Creatine Before or After Your Workout?

19 Apr

gnc%20creatine[1]Creatine is one of the few supplements proven to improve performance. And, although your body produces creatine, supplementation can increase your workout capacity, strength, and muscle growth. You should always take your creatine supplement after your workout rather than before.

Pre-Workout Creatine

Since creatine causes your muscles to “attract” and retain water from the rest of your body, you may experience muscle cramping and other side effects that inhibit your exercise. Additionally, you haven’t created much muscle demand prior to your workout.

Post-Workout Creatine

Since muscle demand is highest immediately following your workout, taking creatine after your workout will help your muscles recover fully from the workout by maximizing the amount of creatine your body stores in your muscles, and ensuring the delivery of the maximum amount of creatine (and other nutrients).

Creatine is safe and effective when taken properly. Avoid “loading” and “cycling,” and take 2-5 grams per day. Like protein supplementation, creatine should be taken within 30-60 minutes of your workout. Taking creatine with a carbohydrate — post-workout — can increase the uptake of creatine in muscle tissue. I like adding unflavored creatine monohydrate to a post-workout carb/protein shake. As with any supplement, check with your physician before taking creatine.


Your thoughts?


5 Responses to “Creatine Before or After Your Workout?”

  1. Tom April 22, 2013 at 6:44 AM #

    How come users should avoid the cycling and loading stages?

    • Brian Lebo April 22, 2013 at 11:09 AM #

      The goal of creatine supplementation is to develop a steady-state (of creatine) in muscle tissue, so your muscles have a way to get extra phosphate to power muscle contraction. There is no evidence that cycling or loading creatine provides a performance benefit.

  2. Kristopher April 29, 2013 at 12:07 PM #

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  1. The Case for Creatine | Athletic Performance Training Center - July 20, 2015

    […] Creatine Before or After Your Workout […]

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