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How Much Water to Drink While Taking Creatine (Explained)

Updated: Oct 12

Evidence-Based. Scientifically Reviewed.

Creatine is a very common and effective supplement for improving your fitness, strength, and muscle growth. (1)

But taking creatine without drinking enough water can cause side effects, so how much water should you drink while taking creatine?

When taking 3-5 grams of creatine, you should aim to drink 3-4 litres of water per day. If you take more than 5 grams of creatine per day, drink an additional 100ml of water for every 1 gram of creatine, in addition to what you are already drinking.

In this article, I'll also tell you what happens if you don't drink enough water while taking creatine, as well as ways to improve the effects of creatine.

Table of Contents:

drinking creatine

Why Hydration With Creatine Is Important

Staying hydrated and drinking enough water is vital to a proper functioning body.

If you become dehydrated, not only can that impact your exercise performance, but it can also result in a multitude of adverse effects, such as the following. (2)

  • Feeling thirsty

  • Dark yellow and strong-smelling urine

  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded

  • Feeling tired and fatigued

  • A dry mouth, lips and eyes

  • A headache

Due to the way creatine works, it has a "sponge" like effect on water, meaning it draws water into and around the cells in your body.

Meaning it could cause dehydration if you didn't adjust your water intake to your creatine supplementation. (3)

Although technically the water is still in your body, it draws the water from your blood, causing the same effects as dehydration.

This is part of the reason why creatine causes cell volumization and within a few days of taking creatine your muscles look slightly bigger and fuller, and you gain around 2-4 lbs of weight. (4)

How to Stay Hydrated

Now you know why you should drink extra water while taking creatine, let's take a look at some ways you can improve your hydration and drink extra water.

As mentioned earlier, you should aim to drink around 3-4 litres of water per day when taking 3-5 grams of creatine.

However, this is an average, and the specific amount of water you should drink per day can be found in the table below.

Body Weight (lbs)

Water Intake

8 oz Glasses


50 oz / 1.5 litres



60 oz / 1.8 litres



70 oz / 2.1 litres



80 oz / 2.4 litres



90 oz / 2.7 litres



100 oz / 3 litres



110 oz / 3.3 litres


Think of creatine as a water intake multiplier, meaning you should add around 500 ml per 3-5 grams of creatine taken per day.

For Example: For a 200 lb person taking 5 grams of creatine per day, they should drink about 3.5 litres of water per day, at a minimum.

One trick to help you stay hydrated is to drink juices or milk, instead of just drinking water throughout the day.

This can help change up the taste and add variety to your day, while still containing around 80-90% water content.

Be sure to drink slightly extra if you only drink juices or milk.

How Much Water to Mix Creatine With

When mixing creatine, dissolve between 3 and 5 grams of creatine powder in ~230ml (8 oz) of water.

If you take more than 5 grams, add an extra 100ml of water per 1 gram of creatine. You can use a creatine calculator to adjust your creatine intake accordingly.

If you take 8 grams of creatine monohydrate, for example, you should dissolve it into ~530ml of water.

Though you can use whatever amount of liquid you want, it may become gritty and powdery to drink if the creatine doesn't dissolve properly.

A few tricks to help you mix creatine with water better are listed below.

  • Micronized creatine powder is easier to dissolve and mix into liquids than regular creatine powder is, making it less gritty and better tasting.

  • A warm drink, like hot chocolate can help the creatine dissolve easier.

  • Creatine begins to deteriorate quickly when it comes into contact with liquids, which is why it is best to mix the creatine with the liquids only when you need it.

Should You Avoid Mixing Creatine & Caffeinated Drinks?

Some people recommend that you should avoid mixing your creatine with pre-workouts that contain caffeine, coffee, tea, or anything else that contains caffeine.

I did some research into this and found some interesting results.

Caffeine was previously believed to reduce the performance-enhancing effects of creatine.

However, according to recent research, this is false. One study in 2017 that took place over 5 days split 54 males into four groups, shown below.

  • Anhydrous caffeine (300 mg) with creatine (20 grams)

  • Instant coffee (300 mg caffeine) with creatine (20 grams)

  • Creatine only (20 grams)

  • A placebo group

There were no significant variations in power or sprinting performance across the groups, according to the findings.

However, those who combined caffeine and creatine reported some stomach ache. (5)

One other thing to note is that caffeine and creatine may be worse for dehydration than creatine alone, so it is best to drink a little extra water if you combine them both.

Although there may be some minor adverse effects by combining the caffeine and creatine, there is no impact on exercise performance.

Therefore, it is fine to mix creatine with coffee and other caffeine-containing drinks and beverages, there is no negative effect on exercise performance.

The only reported possible adverse effect is stomach discomfort, which is likely to be minor.

How Much Creatine Should You Take

There is usually two ways to go about dosing creatine; loading and maintenance.

A "loading" phase is essentially where you take a high dosage of creatine for about one week then lower the dosage down to 3-5 grams per day.

Or you can simply take 3-5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day, without the loading phase.

creatine loading vs maintenance

It seems that both types of dosing work fine, the only difference being a faster increase in creatine levels with the loading phase.

However, even taking 3-5 grams per day with no loading phase your total creatine would reach the same or similar point, it'll just take longer.


Mixing 3-5 grams of creatine with ~230ml (8 oz) of water, juice, or milk is optimal. Drinking around 3-4 litres of water per day is recommended if you take a typical dosage of creatine.

Some key takeaways are listed below.

  • Mixing creatine with caffeine doesn't affect its effectiveness.

  • Drinking and mixing creatine with water, juice, and milk can help you stay hydrated.

  • Creatine has a slight dehydrating effect due to cellular volumization.

Further Reading

> Is Creatine Bad For You? (Top 3 Myths Debunked)

> Does Creatine Actually Build Muscle? (Study-Backed)


This section contains links to research, studies, and sources of information for this article, as well as authors, contributors, etc. All sources, along with the article and facts, are subjected to a series of quality, reliability, and relevance checks.

Real Muscle primarily uses high-quality sources, such as peer-reviewed publications, to back up the information in our articles. To understand more about how we fact-check and keep our information accurate, dependable, and trustworthy, read more about us.

This evidence-based analysis on creatine and water intake features 5 references, listed below.

1. Cooper R, Naclerio F, Allgrove J, Jimenez A. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2012, Jul 20) ✔

2. NHS. Dehydration (Government Authority) ✔

3. Powers ME, Arnold BL, Weltman AL, Perrin DH, Mistry D, Kahler DM, Kraemer W, Volek J. Creatine Supplementation Increases Total Body Water Without Altering Fluid Distribution. J Athl Train. (2003, Mar) ✔

4. Buford, T.W., Kreider, R.B., Stout, J.R. et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2007) ✔

5. Trexler ET, Smith-Ryan AE, Roelofs EJ, Hirsch KR, Persky AM, Mock MG. Effects of Coffee and Caffeine Anhydrous Intake During Creatine Loading. J Strength Cond Res. (2016, May) ✔

✔ Citations with a tick indicate the information is from a trusted source.

The information provided in this article is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a physician or other competent professional before following advice or taking any supplement. See our terms and conditions.

Real Muscle leads the way in terms of transparency and privacy, which is why we want to let you know that some of the outbound links in this article may be affiliate links in which we may earn a small commission through. Despite this, our product recommendations are completely unbiased.

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