Anyone interested in health and fitness is always looking at different ways to improve performance. Supplements are a great way to achieve this. If your main focus is muscle growth, there is one supplement that sparks through i.e., creatine. However, you may be wondering whether you can take creatine on rest days or if you can’t work out due to an injury? In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of creatine and whether you can take it without working out or not.
You can take creatine without working out. Creatine is a molecule naturally produced in the body through the liver and kidney. It contains three amino acids: methionine, glycine, and arginine. Creatine plays a vital role in energy availability. Apart from helping build muscle mass, it has great benefits for overall physical and mental health.
Creatine is essential for maintaining your body’s energy reserves. It helps regenerate your body’s primary source of energy, adenosine triphosphate (ATP). So, is it beneficial to take creatine if you are on a break from strength training or don’t work out at all? Yes, it is. Creatine can still help you build strength and muscle even if you don’t work out. Since it has numerous strength-boosting benefits, regular use of creatine can improve your overall physical and mental health.
Benefits of Taking Creatine
Creatine is a natural substance that is produced by your body, and it is essential in ensuring energy availability. It helps in strength training and building muscle. It is good even if you don’t work out as it has its uses outside the gym too. Studies have shown that creatine improves neurological and cognitive function.
Let’s look at some other benefits of taking a creatine supplement on rest days or even if you don’t work out at all:
1. It benefits you on rest days
Contrary to popular belief, creatine isn’t a pre-or post-workout supplement. Instead, you should take caffeine, tyrosine, nitric oxide supplements, etc., as pre and post-workout supplements. Creatine takes time to deposit in the muscles. So, it only makes sense for you to take it on your rest days.
Creatine has to be taken daily for it to fill in your muscles. If you take creatine regularly for 5-7 days, even if you are not working out, you can expect:
- More muscle build-up
- At Least a 10% increase in overall strength
- Quicker recovery between sets of intense exercises
If you take creatine only on days when you work out, you won’t be able to fill up your muscles and reap all the benefits.
2. It can help build muscle and strength
You will get better results if you take creatine with a proper workout routine. However, it doesn’t mean that it won’t still help you build muscle and strength without working out.
Studies on both men and women indicate that taking creatine even without working out can help build more strength and muscle mass. Men have actually been recorded with an increase of 4 pounds of muscle mass by simply taking a creatine supplement regularly and without any workouts.
A related article is Best Muscle Gain Workouts For Skinny Guys (Ultimate Guide).
3. It can help maintain your strength and muscle mass
Let’s say you can’t work out for a few weeks due to being sick or having an injury. Or, maybe you don’t have enough time to work out due to a recent routine change.
Taking creatine can help you maintain the strength and muscle mass you’ve built during this period. It helps prevent the loss of strength and muscle that can happen due to being inactive in the gym for weeks at a time.
you may also want to read 20 Different Push-Up Variations To Build Great Strength.
4. Your response time will increase when you start working out again
Creatine will help you maintain your muscle and strength when you can’t work out. It also allows you to rehabilitate faster once you return to the gym after an injury or a long break.
Your muscles will respond to your workouts better than if you weren’t taking any creatine.
5. It helps build overall stamina
We all know someone who can benefit from an energy boost that allows us to be more active. If you’ve lost muscle mass and strength due to age or a recent injury and cannot perform daily activities without getting tired, creatine might be a solution to your problem.
Creatine can help restore that lost energy and build your strength. Regularly taking a creatine supplement will strengthen your muscles and give you an energy boost for carrying out daily tasks easily.
you may also be interested in Best Treadmill Workout for Stamina.
6. It can help control your blood sugar
High blood sugar harms your well-being. It leads to an energy slump and a bad mood, among other side effects. Having stable blood sugar levels is good for your overall health and mood stability.
Creatine helps maintain stable blood sugar. Take creatine and pair it with a healthy diet, and you will see your energy levels improving significantly as a result.
Creatine enables cells to absorb the glucose you get from sugar and carbs instead of allowing them to float around in your bloodstream and affect your energy levels.
It also helps keep this sugar from depositing in your body as excess fat.
7. It can improve your focus
The best food sources for creatine are red meat and pork. If you’re vegetarian or don’t eat much meat, you can have below average creatine levels.
Taking a creatine supplement regularly can restore these low levels in your body and help you focus more energy on thinking and problem-solving.
How to Take Creatine to Achieve Best Results
Any supplement must be taken properly for it to give you optimum results. The most famous form of this supplement is creatine monohydrate. Here is the proper way to take a creatine supplement:
- Day 1-5: Take 20 grams of the supplement daily in 4 doses of 5 grams. This is the time when the supplement will fill in your muscles.
- Day 6 and on: Take 5 grams or one spoonful of creatine daily. This will keep your muscles filled in and give you the continuous energy required to be active and robust.
Does Creatine Have Any Side Effects?
According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition research, creatine is safe in amounts of up to 30 grams a day for five years. It can cause issues such as vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea in rare cases. It can also lead to weight gain and bloating as it causes water retention in the body.
Creatine is metabolized in the kidneys, and it can create issues for people with renal damage or disease. It is best to consult your physician before using the supplement if you are at risk for renal impairment or disease.
In short, creatine is safe to use for healthy individuals in controlled amounts, and it is always best to consult your physician before taking any supplements.
Tips for Choosing the Best Creatine Supplement
There are many creatine supplements on the market, and choosing one from these options can be overwhelming. Utilize the following tips to ensure you choose a good supplement for your needs:
- The supplement should be free of artificial sweeteners, flavors, and color.
- It should be tested and approved by a third party such as NSF.
- It should be available in dosage divisions of 5-7 grams which is the recommended daily dose.
- It should contain pure creatine monohydrate and be free of liquid creatine, creatine HCL, or creatine ethyl ester.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you take creatine without water?
You can take creatine without water. However, it is recommended you take it with a liquid. You can probably take it with a protein shake. Taking creatine with a liquid will make it easier to digest.
2. Which creatine is best for first-time users?
Creatine monohydrate is the most widely tested formulation of creatine that has benefits for the body. It is recommended to take 5 grams of creatine monohydrate to achieve best results.
3. Should I take creatine on rest days?
You should take creatine on rest days. Creatine takes time to fill in your muscles and show its results. Even if you don’t work out, it helps prevent muscle and strength loss and also adds to your overall strength.
Creatine is an excellent supplement choice even for people who do not work out regularly or are on a break from the gym due to an illness or an injury. If taken in proper amounts, it helps build overall physical and mental strength and prevents muscle and strength loss.