Creatine Vs. Whey Protein: Who Wins the Ultimate Debate?
The world's seeing a changing image in the mirror - healthier bodies, zero-fat, with muscles and a great definition. And no matter how much effort a gym enthusiast or a cardio bunny puts in...just exercise and food control doesn't cut it anymore – when what they demand is that perfect V-taper or Boulders or even just the Guns or the Iron-maiden look! When hours are spent working out and the results don’t show, there has to be something more that’s needed! Muscle-worshippers swear by Supplements, in the form of muscle-modulating powders as just the catalysts needed for effective bodybuilding and getting that right muscle mass.
Is there even a winner?
Often mistaken to be a protein derivative because of its many protein-like attributes, Creatine is actually a peptide. It helps the body synthesize ATP (adenosine triphosphate), molecules that burn up as fuel for that initial burst of energy when you exercise and then as the extra energy needed during high intensity workouts. The absence of creatine (and therefore ATP stores) can cause muscle fatigue quickly in heavy exercisers.
Whey protein is a dried, isolated and powdered supplement derived from milk. The main reasons why weight lifters and people looking to bulk up on muscles, turn to whey for lean muscle:
- It's rich in BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids)
- Whey protein has the highest Biological value among all proteins
- It's essentially a fat-burning energy source that builds muscle mass
Questions comparing whey protein with creatine have been answered by experts for some time now, though with personal views...
Does Creatine Build Muscle Faster than Whey Protein?
Can't really say that as they have completely different functions. Whey is a protein that is directly responsible for the muscle building process of the body. Creatine on the other hand, is a supplement that helps produce stores of ATP as an energy source for long drawn exercise sessions; not really building muscle directly but forcing the process of muscle repair and regeneration as a result of muscle wear and tear.
Should One Choose Creatine or Protein for Building Muscle?
Both Creatine and protein play individual and important roles in the muscle building process – Creatine enables ATP production for fueling the high energy demand for high intensity exercise, which in turn leads to muscle tears. These muscle tears then need rebuilding, repair and growth at high speeds and that is facilitated by proteins. So, using both in a combination looks like a more logical choice than choosing one over the other.
Which is Better - Creatine or Whey Protein?
"Whey protein, for all its various touted benefits, is a food supplement - a high quality source of protein, just like you get from chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish, etc. It's food, in other words. Creatine on the other hand, is a sports performance supplement. It provides raw material necessary for the energy creation process in the muscle cells - when your muscle cells are saturated with creatine, you have the capacity to perform more work, which can lead to greater adaptive response (i.e., bigger muscles)."
- Paul Crane, Entrepreneur and founder of ultimatefatburner.com, a science-based supplement review website
These and many more similar common queries make a few things clear:
- Whey protein and Creatine are the "go to" supplements for bodybuilders and exercise enthusiasts.
- Whey protein and Creatine benefits need to be understood better for clearing this confusion.
With clear distinction being made between Creatine and Whey, the next questions to address are about their usage.
What's the Best Time to Take Creatine?
Best to be taken as a pre-workout supplement, Creatine needs to be taken consistently for the body to build-up and have its energy stockpiles at hand for the most effective bodybuilding workout sessions.
What's the Best Time to Take Whey Protein
Whey protein’s two-pronged effects make it an essential and effective supplement:
Pre-workout – for enhanced energy and muscle strength (a controlled dosage before training)
Post-training – for quicker muscle growth, recovery and synthesis (a prescribed dose about ½hr after the work out)
Can Whey Protein and Creatine Be Taken Together?
Yes, both these supplements individually have distinctive effects on energy stocks, bodybuilding and muscle gain - but blending the two supplements for higher energy and quicker muscle recovery and regeneration makes whey protein and creatine the ultimate combination.
The stupendous gains seen from this high-benefit, low-risk combination really put an end to the confusion of "when to take Creatine and when to take Whey protein."