Creatine is a highly scrutinized supplement and among the most popular used with both amateur and professional athletes. It's a molecule that is naturally produced in the body and aids our bodies by releasing energy during intense physical activity and stress. This causes us to gain additional strength after supplementation.
Along with its cardio- and neuro-protective properties, creatine has a variety of health benefits.
The most popular form, and the one recommended by most including Androgrow, is creatine monohydrate. Another popular form is creatine nitrate, which you may find touted as a superior version of creatine. This is untrue and you should be wary of these claims. There is no evidence to support that any other form of creatine is superior to its monohydrate version.
While creatine is a vitamin-like compound, it's not considered a vitamin due to the fact that we produce it within our bodies.
Another great benefit of creatine is that it increases dihydrotestosterone.
RESULTS: After 7 days of creatine loading, or a further 14 days of creatinemaintenance dose, serum T levels did not change. However, levels of DHT increased by 56% after 7 days of creatine loading and remained 40% above baseline after 14 days maintenance (P < 0.001). The ratio of DHT:T also increased by 36% after 7 days creatine supplementation and remained elevated by 22% after the maintenance dose (P < 0.01).
— Department of Physiological Sciences, Stellenbosch University
Amount of Creatine to Take
The common recommendation is to take 3-5 grams of creatine per day, everyday.
There is also no need to load creatine, as your muscles will become saturated over time while taking a maintenance dose. There is efficacy to the notion that you will get the benefits of creatine more quickly if you load it. As cheap as the supplement can be, it's not necessarily a waste to do so, nor should there be any harm in loading 15-25g per day for a week. A may accurate way of calculating your loading amount would be to take 0.3 grams per KG of body weight.
Cycling and Kidney Problems
Contrary to oldschool beliefs, there is no need to cycle creatine and it does not cause kidney problems. Even if taken in large amounts (20g and upward) by an individual with less-than-optimal kidney function, there is no damage. With that in mind, always consult your doctor if you are known to have kidney issues, or even if you're simply worried about supplementation of any kind.
Water retention from creatine is stored in skeletal muscle. There are people that will say creatine will make you bloat, which is not necessarily true. With proper intake, you should not have much, if any, subcutaneous water retention.
Effect of short-term high-dose creatine supplementation ... : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20060630