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    Beginner's Creatine, Protein & Misc. Supplement FAQ *Must Read*

    Disclaimer (Must Read): Supplements can be a great training and fitness aid but before starting with them, make sure you set up a proper diet and training regimen, read Nutrition Section sticky threads if you haven't, the Workout and Exercise Section also contain good information to help you pick a routine depending on your goals. If these are not met you won't fully take advantage of most supplements.

    Always follow directions on the bottle of the supplements. If you're under 18 years old read this.

    Everything you read in this thread and forum is for information purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, you should contact your physician before starting any supplement, training or diet program and make sure you're a healthy individual.


    Creatine FAQ


    - How much creatine should I take?

    Clinical dosage shows 2.5-6 grams a day is enough depending on body weight, this applies to most forms of creatine alone or combined. After about a month you'll reach saturation, then you can take it 4-5x a week to maintain saturation. Anything more once you reach what you're body can store, will be excreted.

    - Do I need to load creatine? (Loading: Taking more than 5-6 grams creatine for 1 week)

    No. It is not necessary, you'll reach saturation quicker but this might result in gastrointestinal issues and the so called "bloating" (Water retention).

    - What's the best form of creatine?

    Creatine monohydrate is the most researched, proved and cheapest form. There are other like creatine HCL or Magnesium creatine chelate that may provide additional benefits and have other characteristics, make sure you research before purchasing.

    - When should I take creatine?

    Whenever you can, timing won't make a major difference in performance.

    - Should I take creatine with carbohydrates, grape juice or anything special?

    No, that's not needed for it to work properly.

    - How long will creatine stay in my body?

    Supplemental creatine should stay in the body for about 3-5 weeks, if you had to stop taking it for some days for whatever reason, you can resume dosage normally.

    - I'm a beginner that's just starting to lift or don't have experience with supplements, should I use creatine?

    It's recommended that first you set up a proper diet and training program then you might start looking into supplementation, creatine is one of the most basic staples for most people so it's a good place to begin once everything else is in place.

    - I started using creatine and i'm cramping or experiencing other side effects?

    Main reason for cramping is not staying well hydrated while on creatine, make sure you drink enough water. If you experience any side effect, discontinue use.

    - I'm cutting/losing weight, should I use creatine?

    Typically people might be afraid of water retention during a cutting phase, but extracellular "bloating" is mostly due to a unnecessary high dosing or loading creatine protocol and/or not drinking enough water, creatine might help you keep strength and volume during a cut, so most people still use it.

    - Do I need to cycle off creatine, is it safe? (Cycling off: Stop taking it for a period of time)

    Research has suggested that creatine is relatively safe on medium-long term, there's no specific reason to cycle off but you might want to at your own discretion.

    - What happens after you stop taking creatine? do you lose muscle?

    You'll likely lose some strength and a little volume due to intracellular water moving away from fibers, actual muscle is not lost.

    - Does caffeine affect creatine negatively?

    No it won't, at least to any considerable degree, they're fine together.

    - Can i mix creatine with whey protein, preworkout supplement or my favorite drink?

    Yes, that's generally fine.

    - My preworkout supplement already has creatine, do i need to take more?

    Depends on the amount it contains, some are in proprietary blends, so unless it's disclosed or you know the quantity, you might have to use additional creatine.


    Protein Supplement FAQ


    - How much Supplemental Protein should i use?

    This depends on your diet and how much you want to use to help you meet your daily requirements, once you read about nutrition and have a good diet you'll be able to decide how much supplemental protein you need.

    - When is the best time to take Supplemental Protein?

    Any time you want to help you reach your nutritional requirements, you don't need to use it exclusively pre/post workout.

    - What's the best Protein supplement?

    There are many types of protein like Whey concentrate/isolate, Casein, Milk protein concentrate/isolate, Pea concentrate/isolate, Rice concentrate, blends of various forms etc.

    If you have a high lactose intolerance, Isolate versions have little to none lactose while concentrate has more, Plant sources like Pea and Rice are recommended if you want to avoid dairy protein all together.

