Athletes and bodybuilders take creatine to help them build muscle faster. Almost all users know that the supplement has to be taken before and after a workout. You need to take creatine 30 minutes before your workout since it provides the energy needed for your exercises.
Also, you need to take it immediately after your workout so that it can be quickly absorbed into the body. While being absorbed, the supplement also draws other nutrients into your system.
But, what if your workout ends just before you go to bed? Should you still take the supplement? Also, what should you expect if you choose to go ahead and take the supplement?
Before answering these questions, let’s first understand what creatine is.
This supplement is mainly intended to boost your workouts and shorten your recovery time. The product increases the production of creatine phosphate (CP), which is a form of energy available to the muscles. This energy helps to increase stamina during workouts.
The supplement also helps to increase the size of your muscles since it draws nutrients and water into their tissue. This is an important fact to keep in mind, especially if you are thinking of taking the supplement at night.
What should you expect if you take creatine before bed?
As many bodybuilders know, the supplement necessitates the drinking of a lot of water. This is because the water gets drawn from the body at a fast rate, along with nutrients that you consumed. You will get thirsty very fast and drink a lot of water as a result.
Of course, the water will not be permanently held in your body. It will still need to be released at the end of the day and will end up in your bladder. That is why users of this supplement have to empty their bladders every once in a while. If you choose to take the supplement at night, you are likely to interrupt your sleep more than a few times since you have to get rid of the excess liquid.
Alternatively, you can choose to take the supplement, ignore your thirst and go to bed. Waking up with a craving for water might still not be the best experience. It is also not very healthy.
Sleep and Bodybuilding
Whatever route you take, creatine will not lead to a calm and peaceful night. Your night will be restless and will be interrupted often.
Bodybuilders and athletes know how important sleep is for muscle growth. Here is a summary of the reasons why you need to sleep comfortably:
- Protein synthesis occurs while you sleep. This is important for muscle growth.
- It boosts your mental alertness. Sleep provides rest for your brain, and that makes you motivated to work out the following day. When you are very tired, exercising will almost be impossible since motivation levels are very low.
- Growth hormones are released while you sleep. They are usually produced early in your sleep. So, poor sleep will negatively affect your HGH (Human Growth Hormone) levels. That might mean your efforts in the gym are pointless.
As you can see, if you don’t get proper sleep every night, your workouts will not bear fruit. That is the main reason why you should not take creatine before going to bed.
Anything you consume before going to sleep should not contain high levels of sugar. This is because sugar disrupts sleep and can make you wake up frequently in the middle of the night. Disruptions of you sleep will reduce the overall quality of your sleep and eventually make you miss out on all the benefits of good sleep.
Not all creatine supplements contain high levels of sugar. It is still important to check the sugar content in your supplement of you want to take the tablets before going to bed.
Otherwise, you are likely to experience poor cognitive abilities the following day. Little rest will also reduce your energy levels during the day and you will not be able to work out properly. Taking lots of sugar before going to bed will make you get up even if you don’t need to empty your bowels.
How long do you have to wait before going to Bed?
If you work out in the evening, you may be wondering how long you need to stay before you can finally go to bed. Many creatine manufacturers advice against taking the supplement within an hour of your bedtime.
Working out before going to bed is not always a good idea, either. This is because your heart rate and body temperature will both be very high. You are unlikely to experience quality sleep after strenuous workouts.
However, as some experts have noted, everyone responds differently. Working out immediately before sleeping can improve sleep in some people. You should study your body operates and plan your workouts accordingly.
If you choose to lift your weights at night, you may have to quit using creatine. In that case, you can shop around for creatine alternatives. Simply, you need to look for legal and safe supplements that aid in muscle growth. These include:
- Whey Protein
- BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids)
Whey protein is the most common body building supplement. Almost all athletes use it to boost the growth of their muscles. If you don’t know which creatine alternative you should go with, this will be your safest bet. It is affordable and can supplement your body’s protein needs.
Branched Chain Amino Acids are also great creatine alternatives. The advantage of these supplements is that they get absorbed and used in the body without any storage needed. They are, therefore, able to supply the muscles with the necessary building blocks.
Beta-Analine helps to reduce muscle fatigue during workouts. The supplement raises the levels of carnosine in the muscles, and this acid reduces the feeling of tiredness. With beta-alanine, you will be able to spend longer periods working out in the gym.
Creatine can be stacked with almost all supplements on the market. People who work out earlier in the day can always use other supplements with creatine.
Creatine is one of the most popular bodybuilding supplements. It comes in many different forms, but its purpose and effects are always constant. The supplement should be taken a few minutes before workouts, and immediately after the sessions are over.
Creatine should never be taken before bed since it dehydrates the body. It forces you to consume high amounts of water at a time, and this will eventually have to be emptied from your bladder. Waking up frequently in the middle of the night will affect your bodybuilding goals negatively. Your brain and muscles require sufficient sleep in order for you to increase in size.