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  1. #1
    Registered User tkdnj's Avatar
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    Looking for advice regarding creatine

    Hello all - Been training for many years, but never took creatine since I've heard conflicting things regarding its safety and benefits. I know I can read about it in 1000 places, but I was looking for advice and actual experiences from guys like me (50+, advanced lifter, natural). My questions include:

    1. How much to take?
    2. How long should I take it?
    3. How long should I be off it before taking it again?
    4. Do I need to load and taper?
    5. What king of benefits have you seen? Do you lose them when you go off?
    6. Side effects?
    7. Any health risks?
    8. Is there a certain type or brand you can recommend?

    In case it matters, I am 56, 160 pounds, about 15% body fat.

    Thanks!!! Your input is greatly appreciated!!!
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    There is a sticky thread in the supplements section that answers all of this. Creatine is well studied, the only reason you might see conflicting information is that some of it is nonsense. If you want a ground truth (based on clinical evidence) for any supplement, start with examine.com
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  3. #3
    Registered User tkdnj's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    There is a sticky thread in the supplements section that answers all of this. Creatine is well studied, the only reason you might see conflicting information is that some of it is nonsense. If you want a ground truth (based on clinical evidence) for any supplement, start with examine.com
    Thanks, I'll do that (and have done some research already), but I would also like to hear about actual experiences, especially from guys in our age bracket
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  4. #4
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tkdnj View Post
    Thanks, I'll do that (and have done some research already), but I would also like to hear about actual experiences, especially from guys in our age bracket
    OK, anecdotes are problematic but FWIW, I find it very hard to tell if it's making a difference or not because muscle gain is a slow process and it's small fraction of that slow process. It doesn't affect my weight that much so perhaps I'm not a big responder. If I take it every day, I just pee a lot so perhaps it's just coming back out again. It's so cheap though, I would rather take it in case it helps.
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  5. #5
    Da1UnV bodyhard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tkdnj View Post
    Hello all - Been training for many years, but never took creatine since I've heard conflicting things regarding its safety and benefits. I know I can read about it in 1000 places, but I was looking for advice and actual experiences from guys like me (50+, advanced lifter, natural). My questions include:

    1. How much to take?
    2. How long should I take it?
    3. How long should I be off it before taking it again?
    4. Do I need to load and taper?
    5. What king of benefits have you seen? Do you lose them when you go off?
    6. Side effects?
    7. Any health risks?
    8. Is there a certain type or brand you can recommend?

    In case it matters, I am 56, 160 pounds, about 15% body fat.

    Thanks!!! Your input is greatly appreciated!!!
    Ive been taking creatine since the 80's, one of the best supplements out there, but folks try to hype it up. Best creatine in my opinion is pure Creatine Monohydrate and it is cheap.
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  6. #6
    Fatter than last time ezra76's Avatar
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    I bought some from Walmart and didn't load it. I just add a 5g scoop to my preworkout mix. I'm not exactly sure on results as I've only been back lifting like 6-7 weeks so lifts are going up fast anyway.

    Using it in the past I felt like it did work, had a nice little bump up in strength, faster than it had been progressing prior.

    Nothing negative except possibly holding more water weight. I have pics while on on it bulked then off it but off it I was doing an "epic" cut so was very dry/lean in those pics.
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  7. #7
    OCB Pro smokinal's Avatar
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    Same as others; I've been on 5g per day, every day for ~25 yrs.
    It's just become one of my morning rituals to add a tsp to my morning whey.
    No need to cycle, take every day, in any liquid, any time of day, for as many years as you want.

    Back 20-25 yrs ago, everyone thought you had to take it with grape juice or some other sugary drink to "drive it into your muscles", this has been proven to be false.
    No need to load either; although it's cheap enough that it may not hurt to do 5g am and 5g pm for a week. You may have gastric issues if you do this though.

    Bottom line is, creatine is the most studied, safest, most proven legal supp out there. It's not a miracle supp; it helps with strength and stamina some.
    It's a saturation-type supp so you will not "feel" anything after ingesting; just get your body saturated with it and that's when any benefits will occur.
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  8. #8
    Registered User xTeTe's Avatar
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    I like to take the capsules of mono. Easy to transport in my lunch bag and I don't have to go through the trouble of mixing the power into a drink. Costs a bit more though.

