You know what it feels like to head into a gym session, desperate to give everything you’ve got, only to be on your ass 20 minutes in.
As someone who’s training upwards of 3 times a week you also know the answer to this common problem is a pre workout.
But even after $10,000 spent on pre workouts, it’s hard to know what’s right.
Optimum Nutrition, MusclePharm and countless other companies are churning out blend after blend, with most containing at least some creatine.
But is a pre workout with creatine the right choice, and which should you buy?
What is Creatine?
Creatine is a substance that you have in your muscles. Essentially it helps your muscles produce energy, which is transferred into your workout performance.
Most creatine in your body is stored in your muscles, with a small amount in the kidneys, liver and brain.
The body can produce it from amino acids glycine and arginine. Diet, exercise and muscle mass are all things that can affect your bodies creatine stores.
Your body uses a high energy molecule called ATP to fuel itself. When you have more ATP you perform better. Creatine increases stores of phosphocreatine, which helps your body produce more ATP.
Pre workouts with creatine capitalize on this in a bid to make you stronger, workout for longer and smash those PR’s.
How much creatine should be in a pre workout?
There is no simple measure. Lots of people think that 5g in a pre workout is enough to improve performance.
BUT, and it’s a big but, this will take around 3-4 weeks of daily supplementation to load up and reach saturation point where the creatine will actually enhance your gym sessions.
Now with that in mind, and most pre workouts containing 150mg caffeine plus, is this really achievable? Probably not.
Creatine Loading Phase
To reach saturation point even quicker, you could always go through a loading phase of around 10mg of creatine a day, to reach that saturation point.
This means though, that you’d need to buy a creatine supplement on it’s own. As well as the pre workout.
10mg a day for 5-7 days and then a daily amount of around 5-7mg in pre workout is good for effects on athleticism and endurance.
Once again though, this daily amount can be quite hard to meet, especially if you are not taking a pre workout loaded with 5+ grams of creatine daily.
Bottom Line: Creatine doses can be annoying to keep on top of in a loaded pre workout. It’s far easier to separate it out from your pre.
If you want to boost your creatine levels, you can visit our awards section here: Best Creatine Supplements.
Do you need to creatine in a pre workout?
Yes and no. We are generally happy with a pre workout that has little to no creatine in. Just because you’re going to get far better results supplementing creatine on the side.
There are some scientific studies that support the use of 1000mg of creatine as a supplement that can help improve cognition, so that’s what we aim for. It means we are also getting a little extra kick of this ingredient on our workout days.
But overall, creatine shouldn’t be the focus of a pre workout. It’s requirement for daily supplementation means that it can be annoying for the average lifter to remember to keep on top of.
Pre workout ingredients that go well with creatine
We have hopefully, and slightly altered your view on a pre workout with creatine.
As we’ve mentioned, for creatine to work you need to be having higher and more regular doses than pre workouts can offer.
So by separating out creatine supplements and your pre workout supplement you’ll benefit much more from the performance enhancing properties of both.
Let’s say you’ve listened to our advice and decided to get a nice bag of creatine that you can supplement daily, which pre workout should you choose to go alongside it?
Complete this sentence; “I want a pre workout that makes me ……..”
Your answer probably fell into the below list. And by choosing the right pre workout ingredients to stack alongside creatine, or without, you can still achieve some incredible results.
A good pre workout ingredient should make you…
- Stronger and Pumped
- Avoid unwanted side effects
You might’ve said something different. But if you said ‘invincible’, ‘into the hulk’, ‘900 times as strong’ or ‘better in bed’ then you can read through the below. It’s all the same, sort of.
Stronger and pumped
L-Citrulline is the order of the day here. Not only will this allow your body to pump more blood to those muscles, it also provides one almighty muscle pump by dilating your blood vessels.
Caffeine is a key component of almost every pre workout available on the market and has been scientifically proven to enhance workout performance. Not only will it improve performance, it will increase metabolism. Helping you strip away some unwanted fat.
This should be top of your list.
Energized and focused
L-Carnitine at a dose of 300mg or more can help your body produce energy more efficiently. This will aid performance and see you going beyond expectations.
Combine this with the calming effects of non essential amino acid L-Theanine and you are really onto something special.
Avoid unwanted side effects
Nasty side effects like stomach cramps, anxiety or nausea can really ruin a workout. What’s even more annoying is that you won’t be able to use that pre workout again. By buying something natural that isn’t a proprietary blend, you can be sure you’ll avoid any side effects.
Buying a Pre Workout with Creatine
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking with us. Now comes to the crunch time.
At Spot Me Bro we have tested and tried, and tried, and tried, all sorts of pre workout blends with and without creatine.
As such we think pre workouts and creatine should be kept almost separate.
1000mg is just enough to help with cognition and also top up creatine reserves if you are supplementing it outside the pre workout supplement itself.
Choosing a pre workout that instead focuses on a huge muscle pumps, and explosive energy levels while keeping things natural and safe should be your priority here.
That’s if you want to make faster progress to your goals than ever before.
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