When To Take Creatine: Best Beginner’s Guide To Creatine


Creatine is considered the number 1 supplement for improving gym and overall fitness performance. Despite all the information out there, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding this supplement. I put together a guide specifically for beginners, considering taking creatine. Read on!

when to take creatine

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What Is Creatine

Creatine is a substance that is found naturally in muscle cells. It helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise.

It can be found in red meat, which is how you can consume it naturally.

Athletes and bodybuilders take creatine supplements in order to gain muscle, enhance strength and improve exercise performance.

It stays in the muscles, helping your body by providing energy during high-intensity workouts and activities.

Adding this supplement to your diet can greatly increase the amount of active creatine in your body and make your workouts much more effective.

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when to take creatine

What Does Creatine Do To The Body?

  • Boosts total work time and workload, which is crucial for long-term muscle growth and strength.
  • Improves cell communication, which helps with muscle repair and muscle growth.
  • Increases anabolic hormones.
  • Increases water content in the cells.
  • Reduces muscle breakdown.

Is It Safe?

It is considered safe when taken appropriately and according to directions.

Doses up to 10 grams daily for up to 5 years have been safely used.

However, different types of people have different needs and exceptions.

Side Effects Of Creatine

Common side effects include:

  • Bloating
  • Dehydration
  • Digestive problems
  • Upset stomach
  • Kidney complications (high doses)

Generally, people with the following conditions should avoid the supplement:

  • People who have kidney disease or have had a kidney removed.
  • People who have had a liver condition or are taking medication for liver-related illnesses.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.

When To Take Creatine?

So, the question remains, when to take creatine, pre-or post-workout?

Research shows that it’s better to take creatine immediately before or after your workout.

In a test with two groups of people supplementing at different times, these were the results:

  • In the morning and at night: Those in the study who took creatine like a normal supplement (in the morning and at night) received some benefits, even though they did not take it near a workout. Nevertheless, their muscle mass increased.
  • Right before or right after a workout: A different group of people took creatine either right before or right after a workout. They gained more muscle mass than the first group.

According to these results, you should take it close to your workout for maximum benefits.

Furthermore, post-workout creatine supplementation may produce superior gains in strength in comparison to pre-workout supplements. 

when to take creatine

What Is The Most Effective Form Of Creatine?

Based on scientific evidence, the most effective form of creatine is creatine monohydrate. It’s backed by the strongest research, with studies demonstrating its effectiveness at increasing your body’s stores and improving exercise performance.

What is Creatine Monohydrate?

It is simply creatine with one molecule of water attached to it—hence the name monohydrate.

when to take creatine

Creatine Monohydrate Pills VS Powder



  • Fast absorption
  • More affordable than creatine pills
  • Creatine powder supplies last longer


  • Doesn’t always mix well
  • Messy, difficult to transport to the gym
  • Often bad, bitter taste
  • Requires measuring portions with precision



  • Pre-measured portions
  • Convenient and easily transported


  • Large pills could be difficult to swallow
  • More expensive than creatine powder
  • Must be digested before it can be used by your body

Frequently Asked Questions

Is creatine a pre-workout?

Although many pre-workout supplements contain creatine, creatine on its own isn’t a pre-workout. Pre-workouts often have caffeine, beta-alanine, BCAA’s, and other ingredients that boost energy. As a result, creatine alone doesn’t provide the same sudden burst of energy as pre-workout.

Will it make me gain weight?

Creatine supplementation can result in water retention. This happens because creatine draws water toward the muscles, therefore, making your muscles look fuller. This could make you feel bloated after creatine use.

You may notice an increase on the scale or think you look heavier, however, rest assured that it is just water weight gain that reflects the hydration of your muscles.

What brand of creatine should I buy?

There are so many choices is can be pretty overwhelming trying to pick a brand of creatine to buy!

I have put together the best overall creatine supplements, in pill and powder form.

These two products have the overall best customer reviews.

Creatine Monohydrate Pill Form

Average Rating on Amazon 4.6/5 stars 406 ratings

Creatine Monohydrate Powder Form

Average Rating On Amazon 4.6/5 stars 2091 ratings

Final Thoughts

Creatine is used by many athletes and bodybuilders for the purpose of increasing lean mass, as well as athletic performance.

The best overall time to take it is post-workout.

According to research, the best overall form of creatine is creatine monohydrate. This comes in pill and powder form.

There are different pros and cons for both. Do your research and choose according to your personal needs and preferences!

Thank you for reading!

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