When Should I Take Creatine?
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I will start this Ask the Supplement Guru by noting that I have recommended taking creatine both before and after workouts for more than a decade. It simply works the best in the gym, and research also backs up this practice. However, debate is still raging among other experts on whether it is best to take creatine pre- or post-workout.
Well, for people who only want to take creatine once a day, a recent study by a colleague and friend of mine, Dr. Jose Antonio, may have the answer for you … or not.
Researchers gave recreational male bodybuilders—basically guys like you and me—either 5 grams of creatine monohydrate immediately before they worked out for four weeks, or 5 g of creatine monohydrate immediately after they worked out. On non-training days the subjects were allowed to take the creatine whenever they desired.
Antonio and co-author Victoria Ciccone reported in a 2013 issue of The Journal of The International Society of Nutrition that there wasn’t any significant difference between the two groups for lean mass gains, body fat, or muscle strength. However, when they ran some much weaker statistical correlations, there was evidence that taking creatine post-workout was more effective on lean muscle gains and muscle strength.