After taking creatine for a decade, it's safe to say I cracked the code on what to mix creatine with.

Whether it’s eliminating the salty taste or making the most out of my morning dose of supplements, after years of experimenting, I’ve found that some things just make sense.

Spoiler alert: Only a few of these make creatine more delicious.

That said, I'm still super-confident that you'll like these combos!

Before I divulge my secrets about your different options to combine creatine with, I'd like you to know that all of these include the form creatine monohydrate exclusively.

1. Water

Water is definitely the best drink to mix creatine with.

It’s clean, cheap, and easy!

The only downside is that it doesn't make it taste better, but none of that matters if I'm being honest.

Water is Tom Brady of creatine-mixing liquids because it complements the effects of creatine flawlessly. Since creatine draws water into your muscles, supplying your body with enough of God’s nectar is the best way to go about your muscle-building efforts.

As for how much water do you need? It depends. Taste salty? Add more water to the mixture. Dehydration kicking in? Add water to your system.

Learn More - Does Creatine Make You Thirsty? (Why It Can Cause Dry Mouth)

And, if you’re worried about the increased risk of water retention or bloating - DON’T BE! There’s plenty of evidence putting this myth to rest.[1]  

So, stay hydrated and enjoy your workouts.

2. Pre-Workout

Can you take creatine and pre-workout together? Yes.

Should you? It depends.

Creatine has no immediate benefits on athletic performance; whether it's strength training or cardio we're talking about.

While it does give you more energy to help you train harder, it is not a stimulant, no matter how many grams of creatine you pour down the hatch.

So by that logic, it doesn’t belong in or with a pre-workout.

However…There is also nothing wrong with mixing a creatine supplement with pre-workouts. And that rests on the simple fact that maintaining your saturation doesn’t rely on timing.

You can supplement creatine any time of day - on an empty stomach in the morning or at night. Also, creatine generally bodes well with other supplements, so mixing the two is perfectly safe.

3. Juice

I love my creatine in juice. It’s a nice twist on an otherwise boring daily fitness ritual. And from my personal experience, the best juice to mix creatine with is cranberry juice.

Pro tip: Go for the unsweetened cranberry fruit juice.

I also love:

  • Orange juice
  • Apple juice
  • Lemonade (I know it’s not juice, but it’s delicious)

I chose cranberry because it’s rich in carbs, is an excellent source of antioxidants, works wonders for digestive health, and tastes incredible.

Also,  I saw Eddie Hall guzzling it, and if a man that can deadlift 1100 boasts its effectiveness - it's got to be worth something.

Just be mindful of calories because there are about 120 in a cup.

Pouring Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

4. Protein Shakes

Taking creatine with a protein shake has become my go-to, and you should consider it too. Whether it's a pre or post-workout shake - these two work wonders.

It doesn't matter if your goal is to lose weight or increase lean muscle mass. The performance boost you'll get from these two is amazing.

That’s not just me talking. There’s tons of scientific evidence supporting this claim.

You need both to support muscle growth or improve muscle recovery from weight lifting or any other form of workout, so just add creatine to your protein shakes.

It's not only effective but as I said earlier,  it was proven that creatine works best when paired with protein and carbs. Whether from lean meat or a scoop of protein powder - it doesn't really matter.

Learn More - Can You Mix Creatine With Protein Powder? (Expert Advice)

That said, here’s my protein shake of choice that I drink twice a day:

  • 25 g of whey protein powder isolate
  • 3 g of creatine
  • 17 oz (500 ml) of water

I know, it’s boring. You feel free to experiment and add whatever you want to this combo.

5. Smoothies

Smoothies are also a great drink to spice up with creatine. It’s easy, super tasty, and ultimately, the only thing stopping you from making a bomb-a** smoothie is your imagination.

On that note, I see many gym rats and fitness influencers sharing their protein-rich, exercise performance-boosting smoothies, so here’s my go-to:

  • 25 g of whey protein
  • 5 g of creatine
  • 60 g of low-fat greek yogurt
  • 100 g of blueberries
  • 4 oz (120 ml) of almond milk
  • Ice

Now, I don’t know the exact macros of this one (because it will vary based on your choice of yogurt and milk), but you’re getting about 30 grams of protein under 300 calories.

Also, if you're consuming smoothies regularly, you already know how to make a great one, so the recipe isn't all that important.

What’s important is that you should feel free to combine your daily dose with your “meal-in-a-glass” choice.

6. Mass Gainer

Generally speaking, mass gainers are a complete waste of money, so you really shouldn’t bother with them.

They’re just a bunch of semi-worthless calories stacked on top of high doses of protein. You’re much better off with just protein (either from meals or in powder form), some healthy carbohydrates and fats from your diet, and several workouts in the gym.

Do that, and your muscles will grow!

With that out of the way, there really isn’t a compelling reason to say you can’t mix mass gainers and creatine.

You're already supplementing with a bunch of stuff, so adding additional ingredients to your drink can't harm you.  

7. BCAAs

BCAAs are important - that goes without saying.

HOWEVER.

As a supplement to your regular gym routine - BCAAs are worthless.

Well, most people in fitness are using them. Why do you say they're worthless?

