While you can take creatine any time and it will still be effective, some times are better than others. For example, anecdotal evidence suggests that when it comes to the benefits of taking creatine, before bed is not the ideal time. Creatine users have reported sleep disturbances or insomnia when taking creatine close to bedtime (1) (2). However, it appears that not all nighttime creatine users experience negative interference with their sleep (1).
What Are The Benefits Of Taking Creatine Before Bed?
Here are some benefits of taking creatine supplementation, regardless of timing. Creatine is most studied and recognized for its effects on the brain and muscles so we will focus on those regions.
Benefits Of Taking Creatine For The Brain
Creatine is a natural compound used by the brain. Supplementing with creatine has been shown to improve short term memory (4), most likely because creatine supports brain energy and thereby enables better cognitive performance. Taking creatine can be especially beneficial for older adults who experience reduced cognitive energy and for individuals who are frequently stressed and therefore expend large quantities of brain energy regularly. Healthy young adults, however, do not seem to experience a cognitive boost from creatine supplementation (4).
Lower creatine levels in the brain have been found to correlate with depression (5). When Creatine levels are increased, it may have a positive effect on mood and help to moderately improve symptoms of depression (5). This effect is likely due to Creatine’s energy enhancing mechanisms.
Another benefit of the energy-enhancing capabilities of taking creatine is that it might reduce the need to sleep (6), though further research is required. One of the proposed explanations for this effect is that increasing brain energy through creatine decreases the time needed for recharging through sleep.
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Benefits Of Taking Creatine For The Muscles
Creatine is a popular workout supplement that is well-studied and safe. It increases stored energy inside the muscles, which increases endurance and thereby enhances physical performance. It has also been known to increase muscle hydration and boost lean muscle mass. Additionally, increased creatine levels also help to reduce post-workout recovery time. All in all, there’s a good reason people looking to bulk up take creatine.
What Time Of Day Should You Take Creatine?
Creatine is most often recommended as a post-workout supplement. This means that for many people, they take creatine around whatever time they workout. However, if you tend to workout at night or you’re only taking creatine for the cognitive benefits, then you should try to take your creatine in the morning. Research has demonstrated that taking creatine after a period of sleep deprivation may exhibit a positive effect on mood and cognitive functioning (3). Therefore, you may feel the benefits more if you take it after a night with too little sleep. Nevertheless, because creatine is stored by the body to be released as energy when it is needed, consistency is more important than timing.
The bottom line is that the benefits of taking creatine before bed are the same as taking creatine any other time of day, but may interfere with your sleep. Therefore, whether you’re taking creatine for its cognitive or muscular benefits, you’re better off taking it in the morning or early afternoon – just don’t take it with coffee since the caffeine may reduce its efficacy. It’s important to remember that it doesn’t only matter when you take creatine, it also matters what you take. For the best results, make sure you take high-quality creatine Monohydrate.
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