Creatine is a powerful supplement, but some wonder whether it contains caffeine.

In this article, we’ll go through the differences between creatine and caffeine, which is more stimulating, and whether to mix them.

Once you’ve read through it, you’ll know all you need to know about creatine supplementation. Then you can focus on boosting your muscle mass and exercise performance without second thoughts about creatine and caffeine!

The short answer is that creatine does not contain caffeine content. So why is this a common misconception? 

Well, the most important distinction between caffeine and creatine is that they are different compounds. They don’t contain each other.

Many believe creatine monohydrate contains caffeine because the former is popular in energy drinks.

The main reason why adding creatine has beneficial effects in pre-workout energy drinks is that it's an amino acid, unlike caffeine.

However, caffeine does boost energy because it’s a stimulant. Benefits include higher alertness, increased mental performance, and improved gym performance.

Creatine will also enable your athletic performance to result in increasing muscle mass. This is because when the muscle tissue gets saturated with creatine, the strength and power of those muscle increases.

Is Creatine Considered A Stimulant Or Not?

No, creatine is not considered a stimulant because it's an amino acid found naturally in the human body.

Because of this, it's a well-known pre-workout supplement and has a reputation as a natural physical performance enhancer.

If creatine were a stimulant, it would make you hyperactive, energetic, and driven for a short time. Creatine cannot do this as it only affects the body's ability to gain muscle mass from high-intensity exercise.

It does this by giving your muscles more power, enabling you to persevere and strengthen them. Creatine monohydrate also has an ergogenic effect, meaning it enhances resistance training.

Learn More - Micronized Creatine Vs Monohydrate (Learn The Differences)

On the other hand, caffeine is a synthetic ingredient added to pre-workout supplements to create a temporary energy boost and stimulates the central nervous system.

Suppose you drink a caffeinated beverage and take creatine in powder form. You’ll start feeling the effects of caffeine, but without exercising, the creatine will pass through your system without any noticeable effects.

Open Tub Of CultSport Creatine Monohydrate Powder

Key Differences Between Creatine and Caffeine

Research shows that when you mix both creatine and caffeine supplements or take multi-ingredient supplements, “a pharmacokinetic reaction is unlikely. ”[1]

This means there aren't likely to be opposing effects between the two substances. There is still a range of differences, though, and I'll explore these below.


Many gymgoers include creatine loading as part of their everyday fitness routine. This is because taking creatine as a pre-workout supplement enables the body to rapidly produce energy during high-intensity exercise.

Unlike the stimulating effect of caffeine, creatine actually helps make energy for the muscles. This is why creatine supplements are often taken as part of pre-workout drinks or as stand-alone supplements.

Related Article - Creatine Vs Glutamine (Major Differences You Should Know)

Benefits Of Creatine

Taking creatine daily is highly recommended for athletic performance as it's one of the most effective sports performance aids.

The body readily uses creatine because it's one of the amino acids with ergogenic effects, and it helps make energy for the muscles. The health benefits of creatine supplementation include the following:

  • Increased exercise metabolism
  • Better sprint performance
  • Faster growth in muscle size
Drawbacks Of Creatine

Despite being one of the most effective performance enhancers, creatine can also cause problems when too much is taken or when taken too often, such as:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Cramps
  • Excess stomach discomfort


Caffeine ingestion is a daily routine for anyone who drinks tea or coffee. Caffeine anhydrous intake doesn’t serve as the body’s primary energy source when consumed, yet it has a range of short-term effects on the body.

Benefits Of Caffeine

When you want a sharp jolt of energy that powers you through the next few hours, this is what caffeine is for. Some of the many benefits of a shot of caffeine in the form of a strong coffee include:

  • Increased ability to concentrate
  • Caffeine counteracts tiredness and gives an energy boost
  • A heightened state of alertness
Drawbacks Of Caffeine

If you took caffeine before exercise, you’d feel frantic in the gym, but your muscle cells wouldn’t be gaining any other benefits. Caffeine is also an external stimulant that’s not needed for the body to improve. Caffeine in excess can lead to adverse effects, like:

  • Less restful sleep
  • Muscle twitches
  • Higher blood pressure

Can You Mix Creatine And Caffeine?

Yes, combining creatine and caffeinated beverages in pre-workout formulas is possible without losing the benefits of either.