You’re already feeding your body and muscles with protein powder, so there isn’t any need to waste your money or energy on BCAAs.

Related Article - BCAAs Vs Creatine (Should You Take Both For Muscle Growth?)

Use complete protein, like whey, casein, or soy, and you’ll get all the essential amino acids to fuel your workout and support your fitness journey.

That said, if you’re hell-bent on wasting money on these and you’re wondering if you can mix them with creatine? You can.

Optimum Nutrition BCAA Mixed With Healthy Drink

8. Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine mixed with creatine is a solid drink of choice for many fitness enthusiasts and athletes.

When consumed properly!

Since both take a few weeks (about four, at the right dosages) to saturate your muscles, you’re absolutely right if you think about combining these powders to fuel your fitness journey.

So, what’s the best way to do it?

Take 5 g of creatine, 6.4 g of beta-alanine, and 12 oz of water. Just water. Mix it all up and drink it whenever you want. After about a month, YOU WILL NOTICE the difference in your workouts and your physique![2]

You'll experience a boost in muscle appearance, endurance, strength, recovery time, and pretty much any other exercise aspect.

Now, you’re bound to experience some itching from beta-alanine, and if that gets you going for some reason, you might as well drink this combo 30 minutes before you hit the gym.

Related Article - Beta Alanine Vs Creatine: Which Is Best For Gym Performance?

9. Citrulline

Finally, we have citrulline or L-citrulline - a great ingredient to boost your vasodilation and get massive muscle pumps.

Rarely used as a standalone supplement, citrulline is often found in pre-workouts. However, since it’s often underdosed, I’d recommend taking it separately or, in this case, with your daily scoop of CM.

There's no evidence to suggest that taking these together will boost anything, but there isn't any evidence suggesting otherwise. Essentially, when it comes to these two, it's just about convenience.

10. Milk

Milk is a decent option to take your creatine supplements with.

Okay, full disclosure - I can’t stand milk!

I'm not lactose intolerant; it's just disgusting to me. So, if you want my personal experience on adding creatine to cow's milk - I don't have any.

What I do have is experience with mixing it with almond and oat milk. Both of these taste pretty good, but of course, personal preferences will prevail.

That said, if you’d like a data-driven, research-backed perspective, oat milk is your best bet because it's high in carbohydrates and protein, both of which are known to increase muscle saturation.[3]

Also, if you’re lactose-intolerant, a plant-based option is a surefire way to offset cramps and frequent toilet visits.

Learn More - Does Creatine Make You Poop? (Find The Answer Here!)

Why Should You Consider Mixing Creatine? (Benefits)

The only real benefit of combining creatine with juices, milk, shakes, or other supplements is convenience.

Here's the harsh truth. If you're mixing creatine to boost its effectiveness, absorption, or any other thing, you're pretty much left with two things - carbs and protein.

Anything other than that is pretty much just spicing things up and figuring out the best way to make its consumption more efficient or delicious.

Optimum Nutrition Supplement Powder Mixed With Milk

What You Should Not Mix Creatine With

Caffeine

Creatine and caffeine generally work well together.

However, if you drink plenty of coffee or ingest high doses of caffeine (above 300 mg) alongside your daily creatine dose, you could end up dehydrated or with an upset stomach.

Also, there was a study that showcased that caffeine counteracts the ergogenic effects of creatine.[4]

Learn More - Does Creatine Have Caffeine In It? (What You Need To Know)

Alcohol

Alcohol is a diuretic, and taking creatine with diuretics usually leads to dehydration.

Now, you could offset that by getting enough water in your system, but let's be real; not many of us think about hydration when we're drinking alcohol. So, it's best not to combine the two.

See More - Creatine And Alcohol: Can You Safely Mix Them?

Common Questions About Mixing Creatine

Can you mix creatine powder with anything?

You can mix creatine powder with pretty much anything as long as we’re talking about a healthy liquid free from caffeine and alcohol.

Can you mix creatine with soda?

You could mix creatine with soda, but you probably shouldn’t. It’s not that you have to worry about the higher levels of sugars in soda, it’s just that it doesn’t make sense.

Is it a good idea to mix creatine with electrolytes?

Yes, it is a good idea to mix creatine with electrolytes. Sodium and chloride are like a transporter team, helping the creatine reach your muscles more efficiently.[5]

How do you best consume unflavored creatine?

It’s best to consume unflavored creatine with water. If you don’t like the taste - just add more water.

Conclusion

What you can take away from this is that creatine can be mixed with a variety of liquids and supplements.

Nevertheless, water is still the undisputed GOAT. That said, feel free to experiment. Make a creatine post-workout shake, add it to a smoothie, or just sip it with juice – anything goes.

References: 

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4501114/
  3. https://www.termedia.pl/The-effect-of-combined-supplementation-of-carbohydrates-and-creatine-on-anaerobic-performance,78,29206,0,1.html
  4. https://journals.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/jappl.1996.80.2.452
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6534934/ 
Miloš Lepotic

Miloš Lepotic

Meet Miloš, a certified sports nutritionist and self-taught supplement expert whose pharmacological background and nearly a decade of gym experience make him the perfect guide for optimizing your health and athletic performance through supplement reviews and practical advice rooted in factual, science-backed information.