Creatine is an excellent supplement that gives you extra energy throughout your intense workout session. It facilitates the faster production of ATP, which provides more energy to cells and as a result, gives you the pump that you’ve been looking for.
That being said, creatine monohydrate also promotes higher water absorption by muscle cells. This can cause dehydration or similar conditions.
So, if you too have the habit of taking creatine, you might have also suffered from dehydration and fatigue. And, if you have been wondering what the reason for your dehydration was, well, your creatine might be the reason!
So, while taking creatine powder, you also need to increase your water intake. But in that case, how much water should you exactly drink per day? What exactly is the reason why you should drink more while taking creatine? And what happens if you don’t?
You will find the answer to all these questions through this article. Read along!
Do I Need to Drink Lots of Water with Creatine?
Yes, you need to drink more water while taking creatine. The major reason here is, creatine causes your muscle cells to absorb more water than usual.
As your muscle cells absorb excess water, your body will be left with less water for other organs. This will affect their function and will eventually impact your workout performance.
That being said, you don’t have to gulp several liters of water for your creatine. Just a couple of extra glasses of water is sufficient if you decide to take it slowly. If you are going for a faster loading phase, however, you may have to go for higher water intake.
Later in this article, we will guide you on the exact desired creatine water intake for different levels of creatine dosage as well.
Creatine and Water Intake
Creatine and water are closely related to each other, and the former has a high affinity to the latter.
Here is a real life example to make it clear- If you know someone who has already been taking creatine for a while, you might have noticed that they have gained some weight over time.
Well, there is a solid reason behind this – the creatine which they take absorbs water into muscle cells. This increased water storage is what contributes to increased body mass and size.
However, you don’t have to worry about this weight gain, and there are a number of studies which prove it. It is not fat but water that causes weight gain, and will come down within a few weeks or so, when your body adapts to creatine.
Now, back to our topic, creatine monohydrate will cause your muscle cells to absorb excess water; water that would otherwise go to other organs or for other bodily functions!
So, when cells absorb most of the water content, some other organs might be left with water deficiency; your brain, stomach, skin, and other organs may run out of water, leading to certain discomforts.
So, it should be pretty much clear to you why you need to take extra water while taking creatine.
If you aren’t taking that extra few glasses of water, your body may suffer from conditions like dehydration, fatigue, etc.
This can affect not only your workout performance but also your daily life activities in the short term as well as in the long term!
How Much Water To Drink With Creatine?
Water is vital for our bodily functions. On average, human beings are supposed to drink 6 to 8 glasses (8-ounce glasses) of water. But when you take creatine, this much water might not be sufficient, and you may have to drink a bit more water.
That is, 8-10 glasses daily!
In other words, when you take creatine in the normal dosage, you need to drink 2 more glasses of water than usual. The normal creatine dosage we meant here is 3-5 grams.
And, if you take more than 5 grams of creatine, for every one gram of creatine intake, drink an additional 100 ml of water.
So, if you go for an even intense creatine loading phase, you might have to drink a lot more water.
For instance, if you go for 20 grams of creatine per day in the loading phase, in addition to your recommended 8-10 glasses of water, you might have to drink around 1½ liters of water additionally.
How Much Water Should You Drink With 3 Grams Of Creatine?
When you are taking 3 grams of creatine per day, drink around 400-500 ml more than how much you would typically drink. Or in other words, go for a couple more glasses of water to compensate for the water loss.
If you can’t drink 500 ml extra, aim for at least 300 ml, and that is crucial.
And while mixing, add 8 ounces of water to your 3 grams of creatine powder.
How Much Water Should You Drink With 5 Grams Of Creatine?
If you take 5 grams of creatine daily, you need to drink 500 ml more than how much you would usually drink.
And, while mixing, add 8 ounces of water to your 5 grams of creatine. So, extra water intake needed while taking creatine remains more or the same for 3-5 gram dosages!
Beyond 5 grams, for every gram of creatine you take, add an additional 100 ml of water! For instance, if you go for an extreme loading phase and take 20 grams per day, you should take (20-5) x 100, which is 1½ liters of water!
What Happens If You Don’t Drink Enough Water While Taking Creatine
If you don’t drink those extra few glasses of water, your body will be left with a very little amount of water, as your muscle cells absorb a major portion of it. This will deprive other organs of water.
And, there is no doubt that sufficient water is crucial for the working of almost all bodily functions and organs, including your brain, kidney, stomach, and skin.
So, as you might guess, water deficiency or dehydration may lead to conditions, such as:
Fatigue, or Counter Effect
It would be quite an irony that you take creatine for a better athletic performance, but end up exhausted instead, as you forgot to drink water. Your muscle cells may be producing more energy through ATPs, but water is even more crucial for sustained boost.
As your muscle cells retain more water, your stomach will be left with very little amount of water. This will lead to gastrointestinal troubles like bloating.
And, bloating will be the last thing you want while working out.
It is common knowledge that the kidney badly needs sufficient water for proper functioning. If your kidney or the renal system isn’t getting enough water, it may cause kidney stone and other long term troubles.
In addition to these major troubles, you may have to deal with some other conditions like dry skin.
All these discomforts, together or alone, will affect your workout sessions. Imagine suffering from bloating or headache in the middle of exercising, that too due to a supplement that you took to improve your performance!
But in the end, you can prevent all these discomforts just by drinking a few more glasses of water. So, go for it!
The Bottom Line
There is no doubt that creatine is one of the best supplements out there that can take your workout performance to the next level. But you should also drink more water while taking creatine to ensure that your body is not missing out on hydration.
That being said, if you engage in intense workout sessions, you will naturally drink that extra amount of water out of thirst! So, don’t worry much over creatine water intake; just make sure that you are drinking 2 or more glasses than you usually drink!