A naturally produced chemical called creatine aids the body in generating energy. It can be manufactured in a lab but is most frequently found in fish and red meat. Supplements with creatine are common among athletes and bodybuilders because they can improve performance and help with muscle growth.
However, there are several uncertainties regarding the best way to consume creatine to get the best outcome. Do You Take Creatine Before or After a Workout? Here is a detailed examination of the subject to provide insight into the best course of action.
When Should We Take Creatine - What Science Says
It's crucial to experiment with when to use creatine because this can impact how effectively it functions. The fitness world agrees that creatine should be consumed either before or after a workout. But what does the science say?
In a research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the impact of the different timing of creatine supplementation and how it changed the body's structure and physical performance in resistance-exercised males.
They had two groups of people, one that took creatine before working out and one that took it after. The group that took it before their workout increased their lean mass more than the other group.
The study also found that the group who took creatine before their workout had a more significant increase in strength. Another study by the Journal of Applied Physiology found that people taking creatine before working out increased their one-rep max by 18 percent.
Should You Take Creatine Before A Workout
The body's tissues are relaxed and have adequate glycogen reserves before exercise. It will help to restock those glycogen levels and enhance energy production during your session if you take creatine before exercising. Taking creatine before exercise also:
• Increases hydration
• Reduces protein breakdown
• Reduces muscle damage
• Speeds up post-workout recovery
• Improves performance during short, high-intensity exercise
There are slight downsides to that:
• It can cause stomach upset
• It can cause weight gain (due to water retention)
• It may interfere with some medications
It is recommended to consume creatine about 30 minutes prior to your exercise.
Should I take Creatine 30 Minutes Before A Workout?
The largest advantages come from taking creatine 30 minutes before a workout. It will help to increase your energy levels, so you can push harder during your workout and get better results. Creatine is most effective when it’s taken at this time because it will be absorbed into your muscles more quickly.
Some individuals like to add it to their pre-workout cocktail, while others combine it with juice or other beverages. A light dinner and a lot of fluids is also advisable.
Should You Take Creatine After A Workout
The benefits of taking creatine after working out is a hotly contested issue. Benefits of taking it after include:
• Allowing your body to replenish creatine stores that may have been depleted during your workout
• It can help reduce soreness and promote muscle recovery after exercise
• Taking it post-workout may also help to improve your brain function and cognitive performance
• You’re less likely to experience the dreaded post-workout “crash.”
However, none of these assertions are well-supported by science. Contrarily, the drawbacks of doing so are:
• It may interfere with your body's natural ability to produce creatine
• It could potentially lead to dehydration or cramping
• There's also the possibility that it could increase your risk of developing kidney stones
• You may have to wait a bit longer to feel its effects.
• It may not be as effective as taking it before a workout
What Happens If You Take Creatine After A Workout?
Your body burns through ATP (adenosine triphosphate) during exercise in the form of creatine phosphate energy stored in your muscles. To renew ATP, creatine phosphate donates a phosphate group to ADP (adenosine diphosphate).
As a result, taking creatine after exercise means supplying your body with the basic components it needs to produce more ATP. It might result in better performance in upcoming exercise regiments.
According to some research, ingesting creatine after a workout may speed up your recovery. After their workouts, participants who took creatine reported less muscle soreness and damage 24 to 48 hours later than those who did not.
It is best to take creatine within 30 minutes of working out. Creatine will be more effectively absorbed and used by your body. Take it with a drink or snack that contains lots of carbs to hasten your digestion.
Creatine Frequently Asked Questions
Can you take creatine with pre-workout?
The science is still inconclusive on whether or not taking creatine with pre-workout is beneficial. Some studies suggest that it can help increase power output and reduce fatigue, while other studies have found no significant difference.
If you don't like taking pre-workouts, an alternative is to take creatine before bed. You'll be able to keep your muscles' levels of creatine greater, which can be beneficial for power output and reducing muscle damage.
Regardless which route you go, you should start with a lower dose to see how your body reacts. You can mix creatine with your pre-workout supplement or take it separately. If you mix it with your pre-workout, ensure you're getting enough fluids to avoid dehydration.
Can I take creatine before and after a workout?
You can indeed take creatine both prior and after working out. Creatine works by pulling water into your muscles. What this means is that taking creatine before you workout will cause your muscles to be fuller (and therefore appear bigger). Many people believe that this gives them an advantage when lifting weights because they feel "more pumped up."
Taking creatine after working out, however, has a distinct impact. Creatine can aid in recuperation since it draws water into your tissues after you've exercised them out. So, using creatine post your session is the way to go if you want to shorten your healing time. A lot of folks discover that taking it just after exercise increases effectiveness.
Should you take creatine on non-workout days?
Taking creatine without working out will help maintain your current muscle mass, but it won’t help you build new muscle. It is not necessary to take creatine if you're not training. It can be damaging to your health to take it on days off. It's because if you don't consume enough water, it can cause cramps and dehydration.