This concurrent supplementation approach is an efficient way to get a fresh feeling before you hit the gym and make the most out of your muscle contractions. But let’s look at a couple more pros and cons.

See More - What To Mix Creatine With (Guide For Liquids & Supplements)


  • More research shows that creatine and caffeine have very few chemical interactions.[1]
  • Caffeine intake is excellent for a quick boost of energy.
  • Creatine supplies additional energy to the muscles.
  • Taking creatine helps improve performance and maintains good sport nutrition.
  • Creatine helps with strength gains from intense exercise.


  • Caffeine is a diuretic that promotes water retention and causes you to urinate more.
  • Caffeine blocks the adenosine neurotransmitter rather than supplying more energy.
  • If you’re late to the gym, you may have worsened sleep due to the stimulating caffeine.
  • A creatine excess can lead to digestive trouble, but only if you take more than needed.
  • Creatine won’t make you feel any different, so it’s on you to push yourself at the gym.

Best Way To Stack Creatine With Caffeine

When a selection of healthy male volunteers took part in a trial to determine how the two ingredients worked together, they took 300mg of caffeine and 20mg of creatine. According to the research, no “significant differences” existed for any combination of the two ingredients.[2]

This is roughly the amount of caffeine you’d get in a cup of instant coffee, so you could drink a cup of that first, then put a few scoops of creatine in a glass of water and wash it down. With more research, you could discern precise quantities, but estimates will suffice too.

When you take enough creatine, it makes use of more phosphate molecules. It does this by converting adenosine phosphate molecules into adenosine triphosphate molecules.

Alongside that, caffeine will wake you up fast and get you moving before you start your exercises. This is why mixing creatine and caffeine promotes muscle growth.

Creatine’s Impact On Your Performance

Now that you know the details regarding creatine, it's worth looking at how consuming creatine actually changes your gym performance. The evidence shows that if you ask, 'does creatine give you energy?' the consensus is that it doesn't give you the energy; it just helps make use of the energy you bring to the gym.

If you follow good sports nutrition guidelines and consult a healthcare professional once in a while, you’ll get decent results from taking creatine, as with other healthy and natural amino acids.

The long-term safety of creatine is not in doubt, and even when combined with caffeine, the pharmacokinetic interactions are limited.

Does Creatine Keep You Awake?

No, creatine won’t keep you awake because it’s not a stimulant. Taking it regularly and in large quantities can limit sleep quality, but this is unlikely.

Either way, the effects of creatine are not strong enough to keep you awake at night, so it won’t reduce tiredness.

Creatine is also not a stimulant in the same way that caffeine is, so if you take it and don’t do any exercise, you won’t notice it. The creatine will go mostly unused by the body and then pass through you.

Related Article - Does Creatine Keep You Awake? (Will It Ruin Your Sleep)

Does Creatine Give You Energy During The Day?

Creatine boosts energy levels because it ensures the muscles can use extra phosphates while exercising, and knowing you're taking it encourages you to push harder at the gym.

You probably won't notice much change if you take it by itself. It comes into its own when you exercise shortly after taking it.

Man Lifting Weights In The Gym

Common Questions About Creatine And Caffeine

Can you take creatine with coffee?

Yes, there's no reason you can mix creatine with coffee, although you should ensure you use plain creatine and not one of the flavored varieties available on the market. Otherwise, you might be in for a pretty unpleasant taste and digestive discomfort!

Does caffeine really cancel out creatine?

No, caffeine does not cancel out creatine. This is a common misconception based on the idea that the two ingredients are both stimulants. Caffeine is the only stimulant of the two, whereas creatine is an amino acid. Because of this, they cannot cancel each other out.

Should you generally avoid caffeine when supplementing creatine?

It's wise not to take excessive amounts of caffeine or creatine as pre-workout supplements, even among bodybuilders and other fitness enthusiasts. There's no systematic review telling you that you have to generally avoid caffeine, so they're safe to take together.


Caffeine and creatine are two entirely different ingredients that bear very little in common with each other.

They also don’t contain each other and can be mixed with performance-enhancing benefits. This article has shown you why and how you can do it.

Now all that’s left is for you to experiment and see what happens in your workouts and body composition over the coming weeks!


Miloš Lepotic

Miloš Lepotic

Miloš loves three things - science, sports, and simplicity. So, what do you get when you put the three together? A no-BS guy that's all about efficient workouts and research-backed supplements. But he also thinks LeBron's the greatest ever, so...