A study published in the April 2017 issue of the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism showed that supplements like whey protein powder and creatine remain popular with gym members. More than 21 percent of the users reported using whey protein, and more than 11 percent of them reported using creatine. Some members combined whey protein and creatine for greater results. Dietary aids don't always have immediate effects. Daily use, however, can lead to noticeable effects within a week. Please talk to your doctor before taking nutritional supplements.
Read more: Will Whey Protein Make You Gain Weight?
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Whey Protein Powder Decreases Appetite
Manufacturers create whey protein by processing cheese, according to a June 2018 report in Nutrition Reviews. Considered a byproduct, the globe-like proteins contained in whey include lactalbumin, lactoferrin and immunoglobulins. Some benefits of using whey protein powder may include greater endurance, strength and mass. A possible relationship between whey protein and weight loss may exist as well.
Most of these benefits remain speculative. Yet, a paper from the August 2017 Clinical Nutrition showed that whey protein had both an immediate and delayed effect on appetite. The authors of this study concluded that whey protein powder will cut your total food intake, lowering your body weight.
Read more: A Loss of Appetite With Protein Powder
Creatine Supplementation Increases Power
Your body makes creatine to fuel your workout. Many bold claims about creatine exist in the literature. For example, a paper in the August 2018 European Journal of Sport Science suggested that creatine may help treat brain damage.
Creatine supplementation does offer many health benefits. A review in the January-February 2018 edition of Sports Health indicated that creatine has its largest effects immediately after use, leading researchers to suggest using creatine to improve performance in short-duration exercises like power lifting. In these conditions, daily creatine use can make you stronger within a week.
Read more: The Average Weight Gain With Creatine
Bundling Has No Additive Effect
Whey protein powder appears to improve your health through secondary means. It protects your cells from oxidation, according to a report in the February 2018 International Journal of Dairy Technology. In contrast, creatine works through primary means. Circulating creatine increases energy, and increasing your natural stores simply gives you more energy, according to a June 2017 publication in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
Given these different mechanisms, some athletes have tried to combine the two supplements. A study reported in the November 2016 Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism tested the combination. Eight weeks of combining whey protein and creatine results in no benefit. The authors speculated that tests in a clinical population may offer more promising data. A 2016 report in the Journal of Frailty and Aging tested the combination for 14 weeks in older adults diagnosed with frailty. This study also failed to find a positive effect of bundling.
Both teams called for more research to better explain these data. Neither team noted supplement-induced side effects. The latter finding remains consistent with the strong safety profile of both whey protein powder and creatine.
- Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism: Prevalence of Dietary Supplements Use Among Gymnasium Users
- Nutrition Reviews: Applications for α-lactalbumin in Human Nutrition
- Clinical Nutrition ESPEN: Effect of Whey Protein Supplementation on Long and Short Term Appetite
- European Journal of Sport Science: Beyond Muscle
- Sports Health: Creatine Use in Sports
- International Journal of Dairy Technology: Antioxidant Activity, Functional Properties and Bioaccessibility of Whey Protein Hydrolysates
- Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition: International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand
- Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism: A Pilot Study Examining the Effects of 8-Week Whey Protein versus Whey Protein Plus Creatine Supplementation on Body Composition and Performance Variables in Resistance-Trained Women
- Journal of Frailty and Aging: Resistance Training and Co-supplementation with Creatine and Protein in Older Subjects with Frailty