Can creatine and whey protein be taken together?

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Main topic: Health
Other topics: Creatine, Whey protein
Short answer: Yes. Creatine and whey protein can be taken together as there are no stated side effects, and taking them together may increase muscle mass.

The short advice is that it's okay to mix these two supplements. Generally, both ingredients are considered safe if one buys well-made products from a reliable source. Plus, studies have shown that mixing creatine with whey has no adverse effects.[1] 

Creatine is an amino acid that helps produce more energy[edit]

Creatine is an amino acid primarily found in the brain and muscles. Most people get creatine from seafood and red meat, but the amounts are much lower than those in creatine supplements made in a lab.

Creatine molecular representation
Creatine molecular representation CC BY: Wikimedia

Creatine is used by bodybuilders for several reasons:

  • Creatine boosts the amount of phosphocreatine between cells in skeletal muscle, which helps ATP be made quickly.
  • Phosphocreatine shuttle is the primary source of ATP during maximal effort exercises that last less than 10 seconds.
  • Creatine makes muscles bigger, stronger, and more powerful. It also makes muscles less fat.
  • Creatine makes muscles work harder, allows higher-intensity workouts, and makes muscles less tired by producing more energy.
  • Creatine makes muscle cells hold on to more water, which not only makes muscles look bigger but also helps them repair.[2]  

Whey is a protein that helps repair muscles after an intense workout[edit]

One of the main types of protein in dairy products is whey protein. Whey protein is a by-product of making cheese. It is rich in the amino acids required for proteins to perform their bodily functions.[3]

Major benefits of whey protein:

  • Whey Protein offers the highest biological value compared to other protein supplements.
  • Whey protein has the most leucine compared to other protein supplements.
  • Whey protein is a complete protein because it has all nine essential amino acids.
  • Whey protein has more protein per serving than any other protein.
  • Whey protein is a fast-digesting protein that is almost entirely absorbed by the body.
  • Whey protein may be used in several ways and tastes delicious. It has a moderate or neutral flavor that combines nicely with smoothies, protein bars, and drinks.
  • Whey protein can help muscles recover quickly and keep from losing muscle.
  • Whey protein helps one feel full, controls how many calories one eats, builds lean muscle, and helps lose weight.[4]   

It is beneficial to mix creatine and whey for muscle building[edit]

When whey protein and creatine were used together, there was a more considerable increase in lean muscle mass, the ability to extend the knee, and bench press strength.

Creatine is usually absorbed better with sugar, which is a simpler carbohydrate. But when creatine is mixed with whey protein, it takes less sugar to get more creatine to the muscles. So this also makes sure that the diet has the right amount of carbs.[5]

There is no specific time to take both creatine and whey together[edit]

One can get the most out of Whey protein by ingesting it evenly throughout the day (about every 3–4 hours), including before bed. It's good to take protein before or after a workout. One can choose whether to take it before or after a workout.

With creatine, it doesn't matter when to take it as long as one does. There is no best time to take creatine and whey.

Post-workout supplements are better for people who prefer to have an empty stomach during high-intensity exercise.

One could also choose to eat something before. Both creatine and whey can be added to the same drink, so taking them together can speed up the process.[6]   

The recommended ratio is one part Creatine to six part Whey protein       [edit]

The recommended way to use Whey protein is to take one scoop (32 grams) two to five times a day, depending on what one's body needs and workout regimen. And for creatine, it is recommended to take one scoop (5 grams) 1-2 times a day after the loading phase.

Mixing whey protein powder and creatine powder in a "6:1" ratio before a workout is recommended. And the rest of the time, one may stick to a standard whey protein-only intake.[7]

References[edit]

  1. "Can You Mix Creatine With Whey Protein?". 2021-02-12. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  2. "Creatine vs. Whey Protein: Which is better?". NF Sports. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  3. "WHEY PROTEIN: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews". www.webmd.com. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  4. Speck, Cam (2020-12-01). "Creatine vs Whey Protein: Which is Better?". Fitplan Blog. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  5. "Creatine Supplements vs Whey Protein: Which is Better for Building Mus". Cellucor. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  6. "Is It Safe to Mix Creatine With Whey Protein?". LIVESTRONG.COM. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  7. "Can You Mix & Take Creatine and Protein Together?". TheWorkoutDigest. 2019-03-06. Retrieved 2022-11-02.