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Whey Protein and Creatine: Is It a Good Idea to Take the Two Together?

In the world of sports nutrition, you will find an almost infinite number of supplements. Of these, creatine and whey protein (also known as lactoserum powder) are, not only the most popular, but also the ones with the largest number of scientific studies supporting their efficacy. It is true that both have many things in common in terms of their effects, but creatine and protein are totally different supplements that each work in their own way. The right one for you will be the one that best suits your nutritional needs and training goals. In order for you to know this, it is important to be aware of what makes each of these supplements special. We’ll explain it to you below.

Creatine

Creatine is an organic compound that occurs naturally in muscle cells. People who take creatine have more energy when performing high intensity or strength exercise. Those who supplement with creatine experience an increase in muscle mass, strength and performance, as shown by numerous studies. When creatine is taken, it accumulates in the muscles, helping us to have more muscular energy when we exercise.

You can find creatine in a lot of foods, especially meats. The problem is that the total amount of creatine you get from eating is quite small. In each 100gr of chicken we will find only 0.4gr of creatine, while in red meat it will be about 0.5gr per 100gr. The recommended amount of creatine is about 5 grams per day. That is why creatine is produced synthetically in order to reach optimal levels. The most common form you will find is creatine monohydrate, which you can find at powder .

Whey Protein

Whey protein, or lactoserum protein, is one of the main proteins that you can find in dairy products that is then isolated for easy consumption. By taking whey protein increases muscle mass and gives a faster recovery. And As for the amount needed, another study by Philips SM1 and Van Loon LJ maintains that an intake of between 1.3 and 1.8 grams per kilo spread over three or four meals, increases the synthesis process and therefore muscle gain.

Both Promote Muscle Growth

Creatine and whey protein are two of the supplements with the most scientific studies demonstrating their results in terms of increasing muscle mass when taken in combination with a resistance exercise routine.

By taking creatine (the recommended dose is between 3 and 5 grams per day), you increase your capacity for high-intensity exercise. This makes you recover more easily and your muscle mass grows.

On the other hand, consuming whey protein on a consistent basis allows your body to improve muscle protein synthesis. Simply put, you gain muscle.

As you can see, both creatine and whey protein are ideal supplements to promote the increase of muscle mass, but the fact is that they work differently. Creatine increases strength and muscle mass through increased exercise capacity. Whey protein, on the other hand, offers a very similar result, but does so by stimulating greater muscle protein synthesis.

Should I Take Them Together?

Having two supplements with so many benefits and with so much scientific backing, it seems like a perfect idea to take both together but, but there’s some bad news! There are several studies showing that it is very likely that taking creatine and whey protein at the same time does not provide any benefit over taking either alone.

In fact, a study, published in The journal of nutrition, health and aging , was done that showed that of 42 men tested, none of those who took the two supplements together showed any benefit in their training compared to those who took creatine or whey protein alone.

Another study with 18 women resistance trainers found that those who had taken the two supplements together for 8 weeks noticed no difference in their muscle mass and strength compared to those who took whey protein alone.

Although science is not able to provide proof of the benefits of taking both supplements together, many people continue to do so, and it does not appear that this can cause any negative effects.

If your question is whether to choose between taking creatine or whey protein, it all comes down to your individual goals. If you go to the gym from time to time and you are interested in staying in shape, whey protein may be a good idea for you to have a better recovery and more muscle development. If on the other hand your goal is to maximize your muscle mass and strength, you can try taking both together.

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