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Should You Take Creatine On Off Days?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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Should you take Creatine on off days? It is important to take creatine on workout days then rest days. When taking it on rest days the goal would be to elevate the creatine content in your muscles. And to keep it going as opposed to it dropping off when you are not working out. You can take a lower daily maintenance dose on those rest days.

Potential recommended dose on those rest days is 3 grams of creatine. It is recommended that if you do take it on rest days make sure to take it with a meal. The main goal is while you are taking days off from working out that you still maintain an elevated level of it in your muscles. And the way of doing that is still taking 3 grams of creatine on your rest day from weight-training.

Should You Take Creatine On Off Days? Photo credit: iStock-RHJ

Creatine is one of the most popular over the counter dietary supplement products when it comes to building strength and muscle mass. One of the best times to take it is right before and after you exercise. There was a 10-week study where a group took creatine, carbs, and protein who weight-trained. The participants were divided in two groups. One group took the supplement before and after the exercise. And the second group took it in the morning and evening time but not close to exercise.

“Studies have shown that creatine can improve your strength anywhere from 5 to 10% when it comes to weight-training.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

At the end of the study the group that took it right before exercise gained more muscle and strength than the group that took it in the morning and evening time. So, this research validates that you will see the best results taking it right before you exercise.

Some studies suggest have shown if you take creatine with your protein and carbs meal it can help you retain more of it in the body. So, the protein and amino acids in the meal can help you retain more creatine in your body. So, it doesn’t hurt to take creatine with a carbs and/or protein meal.

Studies have shown that creatine can improve your strength anywhere from 5 to 10% when it comes to weight-training. And it also can help improve recovery from workouts too.

The Bottom Line is creatine is one of the best dietary supplements to increase muscle and strength. And taking it during your off-workout days isn’t going to end your strength and muscle gains. But if you do take it during your off days it will help to maintain an elevated level of creatine content in your muscles.

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References

  1. Buford, T. W., Kreider, R. B., Stout, J. R., Greenwood, M., Campbell, B., Spano, M., Ziegenfuss, T., Lopez, H., Landis, J., & Antonio, J. (2007). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition4, 6. https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-4-6
  2. Lanhers C, Pereira B, Naughton G, Trousselard M, Lesage FX, Dutheil F. Creatine Supplementation and Upper Limb Strength Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. 2017 Jan;47(1):163-173. doi: 10.1007/s40279-016-0571-4. PMID: 27328852.
  3. Rawson ES, Volek JS. Effects of creatine supplementation and resistance training on muscle strength and weightlifting performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Nov;17(4):822-31. doi: 10.1519/1533-4287(2003)017<0822:eocsar>2.0.co;2. PMID: 14636102.
  4. Cribb PJ, Hayes A. Effects of supplement timing and resistance exercise on skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Nov;38(11):1918-25. doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000233790.08788.3e. PMID: 17095924.
  5. Hall M, Trojian TH. Creatine supplementation. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2013 Jul-Aug;12(4):240-4. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e31829cdff2. PMID: 23851411.
  6. Buford, T. W., Kreider, R. B., Stout, J. R., Greenwood, M., Campbell, B., Spano, M., Ziegenfuss, T., Lopez, H., Landis, J., & Antonio, J. (2007). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition4, 6. https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-4-6
  7. Pittas G, Hazell MD, Simpson EJ, Greenhaff PL. Optimization of insulin-mediated creatine retention during creatine feeding in humans. J Sports Sci. 2010 Jan;28(1):67-74. doi: 10.1080/02640410903390071. PMID: 20035494.

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