Creatine... Why do you take it? How do you take it? When do you take it? What brand do you take?
I think the title does a pretty good job asking the question.
Monohydrate. The most proven and studied and effective creatine on the market.
3-5g on workout days after 5g for 30 days
No need to load or cycle creatine.
Primaforce, Allmax, Universal are all good brands.
5g for 30 days, then 3-5g on workout days. NO need to load or cycle your creatine:
Total body creatine pool turnover is ~2 grams per day. So, if you've neared saturation from use of creatine over an extended period of time, then you are not going to retain more than ~2 grams no matter what. ~3 grams (+/- a little dpending upon LBM) is really all that's needed. As you can see from the Cr group below, most of the 10 grams of creatine taken at once goes down the toilet.
For those that say holding water while taking creatine its a far stretch. Creatine is stored intra-cellular and under the skin and inside the cell. This helps draw water into the cells to help with ATP Production. Not extracellular.
When your overall calorie and carbohydrate intake reaches excessive levels, you will likely experience a noticeable increase in subcutaneous water retention. This will cause you to appear flatter and softer looking.
Those on a high calorie diet who are not accurately tracking their macronutrient intake may mistakenly think that it’s the creatine that is causing the bloating, when in fact it’s a simple issue of their excessive food intake. or they are intaking far too much sodium.
Universal Creatine Creatine TruCreatine
I don't remember the last time I was off creatine. I'm usually supplementing creatine year round switching up between monohydrate and HCL. I take 5g of creatine per serving (no need to "load" and "saturate your muscles", you'll be perfectly fine by just taking 5g a day.
My favorite creatine products are CN3 COR-Performance Creatine Musclepharm Creatine
If your creatine is unflavored, you can simply mix it with your protein shake or juice before your workout.
Campus Protein Rep
As stated above, no need to load or cycle assuming that your fluid intake is being met. I personally consume 5g daily, normally in my morning amino mix. I generally buy Universal or Cor Performance. I've been consistently on creatine for at least the past two years with no problems of course.
Universal Nutrition Creatine
Cellucor Cor Performance Creatine