If you are into fitness or bodybuilding in any way, there is a very good chance that you have heard of creatine. That’s because creatine is one of the most popular sports and exercise supplements available.
But even though it is a supplement, creatine is naturally occurring in the body, created from the amino acids glycine, arginine, and methionine to regenerate ATP (adenosine triphosphate). The benefits of supplementing creatine come with helping those who are incredibly active to produce more ATP, which in turn helps improve muscle mass by giving your muscles the energy they need to work properly.
So creatine is incredibly important as part of your fitness regimen. However, there is a lot of debate as to how to use creatine most effectively, with many arguing that the best way is to creatine cycle, and others claiming that trying to creatine cycle is completely unnecessary. So which is correct? As with most things, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Depending on your workout, there are different ways to creatine cycle. Here is how to use creatine the right way for you.
What is creatine cycling?
First of all, what is a creatine cycle? Simply put, it is a way to increase the effectiveness of your creatine supplement. It does this by preventing the possibility of your body getting used to the supplementation. When you take it regularly, you run the risk of your body no longer responding to the supplement, and thus nullifying the results. However, creatine cycling may not be necessary for every individual.
The Creatine Cycle:
- Loading phase: 1-2 week duration; 10-20g of creatine each day
- Maintaining phase: 5-6 week duration; 3-10g each serving; no more than one serving per day
- Pause phase: 2-4 week duration (or more); no creatine supplementation
A single round of the creatine cycle should last 6-8 weeks, with a pause of 2-4 weeks (or longer, if needed) where you do not supplement with creatine at all.
Should You Creatine Cycle for Endurance?
Because of the benefits for building large muscles, creatine cycling is not typically employed by endurance athletes. Some studies on PubMed have suggested benefits for bicyclists, but not so much for other sports such as long distance running or swimming.
For road cyclists, creatine has shown to be most useful after injury, or just to build overall strength in your legs. If you start creatine cycling however, it is important not to take too much, as it has been associated with weight gain — not ideal for endurance. Here are some tips for a how to use creatine for road cyclists.
Should You Creatine Cycle for Strength?
Though creatine is a natural fit for anyone looking to build muscle, you still need to be sure not to go overboard: 3 to 5 grams daily should be sufficient. As for cycling, there are mixed results. However, if you decide to cycle, just make sure to load at the beginning, just one to two weeks, before scaling back. You can read more here. A similar approach can be adopted for a HIIT program.
What About Creatine Nitrate?
Creatine nitrate is a form of creatine that is more soluble than regular creatine monohydrate. Though some may say that it is thus more effective, to date no studies have looked at creatine nitrate in regards to how it affects exercise or performance. Thus, there is currently no evidence to suggest that this form of creatine will be any more effective than what is currently widely available (and scientifically proven).
Whether you decide to creatine cycle or simply supplement your exercise more regularly, PROGENEX Amplitude will give you everything you need to get your maximum gains in lean muscle mass.