Should you only take creatine on the days you lift?

It’s human nature to suppose that there is a formula or a mandatory procedure for things. Or a strong intuitive feeling that perhaps a magick spell with special magick sounding words spelt in a particular way in the traditional form will work better than just higgidly-piggidly-making-it-up-as-you-go-merrily-along.

But sometimes, it’s all irrelevant; it just doesn’t matter either way. Or, if it does, it may only increase the efficacy by so small an amount, that it isn’t even worth the candle.

Creatine is one of these supplements that appears to lend itself to this laissez-faire attitude.

Even taking it with caffeine, which diminishes effectiveness by around 5% or so, really doesn’t matter enough for us to stress over. 95% is quite good enough and is more than compensated for by the positive effects of that pretraining cup of coffee.


I began using creatine when it became commercially available in 1990s. Started using it with clients not long thereafter. At the time it was expensive at around £200 per kilo, you can now purchase pharmaceutical grade wholesale for about 1/10 that.

Over the years, I have found that it probably doesn’t matter, after physiological saturation is achieved, how you use it, on training or none-training days, any excess will be excreted by the body. A few may find it beneficial to use prior to training for psychological (placebo) benefits.

As far as the question ”does it work” most people will fall into the following categories: responder, less sensitive responder and non (or very low) responder. A very small percentage of potential users may suffer from digestive issues when using it.

Only the most responsive users will be sensitive to the scheduling of its use, the other two categories, planing will be less of a matter for concern.

Since it is relatively cheap, safe and widely available, a loading phase (say 10–20g daily for 5/7 days) followed by a 5g/day or two-on-day-off dosage pattern, regardless of your activity level.

This simple procedure seems to work out fine for just about everyone.

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