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Creatine After Workout

creatine after workout
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Creatine Before or After Workout

Today we are going to be discussing the advantages of taking creatine before and/or after workout.

Creatine is vital for growth and your liver and kidneys naturally produce creatine. Over the last 20 years there has been a lot of research which indicates that regular creatine supplementation is beneficial for muscle growth. The timing of your supplementation has the potential to increase your muscle mass gains, though research into this area remains ongoing.

Creatine has a range of different functions but basically it helps your muscles in regenerating and increasing their capacity to store ATP, an essential energy source for weightlifting. Therefore, you might feel that taking creatine before your workout can increase your capacity to exercise.

But this could be counter-productive as amungst the side effects of creatine are muscle cramps, strains, upset stomach, diarrhea and high blood pressure, all of which can negatively impact your workout. In its 2000 position paper on the effects of creatine supplementation, the American College of Sports Medicine states that pre-exercise supplementation, particularly with "high doses," can be dangerous and is not recommended.

Sports nutrition specialist Jeremy Likness states that you need to consume a majority of your daily creatine dosage immediately after your workout. This will help your muscles recover fully from the workout and deliver the maximum amount of creatine and essential nutrients possible.

He adds that when taken with a carbohydrate following a strength-training routine, creatine can increase your muscle size and capacity for glycogen storage along with stored phosphocreatine and ATP levels. He recommends taking as much as 75% of your total daily creatine just after your workout.

When you sleep, your muscles continue to use energy stores to function. When these stores become depleted, you enter a catabolic state that causes your muscles to degrade. Likness advocates taking 25 percent of your daily creatine supplement before bed to improve your muscle growth during this catabolic period.

It should be noted here that a 2006 study appearing in the journal "Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise" states that creatine supplementation more than five hours after exercise does little to increase muscle strength or size compared with supplementation immediately before and after exercise.

Though taking creatine after you exercise can have significant benefits for muscle growth, particularly if you have naturally low creatine stores, sustained high doses over a long period produce diminishing returns for muscle growth and can lead to side effects.

An initial "loading dose" of up to 25 g per day is common for the first seven to 14 days of supplementation, but you should then reduce your intake to 2 to 5 g per day for maintenance. It is strongly recommended that you ask your doctor if regular creatine supplementation is safe and beneficial for you.

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