So I've decided to start using Creatine to see what kind of results I can get out of it (I've never used it before). I have a couple of questions for any of you who either use creatine or are more knowledgeable on the subject.
A little bit better endurance, more creatine = more energy.
1) It is debatable whether or not you need a loading phase. If I were to Do What It Says On The Box then I would have a loading phase, but of course supplement manufacturers are going to want you to load, you intake 100g+ in the first week alone. Some research indicates it doesn't make much of a difference but there seems to be evidence (anecdotal or otherwise) of the benefits of loading.
Loading is not required, you will eventually hit the ceiling as to how much creatine your muscles hold. It's a matter of how fast you want to get there.
2) There's a question of how much is sufficient to produce results. The stuff I bought recommends 20g/d for a week loading and 5g/d maintenance. I've read elsewhere that 20g/d for 5 days is sufficient for loading and 10g/d for maintenance. I even recall a schedule that called for 30g/d for 4 or 5 days loading and then 15/5g/d on off/on days.
Assuming your done with loading, 5g of micronized monohydrate post workout will suffice.
3) Finally, how long should you use creatine for, i.e. what kind of schedule gives you best mileage and value for money. Most sources seem to recommend a 4-week cycle with 2-3 weeks off. I've see an 8 week cycle recommended and I've seen shorter cycles recommend with more frequent, although shorter, breaks. (The product I have makes no recommendation as to schedule/cycling.)
The effects never change so I don't believe it's required for you to stop. Creatine is vital for survival. The supposed issue with using non stop is your body stops producing it on its own. How true this is I'm not too sure.