Should I Take Creatine Before Bed? Good or Bad Idea?
Whether you want to get larger arms or just to stay in good shape, creatine can help you do it. Most people who use creatine take it either before or after working out.
But you want to know: should you take creatine before bed?
I’ve got the answers to that question and other creatine-related queries below.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is in more places than you might think. For one, it’s in your body right now.
Don’t be alarmed, everyone has a natural supply of creatine. It’s primarily stored in your muscles, but creatine is also found in your brain and in several organs.
You’ll also find creatine in several types of meats, especially fish and red meats. This ingredient is one of many beneficial amino acids.
Lastly, there are also creatine supplements. Creatine supplements are popular among those who don’t eat a lot of creatine-rich foods.
Why Should I Start Taking Creatine?
If you’re beginning to learn about creatine, it’s understandable to wonder if it’s right for you. With that in mind, here’s a closer look at the benefits of taking creatine.
Gaining More Muscle
Most people who take creatine do so because they’re trying to gain muscle.
An unfortunate problem within the supplement world is that certain products are either hit-or-miss, totally ineffective, or a combination of both.
In an industry where advertising wins over research, it’s good to know that creatine is about as scientifically backed as a supplement ingredient will ever be.
According to Baylor University, its research suggests that creatine helps enhance athletic performance. Creatine phosphate and monohydrate increase the amount of phosphocreatine in your body.
Having more phosphocreatine means you’ll also have more adenosine triphosphate in your body. It’s adenosine triphsphate that your muscles use for fuel.
An Energy Boost
Besides its muscle building benefits, there are other great reasons to take creatine.
When someone consumes creatine, it helps to increase energy within the body. This is energy that muscles need to lift weights or engage in other types of physical activities.
Unfortunately, exerting energy begins to deplete to reduce the amount of creatine in your body. This is when you start running out of energy, unless you have a way to get more creatine in your system.
If you take creatine daily, you won’t have to worry about having a lack of it before a good workout.
Potentially Improving Brain Function
We learned a lot of information about how beneficial creatine is for your muscle cells. However, it’s also important to learn how creatine can provide a much needed energy boost for your brain.
When your brain performs challenging tasks, it requires a lot of energy. Your brain gets this energy from ATP. If these same people are taking supplements containing creatine, their brains will have large phosphocreatine stores.
Lowering Blood Sugar Levels
The benefits of creatine tend to have a compounding effect throughout your body. This is a good thing! An example of this is creatine’s effect on your blood sugar levels.
When you consume creatine, it increases your body’s ability to safely transport blood sugar into your lean muscle tissue.
Creatine Pairs Well With Other Supplements
Something that’s important when using a sports nutrition supplement is making sure it doesn’t interact with other supplements.
Fortunately, in most cases, you won’t have to worry about dangers of combining creatine with most sports supplements.
Whether it’s casein protein, whey protein or a pre-workout supplement, most of them are fine to combine with creatine.
How Do I Take Creatine?
With creatine being available in several ways, you’ve got a few options. If you’re consuming creatine through food, that’s pretty self-explanatory.
You’re probably wondering: “How do I take creatine supplements?”
This is a question I often get. You’ll have two main ways to take creatine, which are either in capsule or powder form.
Preferably, I like using creatine capsules because they’re easy to take. Plus, I don’t have to get out powders, cups, spoons, and shaker cups. There’s also not the issue of spilling anything on the counter.
However, you might not like taking capsules. I totally get that. If so, then powdered creatine is what you’re looking for. When it comes to powdered creatine, most supplement brands make this product in both unflavored and flavored options.
If you’re mixing your creatine with juice or a flavored beverage, go with unflavored creatine. But, choose flavored creatine if you plan on taking this with plain water.
Creatine also blends well and makes a great addition to a morning smoothie or a mid-day protein shake.
How Much Creatine Should I Consume in a Day?
Before getting into this, I want to quickly note that these are only guidelines. Before taking creatine or any other supplement, always consult with your doctor or health professional.
As I mentioned earlier, your body produces a small amount of creatine each day. While exact amounts vary between people, most people produce between 1 to 2 grams of creatine every 24 hours.
This is the part where people disagree. I’ve read experts stating conclusive evidence that you should start with taking 20 grams of creatine (spaced evenly in 4-5g amounts). Others say to stick with the 4-5 grams of creatine each day.
I would tend to agree with the latter group. 20 grams of creatine is a lot, especially for someone who might be 110 pounds doing their first workout. Stick with a few grams total per day (spaced out every eight or so hours).
Should You Take Creatine Before Bed?
So, is it safe to consume creatine before bed? Yes, there’s nothing dangerous about taking creatine before bedtime.
I think the reason why people might think this is bad is because creatine can sometimes cause cramps and bloating. If this didn’t happen throughout the day and at night, it would be understandable to assume that creatine is unsafe before bed.
Cramps and bloating with creatine can happen. But, there are easy ways to take care of these problems.
If you’re cramping after taking creatine, lower your dosage by a few grams. Or, place longer gaps in between your scheduled doses.
Bloating is another common creatine side effect. To help stop this, try only taking creatine before and after your workouts.
The Best Creatine Supplements (Updated for 2022)
While you can have your muscles absorb protein from creatine found in food, you also consider trying a supplement with this important ingredient.
Creatine supplementation is an easier and faster way to building muscle mass when compared to only getting this ingredient from food.
If you’re interested in taking creatine supplements, check out this list of top picks!
1. Optimum Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate Capsules
If you need a high-quality creatine supplement, look no further than Optimum Nutrition. This company has spent the past few decades or so launching some of the most popular and well-trusted supplements.
Optimum Nutrition’s creatine monohydrate capsules are easy to take. Plus, each serving is packed with 2.5 grams of high-quality creatine.
Since this supplement is in capsule form, you never have to worry about measuring a proper dosage.
For an inexpensive way to build muscle mass, it’s hard to find many products better than this creatine supplement.
2. Nutricost Creatine Monohydrate Micronized Powder
Another creatine supplement that deserves special mention is Nutricost’s micronized creatine powder. Some people enjoy taking creatine supplements in capsule form. Other people hate the thought of swallowing a capsule or pill. If this sounds like you, you’ll love taking creatine before bed from Nutricost.
This powder is unflavored, meaning you won’t taste it in the liquid you mix it with. I’ve tried this powder mixed with water, sports drinks, and fruit juice after weight training sessions. Every time I would drink this powder in a beverage, I could never taste the creatine.
3. Vedge Nutrition Creatine +
If you’re interested in taking creatine before bed (or any other time of day), you might enjoy Vedge Nutrition Creatine +.
This product contains both creatine monohydrate and Vedge Nutrition’s exclusive ingredient called Peak02.
With these two ingredients combined, it creates a powerful way to give your muscles extra energy.
I also specifically liked the way that this product prevented muscle breakdown when I wasn’t able to hit the gym.
As you can see, creatine has a great reputation within the supplement world. Speaking of supplements, make sure to check out the New Generation Fitness homepage for a nice list of all of my recent content.
It includes supplement reviews, workout tips, and more. We also post the latest updates on the New Generation Fitness Facebook page.