How Much Water to Drink With Creatine?

Creatine is a popular sports nutrition supplement that is best known for its potential to enhance athletic performance and increase muscle growth. 

Even though creatine is one of the most scientifically supported supplements, there are often questions regarding the right amount of water to drink with creatine.

This article will explain all you need to know about how much water to drink with creatine to optimize the benefits of creatine intake.

How Much Water to Drink Based on Creatine Dose

The amount of water you should drink while taking creatine can vary depending on the dose of creatine you take. 

In general, the more creatine you take, the more water you should drink.

However, there are different phases of creatine dosing, including creatine loading and creatine maintenance, both of which have different water intake requirements.

Water With Creatine Loading Dose

People may start taking creatine supplements with a creatine loading phase, which means taking a higher dose of the supplement for a short period of time. The purpose of creatine loading is to optimize the body's creatine stores.

The loading phase of creatine supplementation typically lasts around 5-7 days. 

During this time, it is recommended to take 20 grams of creatine per day, divided into four equal doses of 5 grams each. You should mix 5 grams of creatine with 8 oz of water. This will equal about 40 oz of water in addition to your normal water intake.

You should aim to consume about 1.5 to 2 times more water than usual, which is approximately 3-4 liters per day for most individuals.

The reason for increased water intake during the loading phase is to ensure that your skeletal muscles are adequately hydrated, as creatine can draw water into the muscle cells, aiding in its function.

Without increasing your water intake during creatine loading, some people may experience muscle cramps which is an easily avoided side effect.

Water With Creatine Maintenance Dose

Once the loading phase is complete, creatine users transition to the maintenance phase. Typically, the maintenance dose for creatine is 3-5 grams per day. Again, it's recommended to mix creatine with with water. Specifically, it's best to mix about 8 oz of water with each 3-5 gram dose. Luckily, creatine dissolves in water so you don't have to worry about it becoming clumpy.

In the maintenance phase, it's still important to remain hydrated, but the increased water intake required during the loading phase is not necessary.

Maintaining adequate hydration of around 2 liters per day should be adequate during the maintenance phase.

How Much Water Should You Drink When Taking Creatine?

You may be wondering how much water to drink with creatine.

In general, it's crucial to keep your body well-hydrated when using creatine, regardless of the phase you're in. 

A daily fluid intake of 2-3 liters (approximately 8-12 cups) is considered adequate for most individuals. This amount provides sufficient hydration to support creatine's potential benefits.

In addition to drinking 2-3 liters of water, it's best to consume an additional 8 oz of water with each creatine dose.

If you're wondering about the benefits of taking creatine monohydrate in the first place, continue reading as the next section will explore the health benefits of creatine supplementation.

Benefits of Creatine

There are many benefits to taking creatine monohydrate, which is the most popular form of creatine supplements. Compared to normal creatine, creatine monohydrate is a smaller molecule, and in fact more effective, giving way to its many health benefits.

1. Improved Exercise Performance

Creatine monohydrate has been extensively studied and shown to enhance exercise performance, particularly in activities that involve short bursts of high-intensity effort. This can be beneficial for athletes and fitness enthusiasts looking to boost their strength and power.

If you take creatine daily as a part of your pre workout routine, you may notice yourself being able to work out at higher intensities for longer durations.

2. Increased Muscle Mass

One of the most well-established benefits of creatine monohydrate supplementation is its ability to increase lean muscle mass.

When paired with resistance training, creatine has been shown to promote muscle protein synthesis and reduce muscle breakdown, which can lead to increased muscle mass over time.

With increased muscle protein synthesis, muscles are able to grow and people experience an increase in lean muscle mass.

3. Enhanced Muscle Recovery

In addition to being an effective supplement when it comes to building muscle, studies have shown that creatine supplementation may also reduce muscle damage and inflammation after exercise, which can lead to faster recovery.

In one study, participants who took creatine supplements had lower levels of muscle damage and inflammatory markers after exercise compared to those who did not.

The human body requires rest in order to function at it's best, so the more rapidly muscles can recover, the sooner you'll be able to get back to training and continue working towards your fitness goals.

4. Cognitive Benefits

Emerging research suggests that creatine may have cognitive benefits, potentially improving memory and cognitive function. Just like your muscles, your brain stores phosphocreatine and requires plenty of ATP for optimal functioning.

