Learn exactly what happens inside your body when you load creatine for 7 days. Taking 20 to 25 grams of creatine monohydrate per day can have many benefits, but also comes with it’s side effects. Find out how to load creatine, and how it effects your body both inside and out.
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Loading creatine for just 7 days can rapidly increase muscle growth, strength, and athletic performance amongst many other changes within your body. All of these benefits can be achieved by way of a natural supplement that has been proven to be very safe and effective after decades of research. All of our muscles already naturally contain creatine since our bodies naturally produce about 1 gram of creatine per day and it’s present in many high-protein foods such as meat, chicken, and fish. With that said supplementation is typically needed to maximize creatine stores within the muscles. But even with supplementation it generally takes a lot longer than just 7 days, unless you do what’s known as a loading phase. So in this video, we’re going to take a journey inside the body to discover exactly what’ll happen step by step as you saturate your muscles with creatine all within just one week.
First understand the way that creatine fuels our muscles and provides bursts of energy for high-intensity activities like sprinting, lifting weights, or boxing, is largely tied to a molecule known as ATP, which is short for adenosine triphosphate. Atp provides energy to our cells, but it’s quickly depleted during strenuous activity. So that’s where creatine comes into play. Your body stores phosphocreatine within your muscle cells, as a reserve energy source. When you go through intense physical work like bench pressing or hitting a heavy bag for example your muscle cells use up one of the three phosphocreatine molecules found within adenosine TRI phosphate to generate energy, turning it into Adenosine Diphosphate or ADP. It’s at this point that the phosphocreatine that’s stored in your muscle cells can quickly be used to turn adp back into the usable form atp. (1) This fast ATP regeneration allows your muscles to continue working at peak efficiency even after the initial ATP stores get exhausted.
So essentially the creatine stored within your muscles is like having a supply of energy in reserve that activates when you need it most, delaying fatigue and exhaustion while providing energy for explosive movements. The best part is that by consuming the right dosage of creatine, you can maximize your muscles’ creatine stores within just seven days so that you’re prepared for peak performance and loading for this short length of time can also lead to visible improvements in muscle size and body composition. Usually, it’s recommended to take 20 to 25 grams of creatine per day for those first 7 days. There are also more exact recommendations that are based on your body weight. To calculate those exact recommendations out you can multiply your weight in kilograms by 0.3 or you can simply stick to the 20 to 25 grams per day guideline. This may sound like a lot, but during this initial period, your muscle cells will act like sponges absorbing and storing the majority of all that extra creatine (2). So think of your muscle cells like empty containers that fill up when you add additional creatine.. This creatine increases your muscles’ energy reservoir so they’re better prepared to provide quick bursts of energy. The amount of creatine in your muscle cells will gradually rise as the loading days go on. By the end of the seven-day loading phase, your muscles should be completely saturated with creatine, increasing strength, power, and endurance in a relatively short amount of time.
During those 7 days creatine will also gradually draw water into your muscle cells, resulting in increased cellular hydration. This happens automatically because your body will try to maintain your cells’ delicate equilibrium. Your muscles store creatine and water together. To keep that balance, your cells will naturally retain more water as you increase your creatine intake. This can lead to an increase in muscle volume, which can contribute to an improvement in muscle appearance. In other words as creatine draws water into your muscles they’ll look bigger. This is often referred to as a “pumped” or fuller look. With that said it’s important to realize that this effect is primarily due to increased water retention rather than actual muscle growth within just 7 short days. But as long as you keep your creatine stores maximized, which I’ll go over how to do in second, that increased cellular hydration can actually assist with muscle growth over time by placing pressure against muscle cell membranes and cytoskeleton which gets perceived as a threat to your muscle cells integrity, triggering…