SHOULD YOU MIX CREATINE WITH WARM OR COLD WATER?
Despite the endless piles of different creatine advice you’ll find online outlining the best products to use, specific dosing protocols, various ingredient combinations and other tips, proper creatine supplementation is actually dead simple…
Take 3-5 grams of pure creatine monohydrate once per day (ideally from a product that is sourced from Creapure™), mixed in whatever liquid you want, at any time you want.
There’s really nothing more to it than that.
However, the following question has landed in my inbox often enough that I decided addressing it in an article was appropriate…
“Should I mix my creatine in warm water or cold water? I heard that mixing it in warm water will improve its absorption”.
Most of these questions are likely the result of a popular YouTube video that was posted several years ago in which it was demonstrated that creatine powder breaks down and dissolves more effectively when mixed in warm water as opposed to cold water. It was then claimed that this would maximize the absorption of the creatine after consumption.
But will this really make any measurable difference overall, and is it something to worry about? Should you bother mixing your creatine in warm liquid or a hot drink as opposed to cold water?
Although there are no concrete studies available that directly compare this, it’s highly unlikely that mixing your creatine in warm water is going to enhance its bottom line effects on muscle growth and performance in any noticeable way.
There are two main reasons for this…
First of all, as long as you’re using a high quality creatine monohydrate product (find one that is sourced from Creapure™, as this is the best form of creatine available) the powder will still dissolve very effectively regardless of the temperature of the water.
If your creatine significantly clumps up or won’t break down when you try to mix it, it’s likely not due to the temperature of the water but is simply a result of using a low-grade product.
Secondly, the temperature of your stomach is around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37.5 degrees Celsius) with a pH level of around 2. Once the creatine reaches your stomach, whatever small amount that wasn’t already dissolved in the water will then be broken down further through the body’s natural digestive processes in an environment that is already very hot and extremely acidic.
Sure, it’s possible that mixing your creatine in warm water may cause a very slight improvement in its overall solubility, which may then translate to a very slightly higher percentage being absorbed, but the amount would likely be so miniscule so as to not make any difference whatsoever in the overall picture.
The only goal of here is to maintain full creatine saturation of the muscles through a 3-5 gram daily creatine dose, and having a couple percent more absorbed by the body is almost certainly not going to be a limiting factor in achieving this.
(And again, the above assumes that mixing creatine in a warm drink does in fact enhance absorption in ANY way, which we really don’t even know in the first place)
The only situation where this approach may be useful is if you tend to experience stomach discomfort and/or bloating after consuming creatine. In that case, pre-dissolving it to a higher degree using warm water may alleviate this.
However, stomach discomfort from creatine use is often primarily an issue of using a low quality product, so that’s the first thing you’ll want to examine before experimenting with the mixing it in warm water.
So, what’s the bottom line here?
Make sure you’re using a high quality creatine product (Optimum Nutrition is a good choice among many others) and then simply mix it with whatever liquid you prefer at whatever temperature you prefer.
However, if you’re someone who does experience stomach discomfort/bloating from creatine use, try mixing it in warm water (or a hot drink such as coffee or tea) to see if that helps.
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