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Should you Take Creatine Before or After your Workout?

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If you are in the fitness world, you’ve probably heard about the wonders of this popular supplement.

But amidst all the hype, there’s one question that seems to be a never-ending debate: should you take creatine before or after your workout?

Buckle up, folks, because we’re about to dive deep into this age-old conundrum!

The Science Behind Creatine

Before we tackle the timing dilemma, let’s quickly brush up on what creatine is and how it works.

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in our muscles, and it plays a crucial role in providing energy for high-intensity exercises like weightlifting and sprinting.

By supplementing with creatine, you’re essentially giving your muscles a boost of energy, allowing you to push harder and longer during your workouts.

The Timing Debate

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room – the great creatine timing debate. Some fitness enthusiasts swear by taking creatine before their workout, claiming that it gives them an extra burst of energy right from the get-go.

Others, on the other hand, prefer to take it after their workout, believing that it aids in muscle recovery and growth.

So, who’s right? Well, the truth is, there’s no definitive answer – it all comes down to personal preference and individual response.

The Case for Pre-Workout Creatine:

If you’re someone who struggles to get pumped up for your workouts, taking creatine before hitting the gym might be the way to go.

By increasing your muscle’s energy stores, creatine can help you power through those grueling sets and reps, potentially leading to better performance and gains.

Additionally, some studies suggest that taking creatine before a workout may enhance the uptake of the supplement into your muscles, maximizing its effectiveness.


  • Increased energy and endurance during your workout
  • Potential for enhanced muscle uptake of creatine


  • May cause digestive discomfort for some individuals
  • Effects may be less noticeable for those already saturated with creatine

The Case for Post-Workout Creatine:

On the other hand, proponents of post-workout creatine supplementation argue that it’s the perfect time to replenish your depleted energy stores and kickstart the muscle recovery process.

After a tough workout, your muscles are primed and ready to soak up all the nutrients you throw at them, including creatine.

Some research also indicates that taking creatine after a workout may be more effective for increasing lean muscle mass and strength.


  • Replenishes depleted energy stores after a tough workout
  • May be more effective for increasing lean muscle mass and strength


  • Delayed effects, as creatine takes time to be absorbed
  • Potential for reduced absorption if not taken with a carb-rich meal

The Verdict:

Alright, let’s cut to the chase – what’s the verdict on this age-old debate? Well, the truth is, there’s no clear winner.

Both pre-workout and post-workout creatine supplementation have their merits, and the “best” time to take it ultimately depends on your individual goals and preferences.

If you’re looking for an immediate energy boost and enhanced performance during your workout, go for the pre-workout option.

If muscle recovery and growth are your primary concerns, post-workout creatine might be the way to go.

The Importance of Consistency:

Regardless of when you choose to take creatine, the most important factor is consistency.

Creatine works by gradually saturating your muscles over time, so skipping doses or taking it sporadically won’t yield the best results.

Aim to take your creatine supplement at the same time every day, whether it’s before, after, or even during your workout (yes, that’s an option too!).


At the end of the day, the great creatine debate boils down to personal preference and individual response.

Whether you choose to take it before or after your workout, the most important thing is to be consistent with your supplementation and listen to your body.

Creatine is a powerful tool in the fitness arsenal, and when used correctly, it can help you unlock new levels of strength, endurance, and muscle growth.

So, go ahead and experiment with the timing that works best for you – just remember to have fun and embrace the gains!

FAQ about taking creatine before or after your workout

Is it better to take creatine before or after workout?

Research suggests taking creatine after a workout may be slightly more beneficial for increasing muscle mass and strength, as muscles are primed to absorb nutrients during this time. However, taking it pre-workout can provide an energy boost.

When should I take creatine for best results?

The optimal time is around your workout – either 30-60 minutes before for an energy boost, or immediately after to aid recovery and muscle growth. Consistency in taking a daily 3-5g dose is most important.

Is creatine a pre-workout?

No, creatine itself is not a pre-workout supplement. Pre-workouts contain ingredients like caffeine for an energy kick. However, some pre-workout formulas do include creatine as one of the ingredients.

Should you take creatine before or after a long run?

For endurance activities like long-distance running, taking creatine after your run may be more beneficial for replenishing depleted stores and aiding recovery.

Should I take creatine everyday or just on workout days?

It’s recommended to take the 3-5g daily creatine dose every day, including non-workout days, to keep muscle stores saturated and maintain benefits.

When should I start taking creatine?

You can start supplementing with creatine at any time, though many do a “loading phase” of 20g per day split into 4 doses for 5-7 days when first starting, followed by the regular 3-5g daily dose.