There really is a supplement for everything now.
They can be for adding something back in that you lack in your diet, or maybe you’re just low in something.
And then there are the more superficial ones for things like fat burning and muscle growth.
But two supplements that confuse people a little are pre-workouts and creatine.
What does a pre-workout do and what the heck is creatine?
Read through till the end as I’ve got the best creatine and the best pre-workouts for you to check out.
Pre-workout is pretty straightforward. It usually comes in a powdered form that you add to water and drink before a workout.
Pre-workouts claim to improve workout performance.
Pre-workouts are everywhere, and they’ve become quite tricky to regulate.
Almost every supplement brand has its own pre-workout and it is tricky to tell which ones are actually doing the same and which ones are just trying to cash in the latest buzzword.
A simple piece of advice for those with pre-workouts is actually the same as any product you consume from a packet.
Read the label first, if there is stuff in the ingredients you don’t understand, is it really worth putting into your body?
On that note, this article isn’t intended to be a pre-workout bash.
I use pre-workouts myself sometimes.
So let’s have a look at the ingredients you want in your pre-workout.
Read till the end and see my top 3 pre-workout and creatine recommendations!
Not a lot of people realize but creatine is quite often in pre-work out supplements!
Creatine – We might as well go over what creatine is now.
And it is actually the most well-researched and safest supplement we should all be taking to complement a workout routine.
Creatine improves hydration in muscle cells making them more effective in carrying out their vital processes like muscle protein synthesis.
It also improves strength and power and maximizes muscle glycogen so you can get more out of a workout.
The list keeps going but we’ll cover them more shortly so stay tuned!
Nitric oxide – Nitric oxide has been shown to reduce muscle soreness after a workout.
It plays a role in a lot of cell processes like widening blood vessels.
The improved blood flow leads to increased nutrient and oxygen delivery to muscles.
Caffeine – We all know caffeine’s effects, so this one shouldn’t need too much explaining.
But the improved focus is going to go a long way in helping you push further through a workout.
Regardless of what supplements you want to take you need to have a workout program that’s going to work for you.
And by working for you, it needs to work around all the elements of your daily schedule.
So if you’re sick of trying to make it to the gym in time for a class or before it closes, then maybe you need to start learning about how to train whenever you want.
And all you need to do for that is download your free copy of my ebook, Train wherever the f*ck you want, which you can get right here.
What Is Better Creatine Or Pre-Workout?
Of all the dietary supplements the benefits of creatine have been researched the most and proven time and time again.
Creatine has shown to be a great aid in muscle building, muscle endurance, and improved brain function.
Preworkout though are still on the fence.
There hasn’t been as much research and there are still a few question marks over the regulations with certain ‘Health and Fitness Supplements.
That’s not to say don’t use them.
As I say I’ve tried plenty of them but for me, I find just a cup of coffee works fine for me.
But if you are set on giving them a go then look for a prework that contains natural ingredients I can’t stress enough the importance of understanding what’s written on the ingredient list of anything you consume.
It’s full of chemicals or numbers do you really want to eat that, regardless of how it makes you perform in a workout?
Supplements are being more and more confusing, especially in a world where steroid use is becoming more excepted.
If people are fine with buying a little vile over the inter and sticking a needle in their ass to get the muscle gains they want, why would they care what’s in their pre-workout?
Again I’m not here to bash pre-workout but play it safe and stick with a big recognizable brand.
If you were going to only choose one though.
Stick with creatine.
It’s proven, safe, and effective.
After all, your body produces creatine, all you’re doing by using a creatine supplement is keeping your stores full.
Your body only produces so much on its own, so keep your stocks full!
Should I Take Creatine If I Take Pre-Workout?
Some pre-workouts do contain creatine, so if that’s the case you probably don’t need anymore.
On average your body is producing 1-2 grams of creatine a day on its own but typically people start with a loading phase when they take creatine.
Creatine loading typically takes place for 5-7 days and involves taking 20-25g of creatine in a day, split up into 4-5 doses.
Once the loading period is complete it’s recommended to take 3-5g a day.
The main point of loading is to saturate your muscles first so you can see the benefits faster.
So you may a pre-workout that contains the right amount of creatine for you daily.
And that’s fine, after your initial loading period you can then stop and just use the prework instead.
And if your prework out only contains a small amount then you’ll have to top up your stores with additional creatine. It’s going to come down to the brand of pre-workout that you use.
Does Creatine Make You Bigger?
Taking the recommended 3-5 grams of creatine monohydrate daily has been shown to increase lean muscle mass.
