Mixing Pre-Workout With Creatine
To optimize fitness and lean mass, proper nutrition, and high-quality supplements are key. An effective pre-workout will fuel your body with energy and focus so that you can train hard. They will also include ingredients to nurture and repair your muscles and give you an epic pump! However, mixing pre-workout with creatine could be an even bigger game changer!
Some pre-workouts contain creatine, while others leave it out. However, there are benefits to having a supplement without creatine and mixing it in yourself. You can take a pre-workout without creatine every time you workout while having complete control over your creatine supplementation dosage and timing.
Here we will cover how to mix creatine into your pre-workouts and why before suggesting our top choice pre-workout.
Creatine VS. Pre-Workout
There are several similarities between creatine and pre-workout; they both give you extra energy and help you train at high – intensity.
Creatine, like amino acids, are naturally occurring compounds. Creatine directly stimulates ATP regeneration and boosts energy by inhibiting your adenosine receptors.
In contrast, pre-workout supplements give you more energy by supplying your blood with oxygen or through stimulants like caffeine. Combining the two will help to maximize your results. They will give you a boost of strength and energy so that you can more effectively build muscles.
Like any supplement, the best effects will be seen when combined with a healthy diet and exercise regime.
Why Take Creatine and Pre-Workout
Creatine is a versatile powder that can easily be mixed with water alongside other supplements. Combining pre-workout and creatine can enhance the muscle-building properties.
Some pre-workouts already contain creatine, while others do not. The benefit of having a supplement without it is that it allows you to control how much you take.
Unlike pre-workout, creatine does not give you a sudden surge of energy. Therefore, you may decide to take your creatine in increments throughout the day to keep levels high. For example, you could put 2 grams in a morning smoothie and 3 grams in your protein drink.
How to Take Creatine
Several studies have shown the effectiveness of creatine supplementation on muscle building. One study published in the journal of the international society of sports nutrition showed that supplementation significantly improved lean muscle mass. (1)
Creatine is cheap to buy and can be mixed into any drink, including water, smoothies, protein shakes, and pre-workouts. Either mix with a spoon or use a shaker.
When to Take Creatine
Studies show that taking creatine pre or post-workout is the most effective. (2) The most effective method could be to split your dose, half in your pre-workout and the other half post-workout in a protein shake.
How Much Should You Be Taking?
The recommended daily amount of creatine ranges from 5 g to 20 g. You should not consume more than 20g daily.
The Creatine Cycle
One method that bodybuilders find effective is loading creatine. This means taking 20 grams of creatine each day to see quick gains and fast response to creatine for the first week. Do this for one week before dropping down to 5-10 grams.
Take 5 to 10 grams for 7 more weeks before taking a break for 2 weeks before retaking creatine.
While the loading phase can be effective, supplementing with creatine at a steady rate of 5-10 grams a day for 8 weeks will help you build more muscle mass.
Do You Need to Stop Taking Creatine?
Many studies have shown that supplementation with creatine monohydrate over long periods of time is safe. (3) Therefore, if you want to supplement at a lower dose consistently, it will still aid protein synthesis and muscle building.
However, when taken consistently for a long time, you may notice that you do not feel the effects as strongly. But by cycling your use of creatine, you can maximize its effectiveness.
Best Pre-Workout Supplement
National Bodybuilding Co. Stage Ready Pre-Workout is a groundbreaking supplement for performance athletes and winner of Generation Iron supplements awards 2020. It is free from creatine, which is great news for those who want to control their dosages.
It has been formulated to increase Nitric Oxide and Blood Flow to maximize pumps. It also includes nutrients to aid recovery and increase energy and focus. It does not rely too heavily on stimulants so that you don’t suffer a nasty crash. It includes a fair dosage of caffeine and theanine as well as nootropics that will leave you feeling good throughout your gym session and beyond.
You will find a full list of ingredients here. However, some of our favorites are:
- When supplemented, L-Citrulline widens the blood vessels, increasing blood flow and filtering out nasty chemicals. (4)
- Beta-Alanine helps combat lactic acid build-up allowing for longer training sessions, with a boost of strength and effective recovery. (5)
- VAO6- Provides vasorelaxation for unrivaled pumps. It also benefits your metabolism, energy levels, and exercise performance. (6)
This is one of the best supplements available right now. It will provide you with the kind of T-shirt stretching pump that makes you spend that extra second feeling your arms and checking out your reflection.
- Gann, J.J., McKinley-Barnard, S.K., Andre, T.L. et al. Effects of a traditionally-dosed creatine supplementation protocol and resistance training on the skeletal muscle uptake and whole-body metabolism and retention of creatine in males. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 12, P2 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-12-S1-P2
- Cribb PJ, Hayes A. Effects of supplement timing and resistance exercise on skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Nov;38(11):1918-25. doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000233790.08788.3e. PMID: 17095924.
- Kreider, R.B., Melton, C., Rasmussen, C.J. et al. Long-term creatine supplementation does not significantly affect clinical markers of health in athletes. Mol Cell Biochem 244, 95–104 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022469320296
- Figueroa A, Wong A, Jaime SJ, Gonzales JU. Influence of L-citrulline and watermelon supplementation on vascular function and exercise performance. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2017 Jan;20(1):92-98. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000340. PMID: 27749691.
- Derave W, Ozdemir MS, Harris RC, Pottier A, Reyngoudt H, Koppo K, Wise JA, Achten E. beta-Alanine supplementation augments muscle carnosine content and attenuates fatigue during repeated isokinetic contraction bouts in trained sprinters. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2007 Nov;103(5):1736-43. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00397.2007. Epub 2007 Aug 9. PMID: 17690198.
- Reiter CE, Kim JA, Quon MJ. Green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate reduces endothelin-1 expression and secretion in vascular endothelial cells: roles for AMP-activated protein kinase, Akt, and FOXO1. Endocrinology. 2010 Jan;151(1):103-14. doi: 10.1210/en.2009-0997. Epub 2009 Nov 3. PMID: 19887561; PMCID: PMC2803145.