How to drink a protein shake with creatine?
Creatine is one of the supplements most used in fitness and bodybuilding—those who seek to take it to increase muscle mass, strength, and athletic performance.
However, there is still a great lack of knowledge about this substance. The number of defenders and detractors is so great that, depending on who you talk to, you can come to think that it is a drug or that we are dealing with Popeye’s miraculous spinach.
That is why we have spoken with an expert in the field, Carla Sánchez Zurdo, nutritionist and personal trainer at BoostConcept, to answer all those questions that people ask about creatine:
what types are there, what are its benefits, how to take it, and what effects it has. Come on, a complete analysis so that you have no doubt and you can decide to use it or not on your own or under the supervision of a doctor or nutritionist.
We are sure that you already know about this supplement since it is preferred by all of us who train and lead a fitness life. You have probably already read other of our articles about this sports supplement (and if you haven’t, we invite you to do so on our blog!)
Protein supplements are our best ally and allow us to complement our diet in the best way, managing to obtain the amounts of protein and energy that our body needs.
Muscles are made up of proteins, so to achieve the goals you set for yourself, we recommend using these supplements, as they will help you considerably achieve the most fruitful results in your healthy life.
As a sports supplement, Creatine is used as a nutritional supplement or ergogenic aid (energy production); so it helps us concentrate muscle strength, endurance, and power. In short, it improves physical quality and overall athletic performance.
Creatine is mostly concentrated in the muscles and is not a doping substance; its function is structural since it is part of the musculoskeletal system.
Protein and Creatine
Creatine being mixed with protein is better absorbed. It occurs because insulin production is stimulated, which creates a more powerful pump effect than pure Creatine when it reaches its highest level.
Taking them together is the most recommended. If you want to benefit your muscles fully, we recommend taking it after training in the same shake. Read also: CREATINE NITRATE – Benefits – Side effects.
So can you take protein and Creatine together?
The answer to that question is: yes! And now that you have the function of each one clearer, you will have realized that they have different objectives and benefits, with totally different operating mechanisms.
The protein supplement helps you increase its intake in the body. The creatine supplement is responsible for improving your natural levels of Creatine, which will give you a better performance in your training.
You will have no problem putting them together and could even enhance the effectiveness of each supplement. With this mixture, you will be improving your performance with Creatine and high protein intake; it will help you adapt and build muscle tissue from that higher quality training.
While medical myths surround this shake (such as that it could affect your liver), they are just that: myths (unless you previously have kidney problems). Scientists, in their studies, even recommend the intake of both elements at the same time.
Protein with Creatine included
It seems like a tempting offer to buy a protein that includes Creatine in its composition, but, due to various factors, this is not highly recommended.
When you want or should consume only protein, you will not be able to do it without Creatine, and vice versa; if you’re going only to consume Creatine, you will ingest proteins as well.
Another factor is the amount that comes in the supplement, and if you need to consume more or less, you will inevitably have to change the dose of the other substance. For example: in one case, you will not be able to consume 20g of Creatine without consuming four scoops or servings of protein, so we recommend buying the protein and creatine supplements separately.
The reality is, there is no reason to buy a protein with added Creatine. There is no benefit since it is neither cheaper nor more efficient. Manufacturers do it to lower their production costs and fool people who don’t know much about protein yet.
Which is better, protein or Creatine?
Whey protein vs. Creatine. Which is the best? Whey protein provides high-quality protein that the body can use to build more muscle fibers. The Creatine, meanwhile, favors the production of energy by muscles helping to develop more intense workouts.
Creatine: the organic substance of the body
Creatine is a natural compound composed of three amino acids, methionine and arginine, and glycine can be found in our body. In fact, “our body can synthesize it in small amounts, although it needs the rest to be provided through food,” says Carla.
The main sources of Creatine are meat (especially beef or red meat and poultry) and fish (herring, salmon, or tuna). We can also find it in eggs and dairy products but in a somewhat smaller quantity. Although not even with a very large intake of these foods, would an improvement in sports performance be noticed? Hence, sports supplements are used.
What is the best Creatine?
Creatine has become so popular in marketing that we can currently find different types of Creatine: creatine monohydrate, creatine Kre-alkaline, creatine ethyl ester, creatine phosphate, etc.
However, “the only type of creatine with which significant and scientifically contrasted effects have been demonstrated on sports performance is with creatine monohydrate, preferably the one that bears the creature quality seal, which is the best patent,” Assures Carla.
