Finding out which time is best to take creatine, before or after a workout, can be a big hassle. We’ve done all we can to answer the question in this article.
Best Time to Take Creatine
Nowadays, we see everyone is using creatine, however, everyone uses it differently. A few says it’s best to consume after a workout while others prefer before. Dr. Jim Stoppani, creator of JYM Supplement Science and a trainer at Bodybuilding.com says, “I’ve been recommending creatine both before and after workouts for several years. It works the best in the gym and research also backs this practice.”
Also, there are several other types of research that explain the benefits of creatine and its safety. It helps to build more muscle mass, increase power and strength and improves the anaerobic capacity.
From Mystery Supplement To Popular Supplement
Over the past 13 years, creatine has become one of the most well-researched supplements and there are literally hundreds of thousands of studies that have supported its benefits not only for building muscles but also anti-aging, memory support, and cell protection capabilities.
If you are the person who wants to consume creatine once a day, Dr. Jose Antonio shared results from one of his studies where he gave recreational male bodybuilders 5 grams of creatine monohydrate just before they worked out for four weeks and 5 grams of the same immediately after their workout. Also, these bodybuilders were given the same amount of creatine on non-training days.
Back in 2013, Dr. Jose Antonio, along with co-author Victoria Ciccone, reported in The Journal of The International Society of Nutrition that they did not observe any significant differences between the two groups for any mass gains, muscle strength or the body fat.
Still, there was a weaker statistical correlation with evidence suggesting that taking creatine after a workout was more effective for muscle gain and strength.
As it happens, many magazines, websites, and pseudo-scientist bodybuilding experts made a conclusion out of this study that post-workout creatine consumption is better as compared to pre-workout.
No need to rush to conclusions yet.
Pre or Post – What to Do?
In his research, Dr. Jose Antonio strictly mentioned that there is no difference between pre- and post-workout consumption of creatine and also used the words “magnitude-based inference” that there is evidence, post-workout “might” be better than pre-workout.
However, there is still a study to be published sharing the results of both pre- and post-workout creatine consumption but Jim Stoppani says, “I have seen several thousand people switching to consuming creatine at both ends and there is a research that also supports to making the switch.”
To further this controversy, another study that was done by a group of Australian researchers back in 2006 reported that weight-trained subjects consumed a shake consisting of protein, carbohydrates, and creatine pre- and post-workout for a 10-week period. They experienced an 80 percent increase in lean muscle mass. However, another group took these supplements in the morning and at night but only showed a 30 percent increase in muscle strength and mass. The pre- and post-workout group also showed a decrease in body fat mass while the morning and night group did not.
Though there were some controversies suggesting that a protein shake with fast-digesting carbs might be the result of muscle mass in the pre-post workout group but Stoppani says, “It’s hard to tweeze exactly what benefits were due to creatine versus protein and carbs.”
There has been a trendy controversy in online bodybuilding forums and gym conversations that taking creatine post-workout is superior to pre-workout.
Instead of confusing yourself, just remember Dr. Antonio’s study that shows there were minimal differences in taking creatine either before or after a workout.
Jim Stoppani advises using the switch technique. Take it both pre-workout and post-workout supplement.