Creatine is one of the most researched supplements on the market due to it’s bad media image. It has not been seen to be harmful for your health as long as it is taken within the recommended dose range. However, it is advised that those with pre-existing kidney conditions should refrain from supplementing with creatine.
Creatine is a combination of amino acids and it is found in foods such as beef and fish and it is also naturally produced in the human body. The body uses creatine for energy in situations where we are doing really short, intense activities such as full speed sprinting, jumping and heavy weight lifting in the gym as carbohydrates can’t be burned and replaced quick enough in these situations for energy. Although it is both produced in the body and from foods, you can get far more creatine on board through supplementing and as a result you will get more of the benefits associated with having increased creatine levels in the body when using a supplement.
It’s been scientifically proven to be beneficial in activities in the 0-10 second range such as: sprinting, jumping, lifting weights as well as improving strength and muscle gain. Creatine also helps hydrate muscle cells, leading to an increase in body weight. This may be something that some players do not want or need, so it is worth experimenting and deciding if the performance benefits outweigh the issue of having extra body weight for the individual. However, it is worth remembering that this gain is not fat, but is simply extra water within the muscles, which is usually a good thing.
The recommended dose is 3-5g per day of creatine monohydrate. It does not matter what time of day you take it, as long as you consistently take it daily to saturate the muscles. Loading with creatine in the first week or so is an option but unnecessary and can often cause digestive issues so it is not advised.