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ISSA | Creatine vs Whey Protein: Which is Better for Your Goals?

Creatine vs Whey Protein: Which is Better for Your Goals?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

BY: 1st Phorm

DATE: 2024-01-04

Creatine and whey protein have both continued to grow in popularity over the past decade. For the most part, these products are both marketed as great ways to build muscle and improve performance.

But, the question remains: Which is better … whey protein or creatine? A lot of people also wonder which one is worth taking over the other.

The truth is, both products are great tools to utilize for building muscle, strength, and improving performance.

Ideally, both creatine and whey protein can and should be a part of nearly everyone's supplement regimen. However, which one will be better for someone depends on their goals, lifestyle, and nutrition.

Let’s discuss each of these supplements as well as what each one can do.

What is Creatine?

For whatever reason, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding creatine in particular. These are myths about how it can magically alter hormones, build a ton of muscle, or cause kidneys to fail.

But, all of these myths are just that ... myths.

The truth is, creatine is just an amino acid made from arginine, glycine, and methionine. Creatine can be obtained from many animal-based foods such as beef, fish, dairy, and more.

On top of that, creatine is already found naturally in the body. While most of it is stored in muscle, some creatine is also stored in the brain.

But what does creatine do? Really, creatine has two primary functions:

1. It can help volumize muscle cells, allowing them to store more water and nutrients.

This is actually a great thing! However, this is where the water weight myth comes from. Muscle tissue survives off water and needs nutrients to function properly.

More water and nutrients are not a bad thing, even if it equates to a couple of extra pounds on the scale. Really, it just helps support healthy muscle tissue.

2. Creatine can help the body produce energy.

To be clear, this is not energy in the sense of being awake and alert. The kind of energy creatine helps the body produce is ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This is an energy source the body can pull from quickly for high-intensity activities such as sprinting and weightlifting.

By supplementing with creatine, the body can cycle ATP more quickly. This is why creatine can be a great way to help improve workout performance, specifically strength, explosiveness, and even endurance.

What Are The Benefits of Creatine?

Creatine provides the body with a wide variety of benefits:

  • More ATP production (burst energy)

  • Muscular endurance

  • Increased strength

  • Increased power output

  • Muscle hydration

  • Energy production in the brain

  • Can lead to more muscle breakdown in training, which can lead to building more muscle

So … is creatine going to make anyone big and bulky? No, that will depend entirely on lifestyle habits, training, and nutrition. Can creatine help improve performance and build more muscle and strength? It absolutely can.

But, it’s also important to take enough creatine to get the full benefits.

How Much Creatine Is Enough?

When” creatine is taken is not nearly as important as “how much” is taken. 5 grams of creatine every day is really all that’s necessary to keep muscles saturated.

10 grams of creatine a day is acceptable as well, with 5 grams being the most the body can utilize in a single dose. However, the difference between taking 5 grams a day vs 10 grams is negligible.

So, whether it’s taken pre-workout, post-workout, or any time throughout the day ... it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that the muscle cells are consistently saturated with creatine.

What is Whey Protein?

Whey is one of two proteins found in milk. During the cheese-making process, whey isolates itself as a liquid.

This liquid is then dried out to make whey protein powder, which is one of the most popular supplements on the market today. A huge part of what makes whey protein so special is that it contains all 9 essential amino acids.

These amino acids are the building blocks the body needs to stimulate the muscle-building process. Whey protein also has the highest concentration of leucine across any protein source! This is an awesome perk because leucine is an essential amino acid that’s particularly important for building muscle.

What Are The Benefits of Whey Protein?

Whey protein is a high-quality source of protein that can help with muscle growth, recovery, and overall performance. Other than that, a huge part of what makes whey protein so beneficial is that it’s convenient and affordable.

Chicken, beef, fish, and just about any animal protein source at the grocery store can be expensive. Plus, raw chicken breast can’t just be eaten as a quick snack … it has to be cooked. Even then, chicken can only be saved for so long before it goes bad.

To make things worse, these protein sources need to be stored in a fridge or freezer. For these reasons and more, most protein sources can be a hassle.

Whey protein, on the other hand, can be mixed directly with water and put back in under 60 seconds. Plus, whey protein powder has come quite a long way over the years. The high-quality whey protein powders on the market today oftentimes taste far better than just plain chicken.

Creatine vs Whey Protein: Which is Better For Goals?

Whether the goal is to build muscle or strength, creatine and whey protein can both be great options. Truthfully, it wouldn’t be fair or accurate to say that one is necessarily “better” than the other.

Which one will be the “better” option will vary from person to person and will depend mostly on their overall nutrition and lifestyle habits.

Now, for 99% of people, whey protein will be the “better” fit for them. The reason for this is because of how important protein is for building muscle and losing body fat.

Someone who’s working out and looking to build muscle, improve performance, or even burn fat should aim for .8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Whey protein just happens to be a great tool to help them hit that daily protein goal.

Clearly, this makes a lot of sense for someone trying to build muscle. But, why is this important for fat loss?

Well, the more muscle tissue someone has, the more calories their body will burn at rest. With a goal to lose body fat, maintaining and even building new muscle is a great way to keep metabolism high and accelerate fat loss goals.

But here’s a different scenario…

Let’s say someone is eating plenty of protein and they’re doing it consistently. In this case, they wouldn’t necessarily need a whey protein powder to hit their protein intake for the day.

It’s use cases like this where creatine may be the “better” option for them and their goals. But, unless they are trying to build muscle, strength, or increase performance … there are other supplements that could potentially benefit them more.

It is still important to note that after workouts is one scenario where whey protein can be more beneficial than whole foods. So, even if someone is hitting their protein goal through whole foods ... it would still be best for them to utilize a whey protein isolate post-workout shake to maximize recovery.

So again, it’s not that either one of these supplements is “better” than the other. There are, however, situations where one can be more beneficial than the other.

At the end of the day, creatine and whey protein are both great supplements to support goals. Most of the time, it’s recommended to take both.

Creatine vs Whey Protein: Why Not Both?

Both creatine and whey protein have unique benefits that are different and can even work together to help maximize results.

If it makes sense to take both, awesome! But it’s still important to understand that supplements are tools.

They are just designed to supplement the nutrients that are difficult to get through diet alone. Supplements aren’t magic, and they definitely won’t do any of the heavy lifting in achieving any fitness goal.

No matter what supplements someone takes, the results they achieve are entirely in their hands.

1st Phorm Can Help Accelerate Your Growth In The Fitness Industry

If you have any questions about other supplements and how they can help you or your clients unlock better results, that’s what 1st Phorm is here for.

Plus, as an official partner of the ISSA, you’ll also get a complimentary consultation call with one of 1st Phorm’s business-building industry experts to understand your goals as a fitness professional and teach you how 1st Phorm can help elevate your game! You’ll even get a $20 gift card to try out any one of their industry-leading products!

Are you ready to connect and take your brand and business to the next level? Just click here to learn more about how 1st Phorm can help you do exactly that!

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