How long does creatine stay in your system?
Creatine in a Nutshell
Creatine is, technically, always found in your system since it is required for motor activity (contracting your muscles). Creatine occurs naturally in vertebrates (which includes humans) and is stored in skeletal muscle (primarily), ready to be used as energy by muscles to contract, so your body always has creatine in it. It is synthesized by the kidneys and the liver and transported to muscles to be stored for later use. It is created using proteins from the foods we eat.
Increased Creatine Levels Due to Supplement Intake
Creatine supplements are taken to increase the level of creatine in the body to levels of up to 2-3 times the normal levels. These types of supplements are taken by various athletes, bodybuilders, weightlifters, and others, to gain more muscle mass.
By increasing the levels of creatine in your system you allow your muscles more of a "burst" when they are contracting their muscles offering more energy when it is needed, muscle mass is then gained due to this increase of energy (because more work can be done).
To maintain an elevated level of creatine in the body, supplements should be taken every 3-6 hours; this is due to the fact that the body eliminates any excess creatine in the body (usually through urination). By continuing this supplement intake routine for approximately 1-2 weeks, one may reach the maximum individual bodily intake of creatine and need not take as much creatine as previously to maintain these levels. Your body will have adapted to the extra creatine and will also begin to store more of it in muscle (and other) tissues. Note, however, that each person's system is different and may deal with extra creatine in different ways. Time frames and levels are based on averages, some scoring differently than others.
Once your body has stored more creatine, it may begin to store more water as well. This is a period of time when, most people taking creatine supplements for the first time, begin to ponder whether to continue their intake
Flushing of Creatine by the Body
Creatine is taken as a supplement to help muscle endurance, during an exercise, training program, and other activities or sports, and allows the person taking it to do more when exerting their body with activity (e.g. muscle contractions). So, if you are doing a lot of activity, your body will be using the creatine which is available in your blood stream, and thus reduce the total amount of excess creatine in your system. It does this by converting (in a non-permanent way) into ATP which the muscles need as energy at the time of strenuous bodily activity.
What creatine is left over after storage, and energy demands by muscles, is then flushed within a few days (usually between 2-6 days) by urination.