When it comes down to supplementing with creatine or whey protein, it’s not really an either-or situation. Both creatine and protein are crucial to fuel your performance and build more muscle mass. In order to have the most success, it’s important to understand what the differences are between creatine vs protein and why you’re taking them.
What Is Creatine And What Does It Do?
Creatine is a combination of three different amino acids – methionine, arginine, and glycine. Creatine is naturally synthesized in your body by the liver and kidneys, yet the majority is stored in your muscle tissue. Creatine helps form adenosine triphosphate (ATP), your body’s natural energy source. Additional stores of creatine can help your body create more ATP, which is the key energy source during your heavy lifting session or high intensity training. When your muscles contract during short bouts of exercise, or explosive movements, creatine is your muscles primary fuel source. Studies have shown that creatine can improve athletic performance, leading to greater gains in strength, speed, and muscle growth.
There are several different types of creatine, which are sold and marketed other than traditional creatine monohydrate such as, creatine HCL, creatine ethyl ester, creatine nitrate, and Kre-Alkalyn. Studies have shown however that there is no real performance differences amongst other versions of creatine when it comes to fueling muscle growth and performance, besides Kre-Alkalyn.
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Kre-Alkalyn is a ph correct form of creatine monohydrate and was created to address the negative side effects seen in creatine monohydrate namely the toxic conversion to creatinine, which can cause bloating, cramping, and water retention. One of the problems with creatine monohydrate is that it requires what’s called a loading phase. Studies show that in order for creatine to actually work, it requires loading at least 10-15g per day, for up to 10 days. As you can imagine, you’re going to be using a ton of creatine, before it even starts working. This is due to the poor absorption rate. Kre-alkalyn is ph corrected and does not require a loading phase, since it has such better bioavailability.
Studies have shown that Kre-Alklayn is the only alternative to creatine monohydrate that demonstrates superior performance measures, in bioavailability, endurance, and strength outcomes as compared to creatine monohydrate [R].
Benefits Of Creatine
- Increases muscle mass and strength
- Enhances Recovery
- Improves Speed And Sprint Performance
- Enhances Brain Function
- Improves Athletic Performance
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What Is Whey Protein And What Does It Do?
Protein is the primary macronutrient responsible for getting you ripped and building more muscle. Protein is comprised of amino acids and is responsible for creating new proteins, and initiating the muscle building process, protein synthesis.
Whey protein originates from dairy and is a derivative of the cheese manufacturing process. Whey protein is rich in essential amino acids, especially the branched chain amino acids, which promote muscle growth and exercise recovery. Several studies have shown that whey protein is the best type of protein to improve athletic performance, muscle gain, power, and optimize body composition.
It’s crucial to provide your body with the protein it needs to rebuild and replenish essential amino acids to build more muscle mass, strength, and maximize workout recovery.
But what about different whey protein powders, such as whey isolate and hydrolysate? The real difference between whey protein isolate vs whey concentrate, is the lactose content and nutrition profile. Isolate and hydrolysate, are isolated forms of whey, which go through an additional cold filtering process, to remove excess lactose, fat, and carbohydrates, leaving you with a purified form of protein. Studies show that performance benefits and differences are negligible, however if you have a lactose sensitivity, and whey upsets your stomach, isolate is a very good alternative.
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Benefits Of Whey Protein
- Increases muscle mass and strength
- Maximizes Recovery
- Optimizes Body Composition
- Improves Performance
Creatine Vs Whey Protein: Differences
Now that you have a better understanding of how both creatine vs whey protein work, what are some of the differences?
To start, the molecular structure of both creatine vs protein is different. Whey protein is a complete source of protein, and therefore contains all 20 essential and nonessential amino acids. Amino acids are needed for several integral biological processes, such as muscle growth, muscle repair, and converting food into energy. Protein in general, whether it’s plant protein, egg protein, or whey protein isolate, is fundamental in helping you achieve your athletic and body composition goals.
Creatine is an amino acid derivative and is therefore not a complete protein. Creatine’s primary role is not in building more muscle mass, but in providing more muscle fuel, to power your performance. If you have more muscle energy, your body creates more power, and you can therefore build more muscle mass and strength.
Creatine is what powers your muscles, protein is what builds your muscles.
Creatine Vs Whey Protein: Takeaway
If you’re deciding between taking creatine vs whey protein, it really comes down to your health and fitness goals. Both supplements provide essential benefits to train harder and stack on more gains. If you’re in the gym and training consistently, then you should always be using a high-quality protein. It’s nearly impossible to meet your daily protein requirements without supplementing a protein powder. Although we always advocate for food first, demanding work schedules, kids, and other priorities leave little time to cook and prep all of your meals. And if you’re not a bodybuilder, eating chicken five times per day, doesn’t sound too appetizing. Supplementing a high-quality whey protein isolate, can help you meet your protein goals, build more muscle mass, lose a few pounds, and optimize your body composition. Not to mention, it’s a fast-acting source of protein and convenient, helping refuel your body and maximize performance.
Creatine provides more muscle fuel, to help you get stronger, perform better, and crush your workouts. Any serious athlete who is looking to build more muscle and stack on more gains, should consider supplementing with creatine. Creatine is backed by a large body of evidence, that shows creatine can enhance strength, strength, and training performance.
Ready To Add Creatine To Your Supplement Regimen?
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