Supplementation is an important part of working out and a lot of people use supplements to increase muscle mass and / or strength. There are a lot of kinds of supplements out there and the more well-known are protein and creatine supplements. There are a lot of products that carry these names and are at times advertised to produce the same effect. So, are they really the same thing or is the devil in the details? So why don’t we go ahead and compare these two and draw a line where protein stops and creatine begins. To clarify this, we need to know exactly what are they.
Protein and creatine supplements are both used as a weight gain supplement that aids in producing lean muscle as well as increasing strength. Exactly how these two accomplishes the task is where they differ though but most who have used them both agree that using them in conjunction with a proper training program will produce some incredible results. Since protein and creatine supplements are just that, “supplements”, they should not replace actual meals and expect better results. Their nature only allows them to help the body get more of what it needs and not a main source.
Protein and creatine actually have a lot of difference and knowing those differences allows you to use them properly to gain the best results. Because not knowing when and how to use protein and creatine supplements leads one to use them a lot and load their kidneys with the excess. Proper supplementation does not mean taking it every waking hour. Creatine and Protein have specific functions that should be followed and not ignored. This is not one of those times where more is better. When it comes to supplementation, following the prescribed dosage is really the best way. Timing is one of the main differences between the two. Protein supplementation is better taken pre-workout because it is rapidly absorbed in the bloodstream and delivers the necessary amino acids to the muscles and creatine should be taken post-workout because it can cause dehydration and pull your performance down. This is also why creatine is not advised for people taking certain kind of medications like diuretics. But for protein supplements, it is not advisable for people who are lactose intolerant since it is mostly made from milk. Another main difference between protein and creatine is their dosage. Protein has a normal dosage of about 0.8 g per kilogram of bodyweight but for additional muscle mass, it is advised to take around 1.5g per kilogram of bodyweight. Creatine has a completely different approach. It has “loading” and “maintenance” phases where you have to build body storage by taking in up to 25g per day for the next seven to ten days then drop it to 5g per day. Lastly, protein supplementation is ideal for those who do not get to have enough protein in their diet while creatine is simply energy for the muscle.