Creatine Supplementation Protocols: How to load and Maintain Creatine Stores

Posted: Thursday, 17 May 2012 by Strength&Nutrition24/7 in Labels: , ,

Written by Vincent St. Pierre

The most common and effective way of increasing your creatine stores is through loading. So, what is the best way to load? How much should you take? And for how long should you load?

Now as previously mentioned the best form of creatine to take is creatine monohydrate; for why please refer to this article. don’t fall for the sales pitch that you don’t need to load with this form of creatine or this new mix..... It’s not true!!!

  • To load creatine you want to take approximately 0.3g/kg/day.

What does this look like: 

  • 200 lb (91 kg) * 0.3=27.3 grams per day 
  • 150 lb (68 kg) * 0.3= 20.4 grams per day

This is meant to show you that the standard loading of 20 grams per day is designed around someone who is 150 lb (68 kg). When taking your dose, the research suggests splitting it up into 5g increments. If you are supposed to take 20 grams have 5 grams 4 x over the course of the day. The majority of the creatine storage will occur in the first 2-3 days, but the loading is effective and important to continue for 5-7 days.

The loading phase is so effective that it is capable of increasing your creatine stores by 10-40%

After the week of loading has passed your body only requires 3-5 grams of supplementation to maintain its storage

Another method that many athletes like to implement is to load creatine monohydrate for a week every 3-4 weeks without using the maintenance part. This may work because in theory it takes 4-6 weeks for your creatine stores to return to baseline. This method has been found to be an effective way in maintaining elevated creatine stores over time.


  • Loading should be completed for a minimum of 3 days with 5-7 being optimal
  • 0.3 g/kg/day is the amount one should load with 
  • Spread the loading dose over the day in amounts of 5 grams
  • Following the loading supplement with 3-5 grams a day to maintain 
  • Another way commonly used by athletes is to only load every 3-4 weeks with no maintenance 
  • Note: the quality of creatine can play a big role on how enjoyable the loading phase is. Please refer to this article for info on quality 
  • If you’re interested on whether you should load as an athlete refer to this article