How should I take creatine for best results? Should I take creatine before or after workout? How quickly does creatine work?
These are some of the most common questions that fitness enthusiasts have in their mind before or during creatine use.
Let us find out answers to these and many more similar questions about how to best use creatine for muscle growth.
What Should You Take Creatine With?
Creatine is best taken with carbohydrates or with a blend of protein and carbohydrates. Ideally, creatine is best taken with 50 grams of protein and 47 grams of carbohydrates for enhanced creatine retention. Therefore, you can take creatine with a fairly large meal that includes adequate carbs and protein.
Creatine supplements are ideal for both beginners and advanced fitness enthusiasts. Creatine results usually start showing up with just 6-10 weeks of regular use.
How To Take Creatine For A Loading Phase?
Creatine loading refers to a regimen when you take a high dose of creatine to maximize your creatine storage.
This helps you improve your gym performance and long-term progression. A good strategy for creatine loading would be to consume 20 grams (4x5 grams) for 5-7 days.
How To Take Creatine For A Maintenance Phase?
Increasing the storage of creatine in your body through a maintenance phase is often more convenient as you have to consume creatine just once or twice a day. A good maintenance dose of creatine would be 4-6 grams a day.
What Is The Best Way to Take Creatine?
If you want to gain quick results with creatine supplementation, the best idea is to consume creatine with a 7-day loading phase where you take 20 grams (4x5 grams) every day, on both your workout and rest days.
You need to follow it with a maintenance phase of 4-6 grams a day for 7 days.
When Should You Take Creatine?
This is primarily because creatine has a more positive and significant effect on increasing muscular strength and lean muscle mass when taken after a workout.
A study appearing in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggested that people who took creatine after a resistance training session experienced a larger increase in lean body mass than those who took creatine before their workouts.
Another study published in the Journal of Exercise and Nutrition backed this claim and suggested that post-workout creatine consumption was better to enhance body composition.
On the other hand, some believe that it is best to consume creatine supplements before a workout so that the body has enough time to digest it fast before creatine can be utilized during exercise.
This is simply because the intake of creatine supplements before workouts helps your body replenish the depleting creatine levels during intense workouts.
When you consume creatine supplements 30-60 minutes before exercise, the body has sufficient time to reach peak creatine levels.
It is worth noting here that the intake of creatine supplements before workouts may be less effective for high-intensity cardio exercises and more productive for resistance training workouts.
To sum up, it doesn't really matter when you should take creatine. Ideally, you should just take creatine on your workout as well as rest days.