Does creatines effectiveness diminish over time?
Not a chance, this is somewhat intertwined with the argument that creatine is similar to steroids. As I said before it isn't similar to steroids in any way. Creatines effect on the body never changes, your body doesn't adapt to creatine the same way as your body does with certain steroids. You would be dead, life in animals, mammals,etc would be nonexistent without creatine, why adapt to something your body requires to keep functioning.
Do I need to load creatine?
NO! Taking 20 grams per day is not only incredibly wasteful but adds unnecessary stress to your kidneys. Go with your serving (normally 5g) of creatine per day and you are set to go. The one downside is it will take longer for your muscles to become fully loaded with creatine but since you will stay on creatine for months at a time you will hit 100% saturation no matter which route you choose. I put a basic chart at the bottom of this post to show my thought process on why it isn't needed.
Do I need to cycle creatine?
NO! Why do people feel the need to have to cycle everything they get? Do you cycle eating some days and not eating other days? Are you going to start cycling your one a day vitamins as well? Like I stated creatines effect on the body never changes so no need to cycle its use. Now if you want the bloat to come off then I'm all game for that but doing it because you think you'll get miraculous gains from going off of it for a month then you are wasting your time.
This sticky has me a little confused. I can easily see that ironmaiden708 knows their stuff but my confusion comes about by the contradiction between the above information and that in the Creatine section of the Supplement Reviews on this website.
There are two scientifically proven ways to supplement with creatine. The first is through a loading phase, in which 20 grams is taken for 5-7 days, followed by a maintenance phase of 3-5 grams a day for periods of 2-3 months at a time. The second form of supplementation is a simple protocol. That is to supplement with 3-10 grams of creatine per day for a period of 2-3 months with no loading phase. It is generally recommended to take at least 1-2 weeks off from creatine supplementation in order to maintain a proper response mechanism in the body.