|I think everyone will make these "debates" more efficient by telling your own personal creatine stories, not what you have heard or not heard. So I will start with my own history and effects (good and bad) of taking it.
I have been taking Creatine on and off for a period of two and a half years. When I went on it, I stayed on it for about 6 months, which as I do more research I am learning (and my body is telling me) that this is too long of a period to take it. After those first 6 months, I stopped for a whole year, mainly because I had seen terrific results and did not want to get dependent on it. I had reached a plateau in my training after a couple months. The next four were just maintenance and probably useless because I think it is "smart" to give your body a break on something that you would not normally be getting in the first place.
So, I stopped for a year. The battle to get back to my strength that I had with creatine was a frustrating one because I DID get WEAKER when I stopped taking it. It was deflating psychologically and physically to me, but I promised I would get back to the strength I had while on Creatine without having taken it in a while. Finally, I did. For the 8 months, I have decided to go 6 weeks on creatine and a minimum of 4-5 weeks off. Give your body time to flush out the creatine build-up, work out like crazy, and then cycle on again for 6 weeks. It has really worked the best for me so far.
I will say that when I first started taking it, I cramped up on a pretty regular basis, especially in my bigger muscle groups (triceps, quads especially), but that seemed to wane over time. I was also more restless and going to the gym became more of a "must" and I did not have much concern for other things as I did before. Third, on occasion I did experience a "warm pain" around my kidneys area and I did not like that at all, but I WAS DRINKING AT THAT TIME ALSO. Since I am out of college now and do not drink as much, I have NEVER HAD THAT "WARM PAIN" to this day.
In conclusion, if you are taking creatine monohydrate, do like I do: keep your reading on it up to date, take a dosage at the same level OR LOWER than the recommended dosage (I had a buddy that took 4 teaspoonfuls at a rate of 4 times a day!! What a moron. No wonder he had DIARRHEA! BE smart guys!), drink plenty of fluid (juice, water, milk), stay away from caffeine and other diuretics (especially alcohol), and most important, maintain a healthy diet but GET ENOUGH SLEEP! Your WHOLE body regenerates fully with 8 hours. Getting 4 hours and loading your system with creatine cannot be HEALTHY. My personal opinion from what my body tells me and my research has found that it is safe when you use it SAFELY! Good luck guys in your goals and keep reading about it!
Join the conversation by e-mailing your supplement review or question
To maintain quality, we review each submission before posting.