Creatine is a great workout supplement. It works very well and outside of a few misleading headlines, has very little controversy to its name.
If you are looking to enhance your anabolic strength and muscle gains, then it is creatine that you should take!
However, it is not a question of drinking creatine or not drinking creatine, but when you should drink creatine.
There is a lot of debate as to whether an individual should drink creatine before or after a workout, and we are here to clear this up!
In this article, we will discuss when creatine should be taken – before or after a workout, and more! So, if this is of interest to you, then read on!
Do You Drink Creatine Before Or After A Workout?
There is research to suggest that taking creatine both before and after a workout has significant health benefits, provided it is taken immediately before or after a workout.
By doing this, you will gain remarkable anabolic advantages as opposed to drinking creatine hours before or after you exercise.
One study showed that a group of resistance-trained men who were given carbohydrates, protein, and creatine immediately pre or post-workout gained a greater lean body mass when compared to the group of resistance-trained men that took creatine long before or after their workouts.
Another study showed that a combination of resistance exercises and creating supplements increased both strength and fat-free muscle mass.
This study also found that taking creatine after a workout was superior for strength and body composition compared to taking it before a workout.
So, while the latter study does lean in favor of drinking creatine after a workout, the key result to take from both studies is the immediacy involved with creatine and exercise.
In simpler words, you can take creatine before or after a workout, provided it is done immediately in either case.
What Are The Benefits Of Drinking Creatine?
People drink creatine so they can work out with more effort for longer periods of time.
They also take it to look bulkier thanks to the muscular water retention that comes with taking creatine.
However, there are more health-related reasons why people take creatine.
Let’s check out the benefits of drinking creatine in more detail!
1. Creatine Increases Your Strength And Muscle Mass
Cellular ATP energy in your muscles is fueled by creatine, and this will make exercise more intense and will produce better results.
Creatine also impacts the growth of muscle mass in a more direct way. It is theorized that creatine will actually work to stimulate the synthesis of protein.
One review states that the effects of creatine may be exerted in multiple ways, and this has a converging effect on both myogenesis and protein synthesis.
So, through protein synthesis, creatine will support an enhancement of strength and muscle mass.
2. Creatine Acts As A Buffer For Lactic Acid
Glycogen, creatine, etc, also known as the primary energy reserves of an individual, will sometimes deplete naturally while exercising, and when this happens, your muscles will become exhausted and lactic acid will be produced as a backup process of fermentation.
This backup process of fermentation is for producing ATP energy.
When lactic acid builds in the muscle tissue, this will result in your muscles beginning to burn. This burning is associated with muscle soreness and catabolism.
Of course, while a buildup of lactic acid is normal, especially after a great workout, too much might actually cause damage to your gains and performance.
Luckily, creatine will help to mitigate the buildup of lactic acid, which was observed in a study where it was stated that the supplementation of creatine helped to decrease lactate and will raise the lactate threshold during incremental cycling exercise.
3. Creatine Improves Your Cognitive Performance
Creatine will work to improve parts of your mental energy and cognitive performance. This is for both healthy cognition and for cognitive impairments and decline.
This was observed by a study that stated that creatine can improve reasoning, intelligence, and short-term memory for individuals that are healthy, and will also have benefits for individuals that are stressed or aging.
How Much Creatine Should Be Taken Daily?
There are many factors that determine how much creatine you should take. This includes your muscle mass composition, your body weight as a whole, your fitness goals, and more!
However, to give a general answer, the average dosage of creatine that should be taken is 3-5g on a daily basis. This can be taken at different intervals during the day, or in one go.
Are There Side Effects To Taking Creatine?
Creatine is considered to be safe. However, it does come with side effects that people should be aware of.
These usually happen when an individual takes too much creatine and does not use that energy during a workout.
Here are some of the side effects that come with taking too much creatine:
- Gastric stress
- Muscle cramps
If too much creatine is taken for a long period of time, then the symptom of dehydration can lead to connective tissue strains, pains, and conditions like tendonitis.
So, it is best to stick to the daily recommended dose of creatine and speak to a medical professional before taking any. If you do feel dehydrated, then it is best to drink water.
You can take creatine before or after a workout, as long as it is done immediately before or immediately after.
Studies have shown that by doing this, you will gain a remarkable anabolic advantage amongst other benefits, especially when compared to drinking creatine hours before or after you exercise.
The amount of creatine you take will depend on your fitness goals, body weight, and muscle mass composition.
Generally, an individual should take 3-5g of creatine on a daily basis, any more than that may result in symptoms like dehydration, bloating, gastric stress, and others which are best avoided.
We hope this article told you everything you needed to know about taking creatine before or after a workout!