    Also, don't waste your money on Creatine HCL.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Luclin999's Avatar
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    I take 5g per day.

    Two biggest factors for me are:

    1. If you are taking it as a powder to mix in a drink, then find a good brand that dissolves/mixes well.

    2. Make sure that your doctor knows that you are supplementing it because it can cause a spike in your creatinine levels in a blood work panel which could otherwise lead the doctor to think that you may be developing kidney issues.
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  10. #10
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    It works for sure - but it isn’t going to blow you up of course

    I’d recommend getting creapure its like $3 more for a tub - regular mono micronized is probably fine to. Skip the fancy overpriced stuff.

    Results - expect a slight advantage while pushing the same weight and maybe a bit more energy/stamina nothing earth shattering but helpful

    you don’t need to load or anything 5g a day is probably more than enough.


    Also expect some water weight gain
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  11. #11
    Registered User adamgentile's Avatar
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    If you are a eggs, chicken and steak type of person no need for the powered stuff. As someone said above it can alter your blood work as well.
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  12. #12
    Registered User brit-iron's Avatar
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    I've taken it several times over the years, but tbh it didn't make much of a difference for me. Maybe because I eat a lot of beef idk.
    So haven't bought any for a long time.
    For the price though it's definitely worth looking.
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  13. #13
    GO GREEN! tmonkey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by adamgentile View Post
    If you are a eggs, chicken and steak type of person no need for the powered stuff. As someone said above it can alter your blood work as well.

    I guess the scientific studies are wrong then?

    Diet is king but you will not have optimal levels without supps
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  14. #14
    Clearly Irrational blue9steel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    If you want a ground truth (based on clinical evidence) for any supplement, start with examine.com
    ^This.
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  15. #15
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    Originally Posted by blue9steel View Post
    ^This.
    Hmm, did I miss something? Looks like at examine.com you have to pay for any info?
    I mean, a cost-free option is to search for 'scholarly articles creatine'
    I'm two posts away from being able to add links... but I found several pertinent articles that way, including a nice meta-analysis for creatine with resistance training in adults over 50.
    Meta-analyses are particularly helpful because they use statistical tools to evaluate findings across multiple studies.
    The article "Effect of creatine supplementation during resistance training on lean tissue mass and muscular strength in older adults: a meta-analysis" compares 22 studies/articles, and found: "In summary, creatine supplementation increases lean tissue mass and upper and lower body muscular strength during resistance training of older adults, but potential mechanisms by which creatine exerts these positive effects have yet to be evaluated extensively."


    Personally I have access to medical libraries, so thankfully mountains of clinical evidence are at my fingertips. Now, if I just didn't have to do that pesky thing called 'work.' :P
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  16. #16
    Registered User tkdnj's Avatar
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    This is all great information, very helpful!!! Thanks!!!!
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  17. #17
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PhDPepper1111 View Post
    Hmm, did I miss something? Looks like at examine.com you have to pay for any info?
    I mean, a cost-free option is to search for 'scholarly articles creatine'
    I'm two posts away from being able to add links... but I found several pertinent articles that way, including a nice meta-analysis for creatine with resistance training in adults over 50.
    Meta-analyses are particularly helpful because they use statistical tools to evaluate findings across multiple studies.
    The article "Effect of creatine supplementation during resistance training on lean tissue mass and muscular strength in older adults: a meta-analysis" compares 22 studies/articles, and found: "In summary, creatine supplementation increases lean tissue mass and upper and lower body muscular strength during resistance training of older adults, but potential mechanisms by which creatine exerts these positive effects have yet to be evaluated extensively."


    Personally I have access to medical libraries, so thankfully mountains of clinical evidence are at my fingertips. Now, if I just didn't have to do that pesky thing called 'work.' :P
    There is a lot of free information:
    https://examine.com/supplements/creatine/
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    There is a lot of free information:
    (Suffolk's link here)
    Cool. I'll have to try it when I'm not behind a firewall... I can get to the main examine page... can't find the free stuff, but for some reason your link gets blocked (it must think it's an ad or something).
    Why NOT?

