Creatine and Whey Protein: Should You Take Both?
In sports nutrition, people use various supplements to increase their performance and improve their physical recovery.
Creatine and whey protein are two popular examples, with a lot of data supporting their effectiveness. While their effects are similar in some ways, they are markedly different compounds that work in different ways.
Creatine increases strength and muscle mass by increasing exercise capacity, whereas whey protein does so by stimulating increased muscle protein synthesis. Both whey protein powder and creatine supplements have been shown to increase muscle mass, though they accomplish this differently.
You’ll reap the benefits of creatine whether you take that three-gram dosage before, during, or after exercise. So, pick whichever option works for you—make sure to supplement daily for optimal results. If you want to get ripped, protein is crucial.
Eating too much whey protein can cause digestive issues such as nausea, flatulence, diarrhea, pain, and cramping. Some people are also allergic to whey. If you can’t tolerate regular whey protein concentrate, isolate or hydrolysate may be more appropriate.
Despite causing some water weight gain, research has found that creatine can effectively increase endurance and strength. Over time, you may see an increase in your muscle strength and size. Increased muscle mass will also tip the scale upward.
What are creatine and whey protein?
This article reviews creatine and whey protein powder, their main differences, and whether you should take them together for optimal benefits. Friends, Creatine and whey protein have unique molecular structures and work differently in your body.
Creatine is an organic compound naturally produced in your muscle cells. It promotes energy production during high-intensity exercise or heavy lifting. When taken as a supplement, creatine can help increase muscle mass, strength, and physical performance.
It works by increasing the stores of phosphocreatine in your muscles. This molecule promotes the production of energy for short-term muscle contractions. Creatine is also found in many foods, especially in meat products. However, the total amount you can get by eating meat is rather small. It is why many people who are looking to increase muscle mass and performance take creatine supplements.
Creatine in supplement form is produced synthetically in a commercial lab. The most common form is creatine monohydrate, although other conditions exist.
Whey protein powder
Whey is one of the main proteins found in dairy products. It is often a by-product of cheese production and can be isolated to form a powder. Whey tops the list in terms of protein quality, hence the popularity of its supplements with bodybuilders and other athletes.
Consuming whey protein after a period of exercise has been associated with the increased recovery and muscle mass. These benefits can help improve strength, power, and muscle function. I am having a good source of protein after resistance exercise is important to maximize muscle development. About 20-25 grams of protein is a good amount to aim for your need.
Powdered whey protein powder may be an effective way to meet this recommendation, considering that a typical 25-gram serving provides around 20 grams of protein.
Creatine is an organic compound that can help increase muscle mass, strength, and physical performance when taken as a supplement. Whey protein is a dairy protein commonly consumed with resistance exercise to increase muscle mass and strength.
Both promote muscle gain.
Friends, Creatine and whey protein powder has been shown to increase muscle mass when combined with resistance exercise.
Creatine increases exercise capacity during high-intensity exercise. It results in improved recovery and adaptations such as increased muscle mass. Meanwhile, ingesting whey protein in combination with exercise provides your body with a high-quality source of protein, improving muscle protein synthesis and leading to increased muscle gains over time.
Although creatine and whey protein promote muscle gain, they differ in how they work. Creatine increases strength and muscle mass by increasing exercise capacity, while whey protein stimulates muscle protein synthesis.
Whey protein powder and creatine supplements have increased muscle mass, although they do this in different ways.
Should you take whey protein and creatine together?
Some people have proposed that taking whey protein and creatine simultaneously could lead to benefits beyond those associated with taking either alone. However, several studies have shown that this is probably not the case.
A study of 42 middle-aged and older men found that participants did not undergo additional training adjustment when taking both whey protein and creatine, compared to those who took both supplements alone.
Additionally, a study of 18 women who received resistance training found that those who took whey protein and creatine for eight weeks showed no difference in muscle mass and strength compared to those who took whey protein alone.
The results seem to suggest that there is no additional benefit to taking whey protein and creatine together. However, some people may decide to bring them together for convenience. In addition, there is no indication that the simultaneous intake of creatine and whey protein leads to negative effects. It is generally recognized that it is safe to take them together.
Choosing to take whey protein, creatine, or both comes down to your individual goals. If you are a recreational gym enthusiast looking to stay in shape, whey protein can be a good option to help with muscle development and recovery.
On the other hand, if you are looking to maximize muscle mass and strength, it may be beneficial to take whey protein and creatine.
Studies have shown that whey protein, creatine, and exercise do not provide additional muscle or strength gain than individual intake. Taking one or the other alone probably provides the same benefits.
Whey protein versus Creatine, which is better
Whey protein (well known as whey, from English whey protein ) and Creatine are two supplements highly used by athletes in strength training and bodybuilders seeking to increase muscle mass. Both substances are very different and have different functions and, in general, can be consumed together for their synergistic effect.
Whey protein provides high-quality protein that the body can use to build more muscle fibers. On the other hand, Creatine favors the obtaining of energy by the muscles, helping to develop more intense workouts. Let’s see what each one is.
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Whey protein is between supplements and food. Traditionally obtained it from the cheese-making process, and it accounts for most of the protein in breast milk. It is undoubtedly the protein with the highest bioavailability, followed closely by the egg.
The most widely used is cow’s milk whey, of which approximately 10% of the dry fraction is protein. Of this 10%, 65% is beta-lactoglobulin, 25% is alpha-lactalbumin, 8% is serum albumin, and the remaining 2% are immunoglobulins.
