Creatine loading before events?

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Creatine loading before events?

Postby samuelnaney » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:27 pm

What sort of research or knowledge is there behind the idea of a loading regimen of creatine before a key event? My teammate was telling me that when he was skiing for the US Ski Team, the sports physiologist on staff would recommend 4-5 day loading periods of creatine before a big sprint event, as a way to boost the muscles' capacity for ATP storage, or something. Steve and Co., what thoughts do you have on this? And, if you think it's a reasonable idea, what are reliable, trustworthy sources of pure creatine?

Sam Naney
Methow Olympic Development XC Racing Team
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Re: Creatine loading before events?

Postby steve-born » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:23 am

Hello Sam -

Creatine monohydrate is very popular amongst strength athletes such as weight lifters, body builders, and any athlete who is engaged in shorter bouts of exercise, ones that require short bursts of power/energy (track and field athletes - from sprinters to 800 meter runners appear to use this nutrient quite heavily). I think that if you were doing a Nordic sprint race, creatine supplementation would definitely be of benefit to you.

Creatine monohydrate is converted in the body to creatine phosphate (CP), where it donates one of its phosphate molecules for the replenishment of "used up" ATP, recycling it from adenosine disphosphate (two phosphate molecules) back to adenosine triphosphate (three phosphate molecules). This, theoretically, allows more ATP to be available for short-duration events, one (like your sprint) that require a short and powerful burst of energy.

The typically loading dose is five grams of creatine monohydrate four times daily for four to five days (total of 20 grams/day in divided doses). Maintenance doses are five grams once daily. You will, of course, want to test this substance out prior to your race to see how your body responds... and without getting too graphic, the first time you put five grams of creatine in your body you will most likely be running to the bathroom to have a bowel movement. This is not unusual; it's simply your body adjusting to a large volume of a substance. Once your body becomes adjusted to it (it's usually a one-time-only thing) you should not experience that again.

We used to sell a creatine powder but discontinued it because it really wasn't an endurance-specific nutrient (Race Day Boost is kind of our "creatine for endurance athletes product) and because you can find it pretty much anywhere.

My recommendation is that you buy plain creatine powder, no carbs or auxiliary nutrients added. It may differ from companies but a five-gram dose is usually a teaspoonful, and a micronized creatine product will dissolve better (though not always completely) than a non-micronized creatine powder.

There are a lot of good products out there (and a lot of crap as well), but here are a couple that I think are quite good: ... /5419?at=0 ... g/687?at=0

I hope this helps.

Sincerely -

Steve Born
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Event Sponsorship Coordinator
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Re: Creatine loading before events?

Postby samuelnaney » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:24 pm

Great info; thanks Steve! I'll give it a test before a fall time trial and let you know how it goes.

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