Anyone trying to lose weight or gain muscle will do almost anything to make it happen. Intense workouts, strict diets, and supplementation are all on the menu.
Creatine monohydrate is one of the most popular supplements among weightlifters.
So what’s the best way to get creatine in your system? Can you dry scoop creatine? Are there any benefits if you dry scoop your protein, or is it too risky? Read on to find out.
- What Is Dry Scooping Creatine?
- Should You Dry Scoop Creatine Without Water? (Pros & Cons)
- Still Want To Dry Scoop Creatine? (Here’s How To Do It Safely)
- Expert Tips On Taking Creatine Properly (Most Effective Way)
- Frequently Asked Dry Scooping Creatine Questions
What Is Dry Scooping Creatine?
Dry scooping is exactly what it sounds like. You take a dry scoop of your creatine and dump it directly into your mouth without mixing it in a drink.
Once it’s in your mouth, you either swallow it dry or chase it with water, pre-workout, a protein shake, or any other drink to help you swallow it.
The dry scooping trend became pretty popular on social media, and dry scooping pre-workouts also went viral (but we wouldn't recommend doing that).
Fortunately, most social media trends among fitness influencers die out, but the viral sensation of adding creatine straight to your mouth has somehow stuck around.
As a result, it has become a popular way for people in the fitness community to take their creatine and other powdered supplements.
So should you jump on the dry scooping powder bandwagon? Not so fast.
Should You Dry Scoop Creatine Without Water? (Pros & Cons)
Before you throw your shaker bottle in the trash, know that the only real benefit of dry scooping your creatine and other supplement powders is the off chance you go viral on social media.
Apart from that, there really is no reason to dry scoop creatine powder or pre-workout.
Benefits Of Dry Scooping Creatine
This section should be called the “perceived” benefits of creatine because none of the benefits your favorite fitness influencer may claim to receive from dry scooping hold any weight.
The most common perceived benefit of dry scooping creatine powder is that it’ll get the creatine into your bloodstream quicker.
That would mean that the creatine is absorbed into your body much faster, so you can start reaping the benefits of the dry scoop much sooner.However, there is no scientific research that backs up any of the perceived benefits of dry-scooping creatine. So, unfortunately, people started dry scooping their supplements for attention, and it stuck.
Health Risks Of Dry Scooping Creatine
Unlike the perceived benefits of a dry scoop of creatine, the health risks have been verified. Here are a few risk factors you may have to deal with if you dry scoop creatine supplements.
If you dry scoop your creatine, you’ll cough - a lot. And when you’re coughing, you’re going to lose a lot of the creatine in the process.
This is because you can easily inhale powdered creatine before it makes it to your mouth to swallow or wash it down with a drink.
So instead of going down your throat, the creatine goes down the wrong pipe, irritating your airways and causing you to cough. This is why you should always take creatine with water.
If you’ve never tried dry scooping a supplement in powder form, maybe you tried to dry scoop some chocolate powder in your mouth as a kid.
Or, maybe you took part in the cinnamon challenge. Unfortunately, if you did either, you probably choked on the powder.
The same goes when you try to dry scoop creatine or any other powdered supplement. If you dry scoop your creatine supplement, there’s a good chance you’ll choke on it.
When the powder is exposed to liquid and moisture in your mouth, it creates a unique chalky texture that makes it harder to swallow.
You’ll also choke if the creatine goes down your windpipe or trachea.
In addition to irritating your throat and airways, it can cause aspiration, which occurs when something enters your airways and lungs.
Aspiration is very serious and can have devastating consequences.
There really isn’t a reason to increase your risk of choking. Just be safe and add dry powder to your water or pre-workout supplement.
Tooth Damage & Decay
In addition to getting stuck in your throat, some of it can get stuck in your teeth when you dry scoop creatine.
This doesn’t seem as bad as the increased risk of choking, but it can have some adverse effects on your dental health, like making your teeth weaker.
Depending on the creatine you use, it could contain acidic ingredients like citric acid (added to creatine monohydrate with a sour flavor) or hydrochloric acid.
These acids can get stuck to your teeth and eat away at your enamel (the outer, shiny, protective layer of your teeth).
