Creatine and whey protein both offer fitness benefits when it comes to building muscle.
Creatine is a pre-workout supplement which will give your muscles energy and increase workout endurance. Whey protein on the other hand is a post-workout supplement which can aid muscle recovery.
For the ultimate workout warrior, having the right supplements in your stack is essential to make your time in the gym count and get the most results from your training.
However it seems like every day a new must have supplement appears on the market designed to help you get gains like a WWE Superstar.
But do they work and are they really necessary? Let me tell you the real facts about creatine vs whey protein.
What Are Protein and Amino Acids and Why Should You Care?
Protein is an essential macronutrient that our body needs in bulk simply to function normally. Protein becomes even more vital if you’re hitting the gym on a regular basis.
Protein is found in every cell of our bodies. It makes up our hair, skin, nails, muscles and tendons.
Most importantly from a workout perspective, protein is what repairs and helps build our muscles.
In fact, the National Institute of Health recommends that the average person should consume around 0.36 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. If you’re working out (especially weight training) on a regular basis, you should be aiming for 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
Proteins are made up of even smaller building blocks called amino acids.
There are 20 amino acids in the human body. Nine of these are classed as “essential” meaning our body is unable to produce them on its own and needs to source them from the foods we eat.
Protein and the amino acids that make it are a key focus point for those who hit the gym hard. Supplementing with protein and amino acids can help not only build muscle but prevent muscle loss, reduce muscle fatigue and recovery time.
What Are Creatine Supplements?
Creatine is made within the human body from a number of amino acids. Its primary home is in the muscles.
You can also consume creatine through natural sources in certain foods such as red meat and fish.
The main benefits to supplementing with creatine are:
- Gives you energy
- Improves performance
- Increases muscle
- Reduces potentials for injury/fatigue
Studies have shown that by using creatine supplements, athletes can boost muscular force and power. It can also reduce fatigue and increases muscle mass. (source)
One of creatine’s major roles is to provide your muscles with energy to function. If your muscles have more energy, they should, in theory, be able to sustain activity for longer.
Therefore, by using creatine supplements you should be able to go harder for longer when training.
One study looked at the effects of creatine supplementation on weight lifting, muscle strength and resistance training. Results showed that resistance training increased muscle strength by 8%. However, when weightlifting and resistance training were combined, muscle strength was increased by 14%. (source)
What Are Whey Protein Supplements?
Whey protein is another very popular choice for many gym goers around the globe.
Many opt to consume whey above other supplements because it’s an excellent source of protein which is quickly and easily absorbed in the body. Whey could help to boost strength as well as improving performance and recovery.
Here are some of the benefits of taking whey:
- Helps build muscle
- Helps reduce recovery times
- Fast absorbing into the body
- Helps reduce muscle fatigue
- Protects muscle
- Appetite suppressant
It’s been proven in various studies that whey has the greatest positive effect on muscle protein synthesis, especially in resistance training. It also enhances recovery. (source)
Whey has the potential to reduce your appetite (source) which could fend off the risk of post-workout overeating. Research also shows whey could increase your metabolism and help you burn fat while maintaining that all important muscle. (source)
When to Choose Creatine Supplements
When to Choose Whey Protein Supplements
Many people can benefit from whey protein and is a great choice for anyone interested in weight loss and fitness. It works well as both a post workout supplement or a meal replacement for dieters.
However, creatine is more geared towards those who are heavily into weight and resistance training. If this is you, it is a great option for a pre workoutboost.