Creatine is a fantastic supplement...but when should you take it? There is a big difference between taking it before and after a workout. Find out which is best...and why.
Maximum Benefit from Creatine
Dietary supplements are a great tool to help bodybuilders increase lean mass. There is a slew of bodybuilding supplements to choose from, but no supplement has been studied as intensively as creatine has over the years.
Creatine has been scientifically proven to help bodybuilders gain more muscle and recover faster – as well as promoting increases in strength and endurance. There is no question that creatine should be a part of a bodybuilding diet but there has been a lot of debate as to when is the best time to take creatine.
Creatine is a substance that is naturally produced in the body from amino acids. It is produced in the liver and it helps supply energy to various cells in the body.
Although the body produces this substance, bodybuilders often benefit from supplementation because of the rigorous demands of their workout. Creatine supplementation ensures that bodybuilders will have a surplus of this substance so that they have adequate energy stores to gain muscle fast.
Creatine supplements come in a variety of forms, including mono-hydrate, ethyl ester, and tri-creatine malate. Of all the forms studied, creatine mono-hydrate has been shown to give the best results.
Creatine can be taken in the form of a liquid, in a capsule or in powdered form. The recommended dosage for creatine is 5 -10 grams per day during the maintenance phase and 20 grams spread out during the day during the loading phase, which lasts 5 days (if you choose to do a loading phase).
Creatine Before a Workout
There are those who say that creatine should be taken before a workout. These proponents feel that taking a creatine supplement approximately one hour before working out will give the supplement enough time to get into your bloodstream and help you successfully finish your workout.
If you have been taking creatine daily, by your next workout, your body will need to replenish its creatine stores. According to the creatine before a workout camp, taking this supplement at this time will replenish your stores adequately and help you have a great workout.
Creatine After a Workout
Though there are some that feel that taking creatine before a workout will provide you with more benefits, there have been actual studies that say taking creatine after a workout is the way to go. Studies have been conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition.
The American College of Sports Medicine or ACSM conducted in a study in the year 2000 that found that taking creatine after a workout prevented one important possible negative side effect that can occur if the supplement is taken before a workout. This side effect was fluid depletion.
The study indicated that while creation supplementation before a workout will make muscles look fuller, fluid depletion could possibly lead to muscle cramping and other effects that would interfere with your workout.
Studies also hint to other possible negative side effects including vomiting, heat exhaustion, and feeling nauseous, but there has been no scientific evidence to concretely support these theories.
In the study conducted by the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition, 19 male candidates were chosen to test the effectiveness of taking creatine before and after a workout.
The men were split into 2 groups with one group using the supplement before their workout and the other using it after their workout. Their training spanned a period of 5 days per week and the study lasted four weeks. In addition to creatine supplementation, the participants ingested sufficient amounts of protein.
Every participant consumed 1.9 grams of protein for each kilogram of weight. Upon completion of the study, all participants had achieved gains in strength and muscle.
But the participants who took creatine after their workout showed greater increases in their one-rep max on the bench press than those who took the supplement before working out.
Make the Most of Creatine
You know that you need to supplement your body building diet with creatine. It will help you increase strength, endurance, muscle mass and has also been shown to increase testosterone levels and increase productivity.
Although there are a few who feel creatine should be taken before a workout, studies have proven that they are incorrect. You should take creatine after your workout if you want to experience the greatest benefits from this supplement.