Understanding Creatine | Creatine Before Bed | Creatine And Sleep | Tips | Risks | Best Time | Other Benefits
People often wonder about the best time to consume creatine supplements. One particular query that frequently arises is, “Can you take creatine before bed?”
Generally speaking, the ideal time to take creatine is before or after a workout. However, if you want to consume it before bed, you can do so. Let’s unpack and analyze this question in detail.
Creatine is a tripeptide synthesized from three University of Delaware: Creatine amino acids: arginine, glycine, and methionine. Produced naturally in limited quantities in the liver and kidneys, its main function is to provide energy to muscle cells.
This energy is produced in the form of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), which is responsible for powering your muscles during intense exercise.
ATP provides the energy that is utilized by skeletal muscles during intense, short-duration physical activities, such as weightlifting or sprinting.
Can you take creatine before bed?
Yes, you can take creatine before bed. While it is commonly recommended to consume creatine around workouts, there is no specific restriction against taking it before bed.
In fact, taking creatine before bed may have muscle-building benefits by promoting protein synthesis during sleep.
It’s important to note that individual responses to supplements may vary. Some people may notice increased urination with creatine consumption at night which is not directly linked to creatine side-effects. Consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian is always advisable.
Benefits of taking Creatine before bed
Here are 3 potential benefits of taking creatine before sleep:
- Creatine does not act as a stimulant or affect the central nervous system, so it should not interfere with sleep.
- Taking creatine before bed may actually be beneficial to sleep-deprived athletes in particular since creatine has been known to reduce the negative effects of sleep deprivation.
- Animal studies National Library of Medicine: Creatine-supplementation reduces sleep need and homeostatic sleep pressure in rats have shown that creatine consumption may not increase or decrease sleep quality, but may reduce sleep need in general.
How to take creatine before bed?
If you plan to consume creatine as a dietary supplement, then creatine monohydrate, creatine hydrochloride, or creatine ethyl ester are the most common types. Look for micronized creatine, which is a form of creatine monohydrate that is easier for the body to absorb.
Generally, a creatine supplementation routine involves a loading phase followed by a maintenance phase. The loading phase is where individuals take higher doses of around 20 grams per day for the first 5-7 days.
This is followed by a maintenance phase (3-5 grams per day) to sustain elevated creatine levels in the muscles. It must be noted that the quantities mentioned above are supposed to be spread out over the course of a day and should not be consumed in one go.
Ensure that your creatine intake is complemented by a corresponding increase in your water intake as well. Find out how much water you should drink while on creatine supplementation. Not doing so might result in dehydration.
Tips For Taking Creatine Before Bed
If you plan to consume creatine before bed, follow these tips to ensure that your creatine supplements do not interfere with your sleep quality:
- To reduce the risk of any interference with sleep quality, ensure to consume small doses of creatine before bed.
- Consume the supplement at least 2 hours before bedtime.
- Watch out for symptoms like anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. Consult a doctor or a healthcare professional if you experience any of these symptoms.
Potential drawbacks of taking creatine supplementation before bed
Although creatine supplementation is generally regarded as safe for most people, it is important to be aware of potential drawbacks before incorporating creatine into your supplement regimen. Here are some of the significant adverse side-effects of creatine consumption:
1. Digestion and absorption issues
Some individuals may experience symptoms of digestive discomfort, such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea when taking creatine supplements.
These gastrointestinal issues are typically mild and temporary. Choosing micronized creatine ScienceDirect: Micronization of creatine monohydrate via Rapid Expansion of Supercritical Solution (RESS) (easily absorbed in the body), ensuring proper hydration, and spreading out the dosage throughout the day may help minimize these side effects.
2. Renal health issues and liver damage
When consumed in high doses, creatine may affect kidney and liver health. High doses of creatine can lead to an increase in creatinine, a waste product produced during creatine metabolism, which can be damaging to the kidneys over time.
People with a history of kidney and liver problems should avoid taking creatine supplements in high doses. Consulting your doctor prior to supplementation is recommended.
3. Potential weight gain
One of the primary concerns among people who consume this supplement is whether creatine can make them gain weight.
People who take creatine supplements like creatine monohydrate or creatine ethyl ester may notice an increase in weight due to an accumulation of water in the muscles.
This is caused by increased water retention in the muscle cells. However, this increase in weight is typically of little consequence as it does not interfere with athletic performance.
It should also be noted that this effect is cosmetic and temporary. Once you stop taking the supplement, your body will quickly eliminate the excess water from your tissues.
