From boosting strength to increasing muscle mass, creatine is one of the most searched supplements in the market today. Whether or not you take creatine at the best time greatly impacts the way you live; it could either help you immensely, or the effects could be minute.
Creatine is a great supplement for just about anyone. If you are an avid exerciser, it’s even more beneficial. But there remains the question of the best time to take creatine. Is it before a workout? After a workout? Or can you take it anytime?
In this article, we are going to tackle everything you need to know about creatine. Including its effectiveness, who it’s best for, its benefits, and of course, what you came here for – the best time to take creatine!
Is Creatine Effective?
Naturally found in your cells, creatine helps increase your overall performance when subjected to vigorous exercises for a short duration. These exercises include heavy lifting, HIIT workouts, and other activities that require movement.
Creatine underscores your physical attributes; your endurance, strength, and power are all heightened and are at an optimum level. Taking creatine helps enhance the concentration levels in your cells, eventually leading to health and wellness benefits.
If you are looking for something that increases your muscle mass and enhances your performance, creatine is worth considering. While our bodies make creatine, we can also get it through foods, like meat. If you feel you are not getting enough creatine from food, then supplementing it is a great option.
There are many different creatine supplements on the market, coming in pill form, a liquid form, or even powder form.
Benefits Of Creatine
Just like with many supplements on the market, there is a long and ever promising list of benefits when you search ‘creatine benefits.’ While there are many benefits, only some are supported by research. The following are the benefits that come with taking creatine.
1. Guaranteed Safe And Easy To Use
Of course, as someone who wishes to improve workout performance, you are walking on a relatively thin line, wondering if the supplement you will be taking is safe. Well, creatine is not only safe, but it is also one of the trending and effective supplements in gaining muscle mass and strength.
With its diverse applications and benefits, it’s also relatively affordable compared to many other workout supplements.
2. Fatigue Reduction
After a long and vigorous workout, your body deserves a break. But within minutes of rest, you might start to feel sore, and everything in your body just seems to not agree with your relaxation. Well, creatine can help reduce fatigue and tiredness. How is this possible?
This is possible because creatine helps in improving energy production within cells while at the same time increases the levels of your dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with motivation, motor control as well as the release of different hormones.
3. Improves Brain Function
Significant findings from the research shows that the brain needs a sufficient amount of ATP when you are doing complex tasks. To shed light on ATP, it stands for adenosine triphosphate, which is essential to life because it stores and releases energy for many cellular processes.
Supplements such as creatine can increase phosphocreatine in your brain, helping it to produce more ATP. This would highly relate to brain function because, without enough energy, different tasks are not feasible.
4. Offsets The Decline In Mental Performance
Anyone who has worked in an office or anyone who has pulled an all-nighter probably knows that sleep deprivation has some negative effects on mental performance. If this is left unchecked, numerous health conditions may arise, causing danger to your life.
What you might not know is that this is caused by a drop in the creatine levels in your body. In a study conducted, it was found out that creatine supplement helped in offsetting the decline in mental performance that usually happens when you are sleep-deprived.
5. Muscle Recovery
Eventually, there will come a point where we all go through a phase when we just don’t feel like working out. We do not have the strength to work out as much as we would like due to several reasons like sickness, injury, or we are just caught up with our busy schedules.
Regardless of the reasons, creatine can help you get back quickly from your hiatus. It may not maintain the muscles you got, but it will surely speed the process of gaining back the muscles you have lost.
Best Time To Take Creatine
Now, let us discuss the most important question: When is the best time to take creatine? In this section, we will be looking at some of the studies that have been around for years and are backed up by science that can help you decide when the best time to take creatine truly is.
Option 1: Should I Take It Before A Workout?
The idea of taking creatine before a workout goes back to the science behind creatine producing more ATP. As mentioned above, ATP is the energy of the body. The presence of ATP literally equates to having more energy available to be used.
Now, if creatine is taken before a workout, it means more ATP in the body. The more ATP there means more power available for the muscles. It is a domino effect where, after the power, it would result in the activation of muscle fibers leading to muscle growth.
Option 2: Should I Take It After A Workout?
On another note, taking creatine after a workout focuses on the fact that creatine helps in muscle recovery. We all know how tired our bodies are post-workout, and since they lack the nutrients, it is just appropriate that they are delivered back to the body.
Creatine is known to invigorate the body. Taking it will help you get back on track for your next session.
Option 3: Should I Just Take It Whenever I Want?
Taking creatine just when you feel like it is an argument based on the hypothesis that the former timeframes are rather sham. What this suggests is that there is no best or good time taking creatine. As long as you notice the benefits, it is a good way to go.
What Does The Research Say?
As research has shown, both the first and second options above found benefits in taking creatine at their timeframes. However, as much as people would insist that there is no significant effect of one over the other, that is not simply true.
When the researchers pieced this problem at a different angle, they saw a trend that suggested otherwise. Removing all the difficult terms, what the research demonstrates is that taking creatine after a workout is much better than before. However, more years of research are needed to test that.
Should I Take Creatine Along With Other Products?
After years of research, researchers have tried to incorporate creatine with other ingredients like protein, carbs, amino acids, and other ingredients that foster body health. With this, they have found out that consuming carbs with creatine enhanced the way your muscles take up the supplement. However, there was no evidence to support that adding carbs helped in enhancing the body’s performance more than just creatine alone.
To sum it up, there may be benefits in taking creatine with carbs, but too many carbs could put you at risk.
As for other ingredients like protein and amino acids, they can be taken with creatine as they have been found to increase the ability of your body to retain creatine.
Final Thoughts – Should I Take Creatine?
Creatine can provide a plethora of health benefits for almost anyone, from muscle recovery to brain function to energy. If you’re in the market for a solid creatine powder, some options worth checking out include Bulk Supplements Creatine Monohydrate, Kre Alkalyn EFX, and Creatine X3.
As far as the best time to take creatine? The time at which it should be taken is debatable. Research has provided what they deem to be the best option; however, that does not necessarily mean that it is the only time. Whatever you may decide, always be sure that you are seeing results and are content with the benefits.