The composition of these proteins makes whey protein a product of high biological value with a high percentage of use. It means that a high rate of the proteins consumed is incorporated into the body and promotes a metabolic stimulation of protein synthesis associated with muscle development, especially if combined with training.
Training stimulates muscle development and strengthening, and for this, it is necessary to synthesize new muscle fibers composed mainly of proteins. But during training, muscle fibers are also broken that have to be repaired. Whey proteins allow faster recovery and muscle development as the amino acids necessary for protein synthesis are available.
These are the main components of whey:
Beta-lactoglobulin. This protein is not present in breast milk, which is why it is responsible for more allergies. But if you tolerate it well, it can reduce intestinal permeability and improve vitamin A absorption.
Lactalbumin. It is the second most abundant protein in bovine milk but the main one in human milk, and many consider it the most beneficial. In addition to its great contribution to branched amino acids, it is rich in tryptophan and cysteine. Tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin, and lactalbumin can raise its levels and improve memory and symptoms of depression.
Lactoferrin. It binds to iron and prevents it from being accessible to viruses or bacteria, and it would explain its protective role against various diseases, from infections to cancer. It also participates in the regulation of the immune system and bone regeneration.
Glycomacropeptide. It seems to improve intestinal health by reducing inflammation and fighting different types of infection.
Immunoglobulins (G, A, M) . They offer passive immunity, protecting against viruses and bacteria.
We could do a similar review for other elements present in the serum, but we must not forget the concept of food synergy: a portion of food is more than the sum of its compounds. It, therefore, makes more sense to analyze the impact of whey protein as a whole, looking beyond muscle.
It is important to mention that you are a Lacto-vegetarian and do not consume cheese made with animal enzymes (mainly obtained from animal stomach and intestines). Whey protein would not be suitable for you either because it is produced from the whey of these cheeses.
More and more cheeses are available made with plant enzymes suitable for Lacto-vegetarians, although the whey protein produced from these cheeses is still very difficult to find. You can also use pure whey protein (native whey), obtained directly from milk and not as a by-product of cheese making.
Serum vs. Casein
Breast milk has less casein than bovine milk, which would explain why casein is less tolerated, but most people’s genetics are well matched.
In general, whey is superior to casein when it comes to increasing muscle synthesis, but if both are present in their food of origin, milk, it will be for something. It seems that the combination works better than either separately.
Whey protein generates a higher peak of essential amino acids in the blood, while casein produces a slower release.
Some recommend taking casein before going to bed to lengthen the presence of amino acids in the blood and optimize nighttime protein synthesis, but recent reviews find little difference.
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that occurs naturally in many foods. It is not an amino acid, as is often said (although the chemical structure is similar). The human body synthesizes its creatine and requires very little external input. The effect of creatine on muscle development is not as clear as the effect of protein supplements, and studies have given conflicting results.
In cells, energy is derived from ATP (adenosine triphosphate), whose breakdown into ADP (adenosine diphosphate) releases energy used in cellular functions.
Creatine is naturally present in muscles and has functions related to ATP resynthesis. Dietary supplementation with creatine would thus help a greater resynthesis of ATP, and the strength would have more energy available, both for exercise and its recovery. It would also help you do longer and more intense workouts.
Studies available so far have shown that the creatine available in the muscles is consumed in a very short time under conditions of anaerobic stress (5 – 10 seconds) and creatine supplements appear to have a positive effect by replenishing the expended creatine. In aerobic exercise, creatine has shown no or very insignificant effect.
Creatine and Whey Protein: Should You Take Both
Supplementation is an easy and safe way to increase our creatine reserves. Beyond promoting strength and muscle mass gains (more detail), its positive effect has been demonstrated in many lesser-known areas.
For starters, creatine could be sold almost as an anti-aging supplement. Mice supplemented with creatine live 9% longer, in addition to retaining their cognitive abilities for longer.
Although it is not yet known whether creatine also prolongs life in humans, there is evidence that it delays some effects of aging, such as sarcopenia, cognitive decline, and a weakening of the immune system.
Although we can produce a certain amount of creatine (in the liver and kidneys), we have always depended on the diet to supplement it. Foods like herring, salmon, or beef are excellent sources of creatine, but you would need 500-750g / day of these foods to reach effective doses.
Does it damage the kidneys or dehydrate you?
Creatine released when producing energy is expelled as creatinine and is not reused. Therefore, more muscle and creatine consumption imply more creatinine in the urine, originating the myth of kidney damage in the 1990s. Dozens of subsequent studies disprove this idea, but it continues to be repeated frequently.
Some studies show improvement in kidney function, although it is unclear whether it is from creatine or physical activity. Studies in rats with amounts twenty times higher than those recommended do not hurt kidney function.
Despite some fear, long-term creatine supplementation is safe, even in high doses of 10-30 g / day. However, it is not necessary or advisable to reach those levels.
Animal studies indicate that there is no problem in supplementing even with kidney damage, although, of course, it is better to be cautious in these cases.
Lastly, creatine also does not increase the risk of injury or dehydration, and in fact, in some studies does reduce it.
It should remember that it is very important that before taking anything, you consult a specialist. Each body is a world, and there may be contraindications.
Whey protein powder and creatine are two popular sports supplements that have been shown to increase muscle mass and improve physical performance, although how they do this differs. Taken together of two things don’t seem to offer any additional benefits for muscle and strength gains.
However, if you want to try both and want to increase muscle mass and performance in the gym or on the court, it is safe and effective to take whey protein and creatine together.