taking creatine on rest days

Taking Creatine on Rest Days: Yay or Nay?


Time to read 4 min

Taking creatine on rest days: the gym lover's secret weapon or a supplement lover's myth? Ever wonder if your beloved supplement should tag along on lazy Sundays? Spoiler alert: the answer is yes. In this article, we'll uncover the reasons behind maintaining your creatine routine even on lazy Sundays can support muscle recovery and growth.

Should You Take Creatine On Rest Days

Yes, you should take creatine on rest days. By taking creatine consistently, even on rest days, you can ensure that your muscles have optimal creatine levels to enhance performance during workouts and support the recovery process. 

Many experts believe that taking creatine on rest days is beneficial for achieving the best results from creatine supplementation, and allows your body to maintain high levels of creatine within the muscles, promoting a better environment for muscle growth and recovery. Doing so can provide several benefits, including maintaining muscle creatine stores, promoting muscle recovery, and supporting overall fitness goals.

Benefits of Taking Creatine on Rest Days

Rest days are essential for muscle recovery and growth. By supplementing with creatine on these days, you can maintain your muscle creatine stores and potentially enhance the recovery process. Some key benefits include:

  1. Maintaining Muscle Creatine Stores: Creatine helps to replenish ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the primary energy source for muscle contractions. Taking creatine on rest days helps to maintain a high level of creatine within the muscles, enabling you to perform better during your next workout.

  2. Enhanced Muscle Recovery: Creatine may help to reduce muscle inflammation and promote faster recovery after intense workouts. This means that supplementing with creatine on rest days can potentially help you bounce back quicker, and be better prepared for your next training session.

  3. Increased Muscle Growth: By optimizing creatine levels within your muscles, you can support an environment conducive to muscle growth. This is especially important on rest days when your body is focused on repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue.

Best Time To Take Creatine

The best time to take creatine varies depending on individual preferences and routines. Some popular options include:

  1. Pre-Workout: Taking creatine before a workout can help to increase the amount of creatine available for your muscles during exercise, potentially improving performance.

  2. Post-Workout: Consuming creatine after exercise may help to replenish muscle creatine stores that have been depleted during the workout, promoting recovery and growth.

  3. Any Time of Day: On rest days, you can take creatine at any time that is convenient for you. The most important factor is consistency, so choose a time that works best for your schedule.

What Else Should You Do On Rest Days?

In addition to taking creatine on rest days, there are several other practices that can support muscle recovery and overall well-being:

  1. Stretching and Mobility Work: Engaging in stretching and mobility exercises can help to alleviate muscle soreness, improve flexibility, and prevent injuries.

  2. Hydration: Proper hydration is essential for muscle recovery and overall health. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

  3. Nutrition: Eating a balanced diet rich in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates can provide your body with the necessary nutrients to repair and grow muscle tissue.

  4. Sleep: Adequate sleep is crucial for muscle recovery and overall well-being. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.

Can I Skip Creatine on Rest Days?

Yes, you can skip creatine on rest days, but it is recommended to take it consistently, even on days when you are not exercising. Skipping creatine on rest days may lead to a gradual decrease in muscle creatine stores over time, which can potentially result in reduced performance and slower muscle recovery.

Although missing a single day of creatine supplementation is unlikely to have a significant impact on your progress, consistently skipping creatine on rest days or missing doses may affect your muscle creatine levels. To maximize the benefits of creatine supplementation, it is best to maintain a consistent daily routine, including rest days.

What Happens If I Skip a Day of Creatine?

Missing a day of creatine supplementation won't have a significant impact on your progress, as your muscle creatine stores will not be depleted immediately. However, consistently skipping creatine on rest days or missing doses may result in a gradual decrease in muscle creatine stores over time. This can potentially lead to reduced performance and slower muscle recovery. It is important to maintain a consistent creatine supplementation routine to ensure optimal results.

How to Take Creatine

When incorporating creatine into your fitness routine, it is essential to follow proper dosing and timing guidelines. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your creatine supplementation:

  1. Choose the Right Form: Creatine is available in various forms, such as creatine monohydrate, creatine ethyl ester, and creatine hydrochloride. Creatine monohydrate is the most studied and widely recommended form due to its proven effectiveness and affordability.

  2. Dosing: The standard creatine dosage is 5 grams per day. However, some individuals may choose to undergo a "loading phase" during the first week of supplementation, which involves taking 20 grams of creatine per day, divided into four 5-gram doses. This method is believed to saturate muscle creatine stores more quickly, though it is not required for creatine to be effective.

  3. Mixing and Consumption: Creatine can be mixed with water, juice, or your favorite sports drink. It is important to consume the creatine mixture shortly after preparing it, as creatine can degrade into creatinine, a less effective byproduct, when left in liquid form for extended periods.

  4. Cycle or Continuous Use: Some individuals choose to cycle their creatine supplementation, taking it for a period of time followed by a break. However, research has shown that continuous, long-term use of creatine is safe and effective for most individuals. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best approach for your specific needs and goals.

FAQs about taking creatine on rest days

Should I take creatine on rest days?

Yes, taking creatine on rest days is generally recommended to maintain muscle creatine stores, promote muscle recovery, and support overall fitness goals.

Is it OK to take creatine when not working out?

Yes, it is fine to take creatine when not working out, as it helps to maintain consistent creatine levels in your muscles, which can benefit muscle recovery and growth.

How much creatine should I take on rest days?

You should take between 3 to 5 grams of creatine per day, both on workout days and rest days, to maintain optimal creatine levels in your muscles.

Should you take creatine every day?

Yes, taking creatine every day, including rest days, is recommended for most individuals to maximize the benefits of creatine supplementation and maintain consistent muscle creatine stores.