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Timing of Creatine Supplementation May Effect Muscle Mass

Creatine is one of the most popular sports supplements in the world, as it contributes to building muscle mass. A recent study suggests, however, that people taking creatine may want to pay attention to when they take their supplement, as post-workout consumption appears to be more effective than pre-workout consumption for building lean muscle mass.

Participants in the study included 19 healthy recreational male bodybuilders with an average age of 23.1 and an average weight of 175 lbs. Over the course of four weeks, half of the participants took 5 g of creatine supplements immediately before working out while the other half took the same amount immediately after working out.

All of the participants trained an average of five days a week for four weeks. On their non-training days, it was up to them whether or not they took the supplement.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted no changes in fat mass or body weight. They did, however, note that the after group had a 2.5 lb greater increase in fat-free muscle mass than the before group. The after group also showed increased strength during the bench press.

Researchers from Nova Southeastern University in Florida conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on August 6, 2013, in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Creatine isn’t only for bodybuilders, it’s also great for restoring muscle loss in mature adults who have sarcopenia. It is most commonly found in red meats but is available in a wide variety of supplemental forms.

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