Creatine And Carbohydrates 10 Days Out From The Show!

Loading with creatine and carbohydrates before a bodybuilding competition can be good but you have to watch when and how much to do. Learn more right here.

Using a combination of loading creatine, carbohydrate depletion and carbohydrate loading during the last 10 days prior to show day can produce a bigger and fuller muscle presentation on stage.

Carbohydrate Manipulation

The application of carbohydrate manipulation in contest preparation is its intent on muscle glycogen and water content. The idea is to have as much glycogen in the muscle as possible on show day.

Each gram of glycogen pulls an addition 3 grams of water into the muscle cells as well. Therefore, a weight "gain [of] 2 to 4 pounds" can be expected if done "properly."

Creatine Loading

Creatine loading is an attempt to saturate and maintain a higher level of creatine in the muscle cells. The creatine helps with the creatine phosphate part of the kreb cycle to produce energy for the working cells.

What Is The Kreb Cycle?
In all plants and animals, a series of enzymatic reactions in the mitochondria of cells, used to produce high-energy phosphate compounds that are the source of cellular energy.
Kreb Cycle
The Kreb Cycle.

Protocols Used For Most Of The Studies Were:

  • 20-25 grams for per day for 5-7 days.
  • Followed by 2-5 grams per day for 21-37 days.

Creatine has also been shown to increase total body water and glycogen with out fluid distribution.

There has been a 14 day study showing the results of combining both carbohydrate loading after creatine supplementation which has been shown to have a super concentration of glycogen and water in the muscle cells.

Applications For The Competitive Bodybuilder

Suggested Use For The Competitive Bodybuilder Could Be As Follows:

  • 10 Days Out: Take in high carbohydrate based diet.
  • 7 Days Out: Take 5 grams of creatine per day.
  • 5 Days Out: Start carbohydrate depletion for 3 days followed by a cessation of creatine.
  • 2 Days of carbohydrate loading and gradual water intake decrease.

A secondary suggestion would be to take a potassium supplement to help out with any possible cramping.


Some more research is indicated in direct application of the above information applied directly to the competitive bodybuilder.


  1. Carbo-loading: Boost your endurance during high intensity workouts , Mayo Clinic staff; HQ00385, 30 November, 2004
  2. Creatine supplementation increases glycogen storage but not GLUT-4 expression in human skeletal muscle , Luc J. C. Van Loon; Clinical Science (London, England:1979), Portland Press on behalf of the Medical London, 2004 Jan;106(1):99-106
  3. Creatine Supplementation Increases Total Body Water Without Altering Fluid Distribution , Michail E. Powers; Journal of Athletic Training, 2003;38(1):44-50 by the National Athletic Trainers' association, Inc.
  4. Muscle glycogen supercompensation is enhanced by prior creatine supplementation , Arnold G. Nelson; Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 33, No. 7, 2001, pp.1096-1100