Should I Take Creatine Before or After Workout: A Better Understanding
As far as supplements go, “Should I take creatine before or after workout?“, is one of the most asked questions amongst gym-goers. As a supplement that is easily one of the most popular for building muscle and lean mass, it is said to help make it easier to achieve your body goals.
However, similar to protein powder, many people question when the best time is for you to consume it, whether it’s before or after a workout.
In this guide, we’ll not only discuss the preferred times for taking creatine but also what it does and why it could be the next item you purchase before going to the gym.
What Is Creatine?
The simplest way to describe creatine is as a performance enhancing supplement that is said to give you physical support so that you can make the most out of high-intensity exercises. These exercises may include sprinting and weight lifting, essentially anything which requires quick bursts of energy.
From a scientific viewpoint, it is responsible for releasing energy within your cells so that your muscles can function at their highest potential. Most individuals use it for improving their overall performance, though many suggest it may also assist with recovering your muscles after a workout.
An interesting feature of creatine discovered by researchers is that it assists with improving your overall muscle mass, especially in athletes. If you were to combine your creatine supplements with your workouts, you could experience gains as high as five extra pounds compared to others who do not use creatine.
As discussed, creatine is most often used to help bolster your performance and increase your energy levels when doing high-intensity exercises, especially in terms of weight lifting. Most of these supplements are formulated to improve your power, strength, and endurance for longer workouts.
Even with a healthy meal plan, your body may only consume up to two grams of creatine daily, which is why you may want to consider the supplements. Some of the other benefits of creatine include:
- Improved Exercise Capacity: Not only can you do larger and more powerful exercises, but you’ll also be able to exercise for longer with the supplements. The formulas you find will give your body a higher threshold for the amount of time you spend in the gym, which can help you to achieve your goals faster.
- Improved Lifts: As creatine helps your body to build leaner muscle, your strength will increase over time. This allows you to lift heavier weights and do more powerful movements. The more you’re able to work your muscles, the larger they’ll become.
- Increased Speeds: Another advantage associated with strength is the ability to move faster. Though it’s still recommended you do slow and controlled movements when weight lifting, you’ll notice cardio will become less of a hassle. With creatine, it’s likely your endurance will be at a level it has never been before, allowing you to sprint faster.
Benefits of Taking Creatine Before a Workout
If you’re wondering, “Should I take creatine before or after a workout?“, let’s first explore the benefits of taking it before a workout session.
Those who are in the camp of using the supplements before working out find that creatine helps to increase ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) levels. ATP is solely responsible for giving your body more cellular energy, which in turn gives your muscles more energy to use.
The more cellular energy your muscles have, the more weight you’ll be able to lift which in turn translates to higher muscle stores. You’ll also find that with creatine, your overall energy levels are higher. It is a fantastic choice as a pre-workout supplement to help you power through a heavy workout without feeling fatigued as quickly.
Benefits of Taking Creatine After a Workout
Individuals who prefer to take creatine after working out are primarily focused on the recovery portion of their exercise. After you work on your muscles, they break down and need to be sufficiently nourished in order to heal and bulk up. Creatine, as it is known to assist with muscle recovery, can help to eliminate post-workout soreness, so you’re ready for the next day.
After your muscles have broken down, your supplements can give them an influx of nutrients as well as healthy levels of carbs and proteins. Since the muscles are searching for nourishment after a workout, taking creatine helps them to absorb nutrition easier. As such, you can take advantage of all the benefits of your formula.
An added benefit of taking creatine after working out is you’ll be able to avoid the post-workout fatigue which plenty of individuals experience. Once the “workout high” has drifted away and you start to feel mentally and physically exhausted, your creatine can help to boost your energy levels to get you through the day.
Benefits of Taking Creatine Whenever
The third camp of people who like taking creatine finds that they prefer to take it whenever they feel like they need it. However, this depends on the formula you have chosen.
Some formulas contain higher levels of macronutrients that your body needs to stay healthy. As such, consuming the supplements will benefit you at any time of the day.
It’s very likely anyone who decides to consume creatine whenever they feel like will believe that using it before or after working out isn’t a necessity. As there is very little research about the benefits of taking the supplement before or after working out, you may want to consider taking it whenever possible.
There isn’t a lot of science that can answer, “Should I take creatine before or after workout?“, which means you could benefit from taking it at any time. With that being said, plenty of companies combine different ingredients into their formulas which make it preferable for pre- or post-workout support.
Depending on the formula you have chosen, there may be recommended serving times that you should follow to see the best benefits.
Based on user reviews, taking creatine before working out helps to improve muscle stores and energy. On the other hand, taking it afterward assists with muscle recovery so that you can be ready to hit the gym the very next day.