Can You Mix Creatine with Pre-Workout?

Can You Mix Creatine with Pre-Workout?

Creatine is an organic compound. You may have heard of it in conjunction with pre-workout, but the two are separate things. In fact, creatine is an amino acid that our bodies produce naturally. It helps your muscles produce and maintain energy during high intensity workouts. In this case, could you mix creatine and pre-workout?

Yes, you can mix creatine with pre-workout. As an organic substance, creatine does not interact with pre-workout or any of its common ingredients. It is recommended to combine the two so that you do not have to worry about taking multiple supplements separately. It is best to take creatine 30 minutes before your workout as it provides immediate energy.

Speaking of creatine and pre-workout, we’ll go over some of the basics. It’s important to know just how to get started using these supplements. If you want to start utilizing creatine, especially, this one is for you. So, keep reading to learn more.

What is Creatine Monohydrate?

Creatine monohydrate is the most common, and cost effective, type of creatine. This could be the safest form of creatine to consume, as the most research has been done on this form.

However, other forms of creatine like HCL and liquid creatine are also great options. It depends on your wants and needs, really.

Can You Take Creatine and Pre-Workout Together?

Yes, you can mix creatine and pre-workout because they do not have any ingredients that interact with one another.

Creatine is an organic compound, an amino acid, that naturally occurs inside our bodies. This substance is often gained through seafood and red meat. However, it is really the kidney and liver that help us humans produce creatine naturally. Synthetically made creatine supplements are the most effective way to enhance those natural creatine levels, though.

As a natural substance in our bodies, creatine is often added to pre-workout to enhance its benefits. The two work together to promote better overall workouts, especially cardio and high intensity interval training.

Creatine vs. Pre-Workout

You can take the two together, but what are they like on their own?

Creatine and pre-workout each have their purposes, which you can see here:

ProductPurposeCommon IngredientsSuggested Intake
CreatineMaintain the supply of energy to working musclesNaturally, creatine is made of 3 amino acids:
·        L-arginine
·        Glycine
·        L-methionine

In creatine powder, different combinations of amino acids may make up the type of creatine you use.
· Naturally found in our bodies.
· Small amounts found in milk, seafood, and red meat.
· Synthetically made creatine powder.

Increase stamina and aid in faster recovery from intense workouts
· Caffeine: elevated energy
· Beta-Alanine: holds off muscle fatigue
· BCAAs: branched chain amino acids to reduce protein breakdown
· Take the recommended dose of your pre-workout
· Often found in powder form then mixed with liquids
· Sometimes found in food or pill form

Many of the common elements in pre-workout have to do with amino acids. This is the same as the naturally occurring amino acids that create creatine.

Can You Take Creatine with Caffeine Pre-Workout?

Yes, you can also take creatine with a ‘caffeine pre-workout.’ Most pre-workout products have caffeine as a main ingredient.

The creatine helps promote immediate energy and the caffeine helps to keep those energy levels up. Mixing the two is not an issue, but don’t use more than the recommended daily dose of either. This could result in extreme jitters.

What Should You Not Mix with Creatine?

While it is safe to take creatine and pre-workout together, certain medications could be a different story.

Certain Medication

You should talk to your doctor if you are on any medication to see if it may interact with creatine. Medicines that work with liver or kidney function may not be a good mix, especially.

Caffeine in Moderation

It is also recommended to avoid overdoing it with caffeine. Although you can safely mix creatine and pre-workout (including caffeine-based), moderation is key.

In general, you should always check that supplements you take can be taken together without interaction. 

When Should You Take Creatine?

It’s best to take creatine about 30 minutes before your workout. Since this supplement helps give you immediate energy, it isn’t something you want to take too early.

To get the best benefits, you can also add some to your post-workout meal or shake. This can help you if you are working to grow or rebuild muscle mass. In this case, it is best to still take creatine shortly after a workout.

Taking creatine too far ahead of, or after, a workout is not optimal. You likely won’t see the benefits you want if the timing is too spaced out.

On rest days, you can still take creatine to maintain the creatine content in your muscles. The timing matters much less on these days, as you aren’t matching it with your workout time.

Should I Take Creatine 30 Minutes Before Workout?

Yes, you should take creatine about 30 minutes before a workout. Anytime from an hour to half an hour before is ideal, as you will get the most energy benefits.

The biggest consideration when you take creatine is that you are properly nourished and hydrated. Creatine, pre-workout, and other supplements cannot do their job if your body is not ready to receive their effects.

Do I need to Work Out to Take Creatine?

Creatine has been studied for its effects on older adults. It appears that taking creatine can help with fatigue, energy, and muscle mass among other things. This should be a discussion with your doctor, to make sure that it is worth trying, if needed.

Other than these types of specific usage, creatine doesn’t necessarily do much for you if you are not active. If you are considering taking creatine ‘just because,’ you can table that idea and save some money.

Benefits of Creatine

Let’s break down the benefits of creatine:

  • Improves strength during workouts
  • Helps muscles recover more quickly from intensive workouts
  • Increases lean muscle mass overall
  • Helps muscles produce more energy to use during workouts
  • Improves high intensity workout performance
  • Reduces fatigue and tiredness

Creatine helps your body produce ATP, which is the most basic source of energy. This type of energy combined with the ability to do intensive workouts will ensure you build lean muscle mass. You’ll also see a reduction in your fatigue because you’ll be able to incorporate energetic, productive workouts.

Side Effects of Creatine

Creatine, like most things, could have side effects. Many of these can be attributed to individuals’ reaction to the supplement.

Especially when taken in excess or when mixed with multiple other supplements without consulting a doctor, you may experience:

  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Kidney problems
  • Nausea
  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety

Those who have pre-existing conditions like diabetes, liver or kidney conditions, or heart issues, are not advised to use creatine. You should always speak with your doctor if you are unsure of a supplement, to make sure you protect your health.

Top 3 Creatine Supplements

We’ve taken the time to give you the top 3 creatine brands that we recommend:

  1.  The Genius Brand has creatine that combines creatine monohydrate and beata-alanine. It gives you a great combination of creatine supplements that can be used with their pre-workout or completely on its own.
  2. Klean’s version is fully creatine monohydrate, if you’d prefer to keep it simple with one form of the product.
  3. Nutricost is also a creatine monohydrate., It just might give you the best price for the amount of creatine powder you are buying.

Try some out and see how creatine (with or without pre-workout) is for you.

Related Guides

Choosing Nutrition Team

Here at Choosing Nutrition, our goal is to help people with making smarter food choices. Whether you're wondering about vegan, keto, paleo, or other diets, we'll help you determine which options fit your nutritional lifestyle. Our staff is composed of registered dieticians, nutritionists, and health-conscious individuals.

Recent Posts