    You don't need to get a specific kind of Protein for any timing purpose (I.E. Fast digesting postworkout or casein at night), generally you won't notice a major difference between which one you use, but blends seem to have a slight advantage and are more filling.

    - Should I use Protein or a weight gainer? I want to Lose/Gain weight.

    Whether you lose or gain weight will depend on your overall diet and training, not a protein supplement. Losing/Gaining weight essentially comes down to a caloric surplus or deficit with some macronutrient management. As explained above Supplemental Protein including weight gainer are used to fill gaps on your diet.

    - Should I use Supplemental Protein on offdays when i don't workout?

    It's advisable protein intake to remain constant every day. This means you'd consume the same amount of it for your requirements daily, with or without help from supplements.

    - Is it true your body can only absorb 20-30 grams of protein in one meal?

    That's not true, though consuming 50g+ Protein in any form might cause stomach issues for some people.


    Supplement Miscellaneous FAQ


    - Are Supplements necessary to gain muscle, lose fat or any other goal? and will they give me results? (Suggested by MasterBench)

    Supplements are not essentially needed to make progress for your goal (any), they are an aid. Diet and training are more important and will dictate how much you improve.

    - How should I take Beta Alanine?

    Clinical dosage is around 3-4 grams a day and has been suggested (if possible) splitting dosage with food might be ideal.

    - I took a Preworkout or other supplement and felt some tingles and/or rash and redness that went away in 10 minutes or so, what is it?

    Tingles on the skin (paraesthesia) are commonly due to Beta alanine, this decreases with continued use. If you experience a momentarily redness or rash, first make sure you're not allergic but this can also be due to the niacin content in a supplement, commonly known as "niacin flush". Sometimes eating something before hand may reduce both of these.

    - Should I use BCAA/Amino Acids?

    All complete protein is formed by BCAA/Esential Amino Acids, it's isolated free form might be useful in certain situations like on a caloric deficit, training when fasted (without eating in a long lapse of time like early morning) or when protein intake is not optimal, you'd benefit most from them on these instances. BCAA have anti-catabolic properties and several anecdotal reports on recovery and endurance.

    - How much BCAA/EAA should i use?

    Typical dosages range on the 8-10 grams BCAA/EAA containing 2-5 grams worth of L-Leucine for maximal muscle protein synthesis response.

    - When should I take Free form BCAA/EAA?

    Pre and/or Intra workout or in between meals is ideal. Consuming free form BCAA/EAA with complete protein or a meal is not optimal and blunts most of the purpose.

    - How do I pick a good Fish oil Supplement? (Suggested by eatyourspinach)

    Making sure it's produced from a reliable source of fish is important, typical diets often have enough Omegas 6 and 9, so focus is mostly on the Omega 3 which may provide various benefits. Usually clinical doses range on the 1-2 grams of combined EPA-DHA content.

    - How do I choose a Multivitamin? (Suggested by eatyourspinach)

    Good information and discussion about Multivitamins can be found here.

    - What's the best "x" Supplement?

    There are many options, there's no best. You can read here for some discussion, search the forum with the bar on the top of page, ultimately if you're looking for something in particular, you can ask around.

    - I took a Preworkout and had to go to the bathroom, why?

    That's common when taking products with stimulants like caffeine, you could try less of the product or avoid preworkouts with stimulants if it keeps giving you issues. Make sure the problem is not due to a medical reason.

    - I have a question about a product, report a side effect or something customer service related. What should i do?

    Best way is to contact and send a personal message to a company representative, you can find who they are in the Directory.

    - I experienced a side effect, what should i do?

    Follow the labels on the product, generally they recommend discontinuing use and consult a doctor. You can contact a Company Representative to see what they can do.

    - Is "x" Supplement safe? can I combine (stack) "x" and "x" Supplement?

    There's some extensive safety data on some ingredients, on other not so much, use supplements at your own discretion. Before using various supplements make sure ingredients don't overlap (I.E using two caffeinated products won't be a pleasant experience), research the interactions, use the search bar or ask the company representatives. If you're not sure about how you'll react to supplement(s), check with a physician first.

