Does Creatine Belong in Your Pre-Workout? Pros and Cons

Does Creatine Belong in Your Pre-Workout? Pros and Cons

Creatine is one of the most well-researched supplements in existence. It has been shown to help build muscle, increase strength, and improve recovery in between sets.* While it’s extremely common on its own, it’s also found in many pre-workout supplements. But is this good? Does creatine belong in your pre?

The answer is nuanced.

Here at Kaged, we have pre-workouts that are creatine-free and pre-workouts with up to 5g of creatine, because whether creatine belongs in your pre-workout depends on your specific situation, goals, and preferred convenience.

You can find the perfect pre-workout for you, whether you’re an elite athlete, beginner, high-stim or stimulant-free in our selection of pre-workouts.

Is Creatine More Effective When Taken Pre-Workout?

There’s little doubt about creatine’s value as a supplement in general. But when taking it pre-workout, is it more effective?

The research has yet to reach a definitive answer.

The Research on Creating Timing is Mixed.

Some studies have found additional benefits around the workout, which may be due to increased blood and nutrient flow to the muscle, caused by a variety of mechanisms such as GLUT 4 translocation (Steenage et al., 2000).

However, other studies have found no additional benefit when taking creatine not around the workout.

What seems most important isn’t when you take creatine, it’s that you take creatine.

So to give a short answer, does creatine belong in your pre? Yes. However, you can also get it at other times of the day. It’s likely as effective when taken at around the workout or not around the workout.

Here are the considerations for whether you should take creatine pre-workout, how much, from what sources, and how to do so.

Pros of Taking Creatine in Your Pre-Workout

1) Convenience: 2-in-1 supplement

Depending on your dietary sources, creatine needs, and amount in your pre-workout, it may eliminate the need to take creatine separately.

However, the dose really matters here. Pre-workouts have a wide range. At the high-end, like in our most advanced Pre, Pre-Workout Elite, we have a 5g creatine matrix. This eliminates the need to supplement with creatine separately. That is, unless you’re in a loading phase. We cover the question of loading phases in this article on creatine for beginners.

If a pre-workout has 1-3 grams, that’s great, but it just means you may not hit the optimal dose.

Our original pre-workout, Pre-Kaged, has 1.5g of Creatine HCl. That’s because it was designed to be stacked with Re-Kaged, our post-workout protein which also has 1.5g of Creatine HCl. The idea with this was to get a full dose of creatine (3g) split up between pre and post-workout.

Keep in mind, those who eat a lot of red meat can get creatine from their diet, so begin by knowing how much you need (typically 3-5g) and how much you’re getting from food first.

2) Support Muscle Pumps and Muscle Endurance, Depending on the Form*

In Pre-Workout Elite, we mentioned that 5g Creatine Matrix. It contains 3g of classic creatine monohydrate and 2g of NO3-T® creatine nitrate.

Creatine Nitrate (NO3-T) works as a 2-in-1 supplement, providing the performance benefits of creatine while helping amplify your muscle pumps. Simultaneously a quality creatine and nitrous oxide booster, NO3-T can also enhance endurance, allowing you to train harder and longer.*

Because of these additional benefits, we included it in Pre-Workout Elite.

Cons of Taking Creatine in Your Pre-Workout

There are some potential downsides to taking creatine in your pre-workout vs taking it separately.

1) Potential GI Discomfort

For some, taking creatine along with the pre-workout stimulants may increase gut distress during the workout. Simply, a fully-loaded peak performance Pre like Pre-Workout Elite is not for beginners. Even for those very familiar with pre-workouts, we recommend starting with half a scoop, and sipping on it over the course of 30 minutes pre-workout.

Over time, you’ll know what your stomach can handle well, how big of a scoop you like, and how slowly to sip it.

With that said, a smaller scoop like we have in Pre-Kaged Sport is a better fit for beginners or those concerned about GI discomfort.

2) Cost: Paying for Other Ingredients You May Not Want

We create what we believe or some of the best pre-workout formulas out there. There’s a reason for every single ingredient at the exact dose in every single pre-workout we’ve made.

However, we won’t lie that getting the best ingredients in the world and assimilating them altogether does come at a cost. Some people may want the sharper mental focus of Pre-Workout Elite, or the 10g of L-Citrulline compared to 3.5-6.5g, and others may not.

If you want the creatine, but maybe not some of the other ingredients, you can get Pre-Kaged Sport for just $1.25 per scoop.

Then, you can pick up some creatine separately and either add it to Pre-Kaged Sport, or take it at a different time of day.

It really depends on your goals and what ingredients you want, but it’s worth noting that pre-workouts with more ingredients, including creatine, tend to cost more.

Looking for a pre-workout with or without creatine? We’ve got you covered.

Kaged Pre-Workout Elite contains a 5g creatine matrix, so you’re set for your creatine quota.

Pre-Kaged contains 1.5g of creatine HCl, so you’ll get some, but likely will want additional creatine.

Pre-Kaged Sport is a creatine-free pre-workout.

Whichever you choose, you can also get creatine in the form of flavored, unflavored, or capsules with our patented creatine HCl. For unflavored powder we also have our classic creatine monohydrate powder.

Not sure which form is best for you? Check out our article on creatine monohydrate vs creatine HCl.

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