View Full Version : Creatine - before or after a workout? - an experiment

10-23-2013, 09:15 PM
There has been some discussions online and offline on whether creatine is best taken right before or right after a workout. Some say - take both. Some say - that's excessive, and, while creatine definitely helps, I don't want to overdo it and hurt my kidneys. So, I've studied a number of articles, and found a good advise: "If you want to know for yourself, you should try it." So, here goes:

Next week I will start a new strength routine. Week 1 I normally gauge my exercises - how much I should lift, what should be the breaks, and so on. After week 1 I'll record volume and 1RM on all exercises as well as my body measurements. Weeks 2-4 I'll take creatine before my workouts and repeat measurements at the end of week 4. Weeks 5-7 I'll take creatine after the workouts, then once again measure and record. Then I can see whether there is a difference. Week 8 I'll give my kidneys a well-deserved break and unload. Then, in a few weeks I'll repeat, either with the same workout, or, if I hit a plateu, with a different one. The second time I'll do it with taking creatine post-workout in the first three weeks, then pre-workout.

Experiment parameters:

I take the following: CGT-MAX (http://www.nutrabio.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=NOS&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=24640) and Citrulline malate (http://www.nutrabio.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=NOS&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=23531) as my creatine mix.

Pre-workout - soy protein + D-Ribose (http://www.nutrabio.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=NOS&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=24040). Post-workout - whey protein isolate.

Workouts - to failure (failure defined as breaking the form), minimum rest intervals.

Diet - still figuring it out, but trying at least 180g of protein, 2900 - 3200 calories. Caffeine - 2-3 cups of tea. (My next experiment will be caffeine + creatine).

Anyone who wishes to join the experiment is most welcome.

Last, but not least: I would like to keep this thread for experiment only. If you tried taking creatine before / after your workouts and saw a difference, do comment below. If you just have an opinion or want to point to a research article, please do so in a separate discussion.

Wade Razella
10-24-2013, 03:26 AM
Personally for me keeping it simple always is the safest and it works. I think that there are a few myth's out there about creatine. Google using this (Myths about Creatine) take the time and click on the links. I know you will find them very informative.

10-28-2013, 06:15 PM
Another thing to remember is creatine is also in red meats and naturally produced in the body. I personally take it in tabs and pre mixed in whey so I get around 15 grams on workout days and about 10 on non workout days before even thinking what could be naturally produced or coming from my food.
I had also previously read that a loading phase is not actually needed and a proven amount to work is around 3 grams (will have to try finding the sites I used) but I do find if I miss creatine intake on gym days I do notice fatigue a bit sooner and also recovery seems to slow down.
As for any excess, I haven't read anything saying it can damage kidneys etc but at the same time I don't doubt that it could cause damage due to the kidneys acting as a filter system but any excess creatine is usually pushed out of the body by sweat or urination, I often find that often the gym I am like a race horse back and forth to the bathroom

Wade Razella
10-29-2013, 04:24 AM
I have cut my red meats and pork down a lot and mainly eat chicken and fish. I am using Creatine but only 5 g a day. I have not been brave enough to go to 10 but I have only been on Creatine everyday for just 2 weeks and a day. I take it post work out I will let you know more about my progress as I keep using it.

I have done a fair about of research at if appears the the majority suggest that all we need is only 5g a day. Also no loading up is required. Some sites that are selling it seem to promote loading and up to 10 to 15g a day go figure.

I guess that when it comes down to it it really depends on what your goals are and always making sure you are always paying attention with your application of Creatine. :cool:

11-05-2013, 04:58 PM
Sorry, guys, but I'll have to postpone this experiment. I've been pretty sick last week, and got dehydrated to a degree that my muscles became a tad smaller. It will take me a week or two to get back in shape, and by that time it will be too close to my kids winter break. I got a bunch of workout plans lined up for February, some with pretty strict supplements regimen, some with more relaxed guidelines. If I pick one of the latter (sooner or later I will), I'll get back to this experiment.

Thanks to all who participated in the discussion.

By the way, last year I tried skipping load phase and found almost no difference in my performance, so I've been skipping it since.

Wade Razella
11-06-2013, 05:29 PM
Keep us in the loop my friend look forward to future posts.:cool:

01-30-2014, 07:34 PM
Looks like I won't revisit this experiment any time soon - the programs I lined up until September have well-defined supplementation rules. I did some experiments within those rules, and discovered two things:

- Creatine first thing in the morning (recommendation from the program I did last month) is waste of money, unless you work out right away.
- Currently doing high intensity program with 10-15g of creatine recommended. I tried several combinations, and what works best is 5g 30 minutes before training (taken with betaine and beta-alanine), and then 5g during the training in a few installments (taken with BCAA). That's compared with a) 10g prior and b) 5g prior and 5g after the workout. I take creatine mainly to speed up recovery, and mid-workout works faster than post-workout.