    - I want to learn more about some ingredients, what can I do?

    You can look into this thread, search the Bodybuilding.com Database or the Supplement Science Section.
    Last edited by DASBUNKER; 05-08-2014 at 01:34 PM.
    I'm all carb'd up
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  2. #2
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    Let me know if it needs corrections, other Q's or different wording. (Before i can't edit)
    I'm all carb'd up
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  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by DASBUNKER View Post
    Let me know if it needs corrections, other Q's or different wording. (Before i can't edit)
    Capitalize the "I"'s
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  4. #4
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    looks solid. hopefully you can get this a sticky.
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    Originally Posted by emergency View Post
    looks solid. hopefully you can get this a sticky.
    I second the sticky suggestion.
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    In b4 sticky.
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    you spelled BEGINNER incorrectly.
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    "Beginner"

    Solid post though.
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    Looks solid.
    I would also add one about "what supplement will help me gain muscle/lose fat?"
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  10. #10
    tap water connoisseur eatyourspinach's Avatar
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    Maybe a multi/fish oil addition to the supplements.
    I'm not necessarily "smart," but I make up for it by being completely full of BS.
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    solid post! I vote for sticky as well, great write up

    in before sticky
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  12. #12
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    Think i got all the I's, thanks for the sticky mention.

    LOL @ beginners dayummm, hopefully a mod can change it, i even double checked and still got it wrong lol
    I'm all carb'd up
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by MasterBench View Post
    Looks solid.
    I would also add one about "what supplement will help me gain muscle/lose fat?"
    Answer?

    Originally Posted by eatyourspinach View Post
    Maybe a multi/fish oil addition to the supplements.
    Explaining the importance of EPA/DHA.. suggested dosage 1-3g combined? or what y'all think?

    EDIT: Title has changed, thank you whoever did it.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by DASBUNKER View Post
    Think i got all the I's, thanks for the sticky mention.

    LOL @ beginners dayummm, hopefully a mod can change it, i even double checked and still got it wrong lol
    you could always copy the whole thing delete it and then paste in a new one. Mods have changed typos for me in the past
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  15. #15
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    Very good Bunker.
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  16. #16
    tap water connoisseur eatyourspinach's Avatar
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    I just realized this is your second attempt http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...uide+beginners don't give up OP
    I'm not necessarily "smart," but I make up for it by being completely full of BS.
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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by eatyourspinach View Post
    I just realized this is your second attempt http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...uide+beginners don't give up OP
    lol that was just the initiative to get something more elaborated done but it's pretty time consuming, so just opted for throwing this together.
    I'm all carb'd up
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  18. #18
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    Awesome thread! Please sticky this for people to ignore and post these questions anyway. Hope that doesn't happen and people would read it though.
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  19. #19
    我学习汉语 Bigdumogre's Avatar
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    Great write up

    Now to get people to read it lol
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  20. #20
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    Defiantly should be a sticky it helped me out!
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by zacksager11 View Post
    Defiantly should be a sticky it helped me out!
    Thanks, hope you read the part about being under 18 years old added a couple more Q's.
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  22. #22
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    Nice job! All the basics are there, just simple answer straight to the point. Put the sticky on that thread!

    It could also stay a work in progress so whenever new research come out or someone want to add something, they could post it here and if it's right, it could be added to the first post!
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  23. #23
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    I nominate this for a sticky
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  24. #24
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    Excellent write up OP!

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  25. #25
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    Great write up OP, thanks for taking the time to type that all out. Hopefully this can be stickied or at least linked to the countless daily threads regarding these topics!
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  26. #26
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    sticky nomination +1
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  27. #27
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    Thanks to the Mods for sticking and everyone for nominating Hope thread helps some people.
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  28. #28
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    Congrats on making sticky.
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  29. #29
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    Great thread, glad someone finally made this. The only unfortunate thing is the ones who actually need to read this most likely won't even see it. Noobs never read stickies or do research first...
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  30. #30
    Snowcone Addict Misctake7's Avatar
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    Just noticed this was stickied. Awesome! Hope some people catch this thread before posting questions.
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