Creatine isn’t a new concept to the fitness world. People have been supplementing with creatine for decades, and its effects and benefits are pretty much undeniable. Everyone seems to agree that creatine really is a powerful and “must have” supplement, but there’s a definite divide when it comes to WHEN to take it. Some people swear that you’ll get the best results by taking it before a workout. Others argue that the supplement works best AFTER a workout, and others still argue that, basically, you can take it whenever it works for you. But what is the reasoning behind each groups argument?
Group 1: Take it BEFORE You Workout!
The first group of creatine supporters have a pretty decent argument. Creatine increases the body’s ATP, which in turn allows the person that takes it to work out longer. More ATP also means that your muscles receive more energy, meaning you can lift more weight, resulting in faster muscle mass growth. To put it simply, the first group believes that if you take creatine before a workout, you’re maximizing your muscle mass growth potential within that workout.
Group 2: Take it AFTER You Workout!
To be fair, the second group of people make a good argument as well. They point out the fact that after you’ve worked out, your muscles are “empty” and need to be replenished and rebuilt. The best way to do this is consuming protein, carbs, and creatine. When you throw creatine in the mix, the powerful supplement not only helps heal your muscles, but helps bind them in a way that makes them stronger and primes them for your next high intensity workout.
Group 3: Take it WHENEVER!
Basically, this group says it doesn’t matter when you take creatine, as long as you do. Their argument is that there isn’t enough proof that the supplement works the way the first two groups claim it does. As long as you take the supplement, you’ll see results. This goes for men and women, and goes against the myth that women who take the supplement are doomed to bulk up too much, and too fast. This group also suggests that by taking it whenever it’s right for you, you receive all the benefits of the supplement that the first two groups boasts.
According to research, the second and third groups may be on to something. By taking it after you workout you ARE promoting muscle growth and repair, but admittedly science has yet to pinpoint a timeframe of the most useful time to take creatine. One thing that IS definite is that creatine absolutely does work, and it is a safe and useful supplement that both men and women can use. Although there are many myths out there about the dangers of taking creatine, such as dehydration, rhabdomyolysis, cramping, organ damage, and “over bulking” in women, researchers say it’s all nonsense. This supplement is safe, and should be taken the way you feel it best benefits you.