How long does it take creatine to work? It depends. You can see results quickly. When you take the best creatine in the right amount while doing brief, intense workouts you can see results in a 3-5 days.
If you don’t do these things properly you may not see any results, or fall way short of what’s possible.
After reading this article, you’ll know how long it takes creatine to work. More importantly, you’ll understand exactly what to do to make it work as fast as possible.
I’ve found there are six things you need to do to see significant results from creatine as soon as possible. Each is covered in detail in this article. Keep reading so you too can get the most from this awesome supplement.
6 Tips For Fast Result From Creatine
Choose The Right Type Of Creatine
This is the most important factor. Use the wrong type of this supplement and you’re not going to see the best results. Your actually likely to not see any results, which is obviously not good.
Research finds that the best type is creatine monohydrate powder. It’s been tested in over 500 clinical studies and used by millions of people for at least 30 years.
Over and over again, it’s been proven to work. No other type of creatine, or sport supplement has held up to such scrutiny.
Several studies show that other types, whether it’s creatine HCL, creatine ethyl ester, or liquid creatine don’t work. Period.
These products which companies claim are better than creatine monohydrate often don’t even contain any creatine but instead have something called creatinine in the canister instead.
If you take one of these supplements you’re literally peeing your money away. Don’t do that. Take creatine monohydrate and see results instead
How Much Creatine You’re Taking
The quicker you can fill your muscles up with Creatine, the sooner you’ll see results. The best way to do this is to do what’s called a ‘loading phase’. Using this method produces noticeable results within 5 days.
During the loading phase you’ll take 20 grams (2-4, 5 gram servings) every day for 5 days. After that you only have to take a single serving (5 grams) to keep your muscles filled. If you want fast results, this is the way to go.
What you’ll notice first is that your muscles will feel and look bigger and you’ll get better pumps during your workouts. You may be able to train harder too.
It’ll take a little longer for you to notice changes in your strength and muscular endurance (ability to do more sets and reps). A study on soccer players finds that it takes 14 days to see changes in muscular strength and power. After following the loading phase.
You don’t have to load creatine, but it takes longer to see results.
The second way to take creatine is to take a single 5 gram serving every day. Since you’re taking much less, it takes a longer to begin working. Instead of a 5 day wait, you’re looking at 4 weeks to see noticeable results.
Both ways of taking creatine are safe and ultimately provide the same results. If near immediate results are what you’re after, the loading phase method is the best.
Taking Creatine With Carbs Helps It Work Faster
Studies find that taking creatine with carbohydrates that cause a rapid increase in your insulin levels (orange juice, fruit punch, etc.) enables more to get into your muscles. This helps you see results a little faster. Maybe 1-2 days if you do the loading phase I wrote about above.
When You Take Your Creatine
This isn’t as important as the last three points but it can still make a difference. Research shows that taking it after a workout enables more creatine to get into your muscles. It’s not a huge difference but if you’re looking for the best results, it’s worth the effort.
What Type Of Workouts You’re Doing
If you lift weights, sprint, jump, and throw heavy things around when you train, creatine will work faster. This is because it provides a source of immediate energy that these activities require. This extra energy enables you to do more work and therefore get stronger and build muscle faster.
How intensely you train matters too. The harder you workout in the weight room, the better. One study finds that the reason people don’t respond to creatine is that they’re not working out very hard. So, make sure you do at least 2-3 pretty intense workouts a week in the weight room or on the track and you’ll be okay.
On the other hand, creatine will not work as fast when you’re doing long, slow, distance running and other endurance sports. They don’t rely on creatine for energy and aren’t intense enough to help it work. This doesn’t mean creatine can’t help you if this is your main form of exercise but you’ll need to sprint or lift weights to see significant results.
The Quality And Purity of The Creatine You Take
There are a few things to make sure of when you buy creatine monohydrate. I’ve listed them below. Make sure whichever product you choose meets these requirements and you’ll be getting the safest, and most effective product.
Your Creatine Supplement
- Needs to be tested for impurities before/after it’s packaged. The company should make test results available.
- Check to make sure it’s made in the USA. Supplements from China and other countries often have lots of impurities and potentially harmful ingredients like lead due to poorer quality control.
- Choose a powder that is micronized. It’ll say so on the label. This means it’s been milled into an extra fine powder that will dissolve easier and won’t end up stuck to your glass.
- The product I use, and recommend is Creatine Edge. It meets all of the criteria listed above and also gives you about 3 months worth of Creatine at a really good price.You can buy it from our online store here.
My favorite supplement that meets all of these criteria is Creatine Edge.
Now you know how long it takes creatine to work and what to do to get results as quickly as possible. Let us know your experiences using the information in this post. If you have any others send them to us as were always looking for new ways to get the best results possible.
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Hoffman JR, Stout JR, Falvo MJ, Kang J, Ratamess NA. Effect of low-dose, short-duration creatine supplementation on anaerobic exercise performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2005 May;19(2):260-4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15903359/
Jäger R, Harris RC, Purpura M, Francaux M.Comparison of new forms of creatine in raising plasma creatine levels. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007 Nov 12;4:17. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17997838/
Jagim AR, Oliver JM, Sanchez A, Galvan E, Fluckey J, Riechman S, Greenwood M, Kelly K, Meininger C, Rasmussen C, Kreider RB. A buffered form of creatine does not promote greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, or training adaptations than creatine monohydrate. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Sep 13;9(1):43. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-43. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22971354/
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Kambis KW, Pizzedaz SK. Short-term creatine supplementation improves maximum quadriceps contraction in women. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2003 Mar;13(1):87-96. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12660408/
Kaviani M, et al. Creatine monohydrate supplementation during eight weeks of progressive resistance training increases strength in as little as two weeks without reducing markers of muscle damage. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2018. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29722252/
Ribeiro F, Longobardi I, Perim P, Duarte B, Ferreira P, Gualano B, Roschel H, Saunders B. Timing of Creatine Supplementation around Exercise: A Real Concern? Nutrients. 2021 Aug 19;13(8):2844. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34445003/
Spillane M, Schoch R, Cooke M, Harvey T, Greenwood M, Kreider R, Willoughby DS. The effects of creatine ethyl ester supplementation combined with heavy resistance training on body composition, muscle performance, and serum and muscle creatine levels. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2009 Feb 19;6:6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19228401/
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