If you’ve ever noticed someone with yellow teeth, they got that way because they lost their enamel.
Each dry scoop of creatine could get you one step closer to yellow teeth. That’s reason enough for us to never dry scoop creatine.
If you really want to dry scoop creatine (and there’s no reason you should), at least choose an unflavored powder so you can avoid some of the acidic ingredients like citric acid that will damage the enamel on your teeth.
Many people don’t realize that when they dry scoop creatine, they get much less than they would if they were mixing creatine with a liquid.
This is because most people end up coughing a lot of it out, and the creatine gets stuck to their teeth.
To be sure you get all the creatine you need, just toss some in a shaker bottle and mix it with a liquid.
If you drink it and notice some creatine left at the bottom of your cup, add some water and keep refilling until the cup is empty.
Still Want To Dry Scoop Creatine? (Here’s How To Do It Safely)
If you’re still thinking of dry scooping your creatine supplementation, you at least need to do it safely.
And we get it, maybe dry scooping is just more accessible, or you forgot your shaker bottle at home, or if dry scooping is your preferred method, you need to be able to do it safely.
So here are two recommendations on how to do it the safest way possible.
If you’re dry scooping, just remember that:
Consuming creatine dry is less effective than mixing it in with a liquid, and it can even cause stomach cramps.
In addition, potential wastage means you probably won’t consume enough creatine consistently to ensure the creatine stores in your body will support your performance goals.
Take it from us, creatine dry scooping is not worth it, and creatine is best mixed in with water or a protein smoothie. On non-training days you could even mix it with some yogurt or protein oats.
So can you dry scoop creatine? Sure, but we don’t recommend it. Ultimately, dry scooping creatine powders will be a waste of time and money and a hazard to your health.
Expert Tips On Taking Creatine Properly (Most Effective Way)
Mix It With Juice
Most people just dump 5 grams of creatine with water and call it a day. However, if you prefer some flavor with your creatine, just add it to your favorite juice or smoothie.
This is why we recommend getting unflavored creatine. It gives you more options when mixing your creatine with juices or smoothies.
Mix It With Protein Powder
Many people also add creatine to their protein shakes. It doesn’t add any additional benefits when you add it to your protein, but it does make it more convenient for some people.
However, if you add oats or peanut butter to your protein shakes, you might get added benefits when adding creatine. This is because of the relationship between creatine and carbs.
Carbs With Creatine
Studies have shown that taking creatine with carbohydrates results in a “60% greater increase of muscle total creatine content”.
Another study shows that creatine added to carbs and protein gives “greater creatine retention.” Both factors could increase muscle growth.
This is because carbs increase your insulin levels, and insulin drives more creatine into your muscle cells. So next time you take creatine, have some carbs with it.
Frequently Asked Dry Scooping Creatine Questions
Can you dry scoop creatine? Sure, but it offers no additional benefits compared to adding it to water. Moreover, it can be a dangerous practice that negatively affects your health by increasing the chances of choking and producing stomach discomfort.
No scientific evidence says dry scooping creatine is more effective than mixing it with liquid in a shaker or water bottle. And, due to supplement wastage, it could even be less effective. So the best way to increase creatine absorption is to take it with a carb.
Dry scooping creatine does not work faster. Your absorption rates of creatine won’t change because you have had it dry. Creatine works best when consumed with carbohydrates pre-workout. It is not absorbed faster when it is dry scooped.
When people dry scoop creatine, it can cause more harm than good. Swallowing creatine reduces its effectiveness, causes tooth decay, increases the risk of choking, and leads to creatine wastage.
Most people add about 6ox of water to their creatine. However, when supplementing with creatine, you need to drink water in excess. Try to drink an additional 8-10 cups of water each day, depending on your exercise regimen.
So, can you dry scoop creatine? Absolutely.
Still, the more appropriate question is should you dry scoop creatine? The answer to that question is a resounding no.
You should always consume creatine powder in drinking water, juice, or a protein shake.
The benefits of dry-scooped creatine do not outweigh the potential risks involved because there aren’t any benefits.
Dry scooping your supplements is completely unnecessary, and dry scoop challenges should be criticized, not popularized.