I’ve heard you say you don’t use creatine much, and it doesn’t do much for you. But I’ve also heard you say you put 10lbs on with the stuff in 9 days.
Why the discrepancy?
Both statements are true, but they represent two different points in time. Let me explain.
I first used creatine in 1993 or 4, just prior to EAS introducing it – when it became a household word.
The product was genuine – creatine monohydrate from Ashdown Laboratories, San Diego CA.
They were also one of the few outfits putting out legit OKG at the time, another “hot” supplement of that time.
I loaded up with the stuff at 20g/day for a week, then cut back to 10g/day. Bear in mind it was a whopping $80 for 100g at the time and… not much happened.
I would read stories of people putting on 3, 5, sometimes 10lbs or more and then… nothing.
I thought, how could this be? Then I started looking further into it.
Just prior to hopping on it, I was gifted a whole lotta venison by a friend. I had also been eating a lot of tuna and I think herring, which come to find out were rich, natural sources of creatine.
So long story short, I was probably already loaded or close to it.
I was also likely using gobs of caffeine, which some studies showed negated most of creatine’s benefit. Since then, other studies have disputed this.
So I more or less stayed away from the stuff for about a year but then tried EAS phosphagen when it came out.
I put on 3 to 5lbs at the time, which was cool but hardly earth shattering.
And that was pretty much it – for a long time UNTIL 1 day, I read about insulin’s effect on creatine storage.
I used a ridiculous 75g of dextrose/simple sugar the next few times I loaded creatine and boom – gains of 7 to 9lbs.
Of course, that’s incredibly unhealthy and the sugar alone I’m sure led to some water weight gain. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy with that either.
The BEST I ever did on creatine was 10lbs in around 9 days, but then again I never saw these massive strength gains some guys got. A few extra reps here or there? Sure, but nothing earth shattering.
About a year ago, I found a creatine analogue that gave me much better strength gains with none of the water weight/moon face.
I would tell you that creatine is for most people, an ace card you should have up your sleeve for when you really need it.
Run it for 8-12 weeks, then come off for a month. It takes that long for creatine stores to get back to baseline, at which point you should see decent results again.
Hope that helps.