Creatine vs Protein: Comparison and Benefits

Creatine vs Protein: Comparison and Benefits

Supplements have become essential players in fitness and wellness. They’re the little helpers we take to push us to our limits, recover faster, and achieve our health goals sooner. Today, we will discuss the details of two titans for health and fitness supplementation: Creatine and protein.

What Is Creatine and How Does It Work in the Body?

Creatine is a type of amino acid that’s naturally produced within the body. The liver, kidneys, and pancreas all work to produce creatine, which is converted to phosphocreatine and stored in the muscles. The primary function of this stored version of creatine is to assist in the production of one of the body’s primary energy sources: Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)



Whenever you perform high-intensity exercises, your muscles use ATP as an energy source. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take the body long to burn through these stores of energy, but that’s where creatine comes in. As phosphocreatine, it can lend a high-energy phosphate molecule to depleted ATP and rejuvenate it. As a result, you’ll experience a “second wind” of energy, so to speak, and have the ability to continue your workout.

While the body has the ability to naturally produce creatine, it usually only produces about half the amount our bodies need to function optimally. So, many gym and fitness enthusiasts have turned to creatine supplements over the years to ensure they have the energy to finish their workouts. 

What Is Protein and How Does it Work in the Body?

Protein is one of the most instantly recognizable nutrients and certainly more well-known than creatine. Among its many functions in the body, protein is crucial for the building, repairing, and maintenance of tissues, including those found in muscles. This is especially important for anyone who frequently exercises as it’s a key component of building muscles. 

Whenever you consume protein, the digestive system breaks it down into amino acids. These amino acids are then sent to where the body needs them the most. After a workout, these proteins will be sent to the muscles to assist in their recovery and repairs. The amino acids work to repair the damage done by the exercise, which contributes to bigger and stronger muscles.

Protein is considered to be an essential macronutrient alongside fats and carbohydrates. That means that your body needs a lot of it every single day to function properly. The good news is that protein can easily be found in a wide variety of food sources. 

However, there are times when it can be difficult to consume enough protein in normal food, which is where protein supplements come in. Taking protein supplements is an easy way to ensure that your body has enough of this essential macronutrient to properly support your body post-workout. 

Creatine vs Protein: Which Is Better?

The answer to this question isn’t black or white, as both nutrients play unique and important roles within the body. Ultimately, the decision for which one is better will depend on your goals. 

Here are a few of the potential benefits offered by creatine and protein and how they compare to one another: 

For Muscle Growth Support

Creatine is like a spark plug for your muscle cells. By helping to produce ATP, it helps to provide the fuel that your muscles need for contraction and growth. Increasing the amount of creatine stored in your muscles can help ensure that your muscles have enough energy support to power through your workouts. 



On the other hand, protein is an essential part of your muscles. The amino acids that makeup protein are like the building blocks of your muscles as they help to repair and grow their fibers. Without enough protein, your body won’t be able to build new muscles effectively or maintain the size and function of existing muscles. 

The winner: Both. Creatine is essential for fueling your workouts, allowing you to push harder, and encouraging muscle growth. Protein provides the raw materials your body needs to build muscle. Each one offers a different benefit to the muscle growth process, and both are equally important. 

For Strength Support

Creatine supports stamina during workouts, allowing your muscles to potentially work harder for longer. The extra energy support can help you push your muscles and force them to adapt by growing stronger. 

Protein doesn’t quite have the same involvement with muscle strength. Protein mainly focuses on repairing damaged muscle tissues after a workout. Since this is an essential part of muscle growth, it does have an impact on strength gains, but not as direct of an influence as creatine. 

The winner: Creatine. In terms of supporting the strength of your muscles, creatine takes the lead. But it’s important to remember that your body needs protein to effectively grow and repair your muscles. You could potentially limit your strength gains in the long run without an adequate supply of protein. 

For Soothing Post-Workout Muscle Soreness

Creatine can help to replenish the ATP stores in your muscles. As a result, creatine supplements can soothe feelings of soreness in your muscles after intense workouts. However, protein has a more direct effect on the muscles. 

After a workout, your muscles will be damaged and in need of repair. Protein provides the amino acids that your body needs to repair these damaged muscle fibers and grow new ones. An adequate supply of protein can speed up this recovery process and help to reduce muscle soreness. 

The winner: Protein. When it comes to recovery, protein plays a much more important role. But don’t discount the beneficial work of creatine in this area. Replenishing your ATP stores plays a key role in soothing muscles post-workout, so creatine can still play a part in your workout regimen. 

Can You Take Creatine and Protein Together? 

Creatine and protein are constantly being compared to one another with battle lines being drawn. While there are plenty of reasons to believe that one option is superior to the other, the better question to ask is whether or not you can take them together. The answer? Absolutely!

As we’ve covered, creatine and protein serve different purposes within the body. Creatine helps to boost ATP production to support longer workouts, while protein works to repair and build your muscles afterward. To put it simply, if proteins are the building block of cells, then creatine acts as the fuel. 

And instead of trying to figure out which one is better, you can simply take both to maximize the results of your workouts. 

The synergy of these two could mean energy support for harder and longer workouts with more protein to soothe the muscles and encourage muscle growth. Taking them together offers the best of both worlds and ensures your body has everything it needs to fuel your workouts. 

Weighing the Pros and Cons: The Final Verdict

As is often the case within the fitness and wellness world, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. Both creatine and protein offer unique benefits that can support your workouts and help you achieve your fitness goals sooner. Ultimately, the best supplement is the one that fits your individual needs and goals.

Creatine shines in supporting workout performance and strength, while protein is essential for muscle repair and growth. Depending on what you’re looking for in a supplement, you might choose one over the other. However, taking them together could potentially maximize the benefits of both, providing a powerful one-two punch for your fitness goals.

As you consider your supplement options, we invite you to explore the benefits of Creatine HCl. At CON-CRĒT, our Creatine HCl supplements are designed to deliver all the benefits of traditional creatine without the bloating often associated with creatine monohydrate. 

It's creatine, but better, and it might just be the missing piece in your wellness journey. Check out our Creatine HCl supplements today to get started.


Adenosine Triphosphate | NCBI Bookshelf

Role of the Phosphocreatine System on Energetic Homeostasis in Skeletal and Cardiac Muscles | PMC

Proteins | NCBI Bookshelf

Branched-Chain Amino Acids Promotes the Repair of Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage via Enhancing Macrophage Polarization | Frontiers

Protein | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Are You Getting Enough Protein? Here's What Happens if You Don't | UCLA Health

Stunning Images Show How Muscles Heal Themselves After a Workout | Live Science

Older post Newer post