We’ve all been there. You’re on your last set and feel so tired that you cannot do another rep. The burning in your muscles so far they feel like they’re about to self combust.
Recently published research finds that supplementing with creatine monohydrate can reduce workout related fatigue.
Keep reading to learn how creatine can help you train harder, longer so you reach your goals faster.
Research Review – Creatine Monohydrate Reduces Workout Fatigue
In this study, scientists separated 12 young men into 2 different groups. One took a placebo supplement for 5 days. The other took creatine monohydrate.
Those taking creatine monohydrate followed a protocol known as a ‘loading phase’ (link).
Creatine loading is the fastest way to fill up your muscles and start seeing benefits. During this phase which lasts 5 days, you take 20 grams of creatine monohydrate a day in 2-4 evenly divided doses.
Dozens of studies prove this method is the best – and fastest – way to fill your muscles with creatine.
How This Study Tested Creatine’s Effects On Workout Fatigue
After the guys supplemented their diets for 5 days they completed a workout.
Using relatively heavy weights, they each did 5 sets of 5 reps for various exercises including leg press, bench press, and biceps curls.
The workouts were hard enough to wear the guys out in terms of their strength and endurance of the muscles they trained.
Following their workout, tests were then performed to measure levels of fatigue in their muscles. This included analysis of their blood, post-exercise interviews with each guy, and something called tremor tests.
The tremor tests are interesting and something I’d never heard of before. The reason for using these devices (attached to wrist and ear) was to measure small changes in movement during exercise that indicates fatigue. This is the first study ever on creatine that uses tremor tests.
After these tests, the guys took a week off and then repeated the study. This time taking the opposite supplement from their first trial.
The same tests were again performed on every man who did the workout and took the supplement they were given.
What Do The Results Say About Creatine And Workout Fatigue?
After examining the results of the study the scientists determined that taking creatine monohydrate significantly decreased fatigue during intense strength training.
The guys in this study showed a huge (%?) decrease in fatigue after taking 20 grams of creatine a day, for less than a week. That’s right, in only 5 days the same guys reported feeling less tired, which blood tests confirmed.
How This Can Help You
Whether you lift weights to get bigger, stronger, faster, or something else altogether, you need to be able to push yourself. Being able to do more sets and reps and lift more weight is what it takes to build your body. The results from this study show that taking creatine helps.
From these results, it appears that you only have to wait 5 days to see benefits from creatine. That’s what is really cool about creatine, you see noticeable results, quickly.
How To Get The Best Results From Creatine
To see results like the guys in this study you need to supplement the way they did. This method is referred to as creatine loading.
Here’s how it’s done.
- Days 1-5 – take 20 grams of Creatine a day in 2-4 divided doses (5-10 grams a serving).
- Day 6 on – take 5 grams a day to keep your muscles loaded with creatine so you continue to benefit.
What Type Of Workouts Does Creatine Help The Most?
Well, from the results of this study you see that it’s good if you lift weights pretty intensely.
This means workouts where you perform 3-5 sets of 5-10 reps and the last couple reps of each set really burn and are progressively tougher to do.
Other research finds it also helps you do high intensity exercises like sprinting, cycling, playing soccer, and even kayaking. These activities and sports all use brief, intense bouts of exercise lasting from a few seconds to less than a minute.
Do Women Benefit From Creatine Too?
Based on results I’ve read about in other studies I believe that women will notice a decrease in fatigue during and between sets when they’re lifting weights.
I also think that over time ladies that use creatine and train hard will notice they’re able to do more work at a higher intensity pretty quickly too. If not within 5 days, no more than 7-10 tops.
Is Creatine Safe?
Yes, current research finds that it’s safe for healthy men and women to take daily for months to years at a time.
As with any nutritional supplement, always check with your doctor before you start taking it just to be safe it’s okay for you.
Here’s a great publication that reviews the latest research on all things creatine safety.
Choosing The Right Creatine Supplement
When you Google “Creatine supplements’ you get 50,000,000 results. All of these products claim to be the best.
It’s hard to tell which products actually are safe and actually effective.
Fortunately, it’s easy to tell which products are worth trying and which aren’t. Here it is below.
The only thing the supplement you take should contain is creatine monohydrate powder.
I personally take Creatine Edge. Every scoop contains 5 grams of pure creatine monohydrate. That’s all. No fillers, sugars, or flavors.
It mixes easily in water and with a spoon. One canister lasts about 3 months if you take it as directed.
Creatine monohydrate is probably my favorite performance enhancing supplement. It makes it possible to push yourself a lot harder, in a matter of days. The results from this study and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of stoked users over the last 30 years since it became popular
Kreider RB, Kalman DS, Antonio J, Ziegenfuss TN, Wildman R, Collins R, Candow DG, Kleiner SM, Almada AL, Lopez HL. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Jun 13;14:18.
Lee S, Hong G, Park W, et al. The effect of short-term creatine intake on blood lactic acid and muscle fatigue measured by accelerometer-based tremor response to acute resistance exercise. J Exerc Nutrition Biochem. 2020;24(1):29-36