Creatine is an acid produced within your body, while whey protein is a protein that supplies amino acids for your body to use as needed. Both are helpful for recovering from workouts, and both provide noticeable benefits. Creatine is commonly found in red meats, says Mayo Clinic. Whey protein is part of the process of making cheese and is now marketed as a supplement, says Healthline. Consult your physician before beginning any diet, exercise or training program.
Creatine and whey protein have different roles in your body so taking the two together may not be an either-or situation. When you understand how they can work together, you may benefit from taking both at the same time to fuel your muscle growth and your performance.
Get Strong With Creatine
Creatine monohydrate is the most commonly-sold form of creatine and the cheapest. Creatine monohydrate has been shown to improve short-term muscular endurance. Improvements include maximal power and strength, work performed during sets of maximal-effort muscle contractions, single-effort sprint performance and work performed during repetitive sprint performance, according to WebMD. You do not need large doses of creatine. To prevent stomach upset, 5 g per day is enough to maximize your body's creatine levels after a month advises Maxin Nutrition. Other types of creatine exist, such as creatine ethyl ester, but have not shown to be more effective than creatine monohydrate, despite their increased cost.
Meet Your Protein Needs With Whey
Whey protein is a source of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Amino acids are used for many functions within the body and can even support neural functions. Amino acids are also broken down and consumed for tissue repair and remodeling when muscle strain occurs, such as during resistance training, according to BodyBuilding.com. As your training intensity and volume increase, your protein needs will increase, and using a whey protein supplement is one method of meeting these needs.
Creatine and Whey Protein Together
Creatine and whey protein can be supplemented together, says Maxin Nutrition. Both are absorbed and utilized on an as-needed basis. During exercise, creatine supplements restore depleted reserves and supports immediate energy production to boost your overall athletic performance. After a workout, when your muscle tissues are broken down, whey protein can help with recovery by repairing and replenishing your muscle. By combining both supplements you get the benefits of the two to reach your goals.
Getting the Most Out of Each
During every intense workout, your body uses glycogen as fuel. Taking a simple sugar such as dextrose or maltodextrin can replenish your body and increase your recovery, assuming you combine it with protein. The ideal time for this to occur is post-workout, when your insulin levels are high and your muscle glycogen levels are low, advises STACK. This will cause the sugars and amino acids to be drawn into your muscles to replace what you have burned. An easy way to take dextrose is to add it to a shake at double the quantity of whey protein. Toss in a dash of cinnamon and you'll be on your way to a speedy recovery and ready for your next workout.