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Do You Take Creatine on Rest Days?

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Creatine is one of the most widely used supplements in sports. The science shows that it is safe, with massive benefits when it comes to improving physical performance and building muscle.

When, though, should you take creatine for best results? And do you take creatine on rest days?

These are some of the most frequently asked questions about creatine. And it makes sense because you want to make sure to get the most out of this popular performance-enhancing supplement.

To understand the answer, however, it is important to also understand what is creatine, what does creatine do, and why creatine is effective.

What Is Creatine, Exactly?

Did you know that creatine is actually produced by the body? 

Creatine is a natural substance found in muscle cells, which helps to create phosphocreatine. Phosphocreatine, or creatine phosphate, produces another compound called ATP, which provides our bodies with energy. 

More technically, ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, acts as an energy reserve. Therefore, when you supplement creatine, you are maintaining ATP, subsequently allowing you to access more energy.

Due to this, creatine, specifically creatine monohydrate, is one of the most popular sports supplements on the market. It can be taken as a powder, diluted in water, or a pill/capsule.

Creatine Benefits – Summarized

There are a number of science-backed benefits of creatine. Summarized, creatine benefits include:

  • increase in energy levels
  • improvement in physical performance
  • increase in muscle mass
  • faster muscle recovery
  • it’s cheap 

Since creatine has the ability to increase your energy levels, this obviously means you are going to perform better in the gym, on the track, or doing any kind of physical activity.

And when you are able to perform better, you are going to be able to increase reps, strength, running distance, pace, and so on. This can also lead to more strength gains and putting on more muscle mass.

Should You Take Creatine on Rest Days?

Here’s the big question, and the simple answer is yes – you should take creatine on rest days.

Since the purpose of creatine is to maintain ATP stores – in other words, keep ATP consistently high – creatine is widely considered a maintenance supplement.

This means that creatine should be taken regularly, most commonly on a daily basis, to get the most benefit out of the supplement.

Even on rest days (days you don’t go to the gym or work out), as well as weekends, or holidays, it is recommended to continue supplementing creatine.

In general, creatine is taken at a measure of 3 to 5 grams per day, either as a powder or capsule. This is also what is recommended by manufacturers.

Should You Take Whey Protein on Rest Days?

Do You Take Creatine on Rest Days?

Whey protein is another highly popular supplement used by athletes and gym-goers, as well as people who do not regularly work out.

Explained simply, whey protein is a source of protein in powder form, which is diluted and taken to increase protein intake. Protein forms the basis of muscle tissue, meaning whey protein has the ability to increase muscle size.

We have established that creatine should be taken on rest days. But what about whey protein? Again, it’s important to understand the supplement to get to the answer.

As whey protein is simply a source of protein to increase protein intake, whey protein can be taken as desired. Therefore, it can be supplemented every day, twice a day, or even once a week, depending on when a boost in dietary protein is needed.

Can You Take Creatine with Whey Protein? 

Another frequently asked question regarding creatine is whether you can mix creatine and whey protein – and if it is safe to do so.

The quick answer is yes, it is safe to mix creatine and whey protein. 

There are no real negative side effects to creatine or whey protein, and no downsides when supplemented together.

If you want to mix creatine and whey protein in a convenient daily shake, there is nothing that should stop you from doing so.

Studies show that one of the best times to supplement whey protein is within a few hours after your workout. As creatine is recommended to be taken daily, this can also be an ideal time to supplement creatine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Creatine Safe?

Creatine is widely considered to be one of the safest sports supplements on the market. As with any supplement, however, it is still recommended that you take it in its recommended amount. For creatine, the recommended amount is between 3 and 5 grams per day.

Despite this, there are a few possible side effects of taking creatine. These include bloating, dehydration, digestive problems, kidney damage, liver damage, and muscle cramps. In general, though, creatine side effects are considered to be rare and not serious.

How Much Creatine Should I Load?

Creatine loading is a dosage phase that is recommended for people who are new to creatine. Simply put, it means supplementing creatine at a higher amount for around a week to maximize storage and “saturate” the muscles.

Creatine monohydrate is commonly taken in a 3-5 gram amount per day. However, during a creatine loading phase, it is taken at an amount that is between 15 to 20 grams per day. After one week, the amount can be reduced to 3 to 5 grams per day.

Does Creatine Make You Bald?

One of the biggest debates around creatine is if creatine makes you go bald. The claim is based on a single creatine study conducted in 2009, which found that creatine may increase DHT. Despite this, hair loss due to creatine is not scientifically proven.

Until now, there are no science-based studies that legitimately prove creatine causes hair loss in men. The claim is often considered to be one of the negative side effects of creatine, but it is more of a speculation than it is a solid fact.

Conclusion

The short answer? Yes – you should take creatine on rest days. Creatine is a maintenance supplement used to manage ATP stores in muscles, so it should be taken even on rest days to get the most benefit out of the supplement.

By taking creatine daily, the benefits include increased energy and improved physical performance, faster muscle recovery, and an increase in muscle mass. Creatine is also cheap and one of the most widely used sports supplements around.

About The Author

heydayDo author Greg Simon

Hi! I’m Greg Simon.

Fitness training & nutrition researching since 1982. Over 60 & active. Surfer. Organic food grower. Congenital heart disease survivor (so far).

heydayDo.com is my Fitness After 50 blog that’s about encouraging a healthy lifestyle as we age.

I share my fitness training experience as well as the sports science research I’ve done on the many benefits strength building, exercise, & good eating habits offer us older adults.

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