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  1. #1
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member is304's Avatar
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    Creatine - before or after a workout? - an experiment

    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: [URL="http://www.nutrabio.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=NOS&Screen=PROD&Product_Co de=24640"]CGT-MAX[/URL] and [URL="http://www.nutrabio.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=NOS&Screen=PROD&Product_Co de=23531"]Citrulline malate[/URL] as my creatine mix.

    Pre-workout - soy protein + [URL="http://www.nutrabio.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=NOS&Screen=PROD&Product_Co de=24040"]D-Ribose[/URL]. 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.
    I learned a lot from fitness books, magazines, and online articles. Most important thing I learned: you don't get fit by reading about it.

  2. #2
    Experienced Member Wade Razella's Avatar
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    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.

  3. #3
    Experienced Member tiger1983's Avatar
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    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

  4. #4
    Experienced Member Wade Razella's Avatar
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    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.

  5. #5
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member is304's Avatar
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    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.
    I learned a lot from fitness books, magazines, and online articles. Most important thing I learned: you don't get fit by reading about it.

  6. #6
    Experienced Member Wade Razella's Avatar
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    Keep us in the loop my friend look forward to future posts.

  7. #7
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member is304's Avatar
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    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.
    I learned a lot from fitness books, magazines, and online articles. Most important thing I learned: you don't get fit by reading about it.

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