Have you ever asked yourself, “Should I take creatine on vacation?” Taking creatine when you are not working out enhances and maintains a substantial amount of creatine reserves in your muscle cells.
This substance is found naturally in the body and improves muscle mass and workout performance. Additionally, you can find it in seafood and red meat.
The time you take the creatine on your vacation doesn’t matter, unlike when you are active. So, it is best to consume five grams of the substance daily for great results. Taking creatine pre-workout powder during your break prepares your body for your after-vacation workout.
In other words, you will not have to wait for your body to build up its creatinine level after your break before you start working out again.
If you’re interested to know more if you should take creatine on vacation, keep reading.
When Should You Take Creatine Powder?
Creatine is the most popular and well-researched supplement in the world. Therefore, it makes no sense that you should take a creatine supplement to build muscle and boost your strength training.
Creatine supplementation replenishes your ATP energy levels just for you to hit those vital reps that bring a significant change. Furthermore, this supplement sends water into the muscle so they can be fuller.
There is a little controversy regarding when you should take creatine, and various people have their own opinions. The debate boils down to three options: taking it when you feel like it, just before the workout, and after the training.
Researchers conducted various studies regarding the proper time to take creatine, and each study has generated results worth mentioning.
What About Taking Creatine On Rest Days?
As stated, it is proper to take creatine supplements even on the days you don’t plan to exercise. Doing this maintains your creatine stores in muscle cells. On days like this, it doesn’t matter the time of the day you take the dietary supplement.
Additionally, it is essential to touch on whether to take creatine with food or on an empty stomach. However, various researchers have addressed this controversy and stated their different views on the subject.
Owing to a consensus reached by the researchers, they agreed that taking protein with creatine increases creatine uptake into muscle cells. Therefore, it is ideal for taking creatine alongside your pre or post-protein workout shake.
Another study also revealed that amino acids in protein foods retain creatine within the muscle cell.
Creatine and Carbohydrates
There are different takes when it comes to combining creatine with carbohydrates. Some studies reveal a slightly increased creatine uptake into the muscle. Meanwhile, others show no difference.
However, even if taking creatine with carbohydrates results in a slight increase in creatine intake, you don’t want to consume unnecessary carbohydrates. As a result, you may gain more fat.
Conclusively, it is better to take creatine with a serving of protein than on an empty stomach.
What Supplements Should Be Taken to Improve Your Muscle Mass?
One of the major dietary supplements to build muscle is creatine, which increases your exercise performance and sends water to the muscles to make them appear fuller.
In addition, you can mix a whey protein powder to serve as a pre or post-workout shake. You can also consider taking branched-chain amino acids, glutamine, fish oil, and beta-alanine.
Can You Overdose On Creatine?
We recommend you consume three to five grams of creatine daily. You don’t have to take more than that. Although, the question of the cycle creatine intake during the first week of your supplementation is an open question.
Moreover, it involves consuming 20 grams daily for five days and then ramping to a maintenance phase of five grams daily.
Taking more than the recommended dose is likely to result in minor side effects such as burping, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach bloating. Water retention is mostly the cause of the bloated stomach feeling.
Any extra weight you gain is most likely water weight.
You will not likely get bloated if you avoid the creatine loading protocol and keep your maintenance dose at five grams or less. In short, taking less than five grams of creatine dodges constipation, diarrhea, and stomach upset side effects.
Creatine is a naturally existent substance in the body and enhances muscle contraction. The word “creatine” is derived from the Greek word for meat. This substance ensures a constant supply of energy to working muscles by maintaining production in working muscles.
You can find dietary creatine in red meat and seafood. However, supplementation is the best way to get it into your system. The presence of creatine in the body system has various benefits:
Benefits of Creatine
Creatine controls fatigue by reducing it and assists people recovering from a recent brain injury.
Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Working out with creatine enhances a better blood sugar level. The dietary supplement controls and regulates it.
Brain Function Improvement
Creatine adds extra protection to your neurons and increases your energy supply, aiding your brain function. It also controls and enhances the facets of brain function such as word fluency, short-term memory, long-term memory, intelligence, and attention span.
