T Nation

Creatine vs. Beta Alanine


Hey Guys,

Just wondering which one has been more effective for you? I'm starting a bulk this fall and have heard that beta alanine might be a better choice for me as it cuts down on water retention yet still builds lean mass. Anyone have experience trying both of them? Which one would you recommend?




Creatine by far...
When I take Beta- Alanine, I get really hot and start to feel very tingly... Especially if i take it with simple carbs.

Now, I don't know if this tingly feeling is supposed to make you want to workout and get a pump, but I go to the gym just to get a relief from this intense tingling.

I also feel like taking beta alanine will chain me to going to the gym. I mean, sometimes I grow a pussy in the gym or right before it and I chose not to go because my workouts are often gruelling to the point of throwing up.

Beta-Alinine is expensive and it keeps me aware that I should make my workout count.

Now I do see a very significant increase in pump when I take Beta- Alanine and Arginine or superpum/ Juggernaut.

The way I see it is...
Either take Beta-Alanine or take your average pre-workout shake.
You should be taking Beta Alanine on a semi/ empty stomach in order to increase the pump. Sip on your pre workout shake after the tingling comes and finish it right before your warm up.


Ok Apprentice I am not sure where you are shopping but Beta-Alanine is not expensive at all. I bought a bottle yesterday for under 20$. Beta-Alanine should be taken pre-workout for better endurance. I believe creatine is the better option for strength gains and help with building muscle. Beta-Alanine is going to improve performance and delay fatigue. NOW makes a great Beta-Alanine for under 20$. Good luck!


I don't get any of the negative effects of Beta alanine since I switched to Beta-7. The time-release formula seems to make all the difference for me, and I seem to get more out of taking less. Maybe this means that the time release formula allows more to be absorbed.

If I had to choose between Beta alanine and Creatine I'd go with BA, but I think it makes most sense to use them together.


This isn't true.

Beta alanine is best taken with carbs, but it's not a requirement to see a benefit from it.


If I were you and had to choose between the two, I'd choose beta alanine, only because it appears you're a figure athlete. If you're like the average lifter, creatine will add weight, especially if you load properly. Beta alanine hasn't been shown (as of yet) to increase weight as much as creatine.

However, if you're not worried about weight, I'd combine the two. They work by completely different mechanisms, and are actually synergestic. By the time you're ready for a show, you'll lose any water retention you got from creatine. IMO, both are two of the best supplements available today


Use both, they work better together.


Why does it always have to be 'either/or'? Why does there always have to be the one BESTEST supplement or oil or protein?

Use both.


Thanks for all the responses. I'll start implementing both this fall, and no I'm not worried about weight gain. In order to gain muscle (along with some fat) my weight will increase. I'll probably cut the creatine around 8 weeks out of my next contest to ensure I drop the water retention.


Oh and hopefully this combo will make me a beast for next year! Hahaha.


And for what it is worth - you look fuc*ing amazing woman.

You'll knock em dead. :wink:


Thank you :wink:


What I meant by empty stomach is:
Simple carbs + BA

so that good in ur stomach doesn't slow the digestion of it.


What's wrong with slow digestion? I thought the whole point of Beta-7 is that the slow time-release increased it's affectiveness?


I concur.


I always thourhgt Beta- Alanine was a great supplement to give you a massive pump pre-workout.

Everytime I take it within 30 min away from a meal, I feel like I don't get tingly and my body doesn't heat up.

When I mix the following:
5g Creatine
5g Arginine
5g Glutamine.
30g dextrose
3.4g Beta-Alanine'

and sometimes, depeneding if I am hungry, 30 grams whey. But like 10-15 min after the primary shake shown above.

And I know that there is a lot of stuff there. But I feel like each time I addded something, the results came faster and faster.


Fit Gurl,
Try Controlled Labs Purple Wraath, it has all essential amino acids (which includes BCAAs) plus beta alanine. I put it in my water with glutamine and sip during the workout, gives me more endurance for tough workouts. then I take creatine after the workout with carbs.

Lately I have added Surge Workout fuel to the mix (sip during workout) and have had good results strenght wise.

good luck.


So you take creatine afterwards as a recovery? I've heard Surge is pretty good, I'll have to try it. I think I'm going to try superpump for a bit since I have a bunch of samples from my last show.


Superpump is more of a stimulant than a creatine product. Personally all that it did for me was upset my stomach. If you want a high quality creatine you will have to look beyond no-explode, superpump, no-shotgun, etc. - these products are geared more toward energy and generally provide insufficient creatine dosing or transport systems.

Creapure creatine monohydrate is the best place to start and then if your body does not respond from there you can look at other options. You can purchase a (3) month supply for less than $15 so it is not too hard on the wallet either. A lot of the other products out there do not have the clinical research to back them up and are simply working off of the success of the 'original' creatine.

Being that creatine and beta-alanine both work in very different ways it is a great idea to stack them. Creatine is a cell volumizer and beta-alanine is a lactic acid buffer. When combined they can give you a good boost in terms of muscular strength and endurance.

There are a few products out there that combine a high quality creatine with beta alanine and simple carbohydrates. Right now I am using one that has 5 grams creapure creatine, 3.5 grams beta alanine, a dextrose transport system, and a couple of other components for recovery. It has worked very well for me and provided great natural gains (I compete in tested federations).