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How Much Water Should You Drink While on Creatine?

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: July 12, 2022

Studies show that creatine can increase muscle mass growth and increase energy levels, especially when taken with an effective resistance training program [1].

The effects on the body muscles are undisputed, but I often get asked how much water you need to drink with creatine.

There are rumors that it could cause dehydration and have adverse effects on body muscles, such as muscle cramps. We've gone through hundreds of relevant information and in-depth researches to put this claim to the test.

Let’s talk about how much water your body needs for proper hydration.

Here’s a Quick Summary of Our Key Findings:

  • It’s more important to make sure you’re having enough water to stay hydrated, than how much water you drink with creatine. 
  • A good rule to follow is to drink 8 glasses of water daily.
  • You can mix creatine with other liquids too.
  • Avoid mixing creatine and caffeine as it can have negative effects.

How Much Water Should You Take With Creatine?

You should drink 300-500ml of water with creatine on top of your regular water intake if you take one serving (3-5g).

During the day you should drink at least 4 to 5 liters while taking creatine to avoid possible dehydration. If you feel some ingestion issues while consuming creatine, mix it with hot water or warm tea.

Do You Need To Drink More Water When Taking Creatine?

Do You Need To Drink More Water When Taking Creatine

You don’t necessarily need to typically drink more water when taking creatine.

If you’re doing a lot of fitness, then you will be drinking more water to ensure proper hydration. You have to replace the water you lose from the sweating created by your fitness training.

If you exercise intensely, you need to drink enough water to account for the sweat loss you experienced. If you live in a hot climate, you may also need more due to sweating throughout the day.

- Andrea Cox, Nutritionist

You should be mindful of your body and drink more water daily when you notice dehydration side effects. Some of the side effects of dehydration are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Increased thirsty
  • Tiredness
  • Dry Skin

Some people think that using creatine supplements causes dehydration because it causes water to go into the muscle cells.

I couldn’t find any research to support this theory—quite the opposite. I found research that suggests that it can help with hydration [2].

How Do You Mix Creatine With Water?

How Do You Mix Creatine With Water

You mix 3-5 grams or one teaspoon of creatine monohydrate with 8 oz of water until the powder is dissolved.

Here are some other things you should consider:

  • Use creatine monohydrate in micronized form as it’s smaller than normal creatine. It will mix better so you won’t have clumps in your drink.
  • Use warm water to improve the dissolving process. Creatine dissolves more slowly in cold water or liquids. However, it doesn’t make it any less effective.
  • It’s best to take your creatine freshly mixed; it might be tempting to pre-mix it, but it’s a terrible idea. Creatine supplement starts to degrade the moment it’s in contact with water, lessening its weight gain effects.

Which Creatine Is Best For Mixing?

Creatine

The micronized creatine monohydrate supplement is the best for mixing. Its particles are approximately 20 times smaller than the regular creatine powder particles, making it easier to dissolve in water without lessening its weight gain effects.

Creatine monohydrate is also the most researched version, so you will still get the full benefits of drinking the micronized form.

Read: Creatine Monohydrate vs HCL

How Should I Take Creatine To See Results?

To see the results of taking creatine, you should do a loading phase. It entails ingesting 20 grams of creatine daily for 5–7 days to saturate your muscles rapidly, then 2–10 grams daily to sustain high levels.

This strategy can increase your muscle storage in one week or less.

Some people do a loading phase (which I’ll discuss in the next section more thoroughly). The theory is that you will see quicker results.

Know more about this in our article: When you should take creatine?

What Is The Correct Creatine Dosage?

The correct creatine dosage depends on your weight and if you decide to go on a loading phase first.

Loading means taking a lot of creatine before going into a maintenance dosage.

The usual recommendation is to consume 20-25 grams per day for about a week.

Once you complete the loading cycle, or if you decide to forgo it entirely, then you can switch to the maintenance dosage.

An average dosage is between 3-5 grams per day. You can calculate how much you should consume by taking your weight and multiplying it by 14mg per pound.

We discuss more about this on our article: Why you should cycle creatine?

Also, watch the video for more information about the correct dosage:

youtube

Does Creatine Have To Be Taken With Sugar?

Does Creatine Have To Be Taken With Sugar

No, creatine supplementation doesn’t have to be taken with sugar to benefit your skeletal muscles.

I know people though who would refuse to take creatine without some sweetener. Creatine supplements can have a bitter taste.

A lot of companies add sugar to their formula to help with the taste. If that appeals to you, then go for it.

Try to avoid artificial sweeteners because they have some potential health issues linked to them.

Does Caffeine Affect Creatine Negatively?

Caffeine can affect creatine negatively. If you consume too much caffeine, you dehydrate yourself. This could affect creatine’s ability to give you a powerful gym performance.

The research is inconclusive, but it’s worth noting.

On a related note, one study did suggest that creatine supplementation and caffeine only caused mild indigestion in a few people [3].

Final Thoughts

Dehydration is a serious issue, but you don’t have to drink extra water when using creatine.

Of course, when you workout and sweat, it can cause your body to lose fluids. Take the time to check in with yourself while you exercise to see if you feel less hydrated than average.

You should increase your water intake every time you exercise to prevent unwanted side effects, such as muscle cramping. Your body muscles will thank you every day for staying hydrated.

You may also check out our recommended creatine HCL supplements.

​References:

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0899900701005408
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12701814
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808512/

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