Are you wondering when to take creatine? In summary, the best time to take it would be half an hour before your workout or soon after you have completed your workout.
Why Take Creatine
When you take creatine, your muscles will be able to store more creatine phosphate (cp). CP produces energy in your muscles, which makes it possible for you to carry out intense exercises within a short period of time. When you are working out in the gym lifting weights and doing power type exercises, your body is fueled by the ATP-PC energy system. Therefore, when you take creatine, your muscles will be able to store more CP, which is what will feed your ATP-PC system.
The Benefits of Taking Creatine
Your creatine levels will be above normal. This means that you will have more muscular energy to carry out physically intense workouts without getting depleted fast. Your body will produce more creatine faster. This means that your body will recover faster after workouts and you will have higher levels of creatine for your next workout.
When you take creatine, your muscular endurance will go up and you will have increased strength and power. This is because the creatine makes phosphocreatine last longer in your body.
Using creatine can result in the following:
- Enhanced strength, power and your speed of force development will go up
- Better sprints when you are taking off and you will recover faster between sprints
- You will be more nimble
- Improved strength on your legs when cycling
- Better strength and power when doing Olympic lifting
- More power when doing bench presses and back squats
- Enhanced performance when you are playing team sports
Another instance when to take creatine is when you want your muscles to have a fuller look. This is because creatine absorbs water from the muscle cells, hence making your muscles look bigger.
Creatine doesn’t just make your muscles absorb water from other cells and look bigger overnight, but an anabolic effect is also produced in the muscles, making them synthesize proteins much better. The short-term effect of creatine is that not only will it make your muscles look bigger, but your muscles will actually grow bigger over time.
Creatine safeguards against the production of lactic acid in the muscles and hydrogen ions. These are elements that are usually produced in the body after a period of intense exercise. These elements make you experience a burning sensation when you are working out. However, if the production in the body is slowed down, then you can make your workout last a little bit longer. This means that doing more and more reps when lifting will eventually translate into bigger muscles.
When taking this product, it’s advisable to have a loading phase. This phase increases the muscles’ ability to store more creatine. Once the loading has been done, what you need to do now is to maintain the levels that have been stored since the creatine levels in your body will be at their highest.
To load creatine, you can start by using 20g of creatine spread out over 4 portions throughout the day. For instance, you can have it at meal times. Do this for at least 5 days. This loading phase is then alternated with a maintenance phase. In this phase, you can take 4g-10g daily.
However, some researchers argue that it’s not a must to have a loading phase. You can just go straight to the maintenance phase, where you take 4g-10g a day.
Why Take Creatine Post Workout
The best time to take creatine would be half an hour to an hour before your training session and also soon after you have finished your training. Take it together with a protein shake. By taking it half an hour before your workout, you give your body time to digest it and put it to good use almost immediately in your body when you are working out.
Taking creatine post workout helps your body to recover, replenishes it and helps it grow stronger. This will help you maximize your workout. You can take it on its own or as a supplement.