The first way it does this is by increasing energy production.
Supplementing creatine increases your body’s phosphocreatine levels which are used to produce adenosine triphosphate.
ATP is the most basic form of energy in your body’s cells. ATP energy is vital to maximum power in strength-based activities.
Creatine can help maintain muscle during a workout by reducing muscle breakdown.
It also lets you push harder and get more out of a workout which in turn tells your body to build more muscle.
Creatine basically gives you more go for an intense workout and lets you push through muscle fatigue which leads to building muscle.
Do I Need Creatine To Build Muscle?
While creatine has been proven to improve physical performance in resistance training the short answer is no, no you don’t need creatine to build muscle.
While it is a very effective tool you don’t need creatine supplementation to build muscle.
Keeping your creatine stores full has shown better results than not using creatine supplements but you can still build muscle without it.
But of all the workout powders you could be taking creatine is the most beneficial.
Protein powders are much better than they used to be, but in saying that you don’t need to use a powder to hit your protein numbers for the day.
Other supplements people pair up with their training are essential amino acids but again you can get this through food as well.
And while you can get creatine through diet as well if I were to pick one supplement to take it would be creatine.
It’s flavorless so you can add it to anything.
And as we’ve covered already it’s the most researched supplement and has been proven to get greater gains in both muscle strength and size.
Can I Mix Creatine With Protein Shake?
Unlike pre-workout, it doesn’t matter when you take creatine.
Morning or night. Before or after a training session.
So there is no reason why you can’t add it to a protein shake.
If you’re taking both anyway why not have them at the same time?
You’re not going to notice the taste or texture of the creatine.
I quite often put creatine in my morning protein smoothie.
Or if you prefer having a protein shake after a workout then it’s a good idea to put a few grams of creatine into your post-shake workout and be done with it.
Is Preworkout Necessary?
Out of all the supplements you could be taking regardless of your fitness goals pre-workout supplements are the least important.
I never really got much out of them I couldn’t get from a cup of coffee.
So I never really bothered.
But before you dive right into using coffee as a pre-workout, check out this article to find out if your choice of coffee is making you fat!
That is until I started getting samples to try.
I even ended up winning a few containers at a local CrossFit comp.
Seen I had them anyway I thought I should try them out again.
The news ones didn’t do enough to change my mind.
But that’s just me, I can get a workout in fine without the extra stimulation. And if I need a boast coffee is fine for me.
But that’s not to say don’t use them, just be smart about it.
Avoid pre-workouts loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Always be mindful of your heart rate and blood pressure when trying new things like this out.
Does Pre-Workout Make You Lift More?
Pre-workout can definitely make you more focused.
But whether or not it’s going to help you lift more is pretty unlikely.
But you can’t rule out a placebo effect.
Some people swear by pre-workouts, but as I’ve said over and over, they don’t really do it for me.
But there’s no harm in going down to your local supplement shop and asking for a few samples.
Every brand now has its own range of pre-workouts so try a few out and see how you feel.
Most pre-workouts you can buy off the shelf will be pretty safe.
But for me, I’ll stick with creatine and whey protein.
Sometimes I switch t a plant-based protein powder but both work fine.
The main goal for me is muscle recovery.
Protein powder and creatine complement a balanced diet just fine for me.
The 3 Best Creatine Options
I’ve put together the 3 best creatine options you should look at using. I’ve gone with a flavorless powder, capsules, and a chewable option.
Optimum Nutrition Creatine Capsules
Taking Creatine in a capsule is a very easy option.
No more measuring it out for me this is by far your best option to get it in.
Nutrex Research Creatine Drive Black
Powdered creatine is another great option.
It’s tasteless and mixes well with anything.
You can put it in a smoothie or just have it with a glass of water or orange juice.
Universal Nutrition Creatine Chews
And finally creatine chews. Another easy option for on the go!
Just like the capsules, there is no need to measure out with chews either.
The 3 Best Preworkout Options
Now let’s have a look at the best options for Preworkout.
Remembering though that I honestly don’t find it super necessary. Just a shot of coffee is my go-to!
Pro Supps Hyde Max Pump
This is your best stimulant-free pre-workout. Go for this one if you’re a little worried about any side effects.
Redcon1 Total War Pre-Workout
This pre-workout has a great variety of flavors. And trust me, this is a pretty important detail!
Purus Labs NOXygen
This one is your budget-friendly option. Stimulant free as well but just comes in one flavor, unflavored… Interested in this one?
So I can see that you’re obviously interested in making some changes in your diet with supplements.
And check out my full video on youtube!