The heart of a warrior never ages, but sadly his body isn't as cooperative.
As the body begins to wear down and gravity takes its course, exercise and physical fitness become even more necessary to maintain a healthy body than ever before. Sadly, the older we get, the faster the rate of muscle deterioration from inactivity, which means more maintenance is required.
Thankfully, this doesn't all have to be physical.
If you've been a fitness enthusiast most of your adult life, then you've certainly heard of a little thing called creatine. You know, the naturally-occurring substance which can boost performance during high-intensity workouts?
However, you may be slightly less familiar with the age old debate raging between health and fitness gurus – when to take creatine.
Read on and examine the different arguments for yourself.
What Does Creatine Do?
Before making a judgment call on this debate, let's have a quick refresher course on creatine itself in case you have been living under a rock and never heard of this super substance before.
Creatine is a naturally occurring substance in your body which creates something called adenosine triphosphate or ATP. Now, ATP is the substance giving energy to your muscles contractions.
The more ATP you produce, the harder you'll be able to work out, and the more achievable your gains goals will become.
Pretty fancy, huh?
Let's look at what the experts are saying.
When to Take Creatine: Take It Before Your Workout?
Since you're now a creatine expert, let's examine how it works logically. If taking a creatine supplement boosts the production of ATP in my body, which then boosts my physical performance, it would make sense to load up on creatine before a workout.
If taking a creatine supplement boosts the production of ATP in my body, which then boosts my physical performance, it would make sense to load up on creatine before a workout.
For those who believe you should partake before, this is the very argument.
Take It After Your Workout?
What's the appeal for taking a creatine supplement after? The work is done, right? Why would I need energy after I've already spent it all?
If you're anything like me, you're completely exhausted after a workout; this means your muscles probably are running low on things like, say ATP. Post-workout is a great time to replenish depleted nutrients and prime your body for your next workout.
Take It Whenever?
Those who find themselves in this camp have asked questions like these: does it really matter when you take something good for you? If it's a needed nutrient, why should the timing of when to take creatine be a thing?
In a way they're all right because they all can agree, we need ATP to help build and restore muscles.
Research into creatine was published recently in the “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.” In the study, all men showed a significant boost in muscle mass and strength, but the men who took it post-workout increased seemed to outperform those who only took it before.
While this doesn't make it an open and shut case, research favors the post-workout camp.
Regardless, taking creatine supplements can give you the boost you need to make your gains and maintain your boyish figure for as long as you can.
Educate yourself on what other supplements are out there, and keep working on becoming the best version of yourself you can be.