When To Take Creatine?
Creatine is widely known as a performance-enhancing supplement that is naturally found in your body. With a healthy diet of red meat and fish, your body already creates this chemical to boost muscle endurance and brain function.
Through your diet, it’s harder to gauge whether you are ingesting enough of this compound to boost performance in the gym, which is where supplements come into play.
To get the most out of this muscle-building compound, taking it at the right time during the day can help you get the most out of your workouts. Is it better to take it in the morning, before your workout, or slightly after?
Below, I wanted to take a deep dive into the best time to add creatine into your daily workout schedule.
When Is The Best Time To Take Creatine Supplements?
It’s important to note that creatine doesn’t work like caffeine. When you pound and an energy drink before your workout, you benefit from a boost of energy that fades over time. Overall, it doesn’t really matter what time of day you add creatine to your diet to see benefits over time.
Think of creatine as your daily protein intake. The time of day that you eat egg, chicken, and steak doesn’t matter as much as long as you reach your daily intake goals. The same can be said for creatine.
While ensuring that your body has enough creatine to build strong muscles, there is some evidence that found that taking it at certain times during the day can give you a slight edge.
There was a study conducted in 2012 by PubMed that found that participants that ingested creatine after their workout saw a higher increase in muscle mass and loss in fat than those that took it before their workout.
Overall, it’s best to stick to taking creatine right after you workout or even before to yield the best results. If you forgot to add it to your post-workout shake, all of the benefits won’t be lost!
It’s better to take it after, but you will still see benefits if you take it in the morning or before your workout.
How To Supplement Creatine Into Your Diet
Overall, I find the powdered creatine works better than those offered in pill form. Pills might be a little more convenient than power, but they do not absorb into your system as easily as powder. A super-easy way to incorporate creatine into your daily workout schedule is to simply add it to your post-workout protein shake.
At the end of my workout, I like to add a bit of oat milk, protein powder, and one scoop of creatine into my shaker bottle for a quick and easy post-workout meal. By adding protein powder and creatine together, you get all of the benefits of a steak dinner without the extra calories.
Plus, it’s hard to gauge the creatine intake through meat alone, and powders allow you to measure exactly how much creatine you ingest.
Not only does my post-workout protein and creatine shake boost my energy levels, but it also helps to repair muscles and cut down on soreness the next day.
Adding creatine helps muscles repair and restore, which in turn builds power and muscle mass. Without creatine, your body doesn’t have the tools needed to build big muscles!
Do I Have To Work Out On The Days That I Take Creatine?
Your muscles won’t burst into flames if you take creatine without hitting the gym, but there are a few side effects worth noting. Taking creatine on non-workout days isn’t detrimental to your health, but it can lead to weight gain.
Don’t worry- the weight you gain from taking creatine on non-workout days isn’t fat. The bump in weight on the scale is mostly due to water weight.
Creatine works by drawing in water to your muscles, and you often burn up this excess water weight when you work out. If you take creatine and don’t work out, this excess water weight pulled into your muscles will certainly show up on the scale.
While it’s beneficial to take creatine on days you aren’t working out to aid in muscle repair, the time of day isn’t as essential on non-workout days. While it’s beneficial to take creatine right after your workout on days that you hit the gym, it isn’t as essential on rest days.
BCAAs Vs. Creatine
Finding the right supplements for your workouts can be pretty tricky. Some supplements pack BCAAs, others favor creatine, and some use a blend of both. So, how do you know which one is right for you?
BCAAs are used to supplement muscle protein synthesis. Overall, BCAAs are often used in protein shakes to help build and repair lean muscle mass. They’re great for CrossFitters, runners, or any type of training that requires endurance.
Creatine, on the other hand, is best suited for powerlifters that need a separate storage compartment to fuel them to the end of their workout. It helps to build muscle mass and provides an extra fuel source for explosive lifts and high-energy workouts. Even after a week of taking supplements, so users found that it helped them squeeze out a few more reps.
While they both have their unique benefits, many workout supplements fuse a blend of both ingredients to give lifters the best of both worlds!
The consensus here is that as long as you deliver creatine into your body, you will notice the difference when you approach the weight bench.
To gain a slight edge, some studies have found that this compound absorbs better when used post-workout, but many lifters don’t notice much of a difference.
Whether you take it before your workout, after your workout, or sometime during the day, you will still reap the rewards of stronger muscles and enhanced energy levels.