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    Registered User Zeke2112's Avatar
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    I have been using Muscle Feast Creapure Creatine Monohydrate. It only requires one scoop daily post workout.

    Other forms of creatine I have used required more scoops. For example my previous brand was 3 to 4 scoops daily.

    Examine is a great site for info. I also use Labdoor to find tested and certified brands.

    Healthline is a great site that discusses the benefits of supplements.

    10 Health and Performance Benefits of Creatine on Healthline.

    Hope that helps.
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  20. #20
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    Originally Posted by tkdnj View Post
    5. What king of benefits have you seen? Do you lose them when you go off?
    in my case, results from creatine were always consistent and measurable. But, here is downside - as soon as I stop taking it, I lose that edge and tend to roll back a little. I know, many folks on here will have something to say, but I am talking about those times when I was operating at the very end of my scale, you know, the times when intensity and volume were my biggest ever. So, during those time creatine would take me a notch further, and roll it back when I am off. Also, another controversial supp I keep talking about is glutamine. The best results ever were when I was taking creatine mixed with glutamine and with smaller quantity of water. I am talking swirling this concoction in half a glass of water into some white sludge and drinking it. Usual recommendation is 16oz of water which I find a completely wrong way of taking creatine. This is my unscientific anecdotal 2c.
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  21. #21
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    Just get Creatine Monohydrate. It's the same everywhere. I usually get it from MyProtein since they're quite reliable.

    Take a small scoop (5g) per day. If you are just starting it may help to load 20g (4 scoops) in one go on the first day and then take 5g every day after that. When you forgot to take it one day just take two the other day and you're good.

    You don't have to be off it for a while like many people proclaim. If you genuinely prefer to experiment with that that doesn't hurt but taking Creatine for years without a pause is also fine and not harmful. No side effects really unless you take in a lot. Might feel it in your stomach.

    But creatine comes from red meat as well, so since humans don't eat a lot of red meat it's only wise to supplement that.

    Benefits: more reps, better strength overall on all exercises. you look bigger since your body retains more water (could be experienced as a negative effect if you have a high body fat percentage or are simply fat. but most guys love that)
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  22. #22
    Registered User DevidChan's Avatar
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    thank you very much for your recommendations
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  23. #23
    Crawling back under rock OldFartTom's Avatar
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    Statistical studies compare one population with another population (and prove that creatine "works" very well) but they don't predict a specific individual's outcome.

    With creatine supplement response, individual variations are particularly/unusually large, with about 25% of people responding so low that they get lumped into the "non responder" category. Unfortunately for me I fall into that category but chances are good you'll have better luck.

    You can read study after study of how it affects the training population (works well) and ask others too. But to find out how you as an individual will respond? You have to try it and see.
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  24. #24
    Registered User PhDPepper1111's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by OldFartTom View Post
    Statistical studies compare one population with another population (and prove that creatine "works" very well) but they don't predict a specific individual's outcome.

    With creatine supplement response, individual variations are particularly/unusually large, with about 25% of people responding so low that they get lumped into the "non responder" category. Unfortunately for me I fall into that category but chances are good you'll have better luck.

    You can read study after study of how it affects the training population (works well) and ask others too. But to find out how you as an individual will respond? You have to try it and see.
    Agree.
    Also note that you won't even know if it's 'working' really - particularly if you are getting back into lifting compared to no lifting before - any gains may be due to the change in behavior rather than supplement. Supplement studies (those worth their salt) compare gains of groups of people who are randomly assigned to creatine/no creatine groups with similar workouts to allow comparison.
    With a study where N=1 (that means you are trying it out yourself), there are many variables which may result in any changes.

    That said, I'm trying it for the first time myself
    Good luck!
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  25. #25
    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    I take it every day, in case it is doing something. However I've never noticed any positive effects, and it doesn't seem to affect my weight either. I just keep taking it because it's so cheap.
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