Is Creatine Before Bed Bad For You?

Okay, so you had a big training session, you got distracted after the gym and forgot to take your creatine supplement. You only remember just before you’re about to go to bed, is it better to take it now or skip this one and carry on as usual tomorrow?

A valid question that can be hard to get a straight answer to. In this article, we will dive deeper into this topic and breakdown the science behind creatine and whether or not you will do more harm than good taking your creatine before bed.

Science Behind Creatine

To answer this question, we first need to understand how creatine works. Creatine is a naturally occurring chemical in the body. We get around 50% of it from natural processes in our body and the other 50% from our food.

The food that supplies most of our creatine is from meat products, which is why vegetarians and vegans usually report lower levels of creatine in their blood.

It’s an important chemical that can help our bodies to increase our strength, muscle performance, and endurance, as well as our overall muscle mass. There no wonder it is one of the most popular fitness supplements on the market today.

Creatine is stored in the form of phosphocreatine in your cells in your muscles. This is where the vast majority of your creatine is held. Only around 5-7% of it is spread around the other organs in the body, such as the brain and liver.

This phosphocreatine that is stored in your muscles is what is responsible for helping your body generate more energy and power for your workouts. It does this by aiding in the production of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), an essential high energy molecule.

When we have more ATP in our body, we have more energy that we can draw upon in our exercises. This will allow us to train harder for longer, improving our intensity and power output.

It is claimed that creatine can also reduce our recovery time so we will be able to have shorter rest breaks and have higher intensity workouts than we could before.

Over an extended period, these small gains will increase exponentially, and we can see some fantastic results from creatine supplementation.

What Will Happen If I Take Creatine Before Bed?

So can we take creatine before bed, and what will the effects be? The first thing to note is that creatine does not act as a stimulant. It will not increase your alertness and leave you irritated lying around in your bed as caffeine would.

However, a lot of people report that supplementing creatine alters their sleep, and they document having a more irregular sleeping pattern. Interestingly, some studies back this claim up.

Researchers have concluded that creatine does, in fact, alter the way that we sleep. A key study found that creatine can reduce how deep our sleep is and can even lower our total sleep time, but this is not widely accepted.

Even if this is true, the benefits still outweigh the negatives if you are looking for strength gains and an increase in power output.

In fact, creatine has been reported to promote several mental health benefits, including increased cognitive function, improved memory, and increased focus. This is due to the brain requiring creatine for some of its functional processes.

Creatine is naturally occurring in the brain, and when you supplement it, you will be increasing these levels as well as the stores in your muscles.

Debunking the Myths

So there is never smoke without a fire, and in this case, there appears to be some truth behind creatine affecting the quality of our sleep. However, there is no correlation yet to be found between a reduction in sleep quality and taking creatine just before bed.

As far as we know, the disruption of sleep will be felt the same if we take creatine in the morning as it would be if we took creatine just before bed.

It is worth noting that some people can take creatine for years and not feel any disruption in their regular sleeping patterns.

The Best Time To Take Creatine

The best time to take creatine seems to be either immediately before or immediately after your workout session. However, you don’t need to put too much concern over this as it is not as important as some people would have you think.

If you take the creatine before your workout, then you are supplying your muscles with the vital ATP stores that you need to push out those extra reps.

If you decide to take it afterward, then you will simply be replenishing these stores ready for your next gym session.

Most experts suggest implementing both tactics, advising to take your creatine supplement around 30 minutes before your gym session, and then immediately afterward to help restore and replenish the muscles.

Either way, simply having a consistent schedule with your supplement and at the right doses will be more than fine.

Bottom Line

There is research that suggests supplementing creatine can have adverse effects on our total sleep time and the deepness of our sleep. However, this seems uncorrelated to the time that we consume it, so feel free to take creatine before bed.

Taking creatine can be very beneficial to weight training and can help you to push to higher highs much faster than you could without it.

It’s one of the most popular workout supplements for a reason, so don’t be put off by the claims of a disrupted sleep pattern.

The best way to combat this is to take a regular dosage of creatine either immediately before or after your workout and keep an eye on your sleeping pattern.

If you do see your sleep quality deteriorate, then you may consider lowering your dosage or opting to take a different workout supplement entirely.

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