Creatine improves muscle intensity, strength, endurance (in short-term efforts), overall performance in sports. And, according to Carla Sánchez, recent studies reveal that this substance could have new effects even at a therapeutic level, such as in cases of sarcopenia (degenerative loss of muscle mass and power).
It also promotes intracellular water retention, not fluid retention, as has been led to believe for many years. Therefore, Creatine does not make us more bloated but rather promotes protein synthesis in muscle cells, which significantly increases muscle mass.
Creatine side effects
Although its benefits are many, there has also been much talk about the different adverse effects of Creatine: possible kidney or liver problems, even baldness, all of them ruled out in recent years, as Carla assures.
“As a result of the study ‘Three weeks of creatine monohydrate supplementation affects dihydrotestosterone to testosterone ratio in college-aged rugby players, ‘the consumption of creatine began to be associated with baldness, but the conclusions are not clear, and this theory has been dissociated.”
Who can take Creatine
Those people who have sport require high explosiveness or intensity, such as weightlifting or powerlifting, sprinters, discus throwers, and those who can find a greater benefit in its use. However, it can also be very beneficial in endurance sports.
But, regardless of the sport practiced, those people who have more type II or fast fibers in their muscles respond better to Creatine than those who have a predominance of type I or slow fibers, says Carla.
When and how to take Creatine
If you have decided to take Creatine for a specific goal, you should know that the key to obtaining results is in the dose and the moment of its ingestion.
Several studies have shown that the best time to take Creatine is after training since exercise promotes protein synthesis. Taking Creatine and carbohydrates or proteins improves its absorption and can increase creatine stores in the muscles and help our metabolism.
Although, as Carla assures, it is not necessary to take Creatine in a loading phase (strength training), it has been proven that doing it in this type of training reaches the saturation of muscle receptors earlier.
Therefore, if you train a normal day, the recommended amount of Creatine would be 0.07 – 1g / kg of your body weight, and if you do a strength routine, the most suitable formula is 0.25 – 0.35g / kg.
Is Creatine safe in the long term?
According to Carla, no studies show that it is necessary to take breaks in taking Creatine. But put into carrying them out, could do it in the following way:
- 15 days for three months of intake
- One month for six months of intake
And, Creatine can be beneficial as long as the recommendations of the experts are met.
Interactions with food
Combining carbohydrates with Creatine can increase creatine levels in muscles more than alone. If you add 93 grams of simple carbohydrates to 5 grams of Creatine and take this combination four times a day for five days, you increase Creatine levels in your muscles by 60 percent more than when you take Creatine alone, and they have other studies have shown.
Can I take it if I am taking medication?
Although most studies have shown that Creatine does not harm the kidneys, avoid taking it if you take regular medications with cyclosporine, ibuprofen, naproxen, or piroxicam. As a precaution above all.
Myths about Creatine
The Creatine does not make miracles. Suppose you do not train hard and intense if you do not eat well, especially protein if you do not rest enough. little will serve. “And it also depends on your genetic response and in particular on the initial creatine reserves you have in the muscle,” explains Estefanía Fernández, author of the book Train your diet. It is not proven to make you fat.
Controversy with Creatine
Its use is now widespread in all sports, especially in fitness and bodybuilding. Still, a few decades ago, in the nineties, there was a lot of controversy in Italian football when it became known that Juventus players, trained by Marcelo Lippi and starring Zinedine Zidane and Alessandro Del Piero, they supplemented with Creatine.
“I took Creatine to gain muscle mass and only when I played for Juventus. I had never done that before in France, or later in Spain,” Zidane said in an interview.
If you intend to take it, this is the best-selling Creatine on Performance Lab:
Other interesting supplements in your training besides creatine
From a scientific point of view, creatine is the most endorsed supplement that has been shown to increase muscle mass and improve our performance in the gym.
Another three that are advisable are whey protein for the shake after training and give that extra protein to the body if we do not cover it with food.
The vegan pea protein has a very interesting aminogram; and glutamine, which will help us recover after a hard training session.
Creatine and bodybuilding
For those who practice bodybuilding, the integration of creatine improves the quality of exercise, leading to greater gains in strength and performance between 5 and 15 percent.
Almost all studies indicate that the proper use of creatine can increase body mass by approximately 1-2 kg already in the first week.
Other scientific data have shown that the terms of increased muscle mass from the integration of creatine monohydrate in combination with exercise with weights is, on average, 2-3 kg of additional muscle over 12 weeks, and this is associated with significant hypertrophy of all types of muscle fibers.
How to drink a protein shake with creatine