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Should You Take Creatine Before or After Training?



Posted in..: Research & Development
By Jeff Volek, PhD
Mar 20, 2014
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If you want to maximize gains in muscle mass while resistance training, you should be supplementing with creatine. No other supplement has as many studies supporting its ability to augment gains in muscle mass and strength in response to resistance training. There are, however, varying opinions as to the optimal dosing regimens including the best time to take creatine. Earlier work had provided evidence that taking creatine before a resistance exercise workout resulted in greater accumulation of creatine in muscle and greater gains in muscle mass. 

However, that work has not been replicated until recently. Canadian researchers had two groups of health older subjects perform a 12 week resistance training program (3 workouts per week). One group received a dose of creatine (8 grams) 5 min before and the other group received the same dose 5 min after their workout. After 12 weeks of training, both groups significantly increased muscle mass but there was no statistical difference between the groups. Measures of muscle strength and muscle protein breakdown were also similar between groups.  These results indicate that creatine helps augment gains in muscle mass independent of timing. Thus, you can take creatine either before or after training sessions and expect to get the same benefit.

Candow DG, Zello GA, Ling B, Farthing JP, Chilibeck PD, McLeod K, Harris J, Johnson S. Comparison of creatine supplementation before versus after supervised resistance training in healthy older adults. Res Sports Med. 2014 Jan-Mar;22(1):61-74.




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