How should you mix your creatine powder? Cold water, warm water, juice…?

February 5th, 2015
how to mix creatine powder

A lot of people who use creatine powdered supplement probably do not think much about what to mix it with.  Some will ask other creatine users and some will search the web. Some will follow the label whereas some will add it to juice or whatever they have on hand.  No more guessing or doing it wrong; here is the low down on how to get it right.

The keyword is mix

Have you ever made lemonade mix wrong?  Instead of adding the powdered mix first, you add it on top of the cold water and what happens?  You are stuck with globs of mix that a cement mixer couldn’t smooth out!  When you are using creatine powder you need to mix it thoroughly – no globs or clumps.  It needs to be smooth and fully dissolved before you drink it down.  Why?  Clumps or poorly dissolved creatine powder will be harder to digest and they will take longer to digest.

Warm or cold water

Again as with so many other issues that get brought up when using creatine powder, people like to debate the nitty gritty.  And to avoid gritty, blobs of creatine powder, the general consensus is to mix the powder in warm or tepid water.  Some like to mix it in 1 part hot water and add to three parts cold water.  As long as the solution is dissolving and is mixed well, either way would work. A lot of it is preference.  If you don’t have warm water on hand, do you skip it altogether?  No.  The most important thing is to get it thoroughly mixed.

What is the proper way to mix creatine powder?

There are a couple of options to take to get a successful, fully dissolved, ready to drink creatine powder drink.  If you are taking 5g, you will mix it with a quart of water.  The simplest way to do this would be to purchase a quart sized water bottle.  Fill it ½ full and add the powder and mix with a spoon.  When almost dissolved, add the remaining water and mix again.  Give it a quick shake and drink it down.  If you are going to use hotter water to help dissolving, separate out one cup of warm water.  Add the 5g of creatine powder to the cup of warm water.  Stir until completely dissolved.  Add the remaining 3 cups of cold water.  Done!  Awhile back there was a video showing how to dissolving creatine thoroughly helps in digestion.  The videos producer, Will Brink, had this to say:

“It’s my opinion that fully dissolving *may* optimize absorption for some, reduces waste, may improve effects in non-responders, and will reduce stomach discomfort in those who experience it with creatine.”

Why not juices or other drinks?

The fact that juices, sodas and energy drinks are chock full of sugar, carbohydrates, and all kinds of chemical combinations makes them a poor choice for an athlete in the first place.  For a while there was a claim that adding creatine powder to white grape juice was the perfect way to get your dose.  The idea, according to The Journal of Sports Medicine, was that the sugar in the juice created a spike in insulin.  Insulin regulates the uptake of creatine powder.  The big problem with this is the caloric intake for those taking creatine daily – it adds up to a lot.  Adding creatine powder to any of those seems as odd as pouring fresh mountain spring water into a cesspool.  Why would you do that?  Water is a part of your being – your cells are 90% water.  Creatine occurs naturally in your body.  The combination is a perfect pairing for your body.  Juices and other sugary drinks, when mixed with creatine, can sometimes cause stomach and intestinal upset.  On top of that, the caffeine found in these drinks is another additive that your body just doesn’t need and some claim it effects the absorption of the creatine.  Caffeine has also been known to be a factor in dehydration having the exact opposite effect you are working towards when using creatine powder.

Shelf Life

Mixing up a batch of creatine powder and taking it along to drink later is a very bad idea. Creatine powder, once mixed, begins to break down – becoming less potent and productive.  Once you have mixed your creatine powder, you need to drink it down.  If you need to take a supply with you on the road, the best way is to get a small single serve container or snack size Ziploc bag and keep the creatine powder sealed until you are ready to mix and drink.  Any other way and you might as well just be drinking water.  Some have suggested immediately follow the creatine powder drink with another quart of water – especially if you are working out right after.  This will help keep you hydrated during your workout.

The easiest way to use creatine powder is to keep it simple.  Creatine naturally occurs in your body.  Anything but pure creatine powder is not a clean powder.  Mixing with juices and other highly sugared drinks will add spikes in insulin and lots of added calories.  Along the same vein as juices are creatine powders that are flavored.  Again, these are no longer pure creatine powder if they have added chemicals to enhance flavors.  Not one added flavor will be without sugar or a chemically altered sugar substitute and again, this is counterproductive.

The best way to include creatine powder into your workout routine is to treat it as a product that helps you reach the goals you have set to get your body into the best shape possible.  It does it cleanly and naturally and that suits your healthy lifestyle perfectly.  The strong, healthy, muscular physique you have been working for shouldn’t be hampered by chemicals and by products and added fillers. Eat clean, drink clean, work hard and by adding creatine powder to your daily regime, you will see the results you have been working towards happen.