You can compare creatine to gasoline: it burns faster and gives your body a quick energy boost. Roughly 95% of the body’s creatine is in the skeletal muscle waiting for you to use it. During heated workouts, your body draws these accumulations to make ATP.
This is the only energy-yielding process in the body that works fast enough to fuel short, quick bursts of energy like weighted pull-ups and sprints.
Speeds Muscle Growth
Supplementing your exercise with creatine increases your muscle.
Improves High-Intensity Exercise Performance
Creatine monohydrates have been tested and shown to improve the performance of high-intensity interval training.
Do You Need to Load Creatine?
Loading creatine sees results faster. So, you have to saturate your muscle cells with creatine to get the full benefits of the supplement. With a small dose, saturation lasts up to 30 days, depending on the person’s lean body mass.
However, if you use a loading phase of 15-25 grams daily for five days, you can saturate your muscle cells quickly and use a maintenance dose to keep your creatine cycle levels high.
Can You Mix Creatine With Protein Powder?
Creatine and protein powder increases muscle, and athletes take them together with the hope of bringing their fitness to the next level. However, there are some scientific debates about mixing creatine with protein powder.
Some studies, such as the United States Posts, reveal that combining both creatine and protein powder with resistance training increases creatine retention, improves performance, and increases muscle.
Other studies and post attachments suggest that people taking whey protein and creatine never got additional training benefits. They also saw no difference in muscle mass and strength compared to taking either alone.
The general notion is that the mixture of whey protein and creatine does not produce results because both are effective enough.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I take creatine on my rest week?
Yes. You must take creatine during your rest week, especially if you are on a maintenance dose of three to five grams daily. This dosage maintains a high level of creatine in your muscles.
More importantly, when loading creatine on rest days, do not skimp on creatine. Otherwise, loading will not occur. Therefore, you need a continuous high dose of 20 grams for five days for charging.
Conversely, it doesn’t make much difference even if you skip a maintenance dose of three to five grams on your rest day. It is pretty ideal for taking creatine on rest days.
As stated earlier, creatine is absorbed better when taken with carbohydrates. Amino acids and protein also increase the extent to which your body stores creatine.
Therefore, taking creatine with a balanced meal of carbohydrates and protein is also a good strategy for maximizing creatine absorption.
How much creatine should I take on off days?
On your off days, you can still take as much creatine as you take on days when you are active. We recommend three to five grams daily even when you are working out, so follow the same when you are off training.
What happens when you take a week off creatine?
When you stop taking creatine for some time, it takes weeks before your body returns to its pre-supplement levels. During this period, it is likely that your performance changes as your body re-adjusts, such as the decline in strength, weight loss, and fatigue increases.
Therefore, the performance changes depending on your activity level and the quantity of creatine accumulated before you stop it.
Can you skip creatine on weekends?
You can skip creatine on weekends, but it has its disadvantages. Ignoring creatine on weekends might deplete your reserves since it did not replenish. Therefore, your resources have to be filled for creatine to work correctly.
However, it doesn’t matter if you miss a day or two of creatine. After stopping the creatine intake during the weekend, you can resume taking it usually to regain what you’ve lost. Everything will be back to normal within a few days.
If you have set a goal of creating a solid and effective muscle, the best substance for you to supplement with is creatine.
We advise taking the dietary supplement on exercise days and vacations to enhance the maintenance of its storage in your system. Take creatine about 20 minutes before or after a workout on your workout days with protein.
When you are on a break, take creatine anytime but also consume it with protein.
If you found this article interesting, check our other exercise-related articles on ExpertFitness.org.
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- Does Creatine Make Your Face Fat?
- Does Creatine Make You Constipated?
Nathan Lloyd, MSc
LICENSED PERSONAL TRAINER
I’m a personal trainer, based in Boulder, Colorado.
I service clients physically in the Boulder area, mainly in the ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, but am also available for online consulting and coaching.
If you’re interested in my personal coaching programs, please contact me via the contact page.