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Creatine And Carbs

The key to maximize the effects of creatine supplementation is to get it into your muscles. One approach that has been theorized to assist in creatine uptake into muscle is to take creatine with carbohydrate. The insulin response to carbohydrate is suggested to stimulate the transport of creatine from the blood to the muscle. In this study, the short -- and long-term effects of creatine alone versus creatine with carbohydrate on muscle creatine levels were evaluated in healthy men. Three groups were studied. Group 1 loaded with creatine for 5 days (20/day) and then maintained for 28 days (5 g/day). Group 2 did the same as Group 1 but ingested 95 g carbohydrate with the creatine during the loading period only. Group 3 did the same as Group 2 but consumed the carbohydrate during the maintenance period as well. The results showed that creatine uptake into muscle was improved if carbohydrate was consumed with creatine during the loading phase. However, creatine alone was just as good as creatine with carbohydrate after the maintenance phase. In other words, take creatine with carbs if you need to load the muscle quickly, but just taking creatine alone will eventually increase muscle creatine to a similar extent.

Pittas G, Miller J, Laithwaite D, Grrenhaff P. The effect of acute and sustain carbohydrate ingestion on muscle total creatine accumulation during prolonged creatine supplementation in man. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, #342.2, San Diego, CA, April, 2005.