Taking Protein & Creatine Together? Here are 5 Surprising Effects to Know

protein with creatine

In the quest for optimal health, performance, and overall well-being, fitness lovers take supplements to fill nutritional gaps and enhance their physical and mental capabilities.

Achieving your fitness goals, whether it is gaining muscle mass, increasing strength, or improving athletic performance, often requires a combination of proper nutrition and supplementation. While single supplements can be beneficial, a strategic combination of supplements can often yield even more impressive results.

Among the most popular supplements in the fitness industry are protein and creatine. A plethora of questions often surrounds these two products.

In this blog post, we will answer this most commonly asked question – Is taking protein with creatine beneficial?

First, let’s understand what these supplements do individually and why they are crucial for your fitness journey.

What is Protein Powder?

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Protein is hailed as the cornerstone of a well-rounded diet, especially for individuals engaged in fitness and exercise.

One of the primary reasons for protein’s importance in fitness is its role in muscle growth and repair. Muscle fibres undergo damage during exercise, especially resistance training and strength workouts. Protein provides the building blocks, called amino acids, vital for repairing and rebuilding these damaged muscle fibres.

Protein powders are widely used by athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts to help meet their protein needs and enhance muscle recovery. They are a concentrated source of protein derived from various food sources, including whey (from milk), casein (also from milk), soy, peas, hemp, and more.

Protein powders are rapidly absorbed, making them ideal for a quick and effective post-workout meal. Typically, a protein powder provides 20-30 grams of protein per serving.

Consuming protein powder post-workout can help accelerate the repair process, reduce muscle soreness, and enhance muscle protein synthesis, ultimately leading to increased muscle mass and strength 1.

What is Creatine?

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Creatine is a naturally occurring compound synthesized by the body, primarily in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas and also found in small amounts in certain foods like red meat, chicken, and fish. It is stored in muscles and used as a quick energy source during high-intensity, short-duration activities, such as weightlifting, sprinting, and jumping.

Creatine plays a crucial role in synthesizing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), our primary energy source.

During short bursts of intense exercise, ATP is rapidly depleted. Creatine helps replenish ATP stores by donating a phosphate group, allowing muscles to maintain their energy levels leading to improved exercise performance2.

Click here to learn more about the benefits, uses, and side effects of creatine.

What Happens When We Take Protein and Creatine Together?

Let’s have a look at some of the effects of taking protein with creatine.

High Energy Levels

Creatine is known to amplify energy levels. It provides the additional strength to push yourself harder during workouts and uplift exercise performance by increasing the supply of ATP.

Enhanced Muscle Gain

Protein provides the necessary amino acids for muscle protein synthesis, and combining it with creatine can lead to more significant muscle gains 3.

When your muscles have more readily available energy from creatine, you can perform better during workouts. This improved performance allows you to lift heavier weights or do more reps, ultimately leading to better muscle growth.

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Better Muscle Recovery

Creatine has been shown to boost muscle recovery by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. This can translate to less muscle soreness and a shorter recovery period. A protein shake after your workout provides the necessary amino acids for immediate muscle repair.

Taking protein and creatine together means an enhanced recovery effect with reduced muscle soreness, quicker recovery between workouts, and the ability to train more frequently and effectively.

Increased Muscle Volume

Creatine can increase water content within muscle cells, leading to greater cell volume and muscle fullness. When combined with protein intake, it supports the overall muscle-building process, resulting in a more pronounced and visually satisfying effect of muscle growth.

Muscle Mass Maintenance

During intense exercise or periods of caloric restriction, the body may break down muscle tissue to derive energy. Protein and creatine supplementation can help preserve muscle mass by providing a readily available energy source, reducing the body’s reliance on breaking down muscle protein for fuel.

So, the answer is Yes!

When used together, these two powerhouses can provide a synergistic effect that may help you reach your goals more efficiently.

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Are there any side effects of taking protein with creatine?

Combining protein and creatine supplements is generally considered safe without any side effects for most individuals when used as directed and within recommended dosages.

However, some people may experience mild gastrointestinal discomfort when taking creatine, including abdominal cramps, nausea, or diarrhoea.

If you are taking any prescription medications or have underlying health conditions, consulting a healthcare professional before adding these supplements to your regimen is advisable.

Is there any recommended dose of creatine with protein?

The dosage may vary depending on the fitness goal, workout intensity and duration, diet and daily protein needs.

However, FSSAI recommends 3 grams of creatine per day in supplemental form.

Conclusion

Incorporating both protein and creatine into your fitness routine can be a game-changer for achieving your muscle and strength goals. These supplements, when used together, help maximize muscle recovery, growth, and performance.

However, it is advisable to pay attention to timing, dosage, and overall nutrition to make the most of this powerful combination. With dedication and proper supplementation, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your fitness aspirations.

Can I mix creatine with whey protein after workout?

One can add creatine to the post-workout whey protein.

Can creatine be taken with protein?

Yes, you can absolutely take creatine and protein together.

Which is the best protein shake with creatine?

One can consider Nutrabay Pro Nitro Build Whey Protein. It provides 30 grams of whey protein per serving with added 3 grams of creatine monohydrate for an enhanced anabolic effect to accelerate muscle growth and boost muscle recovery and overall strength.

Can you take creatine with milk and protein?

One can easily add creatine to a protein shake made using milk.

What is the best time to take protein with creatine?

Although, one can take it at any time of the day. However, some studies suggest taking them together post-workout is more beneficial.

References
  1. Kim, C., Park, J., Park, H., Kim, H., & Park, J. (2023). Effects of Whey Protein Supplement on 4-Week Resistance Exercise-Induced Improvements in Muscle Mass and Isokinetic Muscular Function under Dietary Control. Nutrients, 15(4), 1003. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15041003[]
  2. Cooper, R. G., Naclerio, F., Allgrove, J., & Jiménez, A. (2012). Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-9-33[]
  3. Burke, D., Chilibeck, P. D., Davidson, K., Candow, D. G., Farthing, J. P., & Smith‐Palmer, T. (2001). The Effect of Whey Protein Supplementation with and Without Creatine Monohydrate Combined with Resistance Training on Lean Tissue Mass and Muscle Strength. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 11(3), 349–364. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.11.3.349[]
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