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Should You Take Creatine Before or After Workout?

One of the most common questions in any gym these days is if you should take creatine before or after workout. This is one of those questions that every bodybuilder or weightlifter has an opinion on, yet no one really knows the facts. The truth is that it depends on many factors.

According to most studies, there is no real difference in the muscle growth and increase in power between athletes who took creatine before or after their workout. However, there are differences in how they tolerated the supplement, and that could be what is the deciding factor for you.

Unfortunately, knowing if you should take creatine before or after workout will depend on you testing your own theory. The science of creatine tells us that it will absorb more fully when a stomach is full. You will also get the most bang for your buck when you are drinking plenty of water. Therefore, you can deduce that taking creatine after your workout would provide better results, and for many people, that is the case. By taking a creatine supplement with water and a high carbohydrate meal after a workout, the supplement is the most effective.

On the other side, there are the people who do not tolerate the supplement all that well. They may find that taking it with food bothers their stomach, or if they take it after working out, when the blood is not in the stomach, but rather in the muscles, they can't handle it at all. By taking creatine an hour or so before working out, the stomach is given a chance to fully digest the creatine, allowing it to do its job without the added distraction of a workout.

The truth is that most people decide if they should take creatine before or after workout by accident. They take it once before working out, only to find out that it upsets their stomach. They then take it after a workout and find that it is much more tolerable. The reverse is true for many people, too.

In short, if people in your gym are telling you that you MUST take it either before or after working out, they are both wrong. It is largely up to you. There is no significant scientific difference tied into when you take it. What is clearly much more important is how you take it, what you take it with, and how much you take.

Although creatine is natural and based on the same products in red meat, you should never take more than is recommended. If you are loading, then you need to be careful and monitor your health at all times. If you feel kidney pains or notice changes in your urinary function, then you should stop taking it. Whether you decide to take creatine before or after workout, what is far more important is that you take it with plenty of water. Doing so will help you protect your kidneys from overwork, as well as enable full absorption of the supplement into your bloodstream.


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