Updated: Jul 2, 2019
Creatine is a molecule that's produced in the body from amino acids, it comes from methionine, arginine and glycine. It's primarily made in the liver and to a lesser extent in the kidneys and pancreas and it's found mainly in skeletal muscle.
It's role in energy production is particularly relevant under conditions of high energy demand such as intense physical or mental activity.
Creatine can be found in some foods and is most prevalent in meat and fish.
The primary benefit of creatine is an improvement in strength. For this purpose, creatine is well-researched, and the effects are quite notable for a supplement. When used in conjunction with resistance exercise, creatine may modestly increase lean mass.
While creatine has been research far less for cognitive purposes than physical purposes, it may have benefits in some contexts. A reduction in mental fatigue has been observed in various scenarios such as demanding mental activity, sleep deprivation, and traumatic brain injury.
Creatine may improve working memory, though likely only for those with below average creatine levels such as vegetarians and the elderly.
Is Creatine Safe?
Most of the supposed dangers of creatine are unfounded. Due to the bad reputation of performance-enhancing drugs, it has been wrongfully equated with the worst examples. It also increases levels of creatinine in the body, which are a marker of poor kidney function. However, the increase in creatinine isn't due to kidney damage, but simply more creatinine being produced. There is a lack of long-term studies in people with reduced kidney function, however, so caution could still be taken in that instance. Besides the minor gastrointestinal issues from excessive creatine, it is unlikely to be unsafe or bad for you.
When Should We Take Creatine?
A study done by Dr Jose Antonio told us initially taking it post workout is better than taking pre workout, but there is a caveat to that, if have been taking creatine for a long time, it doesn't really matter when you actually take creatine, as long as roughly 5g per day are taken.
Timing is only an issue if creatine is not taken regularly.
How Much Should We Take?
You can start by doing a loading protocol, but this is really only advisable if you are currently not taking any creatine and even then I prefer not to.
However if you want to load, the recommended dose as per Dr Jose Antonio is to take 20g per day for 7 days and then go to a daily maintenance of 3 to 6g per day.
If you are already taking creating than 3g to 6g per day should be sufficient.
The above information is taken from Examine.com https://examine.com/supplements/creatine/ and Bodybuilding,com https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/how-to-take-creatine-clearing-up-the-confusion.html