How Long Does Creatine Take to Work?

You probably have heard about creatine and what it does, but it’s a lot less known how long it actually takes to work.

The human body naturally produces about 2g of protein per day, and when you take additional creatine supplements they don’t kick in right away.

There are a couple of different factors that can change how long creatine takes to work, so keep reading to figure out how long it will take for you!

Is Creatine Safe?

If you’ve been taking creatine for a week or so and you’re not seeing any results, don’t increase your dose! It’s normal not to see results right away, and if you take too much creatine you can have stomach discomfort and as lifters, this is something that we never want!

Creatine pouring in water

Keep taking your creatine consistently for the next couple of weeks, don’t rush the process and you will definitely see results.

Even if you do take too much creatine and have an upset stomach, just take a lesser dose in the future. Creatine has had around 300 studies and it has shown that the only effects it has had are bloating and stomach discomfort.

How Does Creatine Work

Before we can understand how long creatine takes to start working, we first need to understand how creatine works.

Creatine is one of your body’s natural sources of energy for your muscles, and naturally produces about 2 grams of creatine each day. It’s stored in your muscles for quick access whenever they need energy.

The more creatine you can store in your muscles, the more energy that the muscle is going to have, which can make working out feel easier.

How Long Does Creatine Take to Start Working?

Once you start supplementing creatine the amount of creatine stored in your muscles starts increasing.

Your muscles have a limit to how much creatine they can hold, and when you hit this limit you will notice the performance benefits of creatine the most.

These performance benefits include strength gain, increased lean muscle mass, muscle recovery, and increased energy for exercises.

The amount of time creatine takes to start working all depends on how fast your muscles can reach their “full” level.

The most common way people reach their “full” level quickly is to do something called a loading phase, and then follow it with a maintenance phase.

graph of how long creatine takes to work

Creatine Loading Phase

A loading phase is where you take larger doses of creatine for 7-14 days to get your muscles up to full capacity as fast as possible.

Common loading phases normally include creatine doses of anywhere from 10-25g of creatine, depending on the size of the person.

These are very effective for getting creatine to work quickly and you can see results between 7 and 14 days.

Creatine Maintenence Phase

A maintenance phase is used to keep your creatine muscle capacity full and doesn’t need as large a dose as the loading phase.

Common maintenance phases are between 2-10 grams of creatine each day.

If you decide to just take a maintenance-level dose, maybe because your stomach gets upset easily or for some other reason, it will take about twice as long to get your muscles to full capacity, around 30 days.

What Sort of Results Can You Expect After 1 Month of Creatine Use?

After one month of creatine use, the muscle’s full capacity has definitely been reached.

Multiple studies have shown that subjects training with creatine can progress 14% faster than subjects training without creatine supplements.

Graph of expected progress on creatine

These aren’t night and day differences, but if you’re putting work in at the gym you want to see all the results you can and creatine is a really good natural way of increasing these results.

Don’t forget that everyone has naturally different stored creatine levels, so the results of creatine may vary depending on the person.

Does It Matter When You Take Creatine?

It doesn’t really matter when you take creatine, although a meal with carbs and protein can increase creatine’s effectiveness a bit.

How to Increase Creatine Intake Naturally

You don’t need to take supplements if you want to increase your creatine stores, and you can do it naturally.

Creatine can be found in red meats like steak, beef, pork, seafood like salmon and tuna, and milk.

natural creatine source

Where Can you Buy Creatine Supplements?

The creatine that I personally use is ON creatine. I like this creatine because it’s not overly expensive and is really good quality. I bought the 120 servings bottle, and it has lasted me many months and is cheaper than the 60 servings bottle

Naturebell is another high-quality creatine supplement, and I really like how easily this one dissolves in water. It’s absolutely tasteless, so it’s great combined with a meal.

If you want to buy your creatine in bulk, Bulksuplements creatine is a great choice as well.

Final Thoughts

My experience with creatine has been great, and since I started taking it my strength has grown noticeably.

I first did a loading phase for 5-7 days and then went to a maintenance phase of 2.5 grams of creatine each day. The first day of taking creatine I did have a stomach ache, but my body was fine the next day.

It took longer for me to get results than most people, after a month I noticed that I had more energy and power when I was lifting.

Most people can expect to see full results within two weeks if they’re doing a loading phase, and within a month if they’re taking regular doses.

Comment below and let us know how creatine has helped your workouts!

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