Creatine is a muscle building supplement that is popularly used by athletes to assist in building leaner muscle mass during strength training exercises. Creatine contains amino acids which are naturally produced in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. While relatively safe, it is important to follow instructions as to how much and when you take this supplement. Speaking of when one of the most common questions related to Creatine is if it is safe to use before sleeping? That is the question we will be answering in this article.
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine supplements assist in muscle development. As such, once you take this supplement its ingredients will gradually break down in your bloodstream. This will make it easier for creatine to be absorbed by your muscle tissues. Once creatine has been absorbed by the muscles it will convert into creatine phosphate. Creatine phosphate can act as backup energy for your muscles. Those who go through rigorous and high-intensity strength exercises will benefit the most from this extra energy stored by the muscles.
The muscle’s main energy source during weight training will be provided by adenosine triphosphate (ATP). However, this naturally occurring organic chemical can be used up extremely quickly. Once ATP has been all used up, the muscles will start to strain and this is where creatine comes into play. It provides that much-needed energy boost optimize your strength training.
While our body can produce creatine (2 grams a day, in fact), about 60% of that is stored in the muscle tissues. The other 40% is free-flowing within the body. Taking creatine supplements assists in maximizing the amount of creatine stored in our muscle tissues. However, there is a limit to how much creatine our muscles can absorb. This is why this supplement must be taken as instructed on the label or as prescribed by your doctor.
Creatine also offers other benefits to the body besides promoting leaner muscle development. While still undergoing tests, creatine does appear to offer some benefits when it comes to controlling blood sugar levels. It can also help in treating fatty liver diseases. Of course, these are still being researched but it does show potential in this field.
When Do I Take Creatine Supplements?
Creatine can be taken daily but dosage will vary after the first week. During what is called the ‘loading phase’ you can take 20g of creatine daily. However, you must divide this dosage to 5g throughout the day. Basically, take 5g four times per day.
Now, the question we set out to answer here is if creatine is safe to take before bed. The answer to that is, yes. Why? Creatine does not have any stimulating effects so you won’t have difficulty getting a shut eye after taking it. So, creatine supplements are relatively safe to take before bedtime.
Now, as we have pointed out earlier it is safe to take 20g of creatine per day during the first week. Once you are done with ‘loading phase’ you will need to lower your dosage of creatine supplements down to 2g to 5g per day. This is the ‘maintenance phase’ and will last up to 6 months. It is important to not go beyond 6 months when using creatine supplements as studies are still inconclusive as to the effect of long-term use of creatine.
Factors to Consider
When buying a creatine supplement, it is important that you inspect the ingredients first. I highly advise you to avoid creatine supplements that contain caffeine. If your creatine supplement contains caffeine then it is not advisable to take the bed.
Caffeine can also dampen the benefits of creatine in the body. To ensure you get the best possible creatine supplement, look for one that is 100% creatine monohydrate as it will not contain any sort of additives.
You should also consult with a health professional before taking creatine supplements. There is a chance that creatine might cause side effects when combined with specific medications. For example, creatine supplements should not be taken alongside NSAIDs.
As long as you ensure that your creatine supplement does not contain any sort of stimulants then it is quite safe to take before bed. You should also follow the dosage recommendations stated on the label to ensure you won’t experience any negative side effects. As always, it is best to first consult with your doctor if you are planning on using creatine supplements or any other new form of medication. Remember, prevention will always be better than cure and preventing potential health risks is always better treating it.
All in all, creatine supplements are relatively safe to use for those who will be undergoing an intense strength training regimen. I recommend you choose ones that are from well-known and reputable brands to ensure you are getting the best quality supplement.