What is the Best Time to Take Creatine Powder?

David | A Lean Life

Published by David Williams

As an engineer, David loves technical product comparison and analyzing the data to assess top products.

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Like most people, you’ve probably heard of creatine supplements. After all, they are some of the most popular and widely researched. But have you ever asked yourself, “What is the best time to take creatine powder?”

We’ll break creatine powders down in this post, see what benefits they offer, who should take them, and if timing them even matters.

Let’s dive in.

What is Creatine Powder?

Creatine powder refers to monohydrate – the most affordable and abundant form of the supplement. Creatine powder is white, fine, doesn’t dissolve well in water, and its taste isn’t particularly good. (1)

But despite the drawbacks, creatine powder is incredibly beneficial, and we’ll look at exactly why that is below.

What Is The Best Time to Take Creatine Powder?

Creatine TimingYou’ve probably heard that you should time your creatine intake for the best effects and maximum results. 

As a general rule, it’s most beneficial to consume creatine powder right before or right after your workout. Which one you choose is a personal choice, and does not impact the end result. 

Taking before or after your workout adds value to recovery, as well as feeding and fueling your muscles. So timing your creatine is more important on your workout days than on your non-workout days.

Timing On Non-workout Days

On your non-workout days, you don’t need to worry about the timing as much. Just include at some point during your non-workout day, and taking with other healthy carbs and proteins is a bonus.

Creatine works by saturating inside your muscles. So, taking your doses consistently is far more critical than timing them to perfection. 

Take your daily dose of three to five grams around your workout time on your workout days, and don’t sweat the timing on non-workout days. (2)

Best Time for Creatine Powder

Benefits of Creatine Powder

To understand creatine’s benefits, we first have to take a brief (and simplified) look at our energy systems.

Each day, your body produces countless adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules. These are the energy currency of life, and each cell in your body needs these to function. Walking down the street, brushing your teeth, and even thinking are all energy-demanding tasks that require ATP. (3)

As you start to exercise, your body’s demands for ATP skyrocket. One way to reach exhaustion would be to use up your ATP reserves and continue to break down ATP molecules quicker than your body can regenerate them. At that point, your muscle fibers simply don’t have the energy they need to keep contracting.

Creatine comes into the picture because it improves ATP production rates. Most of the creatine we take gets stored as phosphocreatine. We primarily store it in our muscles, but we also have small amounts in organs like the kidneys, liver, and brain. 

Your body uses ATP molecules by breaking them down into ADP, which releases energy. Then, thanks to complicated processes, your body converts ADP back to ATP for use. 

Creatine accelerates this process by donating its phosphate group. As a result, you can do a bit more work, reach exhaustion more slowly, and make better progress in the long run.

And you can also purchase creatine in two main forms: pills and powder. Both offer distinct advantages, and if you’re taking creatine on a regular basis it’s good to know the difference between creatine pills vs powder.

Best Time to Take Creatine

Who Should Take Creatine Powder

Creatine is for everyone. With research dating as far back as the early 1970s, creatine has proven itself again and again. More importantly, creatine is safe even for long-term supplementation, regardless of age or gender.

The only people who should avoid creatine are those with kidney issues. In any case, it’s always best to consult with your doctor, share your goals, and ask for their opinion. But if you’re looking to optimize your performance and gym progress, creatine is the simplest and most affordable supplement you should consider. (4)

Click here to learn more about the best creatine powder to boost your muscle and strength.

David Williams

David Williams

A diet and fitness enthusiast, David is an ex-Army Airborne Ranger and Infantry soldier with decades of fitness and wellness experience. A West Point graduate with a degree in engineering, he focuses on technical research related to fitness, nutrition, and wellness. He loves the beach, and spending time with his wife and daughters.

References

1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Creatine monohydrate. National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database. Retrieved from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/creatine%20monohydrate.

2. Meixner, M. (2018). Creatine loading phase: Benefits, safety, side effects, dosage. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/creatine-loading-phase.

3. Nature Publishing Group. (n.d.). Nature news. Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/scitable/definition/atp-318/.

4. Watson, S. (2020). Creatine supplements: Usage and side effects. WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/men/creatine.