Creatine Dose Calculator

How Much You Should Take Based On Body Weight & Phase

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPT, BSEngUpdated: March 27, 2024

Creatine is one of the most widely researched and effective supplements for increasing muscle mass and strength. Yet many people aren’t sure how much creatine they should take.

In this article, we’ll discuss the recommended dosage for creatine and how much you should take based on your weight and muscle mass. With a free creatine dose calculator, you won’t have to do any math!

Plus, you’ll find out the best time to take creatine for muscle gain. So keep scrolling to check it out.

Creatine Dose Calculator

Behind the Calculator

To create this calculator, I analyzed several creatine studies published in sports nutrition journals and used formulas based on current research and supplement guidelines.

I have over 24 years of experience using creatine to build muscle and strength. Moreover, I am a certified nutrition coach, personal trainer, and engineer.

However, if you have any questions about starting a new dietary supplement, it’s always a good idea to consult with a physician.

Intro to Creatine

First, let’s start with a brief introduction to this supplement in case you’re taking creatine for the first time or just want to learn more about how to improve your results.

Creatine is a molecule produced by your liver, but it’s also found in many foods like red meat. And this compound is used inside your cells as a source of energy for intense activities like sprints or weightlifting.

Because of its ergogenic effects, creatine is used as a performance-boosting supplement by athletes in many sports. And for good reason. There are dozens of studies proving creatine’s effectiveness for increasing strength and gaining lean muscle1.

Next, let’s get into the topic of creatine dosing for optimizing strength and muscle gains.

How Much Creatine Should I Take

Loading Creatine Dose

Some people suggest you start with a “loading phase” when you take creatine for the first time or after a long break. Creatine loading is a strategy where someone takes a high dose of creatine for a short period to saturate their muscles with creatine more quickly.

Most often, the creatine loading dose is 15-25 grams per day, broken up into 3-5 servings every few hours. And the loading period typically lasts for about a week. After the loading phase, you can drop down to a once-daily “maintenance dose” to preserve muscle creatine saturation1.

While creatine loading can be beneficial for seeing the ergogenic effect sooner, it’s not absolutely necessary. And loading will not impact your results in the long run.

In addition, higher doses of creatine may cause unwanted gastrointestinal distress or excess weight gain in some people. Therefore, you might want to start with the maintenance dose.

Maintenance Creatine Dose

For regular creatine supplementation, the generally recommended dose is 3-5 grams per day. This is typically enough to maintain muscle creatine stores at a sufficient level to achieve the performance benefits.

However, the optimal dose also varies depending on body weight. For example, a larger person may need a larger dose than a smaller person to maintain muscle creatine stores.

Most creatine supplements come in powder form and have a scoop in the tub. And a 5-gram serving typically corresponds to one full scoop or about one rounded teaspoon.

If you have a kitchen scale, you might want to check the actual grams per scoop because it can vary based on the particle density from one supplement to the next. Just zero the scoop or teaspoon, then fill it with creatine and place it on the scale.

Creatine Dose Scoop
Creatine Dose Teaspoon

Creatine Dose Based on Body Weight

Several studies administered creatine in doses based on grams per kilogram of body weight. The average effective dosage in these studies was 0.04 g/kg body weight.

For example, a 130 lb (59 kg) person would use a dose of 2.4 grams per day. By comparison, a 230 lb (105 kg) person would need 4.2 grams daily.

Creatine Dose = 0.04 grams per kilogram of bodyweight

However, the optimal creatine dosage also depends on total muscle volume rather than overall body weight. So a lean mass based dosage could be more effective.

Creatine Dose Based on Lean Mass

A few studies have administered creatine in doses based on grams per kilogram of lean mass. And the average effective dosage was 0.06 g/kg of lean mass.

In other words, this is your body weight, excluding body fat. And it gives you a better representation of the actual muscle mass available to store creatine.

For example, a 200 lb (91 kg) person with 20% body fat would have 160 lbs (73 kg) of lean mass. And their corresponding creatine dosage would be 4.4 grams per day.

Creatine Dose = 0.06 grams per kilogram of lean mass

You can also apply the bodyweight and lean mass creatine dosing methods to the loading phase to get a more precise target. To do this, simply multiply your maintenance dose by 5 to get your loading dose.

How Much Creatine Should I Take?

The general recommendation of 3-5 grams of creatine per day works for most people. And if you want a more personalized and accurate dosage, you should base your creatine intake on your body weight or lean mass.

However, all the conversions and calculations can get confusing. That’s why I created an easy-to-use creatine dose calculator.

Creatine Dosage Calculator

This calculator shows you how many grams of creatine to take based on body weight. Or if you know your approximate body fat percentage, you can also find your target based on lean mass.

In addition, you can choose to see your loading or maintenance dose. And enter your weight in pounds or kilograms, so you don’t have to worry about conversion factors.

creatine dose calculator

When to Take Creatine

The timing of creatine supplementation is not as important as consistently taking the supplement every day. However, taking creatine around the time of exercise may help maximize its benefits.

One study found that taking creatine before a workout with other supplements like beta-alanine experienced less fatigue during exercise2. And it is thought that creatine has a synergistic effect when combined with other pre-workout supplements.

On the other hand, another study found that muscle creatine retention was increased by 25% when taken with carbohydrates3. The augmented muscle saturation is thought to be due to the insulin response of these combined nutrients, especially when taken post-workout.

Creatine Retention

Graph adapted from Jäger et al.5

Best Time to Take Creatine

From an uptake efficiency standpoint, the data suggests taking creatine with high-glycemic carbs is the best approach due to insulin-mediated muscle creatine uptake. Furthermore, taking creatine with a post-workout carb/protein meal or shake could further enhance retention.

However, taking creatine before a workout may result in more energy, improved time to exhaustion, and less fatigue. So while your muscles might not retain as much of the creatine, you may notice immediate effects.

Therefore, the best time to take creatine can vary with your goals. For the frugal-minded, taking creatine with a post-workout carb shake is ideal for getting the most bang for your buck. But taking it with pre-workout could have performance benefits.

Again, taking creatine consistently each day is more important than the exact timing during the day. Consistent supplementation ensures you keep your muscles saturated, and you can get positive training effects from creatine.

Creatine HCL Microdosing

Creatine hydrochloride (HCL) is one of several variants in which creatine is bound to a type of salt molecule.

The purpose of the HCL molecule is to make creatine dissolve faster. As a result, creatine HCL is 38 times more soluble than creatine monohydrate4.

In theory, faster absorption means you could get the same effect as monohydrate with a smaller dose. But there’s more to it than that.

See What The Data Says About Which Is Better: Creatine HCL vs Monohydrate

More Creatine Information

Now you know how much creatine you should take based on your body size. But there’s a lot more you should know about creatine supplementation.

So here are some additional articles about creatine that I know you’ll find informative.

Complete Guide to Effective Creatine Supplementation

Creatine vs Pre-Workout: Which You Should Take

Does Creatine Make You Gain Unwanted Weight?

Or, if you’re up to speed on creatine, check out some of my articles on other topics below. You’ll find information on all things fitness related, from nutrition to workouts.

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