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:
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)
Dark yellow and strong-smelling urine
Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
Feeling tired and fatigued
A dry mouth, lips and eyes
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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