Should you take creatine when your muscles are sore? | Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

Should you take creatine when your muscles are sore?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • Creatine is a common supplement taken by athletes and bodybuilders.
  • Creatine supplements are not anti-inflammatory and therefore will not help with muscle soreness.
  • Creatine supplements may help you work out for longer periods and recover easier from long workouts.

You can take creatine if your muscles are sore. However, you should be aware that there is no scientific evidence that creatine will actually help sore muscles.

In most cases, creatine is used to increase endurance by providing energy to the muscles.

In addition, one of the side effects of creatine is muscle cramps and tears.

You will probably want to make sure that you don’t experience this as a side effect before you choose to use creatine supplements to relieve your muscle soreness.

Of course, supplementation is only one part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Exercise matters too. Go PRO today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, goal trackers, and more.

If I’m Taking Creatine, Will My Muscles Be Sore After a Workout?

Creatine is not an anti-inflammatory, nor is it a painkiller. Creatine is supposed to provide you with the energy you need to work out longer.

Here’s what creatine is and how it works:

If you are exercising for a longer period of time, it stands to reason that your muscles will be sorer after your workout, not less sore!

Creatine can delay the feeling of soreness longer while you are working out. Many people claim this is the case for them, which is part of the reason they can lift heavier weights when they use creatine than when they don’t.

A certain amount of muscle soreness after a workout is a good thing. The soreness is not a result of working out your muscles, it is the result of your muscle fibers tearing as you work out. This is how muscle develops. The fibers heal to become stronger, making your muscles larger.

Creatine can help speed up the healing process after a workout, which means you will have less downtime. It is very important to note that most doctors recommend you take at least a 24-hour break between the exercising of specific muscle groups.

 The older you are, the more time between workouts you should take.

What this means is that if you work out your glutes today, then tomorrow you want to avoid the glutes and work out your abs.

If you don’t do this, you could potentially cause long-term muscle damage that keeps you out of the gym for a while or may even require surgery.

Some of the best workout programs alternate your workouts in four to five-day groupings so that you can allow your muscles the rest they need after an intense workout so that your next workout is even better.

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Should I Take Creatine Before or After a Workout?

When taking any supplement, you should always follow the manufacturer’s directions. Don’t create your own program with a creatine product. Most products suggest multiple shakes throughout the day and one after your workout.

Something you should be aware of is that many manufacturers suggest mixing your creatine with fruit juice. However, mixing creatine with fruit juice can actually affect your glucose levels.

Manufacturers recommend the fruit juice because of the nasty taste that is typically associated with creatine. If you have diabetes or a family history of hypoglycemia you will not want to use fruit juice for your creatine. Stick with water! This is the only time you should go off-label for a creatine product.

It is important to note that after a workout, you aren’t suffering from depleted creatine levels. Your body continues to make the creatine you need as you need it — you won’t suffer from low creatine levels after a workout!

What Supplement Should I Take If My Muscles Are Sore?

Protein powder is often recommended for sore muscles. However, protein powder is not a pain reliever. The reason many companies recommend protein powder is because it speeds up the healing process.

If you take protein powder after your workout, you may find that your muscles are sore for a shorter period of time.

That being said, if you have sore muscles after a workout, a massage is an excellent choice. Massages can make your muscles feel better faster and stimulate the healing process in your body, as well.

A heating pad and a hot shower can also do wonders for your sore muscles. Combine that with a massage, and you have all the ingredients for feeling better in a short period of time!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

– What are the benefits of creatine?

Creatine helps you build muscle. Research has shown that people with more muscle tend to have a higher metabolism, allowing them to use calories from food intake more effectively. In short, when you have more muscle you burn fat easier.

– Do I have to take supplements?

Unless your doctor has instructed you to take certain supplements, you do not have to take them.

– Are supplements safe?

Whether or not dietary supplements are safe to take depends on a number of factors. Learn more about the safety of supplements here.

  What supplements do I need to take?

No one can answer that aside from your doctor. To learn more about the various supplements that doctors commonly recommend, check out this article.

Sore muscles are a great feeling when you know you’re making progress and getting healthy. Check out our PRO Plan today to see how we can help you reach, and keep, your workout goals every day of the year.

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