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When is the Best Time to Take Creatine?

There is lots of information out there telling us the best times to take creatine. A lot of the information is different, and it’s hard to make head or tail of some of it. People will have different opinions on what works best.

And despite creatine being a popular supplement, there isn’t a whole load of research that has been done on it. Considering how often it pops up in health and fitness related articles, with people singing its praises, you would think there would be more detailed information on it.

When we are thinking about whether to take creatine monohydrate pre or post work out, firstly, we need to understand what it is. Once we have understood what it is, then we can think about the best time to be taking it.

What is creatine?

Creatine is naturally produced inside your body and its found in foods, like meat or fish, that are rich in protein. Simply put, it helps towards regenerating energy, by assisting the regeneration of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Doing this can increase strength, power, and size, meaning you can get better results at the gym.

When should you take creatine?

At the moment, if you read up on when you should be taking creatine, there are three “camps,” that people fall into. These camps are; pre-workout, post-workout and whenever it suits. So, let’s discuss each of them.


creatine monohydrateconsuming creatine pre-workout equates to more ATP. More ATP equals more energy, and more energy makes for more power.
More power means you will be able to lift more weight, resulting in more muscle gain and strength. It is thought that taking it 30 minutes to an hour before your workout is the best, giving it time to work through your system.


taking creatine after a workout is based on your muscles lacking in nutrients, and therefore being ready to take lots on board.
It is thought that creatine is stored in your muscles. Therefore, you will be primed and ready for your next workout, having absorbed everything after the last one.

Whenever it suits:

the theory behind this, is that creatine is an excellent supplement to be taking and as long as you are taking it, you will see the benefits. There is no need to worry too much about the timing.

creatine monohydrate supplementNot many studies have been done on when to use creatine. One which gained some traction recently was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

A group of 19 recreational bodybuilders was split into two groups. One group was given creatine before their workouts, and the other was given it after.
The study appeared to show that it was more beneficial to consume creatine after your workout.

But, upon further inspection, it seems it wasn’t so clear cut. And, that there wasn’t any clear or significant difference between the two groups. But the findings seemed to lean towards taking creatine after your workout.

Essentially what this shows, is that more research needs to be done, and until then there isn’t a clear answer to this question.

So, until there is a definitive answer, don’t worry too much if you forget to take your creatine after your workout.

About the author

Robert Hudson

I'm Robert Hudson aka Robbo, a personal trainer for over 10 years. I love helping people get into the best shape of their lives - the fastest and healthiest way possible.

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