For most bodybuilders—and really anyone wanting to bulk up their physique—creatine has become a part of their daily supplement routine. While there are definitely benefits to taking creatine, many of these benefits are negated when a person already has a diet high in protein, specifically animal proteins. It has also been suggested that creatine does not offer the same bulking benefits as a person gets older—it is most beneficial for a person in their 20s.
One of the major draw-backs to taking creatine is the water weight that a person inevitably gains once they begin taking the supplement. If a person is not doing short, intense, repetitive exercise while taking creatine, they will continue to retain that water weight rather than reaping any benefits from taking the supplement.
3 Things You Need to Know About Creatine Free Pre-Workouts
What type of creatine are you taking?
This is important because there are so many: monohydrate, magpower, hcl, etc. The most popular being monohydrate. Here are some quick facts regarding creatine:
- creatine does increase strength, *
- creatine does help you regenerate ATP *
- creatine is safe
- You need 5G of creatine a day to be effective.
Creatine and Caffeine
In the previous paragraph I went over the ergogenic (intended to enhance physical performance, stamina, or recovery.) effects of creatine monohydrate. However, when taken with caffeine prior to physical exercise the ergogenic effects are negated. Caffeine is a vassal inhibitor. It puts your heart into overdrive to pump blood, because it's constricting blood flow. (spiking blood pressure.) According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, studies show that for strength training, creatine had zero effect on power output when stacked with caffeine. So to summarize: you're wasting money on caffeine and creatine when stacking them together. As well as wasting time at the gym and sending your heart and blood pressure into overdrive.[ Referance]
When to take creatine
Everyone has an opinion on when to take creatine. However, there is a stark difference in opinion and fact. Time and time again scientific data points to taking creatine post workout with an insulin spike. According to a study done by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, creatine is most effective taken immediately after a workout with a source of simple sugar. This may be fruit such as grapes, ripe bananas or even gummy bears and pop-tarts. Being that insulin is the storage hormone, not only does it refill your glycogen, it pulls the creatine in.
In conclusion all the data points to taking creatine post workout with sugar. The data also tells us that it makes absolutely no sense to take it prior with caffeine, if anything, it's counterintuitive. That's why here at DAS Labs, the home of Bucked Up, we have zero creatine in our preworkout. We offer a full 6g of citrulline for pump, a perfect dose of 200mg of caffeine, Alphasize for focus and growth hormone potential, Actigin for endurance & inflammation, Astragin for citrulline bioavailability, and last but not least, Deer Antler Spray for IGF-1. Why waste your money on a pre with creatine? It's not going to have the full 5g you need. It's not going to be effective when stacked with caffeine. It's best taken with a post workout shake with sugar and protein. Don't cut corners. Creatine is very inexpensive to dose at 5g post workout. Invest in yourself with the proper pre-workout& the right amount and timing of creatine monohydrate.
Cooper R, Naclerio F, Allgrove J, Jimenez A. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2012;9:33. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-33.