Creatine has been show to work. But how does it work BEST? Should you take it before or after a workout? What about on rest days? Is it necessary to cycle on and off? Here is your ultimate guide for supplementing with creatine!
A few years ago, you’d find people online debating whether creatine “worked.”
There’s no real doubt about that anymore.
Creatine has been shown in study after study to improve strength, power, speed, recovery— pretty much everything that makes a workout better, especially if you are doing one of our programs like Clean Bulk, Ripped In 90 Days, or Toned In 90 Days.
These days, instead of asking “does it work,” the question has shifted to “Is there a best time and way to take creatine?” It’s a topic that is almost as heavily debated as “Are BCAAs a waste of money” — which you can read more about HERE.
For this article, we are going to clear up any confusion you have about creatine.
Creatine: Before or After a Workout?
The funny thing about creatine is that there really isn’t a “best” time to take it in regard to your workout. As long as you take between 2-5 grams daily, even on non-training days, when you consume it isn’t as important.
That is because its effects are systemic, meaning that you need to have it build up in your system to work, over a period of days or weeks.
This sounds great, but the only problem with taking a supplement daily is that it can be easy to forget, especially on rest days.
That’s why we recommend taking creatine post-workout on training days: it’s easier to remember. And it’s why we put a precise amount of three different types of creatine in our Sculptnation Post-Workout. There is no guesswork! You get both a clinically studied dose of creatine AND other nutrients your body needs to properly recover after crushing a tough workout all in one scoop.
But if you’re in the “I’ll drink it whenever” camp or would rather slam a protein shake after your workout, we’ve got you covered there, too.
Sculpt Nation Creatine is designed to be a single-dose of the most research-backed form of creatine, which is creatine monohydrate. Each scoop has 5g, which is all anyone needs.
Should I load with creatine?
Some people recommend starting off by taking creatine with what is known as a “creatine loading protocol,” which is typically 4-5 doses a day for five days.
Is it effective? Sure, but unless you’re desperately seeking muscle size, most people should skip it.
Here’s why: Some people experience temporary side effects from creatine loading, like bloating or an upset stomach — and these pretty much always happen during loading protocols.
The answer: Keep it simple!! Just take 3-5 g every single day, and you’ll load your muscles just as well without any of the side effects some experience with “creatine loading.”
Not to mention, supplements only play a small part in reaching your muscle-building goals. You should first and foremost make sure your nutrition is on point. You can find out how much and what you need to eat to reach your goals in the V Shred App for IOS or Android. Make sure you get that squared away before you consider supplementing.
If Creatine Is Necessary For Your Goals?
If you are looking at all this advice and just saying, “just tell me what to do, please,” that’s why we have the V Shred personal trainer and nutritionist team.
Maybe you are a female mainly looking to lose body fat and not sure if creatine is needed? Or are an Ectomorph body type and unsure if you need more creatine to help reach your muscle-building goals?
Not only does our expert team make personalized diet and workout plans for thousands of people every day, but they can also help you pick the best supplements for your body type and goals.