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How Much Water Should You Drink While Taking Creatine?

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: September 14, 2021

Creatine is one of the most studied workout supplements. Studies show that it can increase muscle 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 do you need to drink with creatine.

There are rumors that it could cause dehydration and have adverse effects on body muscles. 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 8oz 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 Drink With Creatine?

It’s vital to drink enough water when taking creatine to get the maximum benefits. Here’s my recommendation on how much water should be consumed:

  • Per serving: When taking one serving (3-5g) of creatine, you should drink 300-500ml of water on top of your regular water intake.
  • Total water intake per day while taking creatine: You should consume at least 4 to 5 liters daily while consuming 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 drink more water when taking creatine daily.

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 muscles.

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

Taking creatine with water is a simple process. Mix 3-5 grams of creatine monohydrate with 8-oz of water using a spoon until it’s 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.

Which Creatine Is Best For Mixing?

Creatine

The micronized creatine monohydrate supplement is the best for mixing.

It’s made into smaller particles compared to regular creatine. Since it’s smaller, it makes it easier and quicker to dissolve in water.

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

Read: Creatine Monohydrate vs HCL

How Should I Take Creatine To See Results?

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

You could skip the loading phase and go straight to taking a maintenance dosage. You’re not less likely to see results with your muscle mass.

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 body weight and if you decide to load first.

Loading means that you take a lot of creatine at first before you go 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 doesn’t have to be taken with sugar.

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.

What Other Liquids Can I Mix With Creatine?

Fruits and juices

You can mix creatine with a few other liquids. A few popular choices include:

  • Juice: It tastes better and boosts your carb intake (Be wary of calories and citrus juices)
  • Pre-Workout: Creatine plus a bunch of nutrients to support muscle growth? Count me in!
  • Protein Shake: You can add creatine to your protein shake of the day

Depending on your personal goals, any of these options can increase your muscle weight and energy more enjoyably.

Does Caffeine Effect Creatine Negatively?

There is some evidence that caffeine affects creatine negatively. The research is inconclusive, but it’s worth noting.

If you consume too much caffeine, then you dehydrate yourself. It could affect creatine’s ability to give you a powerful gym performance.

On a related note, one study did suggest that creatine and caffeine only caused mild indigestion to 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. Your body muscles will thank you every day for staying hydrated.

For some of the best creatine supplements on the market, see our full article.

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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