When To Take Creatine And Whey Protein? (Can I mix together?)

Written by Tihomir Stefanov, M.S.(C), PT

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When it comes to supplements, there can be a lot of confusion about when to take them and how they should be combined. 

And recently, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about two supplements in specific – creatine and whey protein.

The most common questions include (but are not limited to:)

  1. Can I mix creatine with whey protein after workout?
  2. Which is better creatine or whey protein?
  3. When is the best time to take creatine and whey protein?

This article will explore the best time to take creatine and whey protein and provide some tips on how to get the most out of these supplements. 

Keep reading to learn more!

Why Creatine And Whey?

If you are serious about working out, then you have probably considered taking supplements to help you reach your goals. 

While there are many different products on the market, creatine and whey protein are two of the most popular and effective options. 

Creatine is a compound that is naturally found in muscle tissue, and it has been shown to improve exercise performance by providing energy for high-intensity exercise. 

Whey protein, on the other hand, is a dairy product that is rich in amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle. 

Whey protein has been shown to accelerate muscle growth and repair, making it an essential part of any workout routine. 

Whether you are looking to improve your performance or speed up your recovery, creatine and whey protein are two supplements worth considering.

Which Is Better Creatine Or Whey Protein?

“Which is better creatine or whey protein?”
This is a question we get a lot.

And well, comparing products and putting them on the line for the ultimate choice is a common thing among people looking to get the best out of their supplement stack.

However, in the case of creatine and whey protein, comparison and exclusion of one simply isn’t the best thing one can do.


Well, as we just mentioned, creatine and whey protein are worlds apart, as they serve different functions.

Creatine is the supplement you would go for if you are looking for the following:

  1. Increased maximum/relative strength
  2. Increased strength endurance
  3. Improved recovery of energy stores

On the other hand, whey protein has different applications and can help for:

  1. Improved muscle recovery
  2. Making total protein intake easily reachable
  3. Improved muscle growth

All of this implies that there simply isn’t a “better” option because both products impact the body differently and, therefore, are not to be compared by no metric.

Creatine & Whey Mixed – Is It Okay?

Because of both supplements’ different natures, it begs the question, “Can I mix creatine with whey protein after workout?”

And the truth is that there isn’t really any evidence for side effects associated with mixing these two products.

But we do know for sure:

  1. Creatine supplements saturate muscles with creatine, leading to improved performance
  2. Creatine is one of the safest and most researched supplements on the market
  3. Whey protein contains a flurry of essential amino acids
  4. Whey protein, therefore, helps optimize recovery and muscle growth and may have implications for overall health

That is to say, not only is it okay to take creatine and whey protein together, but because of their proven effectiveness, it may be one of the best supplement stacks for the goal of gaining muscle and strength.

When Is The Best Time To Take Creatine And Whey Protein?

You just learned more about the benefits of creatine and whey and also came to find that mixing them is entirely okay.

But if you want to truly get the best results, you have to also learn more details about these two, including timing & total intake.

So let’s discuss the importance of creatine and whey protein timing and total intake!

Total Protein Intake

It’s well understood that proteins are essential for our bodies. 

They help to build and repair tissues, produce enzymes and hormones, and play an important role in almost all of our body’s processes. 

But before you focus too much on timing your protein intake, consider this – the most important factor about your protein is the total daily intake, rather than the timing.

That is to say, if you’re getting suboptimal total amounts of protein each day, timing it right wouldn’t really make a difference.

The optimal daily protein intake forms at around 0.8-1g of protein per pound of body weight, derived from quality sources like animal products and whey protein.

Protein Timing

Now let’s get a sneak peek into the answer of the question “when to take creatine and whey protein?”

It’s long been believed that the best time to consume protein is immediately following a workout.

This is known as the “anabolic window” which was claimed to last about 30 minutes following a workout.

However, this is pretty much a myth, meaning that this so-called ‘window’ isn’t just 30 minutes.

In fact, consuming protein both before and after a workout can help to improve muscle recovery and prevent fatigue. 

What we know at this point is that timing protein throughout the day doesn’t matter, but timing it to your workouts can make a slight difference.

This is why experts recommend that you have a high-protein meal within 2-3 hours before and 2-3 hours after a workout.

In doing so, you are optimizing your body’s anabolic (constructive) response, therefore contributing to improved recovery and muscle growth.

So, when to take creatine and whey protein? Your best bet would be 2-3 hours before or after a workout.

Total Creatine Intake

Anyone interested in taking creatine should be aware of the recommended total daily creatine intake. 

The widely recommended dose is 3 grams per day for people who are not highly active in the gym and about 5 grams flat per day for highly active people. 

On another note, many people like to do what’s called a “loading phase” when they start taking creatine.

The loading phase consists of taking 20g of creatine per day for up to 5-7 days and then going back down to the normal dose of 5g/day.

This doesn’t have any special effects that 5g/day won’t give you, but it simply gets you the results faster.

The reason behind this is that 20g/day simply saturates the muscles with creatine much faster.

Creatine Timing

When it comes to creatine, timing isn’t everything. 

While some experts recommend taking it before or after your workout, the truth is that it is more important to simply be consistent with your intake. 

As long as you are taking in enough creatine each day, it doesn’t matter when you take it. 

Your body will be able to make use of it as needed. 

All in all, whether we’re talking about creatine timing alone or mixing it with protein, it wouldn’t matter for the creatine as much as it would for the protein.

With that in mind, if you’re having a protein shake within 3 hours after a workout, make sure to throw in a scoop of creatine as well, in case you didn’t do that earlier in the day!

Final Thoughts

All in all, it is fair to say that creatine and whey protein are two of the most popular supplements on the market.

And for a good reason! 

They are simply the most researched and effective supplements on the market and go hand in hand together.

But when is the best time to take creatine and whey protein?

Well, when it comes to timing, it matters more for the protein and not the creatine.

A high protein meal within 3 hours BEFORE a workout, followed by a protein & creatine shake within 3 hours after a workout, is perhaps the best way to time your protein and creatine intake!

This is how you get an extra edge.

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