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Creatine is one of the most popular and effective supplements for all types of athletes: bodybuilders, strength athletes, team sports competitors—you name it! In fact, exercise physiologist and researcher Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., believes nearly everyone should take creatine monohydrate.

But how much creatine per day is right for you? This calculator will provide a daily dose recommendation that you can take indefinitely to achieve the muscle, strength, and health benefits of creatine supplementation.

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Now that you know how much creatine to take, here are your next steps:

1. Pick a workout plan

Following a well-designed lifting program is the best way to help creatine do what it does best: increase muscle mass and strength! Here are some of the most popular ones from BodyFit:

Shortcut to Size

beginner
|
12 Weeks

Kris Gethin Muscle Building

advanced
|
12 Weeks

Modern Physique

intermediate
|
8 Weeks

Garage Gains

intermediate
|
6 Weeks

2. Calculate Your Macros

Creatine on its own isn't enough! You also need to eat adequate protein and calories to increase lean body mass, and muscle mass in particular. The Bodybuilding.com Macronutrient Calculator will give you a daily target for not only protein, but also carbohydrates, dietary fats, and calories.

3. Learn about the other best supplements for gaining muscle

Several supplements can help you accelerate your lean-mass-building results once you start taking creatine and have your training and nutrition nailed down. Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., shares her recommendations in the article, "8 Proven Supplements for Muscle Growth and Strength."

4. Join a Fitness Community

For over 10 years, members of BodySpace have been helping each other build their best bodies. Join the world's strongest fitness community!

How did we calculate your creatine dosage?

Our calculation is based on this scale:

  • Under 120 pounds: 3 grams
  • 121-200 pounds: 5 grams
  • Over 200 pounds: 8 grams

The standard dosage recommendation for creatine is 3-5 grams per day. Either of these amounts should be sufficient for all but the largest and most muscular athletes, particularly if they are getting the normal amount of 1-2 grams per day from their diet. But 5 grams is the most-studied dosage, and the dosage linked with the benefits most people are seeking from creatine usage. It's also the size of the scoops in most creatine monohydrate products!

Should I do a loading protocol before starting this dosage?

Many people start taking creatine by undergoing a five-day "loading protocol" where they take the recommended dose four times per day to "saturate" their muscles. After that, they'll cut back to 3-5 grams per day as a "maintenance" dose.

You can definitely start your dosage with a loading protocol, but it's not necessary. In the article, "What does Creatine Do and How Does it Work?" powerlifter and bodybuilder Layne Norton, Ph.D., notes that loading can help you start seeing and feeling the results of creatine slightly more quickly. Otherwise, it takes 2-4 weeks of daily maintenance doses to fully saturate your muscles.

The only downside is loading protocols are usually where people experience the limited side effects of creatine monohydrate, such as bloating and mild abdominal cramping. Most people can avoid these side effects by simply taking the maintenance dose, which is why Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., says she recommends it more often in the article, "Your Complete Guide to Creatine."

Is the creatine I get from my pre-workout enough?

Many pre-workout supplement blends contain some type of creatine in a 3-5 grams dose. The only problem: Taking it this way doesn't directly impact your workout because, as supplement expert and bodybuilder Darryn Willoughby explains in "5 Ways to Get More from Your Supplements," "creatine is not readily assimilated" by the body.

His recommendation: Take 3-5 grams of creatine daily, even if you're getting it from your pre-workout. This ensures that you're getting enough.

What if I miss a dose?

Once you've achieved saturation, either through a loading protocol or consistent supplementation of 3-5 grams, you don't need to worry if you miss a day or two. Research shows creatine levels can stay elevated for as long as 4-6 weeks after stopping supplementation. And no, you don't need to "double up" to cover your missed days. Just get back on schedule with your daily dose.

Top Selling Creatine Products

Get Systematic About Your Results

Once you have your daily creatine intake, it's time to take the same kind of strategic approach to the rest of your training and nutrition. These popular calculators can help you dial in your plan!

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