Creatine is more beneficial when taken after working out
The same way there are new studies coming up noting the positive effects on muscle protein synthesis that protein timing has, there is now talk of the benefits of creatine timing as well. Previously, the majority of people thought it didn’t matter when you took creatine, however, new studies suggest that it might be better to take creatine after your workout to enhance its impact.
Supplementing with creatine not long after resistance training might be a great strategy for increasing muscle strength and mass. However, it is yet to be determined if supplementing with creatine before or after the workout is more effective for adults aged 50+. In one study, older adults aged between 50-70 were randomly put into three groups. The first group took creatine before their workout, the second after their workout and the third group took a placebo. The study lasted 8 months.
Before the study commenced and during its course, body composition (lean muscle mass and fat mass measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) and muscle strength (1-rep max on chest press and leg press) were assessed. Subjects did 3 sets of 10 reps to muscle with 1-2 minutes of rest between sets for each exercise at a training intensity roughly equal to their 10-rep max for each exercise. When the study ended, the subjects experienced an increase over time in their lean muscle mass and muscle strength and also a decrease in fat mass. Supplementing with creatine after the workout resulted in greater muscle mass gain compared with the placebo group.
Creatine supplementation, regardless of its timing, increased total muscle strength more than placebo. Compared to doing only resistance training, supplementing with creatine improves muscle strength, with greater lean muscle gains resulting from the post-workout creatine consumption.
Creatine has anti-aging properties
A recent study done on 357 older adults showed that supplementing with creatine during resistance training can improve lean muscle mass gain, strength and overall physical performance instead of just doing resistance training. A new meta-analysis of a collection of studies, published in the Journal of Nutrition and Health Sciences examined the current scientific literature on whether supplementing with creatine while training with weights at the same time improves physical performance in older adults well beyond doing weight training alone or just taking creatine supplements.
Even though the reports are contradictory, there is pretty solid evidence to suggest that supplementing with creatine while lifting weights increases lower body strength, muscular endurance, and lean muscle mass; this is above the results obtained with resistance training or creatine supplementation alone.
The increased lean muscle mass observed with a training regimen has been shown to lead to increased mineral content in the bones accompanied by a reduced risk of fracture; however any additional benefits of supplementing with creatine on this are not so clear and there is more work to be done before it can be confirmed if taking creatine will have a positive impact on bone mineral density.
Elderly people supplementing with creatine may find themselves having increased muscle mass, endurance, as well as physical performance and the ones who do resistance training in addition to taking creatine, might show even further improvements. However, for older participants who are unable to do resistance training, creatine supplementation provides significant benefits when it comes to increasing lean muscle mass, strength and improving their overall quality of life, even though these benefits are smaller on the whole compared to those who lift weights. As a conclusion, there is no denying that the benefits of lifting weights in the elderly on both bone and muscle health are significant and well documented.
Despite the evidence being somewhat inconsistent in some studies, supplementing with creatine is obviously a useful tool in your fitness arsenal which has the potential to increase muscle strength, endure and quality of life in elderly people, even if taken without doing any type of resistance training. As a summary, acute and chronic creatine supplementation has the potential to increase lean muscle mass and muscle function in older adults. Even more important, creatine in combination with lifting weights can results in a greater increase in skeletal muscle compared to just lifting weights.
Creatine works well with caffeine and beta alanine
Creatine supplementation can increase the total training volume. It has been shown to work in synergy with other supplements such as caffeine and beta-alanine. It has been suggested that the increase in skeletal muscle PCr and carnosine levels by supplementing with creatine monohydrate and beta alanine respectively works synergistically to delay fatigue by increasing the work capacity. A previous study showed that when both beta-alanine and creatine were mixed in a multi-ingredient supplement, it increased lower body endurance, body composition, and muscle strength and even decreased fatigue during training.
It was found that acute caffeine intake (5mg/kg one hour before the test) after 6 days of loading with creatine increased time to exhaustion during running on the treadmill at 125% of maximal oxygen uptake by over 10% compared with placebo and baseline trials. A different study suggested that caffeine intake after loading with creatine increased improved intermittent high-intensity sprint performance. The study consisted of 12 physically active males who were separated into caffeine, creatine or caffeine and creatine-only groups. In this study, mean and peak power output was increased after caffeine and creatine supplementation during the study compared to baseline.
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