Worried about mixing your protein shake with other supplements? Don’t be. Taking creatine and whey protein powder together is not dangerous, but it isn’t always advisable.
Both supplements are effective, but when you take them can be just as important.
We’ve taken a closer look at the science behind each, and in this guide we’ll explain whether it’s best to take them separately or together, and when you should be taking them.
- Is It Safe To Mix Creatine With Protein Powder?
- When Should You Mix Creatine With Protein Powder?
- When Should You NOT Mix Creatine With Protein Powder?
- Pros Of Mixing These Supplements
- Cons Of Mixing Them Together
- Ways To Combine These Supps For Full Effectiveness
- Is Consuming Creatine and Protein Powder Separately More Effective?
- Creatine And Protein Powder FAQs
Is It Safe To Mix Creatine With Protein Powder?
Yes, it's perfectly safe to mix protein powder with creatine supplements.
The two compounds have different chemical structures and impact your body differently.
Protein is a naturally occurring substance primarily found in meat but in many other food sources too. It's an important part of your body composition and a key part of any diet.
Most protein supplements are made from whey protein, and it’s common to have a whey protein shake before or after a workout.
The whey protein contains amino acids which are digested by the body and give you what you need to create lean muscle mass. The amino acids also help to preserve muscle mass as you lose weight - helping to create a lean physique.
Creatine works completely differently. Creatine supplementation is designed to boost your workouts.
The most common creatine supplementation used is creatine monohydrate, which gives your cells an energy boost to work harder.
In summary creatine allows you to train harder and encourages greater muscle protein synthesis.
Both compounds promote muscle growth, but whey protein powder helps support recovery after a workout, whereas creatine supplements increase your performance in the gym.
Taking creatine supplements and whey protein together is not dangerous because they don't react with each other. They both do what they're designed to do. However, it's important that you don't take too much of either supplement, or it can have a negative impact on your body.
It's also worth noting that mixing creatine and whey protein together will not increase muscle mass magically. It isn't some super serum to aid gym performance or high-intensity workouts.
Instead, both compounds will still do what they're designed to do independently of each other.
When Should You Mix Creatine With Protein Powder?
Everyone has a different time for taking their supplements, and there's no exact rule. However, science shows that the best time for taking whey protein and creatine is after a workout.
The whey protein supplementation will support muscle recovery and muscle growth. The whey protein supplement will also help to protect your muscle gains and preserve lean tissue mass.
The creatine supplement can help to give you a boost to improve your energy balance, which can result in improved brain function.
This can aid in your recovery after high-intensity exercise and give you a needed pick-me-up after the muscle breakdown.
It's worth noting that it doesn't actually matter when you take your creatine supplements. Creatine needs to be taken on a relatively consistent basis, usually on a cycle, and helps with energy production and increased muscle strength continuously.
However, whey protein is best after a workout to support muscle recovery
When Should You NOT Mix Creatine With Protein Powder?
Whey and creatine work differently, and it doesn't make too much difference if you have them together or separately.
However, you shouldn’t necessarily have creatine just because you’re having protein.
Protein powders are not inherently dangerous, and if you have too many protein shakes, it shouldn't really have a negative side effect - it just means your body can't process the protein.
Research suggests that taking too much creatine can lead to weight gain, muscle cramps, high blood pressure, and cause stomach upsets.
Having the right amount of creatine helps athletic performance, but it's imperative to take the recommended dosage.
If you add creatine every time you consume protein, then it can result in you taking too much, so mixing creatine with protein (and other ingredients) can be dangerous if you don't monitor it closely.
Pros Of Mixing These Supplements
Improved Workout Performance
Adding creatine and whey protein to your diet can have lots of benefits. The energy from when you uptake creatine can boost performance when you exercise and make your workouts more intense.
Taking protein after you have weight trained helps to enhance recovery, improve tissue repair, and allows you to build muscle more effectively. It even stops muscle loss when you lose weight.
Combining both of these supplements can improve your overall athletic performance by allowing you to train harder and recover more quickly post-workout.
That's why most bodybuilding professionals have them as part of their nutrition plan.
Increased Protein Intake And Muscle Mass
Protein is a key part of our diet and a primary energy source for our muscles and has many positive effects.
It provides our bodies with the building blocks we need to build muscle tissues post-workout and can lead to significantly increased muscle mass.
Outside of weight lifting, it also works as an effective dietary supplement for those losing weight, increasing your metabolism and the number of calories burned each day.
By supplementing our food with extra protein, there are many additional benefits outside of fitness and muscle building - and high protein intake is the key to a healthy diet.
Despite creatine and protein being key ingredients to improve exercise performance, they have very few calories.
Creatine, in supplement form, has no calories at all, so you can replenish the energy your muscle stores without compromising your diet.
Protein can have some calories, but they are minimal, and you can pick up diet whey protein for use in your post-workout shake.
Mixing these compounds can improve your sports nutrition without adding to your calorie count.
Combining both compounds can help you feel fuller after a workout. It provides your body with the fuel it needs to rebuild, and this can be beneficial for stopping you from overeating after resistance training.
Combining your supplements is the easiest way to remember to take them, and it's why many bodybuilders stack them together, often with other supplements too.
Creatine needs to be loaded into your body to support a high-intensity fitness routine, and by combining it with your post-workout shake, you can make sure you keep your body topped up.
Cons Of Mixing Them Together
When you first start taking creatine (in the loading phase), it can lead to some bloating because water is pulled into your muscle cells. This doesn't happen to everyone, but it can mean you need to increase your water intake.
You may find that mixing it with your protein shake can impact your hydration levels, so it's important to monitor how much water you're drinking.
Combining the two shouldn't have any specific impact on your body, but some people suggest that creatine itself can cause bloating or stomach upset, weight gain, or dehydration.
The research and scientific evidence shows that creatine is actually extremely safe, even for young adults or older adults. However, if you do notice any difference in your body weight or issues after taking creatine with protein, you should contact your healthcare provider.
Ways To Combine These Supps For Full Effectiveness
Mixing in your protein and creatine is really simple, but you need to have the right amount of each.
Once you've measured your dosages, you can simply mix them together, combine them with water, milk, or juice, and enjoy.
Time of Day
It doesn’t actually matter when you take creatine, but protein is best consumed right after a workout. This gives your body the amino acids and raw materials it needs for recovery.
If you are combining your creatine and protein, then it's best to mix it together and drink it within an hour of finishing your workout.
Is Consuming Creatine and Protein Powder Separately More Effective?
It doesn't matter whether you take your protein powder and creatine together or separately. It only matters that you take the proper doses of both.
Creatine and protein work independently, so there's no risk in taking them together, but there are also no real benefits of taking them together.
It can be easier to simply mix the protein and creatine together for convenience, but if you're taking the right amount of both, it shouldn't make a difference.
Creatine And Protein Powder FAQs
Creatine is a naturally occurring compound that helps your muscle cells produce energy. Creatine supplements are synthetically produced and can help increase muscle mass, strength, and resistance exercise performance.
You can take protein any time, but it’s most beneficial after a workout.
No, mixing the two supplements together doesn’t boost recovery after resistance training or lifting. Both creatine and whey will help to improve performance and recovery, but mixing them has no additional benefits.
Yes, you can buy a pre-mix of the two supplements. Some brands also include other nutrients and ingredients (like cyclic dextrose) to help boost your overall health.
Taking protein and creatine can have a lot of benefits. Both whey protein and creatine are used for enhancing exercise performance, and they can lead to increased muscle gain.
However, the benefits of protein and creatine are the same whether you take them together or separately - so it's best to do whatever fits your routine.