Can I take creatine every day?
Creatine supplement regimens typically involve a "loading phase" followed by a "maintenance phase." During the loading phase, you take higher doses of creatine for several days to saturate your muscles. This is usually followed by a maintenance phase, during which you take lower doses of creatine (usually just once or twice per day).
So, can you take creatine every day? You may use it every day if you'd like. However, if you're following a regular loading/maintenance strategy, it's unnecessary to use it daily. If you're not sure what dosing protocol to follow, speak with a certified sports nutritionist or your doctor.
To give your body a respite, you could decide to cycle off it for a week every few months.
Is it okay to take creatine on an empty stomach?
You can mix the supplement, which often comes in powder form, with water or other fluids. Additionally, it comes in tablet and suspension forms. You can take it with or without meals. However, using it without eating might cause some side effects like upset stomach, diarrhea, cramping, or bloating.
However, it can be taken without a meal. Some people find that it's easier on their stomachs this way. If you have trouble digesting creatine, you can mix it with a carbohydrate-rich food or drink to help increase its absorption rate.
The Best Way To Take Creatine
There is no one "best" way to take creatine. However, a few things to keep in mind will help you get the most out of your creatine supplement.
• When you work out: The time you work out has an influence on how your body will respond to creatine supplementation. Taking your creatine supplement before working out may give you the best results if you work out in the morning. This is because when you wake up, your muscles are in a state of “fasting” and are ready to absorb nutrients.
Taking your creatine supplement after your workout may be more beneficial if you work out later in the day. This is because after you exercise, your muscles are in a state of “recovery” and are better able to absorb nutrients.
• How frequently you work out: If you work out every day, taking creatine every day may be the best way to get the most benefits. If you only work out a few times per week, taking creatine on days you work out may be more beneficial.
• Your diet: Your nutrition plan can also affect how your body responds to creatine supplementation. If you eat a lot of protein, your body will easily synthesize creatine into muscle tissue. If you are trying to lose weight or are on a calorie-restricted diet, taking creatine may help you preserve muscle mass while losing fat.
Eating carbohydrates can also help increase the creatine stored in your muscles. This is because carbohydrates help regulate insulin levels, which helps shuttle creatine to muscle cells. If you are not eating enough calories or protein, taking creatine may not be as effective. This is because your body will be using creatine for energy instead of building muscle tissue.
• The type of creatine supplement you take: Some supplements like creatine monohydrate or creatine ethyl ester are more easily absorbed by your body than others. If you do not see the results you want from one type of creatine, try switching to a different type.
You may also want to consider taking a Creatine Loading Supplement for supplementation in the first week or two. This will help “load" your muscles with creatine, which may help you see better results.
Here are a few general tips to help optimize your creatine supplementation:
• Take creatine monohydrate powder with water or fruit juice before and/or after working out. If you’re not working out that day, you can still take it in the morning or before bedtime.
• For optimal absorption, avoid taking creatine with dairy products or caffeine, as they can impede its effects.
• If you’re training hard and consistently, aim for a dosage of about 0.03 grams per pound (0.06 grams per kilogram) of body weight per day. So, if you weigh 180 pounds (82 kilograms) that would be about five grams of creatine per day.
• If you’re just starting out or your workout routine is more casual, a lower dosage of about 0.01 grams per pound (0.02 grams per kilogram) of body weight per day may be sufficient.
• During the first few days or weeks, it's unnecessary to fill up on creatine by consuming high quantities because your body will eventually reach saturation levels. Just be sure to maintain a consistent intake to keep those levels topped off.
• Prior to using creatine supplements, speak with a physician if you suffer from any kidney issues, as high doses may worsen kidney function.
Other crucial factors to consider:
Taking creatine with a carbohydrate-rich meal or shake is essential. It will help to increase the absorption of creatine into your muscles. Also it should ideally be taken at the exact timing daily. It will make sure that your body receives a steady amount of creatine.
If you feel uncomfortable when using creatine, it could be because of:
• Digestive problems: If you have a sensitive stomach, you may experience some cramping and diarrhea when first taking creatine. Try taking it with food or after a workout when your stomach is empty.
• Allergies: Some people are allergic to the creapure brand of creatine monohydrate used in many supplements. If you experience hives, itching, or swelling, stop taking creatine and see a doctor.
Creatine is a popular and effective supplement for improving exercise performance. Despite being most frequently linked to powerlifting and bodybuilders, creatine benefits all types of athletes, including runners, soccer players, and swimmers. Its benefits include Lean Muscle Mass, Enhanced Strength, Improved Performance, and Increases Energy Levels.
Before using creatine, discuss your health problems with your doctor. Women who are nursing or expectant should not use creatine. Get medical advice before beginning any supplement regime if you have any worries.