When to take Creatine? Get A Complete Overview About It

when to take creatine

Before knowing when to take creatine and when is the best time to take creatine, you should understand creatine first. So, what is creatine? You may have heard about the word hear creatine in the gym from your exercise buddies. It is the most common secondary protein supplement that many people take. With the help of creatine, you can enhance your mental or physical energy while exercising. In other words, it is nutritionally ergogenic. 

Creatine is already present in our bodies. You may find more than 95% of the creatine in the skeletal muscles which are present in the form of phosphocreatine in the intramuscular regions.

Also, free creatine is present in other parts of the body except for the brain, which includes except other than the brain the kidney, and liver. But every day we excrete about 1 or 2% of creatine from our body through urination. It is important to maintain the amount of creatine in our bodies. We require almost 1-3g of creatine daily. 

Creatine plays an important role in our body and its main job is to improve the availability of ATP for muscle contraction. By increasing your energy, you will improve your training performance. It also helps in recovering and may reduce the risk of injuries caused while following exercises or training. Continue reading and you will find when you should take creatine and when is the best time to take creatine. 

Why Take Creatine?

when to take creatine

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There are various reasons to take creatine supplements with valid scientific justifications. Here are some of the reasons to consider taking these protein supplements:

Enhanced Recovery And Reduced Muscle Damage

when to take creatine

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When should you take creatine? Well! It is when you want to increase your muscle strength. Also, with the help of creatine, there are fewer chances to get muscle injuries. Therefore, it decreases muscle damage and helps in recovering. Not long before, there was an article about creatine and its role in intense training. It is said that creatine enhances the multiple mechanisms that increase muscle recovery from intensive exercise. 

Injury Prevention

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If you are among those who have an intense workout, you should take these supplements. There was a report that said athletes who take these supplements creatine daily have lower rates of injuries as compared to those who do not take it. 

Enhances The Tolerance To Exercise In The Heat

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Many athletes have to work in the heat under the sun on sunny days. The hot and humid environment can easily drain their energy and they can fall be sick because of the intense exercises. Therefore, they should include the supplement creatine in their daily diet. It is because; creatine also serves as an effective strategy that reduces the risk of heat-related illness for athletes. 

Increases Anaerobic Threshold

If you take a combination of creatine and carbohydrate, it will help you to increase the exercise intensity during high-intensity sprints. But you should take creatine 20g per day for 5-days or 3g per day for 9-days. Also for carbohydrates, take 6-12g/kg/day. 

Buffers Lactic Acid Build-Up

when to take creatine

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When you are doing exercises a high-intensity workout, you will feel the burning sensation in the muscles of your body. This burning sensation comes from the accumulation of lactic acid in muscle tissue. You may also feel sore, painful muscles and catabolic muscle degradation. 

However, a little amount of lactic acid is normal when the workout is mild. At that moment you may not feel much pain in your muscles. But, when there is excess lactic acid due to an intense workout, it will drop off your overall muscle strength. Therefore, you need to take creatine supplements. It is because creatine supplements help mitigate lactic acid buildup in muscles. In other words, it helps to raise the lactate threshold in your muscles. 

Potential Side Effects of Creatine

Everything has positive as well as negatives sides and intake of supplements will surely affect your body. Know all the pros and cons that you may have after you take creatine supplements: 

May Cause Weight Gain          

when to take creatine

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One of the common side effects of the intake of these creatine supplements causes weight gain. Before taking the creatine you should consider that in your body there will be an increase of 1-2kg in body mass. 

Creatine Supplements Improve Muscles Results For Vegetarians

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There will be a nice side effect for vegetarians. Usually, vegetarians have lower intramuscular creatine stores 90-110mmol/kg of dry muscle because they lack proteins. These creatine supplements help them to gain muscle creatine content in their body. 

Creatine May Improve Aging Symptoms

Some people who take these creatine supplements tell that they may play a vital role in aging, muscle wasting, and insulin resistance. However, there is no full research history that justifies these side effects. Therefore, we need to wait for more research to justify these claims. 

When Should I Take Creatine?

I always question myself when should I take creatine? If you are also wondering when is the best time to take creatine, continue reading. When you do exercise, there are three main times when you can take creatine supplements. They are as below:

  1. You may take it shortly before do you exercise
  2. Shortly after you complete your exercise
  3. At some time that is not close to when you exercise

Is It Good For You To Take It After Or Before You Exercise?

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While reading this article, you already know that creatine supplements enhance muscle recovery. Therefore, it is good to take these supplements after intense exercise. Also, creatine helps in increasing the glycogen stores in your muscles. 

Taking creatine supplements before intense exercise is one of the best ways time. This is because creatine supplements help in the enhancement of creatine levels in muscles.  stores. You may take 20g per day for 5-7 days before lowering to a maintenance dose. 

You may find out that when you take these supplements before and after the exercise, your body easily gains muscles. 

Benefits Of Creatine 

Some of the common benefits of taking creatine supplements are as follows:

  • Increases lean body mass
  • Improves one rep maximum lifts
  • Increases muscle thickness 
  • Helps in increasing both upper and lower body strength

Is Creatine Safe?

Is creatine safe? The answer is yes. Creatine is not only a safe supplement but is also very much effective. There may be many rumors about the bad side effects but there is no proof. The reading of the International Society of Sports Nutrition tells us that there is no official documentation that says it has short-term or long-term harmful effects. There are rumors that it has the following harmful effects:

  • Dehydration
  • Cramping
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Musculoskeletal injury
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Anterior leg compartment syndrome

But creatine does not cause any of the problems that are above. Athletes may experience these problems because of the physically demanding exercise. Also, athletes who do not take creatine are usually seen with these problems. 

When to Take Creatine- Is Every Day Okay?

when to take creatine

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There are no negative effects if you are taking creatine daily. But it is not necessary to take it daily. It usually depends on your daily diet and exercise. Some people take creatine for only two or three days per week. But some people take the creatine supplement daily. To make sure that you are taking the benefits of creatine to their limit, be sure your muscles have high creatine. 

You can take 20g of creatine per day to saturate your muscle stores. But after a few days, you need to switch your amount to 3-5 grams per day. It helps in maintaining the optimal levels. To maintain adequate creatine storage in the muscles, some gym-goers or athletes also do creatine cycles. 

Also Read: Simple Workout Schedule for Beginners

When Should You Take Creatine- Rest Days

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You can take creatine on your free days but it does not have that much importance. But still, you should take this supplement on your free days because it will help you by elevating the creatine content of the muscles in your body. Especially, if you are an athlete, there is no need to skip it. You should take creatine with your meals on your free days.

How To Take Creatine For The Best Results?

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For best results, you should take creatine with the macronutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins. It will help your muscles to retain creatine longer. You can easily pair the creatine with your milkshake or protein shake. Also, you can intake creatine with your snack. It could be your pre-workout or post-workout snack. In other words, you can combine creatine with any liquid. It will make the liquid tastier and healthier. 

Conclusion

Wondering when to take creatine? Well! Talking about when to take creatine all depends on your personal preferences and convenience. You may not find any official report that proves that the particular time for taking the supplements is best for you. But there is a study that says you may gain more muscles when you take these supplements before or after the exercise. 

However, creatine is usually present in our daily diet. For example, you may get about 1-2 grams of creatine per day from your diet if you are an omnivore. There will be no harm in taking creatine but remember that different bodies have to may take creatine differently.

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