Should I take creatine on rest days? Does it have any effect on muscle growth?
Or What is the perfect time for creatine intake: workdays or every day? Well, if you’re a fitness enthusiast like me, questions like these are yours, too.
Of course, you can take creatine on your rest days; however, it’s not mandatory. Taking creatine on rest days maintains your body’s creatine levels, preventing them from dropping. It can also enhance your recovery and performance in your next day’s workout sessions.
Here are some tips and tricks to still make muscle on your off days by taking creatine or not.
Should I Take Creatine On Rest Days?
Yes, you should take creatine on your non-working days, even if you are exercising or not. It will ensure consistent creatine supply and reserve in your muscle mass without dropping the level. However, it is not mandatory.
Creatine works by increasing the amount of phosphocreatine (PCr) in your muscles and enhancing your ability to produce ATP during exercise. It increases your strength and endurance.
Now, taking creatine on rest days maintains optimal levels of PCr in your muscles. It also allows you to replenish the PCr you have used during exercise. Besides, creatine on rest days prevents your muscles from losing creatine due to natural breakdown or excretion.
If you skip taking creatine on rest days, you may experience a drop in your muscle creatine content. Thus, you can compromise your performance and health benefits, especially during the loading.
During loading, you have to take about 20 grams per day for 5-7 days to saturate your muscles with PCr quickly. If you miss a day of loading, you may delay reaching full saturation and reduce the effectiveness of creatine supplementation.
If you are taking 3g of creatine in the maintenance phase, take it on rest days too. It can incredibly benefit muscle recovery and growth. It can help maintain the gains made during
The constant supply of creatine can provide the necessary energy for muscle restoration and help to reach fitness goals faster and more effectively.
Learn more about taking creatine on workout days and rest days.
Benefits of Taking Creatine on Rest Days for Athletic Performance
Creatine mainly focuses on boosting athlete performance and on maximizing the benefit. Here are some benefits I have concluded, but more research needs to explore its benefits.
Maintained muscle stores
Taking creatine on off days can help maintain optimal muscle creatine stores, which may lead to better performance during the next workout. Not taking it on off days can lead to decreased muscle creatine stores.
Creatine has been shown to improve muscle recovery, and taking it on off days may facilitate the recovery process. During your non-working days, creatine boosts that muscle recovery.
Improved cognitive function
Creatine has been suggested to enhance cognitive function, and taking it on off days may help maintain cognitive benefits.
Learn about the effect of creatine on your body.
When Is the Perfect Timing for Taking Creatine?
If you are on your off days, you can take creatine anytime throughout the day, even at night. Have breakfast with your coffee by adding some creatine or mix the powder with oats.
You can also take creatine with protein shakes, which can benefit double.
But other than the off days, taking creatine should be routine. And you need to figure out which timing is best for you.
Some intake before exercising; this way, they boost their performance and get more energy to exercise. It is good to take creatine at least 20 to 30 minutes before you start your exercise so that the creatine can digest well.
Some individuals get more benefits after finishing the exercise. They feel more energetic and fit.
Once you go on creatine supplementation, you will explore the timing yourself. Start with taking it before the exercise. If it goes well for you, continue; otherwise, try other timing.
But most importantly, consult with your doctor first.
Do Muscles Shrink if Skip Creatine on Rest Days?
There’s no conclusive evidence that your muscle will shrink if you don’t take creatine on rest days. However, skipping creatine for several days can lead to muscle shrinkage or a decrease in size.
Creatine supplements can help increase muscle mass by providing additional energy to fuel workouts. It gives more energy to exercise.
But when you stop taking creatine, the body starts to lose creatine from muscles and may not have as much energy to use during exercise. This decrease in energy can lead to a reduction in muscle size or gain.
If you get tensed, if you can regain the shrinkage muscles, relax. There is nothing to worry about the muscle mass. You can regain it anytime once you start a workout and get proper nutrition.
How to Plan Rest Days for Maximum Muscle Growth?
A fitness enthusiast or athlete can never stay idle even if they are enjoying some weekend. Here are some tips you can follow on your rest days to maintain the fitness goal.
During a heavy workout, your muscles can get injured, and it is essential to recover. Doing some stretching in daily life, including rest days, can help increase flexibility and mobility, leading to better athletic performance.
Foam rolling is an effective way to reduce muscle soreness and improve blood circulation. It also helps to improve flexibility. Spend some time foam rolling on your rest day to feel relaxed and free of soreness.
Low-intensity cardio helps to increase blood flow to the muscles and promotes recovery. This kind of workout should not be heavy. Instead, it can be a leisurely walk, bike ride, or low-impact exercise that increases your heart rate.
Nutrition And Hydration
A diet high in protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals is essential for muscle recovery and growth. Eat food with all the necessary nutrients.
Also, drink plenty of water while on creatine; it causes water retention. Insufficient hydration can lead to severe consequences like dehydration, cramp, bloating, etc.
Resting well and sleeping enough is essential for recovery and muscle growth. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep at night, as this can improve performance and recovery time.
Learn if creatine can mess with your sleep.
Taking creatine on rest days is not mandatory; however, it can prevent your muscle’s creatine levels from dropping. A consistent supply of creatine can improve your performance during high-intensity workouts.
But consult your physician before taking any supplement, including creatine, to ensure it is safe and beneficial.
Lastly, consistency is key to achieving fitness goals. So, take creatine with a well-balanced diet and regular exercise routine, even on rest days.
For more information on creatine, visit our blogs.
I started my professional career as a sports medicine consultant in Rola, Missouri. My primary role was to suggest suitable supplements for my patients according to their pre-existing conditions and lifestyle goals. I believe a healthy lifestyle is the most important if you want to make your life really meaningfull.