Supplementing with creatine may reduce the risk for developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease. Consuming creatine may also improve memory and brain function in older adults

5. Treatment for Certain Medical Conditions

Taking a daily creatine supplement has shown promise in the treatment of various medical conditions, such as muscular dystrophy and many neurodegenerative diseases.

However, more research is needed to further understand the role that creatine supplementation might play in treating medical conditions or reducing the risk for developing certain diseases.

Are There Any Potential Side Effects of Creatine?

While creatine monohydrate offers numerous advantages, some individuals are concerned about potential side effects such as muscle cramping and and upset stomach.

Creatine is generally safe for most people when used within recommended guidelines. However, some individuals may experience mild side effects, including:

Digestive Issues

Some people may experience stomach discomfort or diarrhea when taking creatine. Reducing the dosage or taking it with food can help alleviate these issues.

It's important to avoid taking too much caffeine when supplementing with creatine as this may further contribute to mild digestive upset.

Weight Gain

Creatine may cause an initial increase in body weight due to water retention within the muscle cells. Creatine draws water into muscle cells which may lead people to think they gain weight. This water weight is temporary and typically subsides after about a week or two.

It's important to understand that while water retention may cause the number on the scale to go up, this is not reflective of true weight gain but rather a reflection of fluid shifts in the body.

Muscle Cramps

Some people experience mild muscle cramping when taking creatine.

However, it's important to understand that this is typically completely avoidable when you ensure proper hydration.

Creatine is one of the most well-researched supplements, with minimal side effects and safety concerns.

What Not to Do When Taking Creatine

Here are some key dont's to keep in mind when using creatine:

Don't Skip Hydration

As mentioned earlier, proper hydration is important for creatine to be effective. Stay hydrated, especially during the loading phase, as dehydration can lead to side effects like cramping and digestive discomfort.

However, there is no need to over-hydrate. Sometimes drinking excessive amounts of water can lead to low blood sodium levels, making you feel sick, and even causing some serious side effects.

It might be helpful to keep track of how much water you're drinking to ensure you're getting the right amount.

Don't Exceed the Recommended Dosage

Stick to the recommended creatine daily dosage to prevent potential side effects. Too much creatine can be potentially harmful.

Don't Rely Solely on Supplements

While creatine can be a valuable addition to your pre workout regimen, it should complement a balanced diet and regular exercise. Don't rely solely on dietary supplements to reach your fitness goals.

Good sports nutrition practice combines the effective use of supplements, a good diet, a strong training program, as well as adequate sleep and stress-reduction practices.

Don't Take on an Empty Stomach

Some individuals may experience stomach discomfort if they take creatine on an empty stomach. To avoid this, consider having your creatine with a meal or a protein shake.

Is it Good to Drink a Lot of Water When Taking Creatine?

Yes, drinking enough water is essential when using creatine. Athletes need to drink enough water when taking creatine as it plays a crucial role in it's effectiveness and helps prevent potential side effects. Plus, staying adequately hydrated optimizes muscle function during workouts.

When athletes take creatine in their pre workout, water is pulled into muscle cells, improving the function of the muscle contraction during exercise. Proper hydration ensures that this process is efficient and supports muscle growth and performance.

Drinking enough water can prevent you from becoming dehydrated. Creatine can increase the risk of dehydration, especially if you're sweating during high intensity exercise.

Staying well-hydrated can also help prevent digestive issues or dry mouth that some individuals experience with creatine supplementation.

How Much Water Do I Need for 5g of Creatine?

If you are taking the common daily dose of 5 grams of creatine in the maintenance phase, you don't need to significantly increase your water intake beyond the recommended daily amount of around 2-3 liters of water.

Mix 5 grams of creatine powder with 8 oz of water.

Ensure you're spreading out your water consumption throughout the day to maintain consistent hydration.

Follow these guidelines and stay well-hydrated to maximize the advantages of creatine supplementation while minimizing the risk of any associated side effects.

Remember that individual responses may vary, so it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have specific health concerns.


  • Mix each 3-5 gram dose of creatine with 8 oz of water.

  • The total amount of water you should drink when taking creatine depends on the phase of supplementation and your specific dosage. 

  • During the loading phase, you should aim for 1.5 to 2 times your usual water intake or around 3-4 liters per day.

  • In the maintenance phase, regular daily hydration of 2-3 liters is generally sufficient.

  • Proper hydration is crucial to support creatine's potential benefits, prevent side effects, and ensure your overall well-being.

Can You Put Creatine in Coffee