Creatine, just like every other supplement, can get pretty complicated to manage. It’s also important that you take it the right way so that it works properly. So, should you be taking creatine every day?
To maintain your creatine reserves, you should take it every day, even on days when you’re not working out. Missing even one day can deplete your reserves, reducing creatine’s effectiveness.
While that’s the simple explanation, there are a lot of caveats that you should know about. Below, I’ll go over what to do if you miss a day of creatine, as well as everything else you need to know.
Yes, You Should Take Creatine Every Day
In your muscle cells, you have reserves of creatine. When you take creatine as a supplements, it fills up these reserves so they can be used when your body needs it. Every day, whether or not you’re taking it, your body uses up these reserves of creatine.
When you use creatine as a supplement, the goal is to fill up these reserves completely, so that your body has it when it needs it. Every day that you don’t take creatine, your reserves are less filled up and aren’t replenished until the next day that you take it.
Because of this, it’s important that you do take creatine every day. Doing so ensures that your creatine reserves are filled up every day and that you can see all the benefits from it.
If you’re looking for creatine that will have maximum effectiveness, check out my article on my favorite creatine. I’ve been using different creatine brands for years, and this is now my go-to.
Even if you’re taking creatine every day, and you miss one day, it can mess up your progress. Missing one day lowers your reserves, which is the opposite of the goal. Missing one day of creatine isn’t the end of the world, but you should try to avoid it as much as possible.
The only time that you should stop taking creatine is if you’re experiencing side effects, or if you want to go off of it completely. For creatine to work properly, you should take it every day consistently, without missing a single day if possible.
What if I Miss a Day of Creatine?
While you technically can miss a day of taking creatine, you really shouldn’t, even on off days. As I mentioned earlier, if you miss a day of creatine, your reserves are depleted without being replenished.
This is bad because, in order for creatine to work properly, your reserves have to be filled up. After you miss one day, it’ll take a few days to replenish what you lost, and you’ll make less progress during these days.
What to Do If You Miss a Day:
If you miss a day of creatine, it’s not the end of the world. After you’ve missed one day, just resume taking it normally the next day and move on. It won’t ruin any of your gains, and everything will be back to normal within a few days.
Just to be clear: if you miss a day of taking creatine, keep taking it normally the next day.
Take Creatine Even on Your off Days
A big question that a lot of lifters have is whether or not you should take creatine on your off days, or on the days when you’re not lifting.
Again, the simple answer is that you should take creatine every day no matter what, even if you’re not lifting that day. The idea that you shouldn’t take creatine every day comes from a misunderstanding of how creatine works.
As I mentioned earlier, in order for creatine to work properly, it needs to be taken every day. Creatine isn’t like pre-workout, where you only take it before a workout or lifting session.
If you’re the type of lifter that does cuts, you should also keep taking creatine during your next one, for the same reasons that you should take creatine on your off days. If you want to learn more, check out my article on why you should keep taking creatine during your next cut.
If you don’t take it every day, you’re missing out on most of the benefits from taking it in the first place. All this means that you should take creatine every single day, whether you’re lifting on that day or not.
Take Creatine When You’re Not Working Out
Here’s a different situation; imagine that you’ve been taking creatine for a while, but you won’t be able to lift for a week or two for any given reason. Should you keep taking creatine?
Again, the answer is yes. If you’re going to keep lifting again in the near future, you should keep taking it every day as usual. Even if you can’t work out for a while, continuing creatine intake means that you’ll be ready to keep making gains when you start lifting again and that you won’t have to start over with your progress.
On top of that, continuing to take creatine will also help you retain your muscle and strength while you’re not lifting. Creatine helps protect your muscle cells from atrophy, which means that you’ll lose less muscle while you aren’t working out or lifting for a while.
Overall, don’t stop taking creatine even if you aren’t going to lift for a week or two. Continuing to take creatine will help you retain your muscle as well as help you stay on track once you start lifting again.
Here’s When You Shouldn’t Take Creatine
To put it all simply, the only time that you shouldn’t take creatine is if you’re planning on going off of it completely.
Not taking creatine pretty much only has downsides and really, the only time you should stop taking it is if you have enough side effects that it makes creatine not worth it. Even if you miss just a few days of taking creatine, your reserves are lowered, and you stop seeing the benefits of taking it.
If you want to learn more about all this, check out my article on everything that happens when you stop taking creatine. It’ll help you understand the consequences of missing a day, and show you how important it is that you stay consistent.
In short, take creatine every day, even on your off days, and try not to miss or skip any days. If you do miss one, keep taking it just like normal the next day.