Since our launch in December of this past year (2014), we've received tons of emails/DMs/comments pertaining to the ingredients in CATΔLYST (i.e. why we use certain ingredients, what they do, etc.).
A breakdown of each ingredient in the CATΔLYST formula can be found on our Ingredients Page, along with references and direct links to those references. However, for every few "Why this?" type questions, there is a "Why Not This?" type question. Afterall, out of the hundreds of possible ingredients out there, CATΔLYST contains just nine.
“Why Not Creatine” is probably the most common, so we figured we should explain.
We’d like to be clear:
Creatine IS undeniably one of the most effective/reliable/safe performance ehancers!
By no means are we suggesting that Creatine is ineffective by not including it in CATΔLYST. We love Creatine! It has been shown in study after study to consistently enhance muscular Hypertrophy and power output.
So if Creatine is so great, why did we leave it out? We have our reasons, here they are:
#1 - Timing isn't so important
Creatine takes time to accumulate in muscle tissue. It is not effective acutely, and must be consumed regularly over a period of time for the ergogenic and/or aesthetic effects to become apparent.
A recent study from Research in Sports Medicine found no differences between groups who consumed Creatine at different times. The researchers in this study concluded that timing does not appear to matter.
If timing does matter, post-workout is better
A recent study from the “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition” compared the effects of pre-workout Creatine supplementation to post-workout supplementation and found no significant differences between groups. However, based on what the researchers deemed “magnitude inferences”, it was concluded that post-workout supplementation may be more favorable (but only slightly, if at all).
If we look at the research as a whole, we can see that timing isn’t so important, but if it is, pre-workout is not the “best” time. So that would be one reason, here’s another…
#2 - What ever happened to loading?
In the early days of Bodybuilding, loading was considered essential when it came to Creatine supplementation.
The term “loading” refers to mega-dosing Creatine for the first 5-7 days (around 20g/day) in order to more quickly achieve muscular Creatine saturation, then dropping down to a lower maintenance dose (around 5g/day) for the remainder of the cycle.
Over the years, however, the concept of loading has been somewhat forgotten, as studies have shown that Creatine still accumulates (albeit at a slower rate) at lower doses of 5g daily.
Still, many Creatine users prefer to load because, when done correctly, you can actually see yourself become bigger in just a few days. Who doesn't want their muscle to get a little bigger in just a few days?
#3 - It's dirt cheap, don't pay a premium for it!
We typed in “Creatine” on Amazon and took a snapshot of a few offerings from Optimum, what most would consider a very reliable company, not even the cheapest.
As you can see, Micronized (dissolves easy) Creatine Monohydrate goes for about 3 cents per gram. There is absolutely no reason to be over-paying for Creatine-based pre-workout supplements!
To Sum it Up
Creatine is undeniably effective for increasing muscle size and strength. However, because of the reasons discussed in this post, we feel Creatine is best used as a stand-alone supplement. There is certainly no harm in mixing Creatine with your pre-workout, but there also isn’t any benefit compared to other times of the day.
- January 31, 2015
- Matt Theis