quantities of simple carbohydrates together with creatine.

Creatine and caffeine

It is assumed that there is a negative interaction between pure caffeine and creatine, but the results of studies remain incomplete. In tests, between 5 and 7 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight were used, namely between 350 to 490 mg of caffeine for a 70 kg person. No negative effects on creatine storage and muscle build-up were observed; but there may be an effect on sprinting performance or explosive force development. Whether the consumption of coffee should be limited alongside creatine intake cannot be conclusively assessed. For the sake of safety, one should reduce any acute caffeine intake before attempting high levels of sports performance.

Creatine intake – capsules and chewable tablets

Just as effective is the intake of creatine through capsules and chewable tablets. One capsule, on the other hand, contains only 750 mg, while one tablet is usually about 1 g. The daily recommended dose is 3-5 g per day.

Other forms of creatine

Even today, creatine monohydrate is the best studied and most reliable form of creatine. Apart from creatine monohydrate and common salts such as creatine citrate or creatine pyruvate with improved solubility, there are also other forms of creatine. However, these are much less well-researched and not permitted in many countries. In addition, they are usually more expensive than in monohydrate form. There is no scientific evidence that newer creatine compounds have any greater effect than creatine monohydrate. One example is creatine ethyl ester (CEE). In contrast to soluble creatine salts, this compound does not break down into separate creatine and salt components when taken. While creatine monohydrate is almost completely absorbed into the body, there are scientific studies that show that CEE in the gastrointestinal tract rapidly decomposes into the ineffective form of creatinine.