Best time of day to take creatine
It is commonly advised to take creatine before or after exercising to get the most out of it. This recommendation is based on the idea that creatine aids in restoring ATP stores, which helps with muscle contraction and overall workout performance.
However, recent research suggests that taking creatine before bed might also be beneficial. During sleep, our bodies go through various repair and recovery processes, including muscle tissue repair and growth. Creatine supplements taken before bed can aid these processes.
It’s possible to enhance muscle recovery and adaptation by taking creatine before going to bed, as it increases the muscle creatine uptake overnight.
Besides, creatine’s neuroprotective properties may also result in cognitive benefits while you sleep and help to reduce the risk of neurological diseases.
Other benefits of taking creatine
With proper usage and adherence to recommended dosages, creatine can be a valuable tool to support your fitness goals and overall well-being.
Here is a detailed look at the benefits of consuming creatine:
1. Increased strength and performance
One of the most well-known benefits of taking creatine supplements is the potential for increased strength and performance.
Creatine supports the rapid production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary energy source for muscle contraction. By supplying additional ATP, creatine allows for more explosive strength and power output during intense workouts.
This can result in enhanced performance in activities that require short bursts of intense energy, such as sprinting and jumping, as well as high-intensity resistance workouts like weightlifting.
2. More lean muscle mass
Creatine supplementation is beneficial for those building lean muscle mass. In the short term this is due to increase in water content in the muscles through the process of volumization. In the long run the enhanced muscle growth is due to increased energy for intense workouts.
Taking creatine supplements can boost energy availability during high-intensity exercise by increasing the body’s phosphocreatine stores. This can help individuals perform better during workouts, engage in more rigorous resistance training, and ultimately, develop lean muscle mass.
3. Improved muscle recovery
Creatine has been observed to enhance various cellular pathways that result in the growth of new muscle cells PubMed: Creatine enhances differentiation of myogenic C2C12 cells by activating both p38 and Akt/PKB pathways.
Creatine has antioxidant properties National Library of Medicine: Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update, possibly due to the presence of the amino acid arginine in its molecule. Consequently, taking creatine after a workout can promote muscle recovery and prevent damage by creating a more anabolic environment.
Further, some research has observed PubMed: Cellular hydration state: an important determinant of protein catabolism in health and disease that cellular hydration can positively impact protein synthesis. This results in the growth and regeneration of muscle cells, thereby promoting muscle recovery.
Supplementing with creatine can aid in a quicker recovery for athletes, allowing them to resume training sooner with less downtime.
4. Manages insulin levels
Creatine can positively impact insulin levels and muscle glucose uptake. Studies National Library of Medicine: Potential of Creatine in Glucose Management and Diabetes have shown that creatine supplementation can enhance insulin sensitivity, leading to improved glucose metabolism and increased muscle glucose uptake.
This can improve glucose tolerance, which is beneficial for those at risk of diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
5. Better neurological health
Beyond its muscle-building benefits, creatine also has implications for neurological health. Oral supplementation with creatine may have neuroprotective effects and improve cognitive health.
Research PubMed: Creatine and cyclocreatine attenuate MPTP neurotoxicity has observed a link between the decrease in the brain’s creatine stores and a rise in the risk of neurological diseases. By increasing the brain’s stores of ATP, creatine can help protect the neurons from damage and improve cognitive health.
It is possible to take creatine before bed. However, it may be more beneficial to consume the supplement before or after a workout for better absorption and results. It is important to research well on the creatine supplement and the effects of consuming it before bed before doing this regularly.
As always, follow the manufacturer’s recommended dosage and use creatine responsibly in order to maximize its benefits while minimizing any potential risks. Talk to your physician and personal fitness expert for advice about what creatine supplementation practices are best for your individual needs.
|↑1||University of Delaware: Creatine|
|↑2||National Library of Medicine: Creatine-supplementation reduces sleep need and homeostatic sleep pressure in rats|
|↑3||ScienceDirect: Micronization of creatine monohydrate via Rapid Expansion of Supercritical Solution (RESS)|
|↑4||PubMed: Creatine enhances differentiation of myogenic C2C12 cells by activating both p38 and Akt/PKB pathways|
|↑5||National Library of Medicine: Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update|
|↑6||PubMed: Cellular hydration state: an important determinant of protein catabolism in health and disease|
|↑7||National Library of Medicine: Potential of Creatine in Glucose Management and Diabetes|
|↑8||PubMed: Creatine and cyclocreatine attenuate MPTP neurotoxicity|