Two methods are used for supplementing with creatine. In the loading method, 20 grams of creatine per day (in four divided amounts mixed well in warm liquid) are taken for five to six days. Muscle creatine levels increase rapidly, which is beneficial if a short-term rise in force is needed, such as during a weight-lifting competition, football game, or sprinting. To maintain muscle creatine levels after this loading period, 2–10 grams per day may be effective.
In another method, 3 grams of creatine monohydrate per day are taken over an extended training period of at least four weeks, during which muscle creatine levels rise more slowly, eventually reaching levels similar to those achieved with the loading method. However, no trials testing exercise performance changes have been done using this method. Taking creatine with sugar appears to maximize muscle uptake.
Caffeine intake should not be excessive, as large amounts may counteract the benefits of creatine supplementation.