Hey every, first timer here! I recently uploaded my Foundation and 10 week resistance training program into training peaks and had a question about if anyone has used creatine during the 10 week resistance program or during the off-season for cycling. I have used it during the off-season/lifting program for hockey just was unsure if anyone had any experience on using it for cycling. Any advice is appreciated. Cheers.
I have not used creatine personally, however there is a solid amount of research supporting its use. If you are not winning in the kitchen yet though, I recommend starting there before doing any supplementation as that will reap you the most gains in your performance & long-term health.
But since we are specifically talking about creatine, here is a short FAQ and some guidelines for supplementation that you and other athletes might find helpful:
What is the function of creatine? Why would an athlete supplement with it?
Creatine is stored in the muscles as creatine phosphate (PCr) and it is used as the primary fuel source for very short, high intensity effort (7-45 seconds). Once an athlete uses PCr for a short effort, it takes roughly 1-2 minutes to regenerate and allow the athlete to perform subsequent efforts. This time frame can be reduced through sprint training and by ensuring creatine stores are maximized before training. Thus, creatine supplementation can be beneficial for sprinters, weight lifters and endurance athletes who train/race at high intensity.
How is it created in the body and how do you obtain it naturally?
Creatine is naturally produced in the body and is synthesized from amino acids (building blocks of proteins). The body can create roughly 1-2 grams per day. Because creatine is found in both meat and fish, vegetarian and vegan athletes stand to reap the most benefit from supplementation.
What does the research show?
Research shows that creatine supplementation can improve maximal power/strength and repetitive sprint performance by 5-15% and single-effort sprint performance by 1-5%. Also, when used during training, creatine supplementation has been reported to promote notable gains in strength, fat free mass (lean muscle mass), and performance primarily of high intensity exercise tasks compared to control groups. While not every study reports significant results, the majority of scientific research indicates that creatine supplementation appears to be a generally effective nutritional ergogenic aid.
Typically supplementation is done in 2 phases, a loading phase and a maintenance phase.
During the loading phase 0.3g/kg of creatine are consumed per day for 5-7 days. For most athletes this can be achieved by consuming 5-10g of creatine 3-4 times per day. After the loading phase, athletes should switch to the maintenance phase and consume 3-5g per day. During both phases, creatine should be consumed along with carbohydrates to promote saturation of creatine stores within the muscle.
How to choose a supplement?
Choose a product that is 3rd party certified, such as by NSF.
You can find a full list of NSF certified brands here:
Here are a few I recommend:
Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003;244(1-2):89-94.
Kreider, R.B., Kalman, D.S., Antonio, J. et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 14, 18 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z
Hey thank you Lacey for the information! Think I will give it a try over the resistance training plan this winter.
@Lacey_Rivette brilliant information thanks