Sipping coffee before bed can ruin your dream, but it’s not true for creatine. Do I sound crazy? Well, I may, but it’s true. Your muscle and energy-booster buddy can be your BFF in sleep.
If you are still unconvinced, you must ask, can I take Creatine before bed?
There is no harm in taking creatine before bed as it does not interfere with sleep. Contrarily, creatine supplementation may bring extra benefits to your health and muscle-building potential by improving the quality of your sleep, preventing cramping, and reducing the effects of sleep deprivation.
So, no sleep, insomnia, or other sleep-related disorders are not among the creatine side effects unless you already have any of them.
There is more to support the claim. Besides, you need to remember a few tips to leverage the maximum benefits of creatine before bed. So stay with me before you slumber.
So, Can You Take Creatine Before Bed?
No one said you couldn’t mix creatine into your favorite (of course, non-caffeinated) beverage and drink. So obviously, it’s not bad to take creatine before bed as the supplement makes you more refreshed and recharged with lesser sleep.
But the question is why you will take creatine before bed in the first place.
Well, your muscles don’t need much energy when snoozing at night. It’s true! But your brain is still working hard, using about 20% of your total energy – it’s a real powerhouse!
Even when asleep, your brain is busy helping you recover, recharge, and feel refreshed. To do all that, it needs ATP (adenosine triphosphate), our body’s main energy source.
Benefits of Taking Creatine Before Bed
Creatine supplementation before bed reduces sleep needs and homeostatic sleep pressure, which means you will be more energetic with less sleep. It can also help to treat sleep-related disorders like sleep deprivation or apnea.
Acute stressors like exercise, sleep deprivation, or chronic pathologic conditions like mild traumatic brain injury, aging, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and creatine synthesis enzyme deficiencies can cause brain creatine deficits leading to several cognitive issues.
Creatine supplementation will surely improve brain creatine deficits mitigating acute and chronic stressors. No studies have conclusively determined the optimum creatine supplementation amount to mitigate brain creatine deficits.
So if you are still concerned, let me assure you that it is ok to take creatine before bed as creatine supplementation boosts brain creatine, making you feel more focused and less sleep-deprived.
However, it’s obvious that boosting brain creatine requires higher doses than those needed to increase muscle creatine.
There’s been some research on creatine and muscle recovery. Some studies show it can reduce soreness and damage, speeding up healing while sleeping. It might even help you recover faster after an injury! But other studies say it doesn’t do much at all.
Creatine doesn’t give you energy through calories like carbs do. Instead, it helps your muscles during exercise by providing a phosphate to ADP (adenosine diphosphate) to regenerate ATP.
There’s been some research on creatine and muscle recovery. Some studies show it can reduce soreness and damage, speeding up healing while sleeping. It helps you recover faster after an injury! But other studies say it doesn’t do much at all.
There are other benefits of taking creatine before bed.
- Make you feel happier and brighter the next day
- Develop better short-term memory
- Improve thinking skills, even when you’re super tired
- Make faster muscle recovery and less soreness after workouts
Reasons to Take Creatine Before Bed
Other than the benefits, there are other specific reasons to take creatine before sleep.
Not a Stimulant
Unlike other energy drinks or supplements, creatine doesn’t stimulate the body. So, when you want to sleep, it won’t make you feel hyperactive and have trouble sleeping.
People often ask does creatine have caffeine or not. Unless mixed with coffee or other caffeinated beverages, creatine has no caffeine.
Many users have claimed that creatine offered better sleep and removed conditions like sleep deprivation or insomnia, especially for the elderly and people with cognitive issues. After taking creatine, you don’t need to cover up your lost sleep by sleeping extra hours. So, it works like a charm for a peaceful night.
No Side Effects
Perhaps the most important reason is that creatine absorbs well when you are asleep. Hence, the common problems that consumers suffer aren’t visible. Besides, you will receive the same benefits of increased muscles and energy if you take creatine at any time of the day.
Does Creatine Keep You Awake At Night?
Unless you already have sleep-related issues, creatine alone won’t keep you awake at night. I know many of our readers who often ask can creatine causes insomnia. No, creatine doesn’t cause insomnia, but it can significantly reduce your sleep need and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep during the day.
Creatine isn’t a stimulant! That’s right; it doesn’t have caffeine or any other buzzy ingredients that make you super alert.
Some folks have mentioned that creatine keeps them awake if they wake up early. They think it might be because creatine reduces how much sleep they need.
