If you’re looking to take creatine for maximum results, should you take creatine before or after workout?
Some people say that you should take creatine before working out, while others say you should wait until after to maximize the benefits.
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of taking creatine before and after workouts, and help you decide which option is right for you.
Let’s dive in!
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Creatine Before or After Workout? An Overview.
Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in the body. It’s made up of three amino acids that help provide energy to cells, particularly muscle cells.
Creatine is commonly used by athletes to boost performance and improve muscle mass. When taken as a supplement, it can help increase energy levels, promote muscle growth and recovery, and reduce fatigue during exercise.
Some research has also shown that creatine may have cognitive benefits such as improved short-term memory and intelligence/reasoning of healthy individuals.
For those looking for an immediate energy boost during their workout, taking creatine before a workout is recommended as it allows the body to quickly absorb the creatine and convert it into ATP (energy).
On the other hand, if you want maximum muscle growth and strength gains, taking creatine after a workout is best since this will help reduce muscle fatigue caused by intense exercise and enhance muscular recovery.
Whatever your goal may be, just make sure that you’re taking your creatine with plenty of water and in accordance with any instructions provided on the packaging.
If you’re still undecided whether to take creatine before or after workout, read on to see when to take it for maximum results.
When Should You Take Creatine for Maximum Results?
Unlike pre-workout, creatine can be taken at any time of the day.
If you’re looking to improve your performance in the gym, taking creatine before your workouts is a good idea.
Creatine will help you achieve higher reps and sets, and help reduce fatigue.
Some people like to take creatine post-workout for recovery purposes. That’s one of the benefits of taking creatine – it can work as a pre and post-workout supplement.
Before taking creatine, consider if a creatine loading phase is necessary for you. This brings us to our next point!
Is A Creatine Loading Phase Necessary for You?
Creatine loading is when you take creatine for some time (usually around one week) at a higher dose, followed by maintenance doses.
The creatine loading phase can help you see results faster. However, it’s not necessary to load creatine to see benefits – you can simply start with the maintenance dose.
The most common creatine loading protocol is to load for a week and then maintain for several weeks or longer.
Creatine loading in athletes can require 20 grams per day of supplementation, while maintenance dosing is roughly 5 grams per day, according to NCBI.
The loading phase is done to pump high levels of creatine into the muscles but it’s not necessary. Creatine can be taken at a lower dose of 3 grams per day and can be equally effective at maximizing your muscle creatine stores, according to Healthline.
If you decide to load creatine, it’s important to do so safely. Creatine loading can cause bloating and diarrhea, so make sure to drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet.
Also, avoid taking creatine with sugary drinks or foods, as this can further contribute to bloating.
If you take creatine before your workout, take it with an easily digested fruit juice as this will pump the creatine into your muscles faster.
Likewise, if you take creatine after your workout, take it with a healthy high protein meal for faster muscle repair and recovery.
Is Creatine A Steroid?
Creatine is not a steroid and cannot be because it is produced naturally in the human body from amino acids: glycine, arginine, and methionine.
Creatine is also found in many foods we eat including meat and fish.
Supplementing with creatine monohydrate can help increase levels of this important nutrient in your body which has many benefits for athletes, bodybuilders, and even the elderly.
Creatine monohydrate is the best form to take creatine and it’s one of the most researched sports supplements ever. It provides many health benefits for a wide variety of people and not just athletes.
According to NCBI, one study in the United Kingdom reported that subjects with an average age of 76 saw improvements in long-term memory when supplemented with 20 grams per day of creatine for 1 week.
If you’re reluctant about taking creatine, don’t be. Creatine is very safe and has very few side effects!
Creatine Monohydrate Side Effects
Creatine monohydrate is a popular supplement among athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts. Although it is generally considered safe, there are some side effects you should be aware of.
Some common side effects of creatine include:
- Gastrointestinal issues like bloating, and diarrhea: These side effects have been experienced by some users but only on a minimal scale. If you experience any of these symptoms, try reducing your creatine dosage.
- Muscle cramps and stiffness: Creatine has been said to cause cramps in some people, but this is more likely due to the dehydrative effect of taking creatine.
If you’re in a hot environment and you take creatine, make sure you’re drinking enough water to negate this side effect.
- Dehydration: It’s been reported that creatine causes dehydration but this is most likely because it pulls water into your muscles. If anything, creatine reduces your risk of dehydration.
- Weight gain: Creatine can cause weight gain because it causes your muscles to hold onto water.
So it’s not necessarily weight gained as a result of increased fat mass but because you’re holding unto excess water weight. This shouldn’t deter you from taking creatine.
- Headaches and Dizziness: As a result of feeling dehydrated, you might get dizzy and have a headache but it’s not directly due to taking creatine.
Keep yourself hydrated while taking creatine and you’ll avoid these symptoms.
If you regularly experience any of these side effects, stop taking creatine and consult your healthcare professional immediately.
Which Creatine to Buy on Amazon?
The best and the most high quality creatine on Amazon is MyProtein Creatine Monohydrate.
Using this creatine monohydrate from MyProtein I haven’t experienced any of the side effects mentioned above.
I experienced headaches while taking other brands but not this one. I buy the 500g pack, and it lasts me up to 2 months.
Even though Creatine is the most researched supplement on the market, be careful not to buy cheap and poor quality creatine.
Overall, creatine is safe for most people, but it’s always best to consult with your Health care professional before starting any supplement regimen, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.
Creatine can be taken at any time of day, with food or on an empty stomach. Let your goals dictate what time of the day you take creatine.
When you take creatine on an empty stomach, based on evidence, your stomach will absorb the creatine faster.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a performance-enhancing supplement with proven brain and muscle benefits, creatine monohydrate is a good option. It’s affordable, effective, and has few side effects.
Have you ever tried creatine? Tell us your experience in the comments below!
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