Creatine and Protein: The Benefits of Taking Both

Creatine, Protein Powder, Blueberries, and Banana In Blender

It's an age-old question in the realm of fitness: can mixing creatine and protein in a shake create a magical muscle-building concoction?

Well, while it may not be magical, exactly, it's far from a gritty mess. Blending creatine into your protein powder shake can prove a smart move to support your gains.

When combined, these super supplements can amplify your fitness results and help you reach new heights, as explained in our handy Creatine supplement guide.

Ready to learn more? Great. Let’s explore.

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What is protein powder?

Protein Powder is a versatile and convenient dietary supplement that offers a wide range of benefits beyond the gym or playing field.

It has become a trusted ally for many individuals looking to meet their daily protein needs, whether they’re to gain or lose weight, recover from injury or surgery, or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

So, how exactly is protein powder made? It's a fascinating process where protein is extracted from animal and plant foods. 

This process results in a concentrated protein that can be added to your diet in many ways.

Whether you're a seasoned athlete or new to the fitness world, protein powder can help you achieve your goals and improve your overall wellness. 

It's an empowering and accessible supplement that can benefit anyone, from the curious novice to the experienced pro.

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What is creatine powder?

Creatine is a fascinating amino acid that naturally sits within our muscles.Our bodies cleverly create it from the amino acids arginine, glycine, and methionine. And that's not all— we can also get a creatine boost by eating red meat and fish—or by turning to supplements.

Creatine supplements swoop in to provide your muscles with energy and produce an energy-storing compound called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Think of ATP as those tiny warriors within your cells, ready to unleash their energy for vital functions like muscle contractions.

For those who thrive on high-intensity exercise, taking creatine supplements can be a game-changer. 

The supplement world offers a variety of forms, with creatine monohydrate taking centre stage as the most common choice. But the excitement doesn't stop there—if you're up for some bold experimentation—you can explore other forms like:

  • Creatine citrate
  • Creatine hydrochloride
  • Creatine pyruvate
  • Creatine malate
  • Sodium creatine phosphate
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Creatine vs protein powder: what is the difference?

Although protein and creatine are very different supplements, they work towards the same goal: unlocking your full potential and transforming your workout routine.

By supplementing with creatine, you can maximise your high-intensity energy output, providing your muscles with the horsepower they need for those challenging workouts. In simpler terms… 

More creatine stores = more rapid energy

As you gain strength, you increase your lifting capacity, opening the doors to new levels of muscle growth potential. 

That's where protein comes into play, acting as the building block of all muscle tissue, providing your body with the raw materials to create new, robust gains…

Creatine = rapid energy for muscle contraction

Protein = post-workout recovery

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Creatine benefits

Creatine has been shown to amp up lean muscle mass and boost exercise capacity, which is the pinnacle of your athletic abilities. 

Some of the key benefits of creatine supplementation include…

Increased energy

One of the key benefits of creatine is its ability to boost the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which serves as the main energy source for muscle cells during high-intensity exercises. 

Improved strength and power

Numerous studies have consistently shown that creatine supplementation can enhance muscle strength (1) and power output, especially during short bursts of high-intensity activities like weightlifting and sprinting. 

Enhanced muscle growth

Creatine has you covered. It can promote muscle growth by increasing the water content within muscle cells, resulting in a volumizing effect. 

Reduced muscle fatigue

Creatine has been shown to help reduce muscle fatigue, allowing you to train harder and longer. It can also assist in speeding up the recovery process between sets or training sessions. 

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Protein benefits

By supplementing your diet with high-quality protein powder, you're amplifying your body's natural processes, creating an ideal environment for muscle growth and recovery. 

Some key benefits of protein supplementation include…

Muscle repair and recovery

After a rigorous workout, your muscles need to repair and recover. By consuming protein post-workout, you can help improve damaged muscle fibres and promote the growth of new muscle tissue. 

Increased muscle mass

Introducing a diet high in protein, combined with resistance training, can help you boost your muscle mass. Adequate protein intake can lead to increased muscle mass and improved body composition.

Weight management

Protein can make you feel fuller for extended periods, which is excellent news for those desiring appetite control and weight management.

Overall health

Adequate protein intake supports essential bodily functions, including hormone production, 

immune system function, and maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails.

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Side effects and potential dangers

Creatine

Research has shown time and time again that it's not only safe but even beneficial to consume creatine daily, even over long periods.

The verdict is clear: You can confidently weave this powerhouse supplement into your routine without any cause for concern.

Despite the overwhelming evidence, some claim that creatine can lead to side effects like…

  • Weight gain
  • Cramping
  • Kidney and liver problems

Protein

When consumed in moderate doses, whey protein typically doesn't cause any adverse events. But, like with anything, excessive consumption can lead to a few discomforts, like…

  • Stomach pains
  • Cramps
  • Reduced appetite
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
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Can you add creatine to your protein shake?

Absolutely! Creatine blends harmoniously with plenty of liquids, including protein shakes. But, it's important to note that it may slightly alter the taste and texture of your concoction. 

Creatine monohydrate, the go-to form of creatine supplement, doesn't dissolve easily in water. 

As a result, when you add it to your protein shake, you might notice it settling at the bottom of your trusty shaker cup. 

But don't worry, give your shake a good stir or shake. This simple step will ensure that the creatine is evenly distributed throughout the liquid, avoiding any unwanted settling.

Is it better to take creatine or protein?

When it comes to the question of choosing between creatine and protein, it's essential to consider your specific goals and what you're looking to achieve.

If your focus is on strength and explosive power, creatine can be a game-changer. It provides that extra boost to help you lift weights and unleash your full potential. Creatine is known for enhancing short-term performance, making it a valuable tool for those strength-based goals.

On the other hand, if your main aim is long-term results and muscle rebuilding, protein is your go-to ally. 

After a challenging workout, protein plays a crucial role in supporting muscle recovery and growth. As you consistently rebuild your muscles, you'll gradually increase your strength. It's all about that steady progression.

So, can you take creatine and protein together?

You can take both. Adding creatine and protein to your routine can provide a powerful combination to boost your performance and support your muscle-building journey. It's like having the best of both worlds working in harmony to help you achieve your goals.

While scientific studies suggest that there aren't any additional benefits in muscle and strength gains when you take them together, it doesn't mean they cancel each other out or hinder your progress. On the contrary, taking protein powder with creatine is safe and effective.

By weaving both into your routine, you're providing your body with a powerful mix of the building blocks it needs for muscle growth and repair, as well as the energy-enhancing power of creatine. 

Together, these smart supplements can help you increase muscle mass, deliver top-notch performance in the gym or field, and support your overall fitness journey. Give them a try.

Sources

Smart Protein is committed to sourcing only the best and scientifically-backed research in our articles.

1. Health Line:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/creatine-exercise-performance#:~:text=Creatine%20phosphate%20can%20help%20you,to%20enhanced%20performance%20(%205%20)

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