There’s a fascinating study from 2018 that supports this idea. Researchers gave rats creatine before bedtime and found that it reduced their need for sleep and sleep pressure. This suggests that creatine might even help with sleep-related issues in humans!
So, who knows? Maybe creatine can help us get a better night’s rest!
Creatine at Night or Morning: What is The best time?
There is no particular best time to take creatine. It is still debated.
Some people find that they have more energy and focus when they take creatine in the morning, while others find that they have better sleep and recovery when they take it at night.
A recent study on elite handball players found no significant impact of creatine intake time on their overall performance.
Ultimately, the timing of creatine supplementation may vary depending on individual preferences and workout schedules.
Should I Take Creatine Before or After Workout?
Research shows that taking creatine monohydrate 30 minutes before exercise on workout days may be better.
Benefits of Taking Creatine Before Workout
Creatine before a workout can provide more ATP (the primary currency of cellular energy) to the muscles, leading to more power available and more weight lifted.
Benefits of Taking Creatine After Workout
A small study suggests that taking creatine immediately after a workout can help replenish nutrients in the muscles depleted during exercise. However, only 19 male bodybuilders participated in the study.
Your muscles are most receptive to nutrients after a workout, so this can be an optimal time to absorb creatine and maximize its benefits.
Split Creatine Before and After Workout
Some people even split their creatine dosage, taking half before and half after their workout. I suggest following the recommended dosages and consult a healthcare professional if you have concerns.
Can You Take Creatine Without Working Out?
Yes, you can take creatine on rest days without working out. Creatine is a safe and effective supplement that provides many benefits. However, to get the full benefits of creatine, you should take it alongside a resistance training program.
If you take creatine without working out, your muscles will fill their creatine reserves, and your body will excrete the rest. There are not normally any adverse effects of taking creatine, even if you aren’t regularly exercising.
Here are a few reasons to consider taking creatine without exercising:
- Cognitive benefits: Some studies suggest that creatine can improve cognitive function, including memory and problem-solving skills.
- Vegetarian and vegan diets: Creatine is primarily found in animal-based products like meat and fish. Vegetarians and vegans may have lower creatine levels, so supplementing with vegan creatine can help maintain proper levels for overall health.
- Age-related muscle loss: Our muscles naturally lose strength and mass as we age. Creatine can help slow down this process and support overall muscle health.
- Non-exercise-related muscle recovery: Creatine can help with muscle recovery even if you’re not exercising, like recovering from an injury or surgery.
Can You Take Creatine On Empty Stomach?
Taking creatine on an empty stomach is not recommended, as the high concentration of gastric acid can rapidly degrade creatine to creatinine. Research suggests an enhanced muscle uptake of creatine if you take it with a carbohydrate-protein combination.
This high acidity is a potential barrier to creatine absorption from the intestine. However, it’s still unclear if food impacts the oral bioavailability of creatine gastrointestinal tracts.
Side Effects of Taking Creatine Before Bed
Taking creatine before bed is generally safe, but as with any supplement, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects. While most people won’t experience any issues, here are a few things to consider:
- Sleep disruption: Some individuals have reported difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep after taking creatine before bed. This could be due to increased energy levels or other factors. If you find that creatine affects your sleep, consider taking it earlier in the day.
- Stomach discomfort: Creatine may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, such as bloating or gas, in some people. If you experience these symptoms, take creatine with food or use a different form, like creatine hydrochloride, which may be easier on the stomach.
- Dehydration: Creatine can cause your muscles to retain water, so staying hydrated is essential. Ensure to drink enough water throughout the day, especially before bedtime, to avoid dehydration and related issues like muscle cramps.
- Kidney and liver concerns: While rare, high doses of creatine over an extended period may cause strain on the kidneys and liver. If you have pre-existing kidney or liver issues, consult a healthcare professional before taking creatine.
So, you can relax and enjoy creatine with warm milk before you sleep. Instead of sleep troubles, you might experience a better sleep cycle. It might also remove stress or other mental disorders. But most importantly, it gets easier to absorb creatine with little or no side effects.
There is no perfect time for taking creatine; you can take it at any time of the day. Every time, be sure to experience a boost in energy and perform well. So, the right time to take creatine depends on your preference and what best works for you. Just maintain the correct dosage each time.
Learn more about supplements from our recent blogs.
I am a health and wellness enthusiast working in a Pittsburgh-based wellness clinic. My primary role as a consultant is to tailor a balanced lifestyle for my patients, where positive steps and potent supplements play a synergistic role.