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Any thoughts on creatine supplementation (quick release capsules 4,000 mg) for weightlifting? I caveat this request with the fact that I am trying to limit my intake of animal products to a minimum and rely on plant-based protein sources. There is a fair amount of research in the public domain about creatine deficiencies in vegetarians although some say the human body can produce all it needs. Is oversupplementation a potential danger? Thanks.

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3-5 grams of creatine per day (1 of your pills) is generally considered a safe amount. There has been evidence of liver/kidney damage as a result of taking too much Creatine, but seems to only be the case with people who already have kidney/liver problems. Studies have shown that as much as 20 grams of creatine per day is safe.

The only real downside is water retention (i.e., bloating). Taking a lot of creatine will cause an average person to gain around 5 lbs in water-weight (which will only go away when you stop taking creatine).

Humans typically get half of their Creatine from meat, specifically red meat, so it's definitely more important for vegetarians. You may choose to do an initial "loading phase" where you take 2-3 of those pills per day for 1-2 weeks to build up your initial stores. Then you can maintain your Creatine stores on 1 of those pills per day.

On the flipside, you may want to consider doing your maintenance on only half a pill per day. 2 grams is shown to still be effective, while minimizing water retention. A lot of bodybuilders choose to "cycle" their Creatine. They may only use it for a month, and then not use it again for 2 months. They use it professionally as a supplement for beating personal plateaus. But whether you want to cycle it or use it daily is up to you.

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  • It's also one of the more well studied and researched supplements with clear performance gains and minimal risk. It's also cheap. – Eric Oct 14 '14 at 22:19
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I am just going to straight up copy the pertinant information from examine.com's site on Creatine which has links to hundres of studies and breaks down exactly the benefits of creatine.

But the answer is:

Creatine is safe, but just buy the cheapest form you can find.

Any thoughts on creatine supplementation (quick release capsules 4,000 mg) for weightlifting?

I honestly see no reason why somebody shouldn't supplement creatine, nor do I see any logical basis for the seeming 'fear' of this compound in society. It's safe, it's healthy, it's cheap, and for most people, it just works. Get some Creatine Monohydrate, take 5g a day, and you're good to go. If humans didn't make any in the body, this thing would be a vitamin.

-Kurtis Frank

Is oversupplementation a potential danger?

Creatine is one of the most thoroughly researched compounds, and no adverse side effects have been noted through supplementation.

From Is creatine safe?

Side effects of creatine include stomach cramping, which can occur if creatine is supplemented with insufficient water, and diarrhea, if too much creatine is supplemented at once.

Are quick release capsules better than anything else?

The best form of creatine is basic Creatine Monohydrate, which is the cheapest, yet on par with many other forms. No other form has enough evidence to claim it is better than Monohydrate.

From What is the best form of creatine?

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