If you’re following an intense training regimen for strength gains, physique improvements, or sports performance, then you’re likely taking creatine. This compound provides multiple benefits for athletes seeking any or all of these three goals.
Here are two of the primary reasons to supplement creatine: 1) Taken in the window before workouts, creatine helps boost short-term endurance by donating phosphate to your ATP (adenosine triphosphate) cycle. This means that creatine increases your ability to lift more weight and squeeze out more reps. 2) Getting in creatine after workouts encourages better recovery be-cause creatine drives fluids and nutrients into muscle tissue, helping muscle tissue repair and grow.
So which is more important? A recent study in Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition examined this question, concluding that taking cre-atine post-workout in combination with weight training is more effective for increasing muscle mass and strength than supplementing it pre-workout. Researchers determined that the subjects, healthy male bodybuilders who trained with weights, showed greater improvements in strength and body composition when they supplemented creatine after workouts compared to taking it prior to training.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t accrue additional benefits by taking cre-atine both before and after workouts. For best results, take three to five grams of creatine 30 minutes before training and then take the same dose immediately afterward.