Combine Creatine with Protein for Optimal Muscle Anabolics

Extend creatine’s anabolic attributes safely and cost effectively.

 

To build muscle, exercise is of utmost importance. No argument from me here.

Unfortunately, the flip-side, proper recovery, is often ignored, with disastrous consequences for muscle growth. Knowing how to let your muscles recover from exercise is as equally as important in achieving your fitness goals. The smart athlete takes both exercise and recovery very seriously in the equation for maximizing muscle development. Recovery, in turn, relies on sufficient rest and proper nutrition. And, proper anabolic nutrition is the topic of this article.

This post in the Creatine Blog explains in 3 easy steps how to maximize muscle growth with exercise, yet not over do it…

It is imperative that you feed your starving muscles right after exercise. Exercise depletes your muscle’s energy stores and drains your muscles of substrates from which to rebuild and grow. Not replenishing your muscle energy reserves and not providing them with a complete complement of amino acids with which to rebuild will seriously undermine your training efforts. Fortunately, your muscles are most metabolically responsive to nutrient uptake right after exercise. Take advantage of this metabolic window of opportunity by providing your muscles with a source of rapidly and highly biologically available protein – post exercise – and also very importantly, combine this with creatine and carbohydrates. Doing so will optimize your muscle growth this time around as well as refill your energy stores so that your next round of exercise will yield even greater dividends.

The fundamentals of optimizing muscle growth through intelligent exercise and nutrition is explained in my creatine guide as well as discussed in detail in past posts I have published in my creatine blog. So, why am I writing this? What I would like to do today is to provide with you updated details how to best exploit the muscle and strength building properties of creatine supplementation.


 

Recommended Protein Source: New advances in nutritional science have led to the development of liquid protein formulations with high bioavailability, stable and provide a complete source of protein. I recommend these premeasured and ready to drink protein shots that contain from 25 grams of high quality protein per shot (3-4 ounces). These convenient protein shots are perfectly formulated to provide a quick infusion of much needed protein to your hungry muscle’s following exercise and will put you well on your way to improved muscle gains. Taking your protein in this way will also enhance the ability of your muscles to absorb creatine, a double anabolic bonus. There is enough protein in a 25 gram shot to accompany 5 grams of creatine monohydrate; 5 grams of protein per 1 gram of creatine monohydrate.

Whey Clumps: Most of you are certainly familiar of the clumping of whey protein that occurs upon mixing/shaking. Articles flood the internet “explaining” how to prevent whey protein from clumping upon mixing… Other than wasting precious time, the amount of insoluble (clumped) whey protein slows muscle delivery and reduces the amount of protein that gets to your muscle after ingestion. Remember, the metabolic window of opportunity afforded by exercise is not infinite, but transient. These protein shots are a good solution to this problem.

I have been doing a lot of reading on these protein shots and I really do believe that they are a superb choice of protein to accompany creatine. These protein shots come pre-mixed and ready to drink. They also contain a very high amount of soluble, complete and readily biologically available protein that would be impossible to achieve by manual mixing of common protein powders such as whey, soy or caseinate.

Recommended Creatine Source: Based on the quality of creatine used and thought behind the formulation I would recommend EAS Betagen. This product contains pure creatine monohydrate, simple carbohydrates and HMB; HMB has been shown in pivotal scientific studies to reduce muscle catabolism (muscle breakdown) and assists in muscle regeneration following exercise. This product also contains L-Glutamine which helps alleviate post-exercise stress, reduces susceptibility to infections, prevents protein breakdown as well as improves glycogen synthesis. Obviously, this product was designed with the possibility of overtraining in mind. It also contains scientifically validated ingredients that I can stand by and I am very particular about the products I endorse – my reputation is at stake as a scientist and fitness adviser.

  • Go to this site for a good price and prompt delivery of this creatine product.
  • An article explaining the anabolic benefits of HMB can be found here: HMB: Where’s the beef?

Once you are on their site search for EAS Betagen.

One final word: stick with “traditional” creatine monohydrate. The many other forms of creatine that are currently on the market have not shown clear benefits over creatine monohydrate in controlled scientific studies and are generally much more expensive. In addition, creatine monohydrate is the only form of creatine that is sanctioned by the FDA as well as most other governmental regulatory agencies around the globe.

Here is how I recommend that these two products be combined:
1. Replenish: As soon as possible after exercise consume your creatine and carbohydrate mixture in the manner and for the reasons outlined in my creatine guide. In this manner you will recruit the nutrient stockpiling effects of insulin as well as replenish your muscular creatine and carbohydrate reserves for your next workouts.
2. Rebuild: Right afterwards (not more than a few minutes) take your protein shot. Adjust the volume you take to the amount of creatine you have just ingested. One 25 gram shot is sufficient to accompany a typical loading dose (5 grams); half a shot provides the right amount of protein for a typical maintenance dose (2 grams). The amino acids in this protein shot will then be used to repair and rebuild your muscles. Refer to my creatine guide for the exact amount of creatine you should be ingesting. A creatine dose calculator can also be found in the side bar (right).
3. Rotate: Don’t exercise that same muscle group again for at least another 72 hours. Rotate the muscle groups trained so that you get at least three days rest before hitting them again. Again, this is all explained in my creatine guide.
4. Rest, Recover, Repair and Recuperate: Now, sit back, relax, and let your body do the rest – build muscle.



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