The first things we worked on when I was hired by LeBron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger to develop the formulae for Ladder were a protein powder and a pre-workout.
The greatest ingredients were the initial emphasis of each product. For us, \”best\” didn\’t mean anything novel or distinctive. The three criteria we used to measure ingredients were as follows:
- ingredients with the greatest supporting data.
- ingredients that produced real effects for everyday consumers and elite athletes.
- ingredients that could not have been safer.
- After all, the majority of supplements, despite how much advertising they receive, don\’t really make a difference, and many of them come with significant hazards.
We had a lengthy discussion on the substance creatine.
Arnold had numerous inquiries concerning the most recent findings and advantages, as well as if we would be sufficiently informed to dispel all of the bad misconceptions about the highly powerful component. Arnold was aware that creatine was effective and that it was also misunderstood and unsupported by science.
LeBron and his squad, however, were concentrated on one question: Would each component improve or detract from his performance? He wanted to be sure that any creatine he took would help his athletic performance rather than dehydrate him.
Numerous studies have shown that taking creatine supplements while training or competing either has no effect or lowers the frequency of muscular skeletal injuries, dehydration, and/or muscle cramping.
The advantages of creatine eventually became too obvious to keep it out of a Ladder recipe, as you\’ll soon discover. Choosing the appropriate product to meet the situation was the next task.
In the end, we added 5 grams of creatine monohydrate to the pre-workout, but the advantages of doing so were not the main factor. Here\’s why the source and some other factors were more important than the timing.
Why Anyone Benefits from Creatine
If I\’m being completely honest, I avoided creatine for years as if it were a prohibited substance. But after looking over the research, I saw that my fears were totally unfounded.
To begin with, creatine is unquestionably safe. We may go into the events that led to the story\’s twist, or you can put your faith in the more than 1,000 studies that have been published and have verified the supplement\’s advantages and safety.
In a nutshell, the benefits of creatine include:
- More Power and Strength
- More Muscle
- Better Aerobic Capacity
- Total Body Hydration
- Lean Mass
- Reduced Fatigue
As time has passed, study has also uncovered additional proof that creatine may possibly be beneficial;
- Brain Health
- Recovery and Reducing Muscle Damage
- Muscular Endurance
- Fight Depression
But one query has come up time and time again: When is the ideal time to take creatine?
Creatine and Nutrient Timing
The concept of timing nutrients led to the notion that creatine should be taken before or after an exercise. According to that approach, you should give priority to the brief period just before and after your workout. Nutrient timing still has some importance today, but it appears that the window was more of a myth than a reality.
For athletes and anybody looking for an edge in the gym or during body transformation, nutritional timing is a popular issue. This is partly due to research demonstrating how time of carbohydrate eating affects critical processes like glycogen replenishment (and, in certain cases, muscle protein synthesis).
The opposite is more pragmatic: You want to get the greatest value for your money when it comes to the nutritional items and supplements you purchased.
The idea of timing has been used in relation to a wide range of supplements, including creatine, protein supplements, carbs, and fat burners. Because creatine can be so effective, it\’s worth looking into whether there\’s a component that can provide you with even more advantages.
There have been three different prescriptions for creatine ever since it became a well-liked dietary supplement: before a workout, after a workout, and at any time. Here is the rationale for each choice.
Creatine Before Your Workout: The case for taking creatine before a workout includes the claim that it should sharply enhance power production during exercise, enabling you to use more force. You might be able to lift greater weight and engage more muscle fibers if you use more force. These elements may result in increased muscle growth. Therefore, it is clear where this is going.
Creatine after your workout: The argument for taking creatine after a workout, on the other hand, is that your muscles are \”primed\” for the influx of nutrients after a workout, so you can just add some creatine and let your body absorb the potent supplement to get all of its benefits.
Creatine whenever you want: The premise of the \”take it whenever\” argument is that both of the above arguments are unconvincing, so there\’s no need to care about timing. In other words, creatine benefits your health. So long as you\’re taking it as a supplement, you\’ll get the advantages.
As you might expect, the only thing that matters to you is whether one strategy is obviously superior to the others.
The Best Time to Take Creatine
The study that forms the basis of \”take creatine after your workout\” was released in 2013 and can be accessed here. In this study, five grams of creatine were administered either before or after workouts to 19 recreational male bodybuilders. They exercised five days a week, but they were also told to eat 5g whenever they pleased on their days off.
The exercises were fairly typical of those performed in gyms, and the technique (what they did and how they did it) leads one to believe that the results would be applicable to the majority of weightlifters. This study gained popularity since it seemed to show unequivocally that taking creatine after exercise is preferable to taking it before. This section contains that.
Strength and lean body mass are increased by resistance training and creatine supplementation. The magnitude inferences suggest that in terms of body composition and strength, taking creatine just after working out is preferable to taking it before.
The truth is that there wasn\’t a substantial effect when you looked at the studies much more closely (rather than just the generalized remark).
Statistics-speaking, there was no statistically significant difference between pre- and post-workout, indicating that both were equally effective (less than 5% probability that what was observed was due to chance is considered \”significant\” for this study). However, both groups noticed the same degree of benefit from creatine supplementation, as noted in this protocol.
They did not discover any statistically significant differences between the groups when the study was broken down case-by-case, but they did discover a pattern that suggested there might be a difference.
This is what the researchers would actually say if we took away all of the jargon and fancy words: \”We think that taking creatine after a workout is better than before, but we really need to study more to prove that.\”
Creatine timing has been examined in numerous previous trials, but none have found any conclusive advantages to taking it before or after exercise. That does not negate the advantages of timing, though.
Examine.com has discovered that taking creatine close to your workout provides more benefits than taking it before or after, which is majoring in the minor.
When compared to supplementing with creatine at other times of the day, the advantages of doing so appear to be more pronounced when done right before a resistance training session. At this time, it appears that both taking creatine before and/or after exercise provides this advantage.
The Bottom Line on Creatine Timing (And Dosing)
It\’s remarkable how little research there is on actual timing given how much research there is on creatine.
Creatine is a common ingredient in supplements, so if it\’s in your pre- or post-workout beverage, you should get the benefits. Creatine monohydrate, which has been used in countless research, looks to be the optimum form and should still be taken in doses of 2 to 5 grams per day.
It is not required to \”load\” for the first 5 to 7 days in order to help saturate your cells. Simply put, it will hasten the process by which your creatine reserves fill up. Taking large doses has no additional benefits. Save your money by taking the lower dose instead; it\’ll