Creatine is widely known as a safe and effective supplement for muscle growth and performance, but you might wonder whether it’s a good idea to mix it with juice.
So, can you mix creatine with juice? Yes, creatine can be mixed with juice while retaining all of the benefits of creatine and getting a quick source of energy from the calories in the juice. It’s also possible that creatine will be absorbed even more quickly into the body by mixing creatine with juice.
With that said, there are some potential consequences when it comes to the type of juice you choose in terms of when you are consuming your creatine (supplement timing), and whether you are bulking or cutting (phase of training).
To give you more information, in this article I’ll cover:
- Benefits and drawbacks of mixing creatine with juice
- The best times to mix creatine with juice
- Whether it’s better to mix creatine with juice or with water
- Who should and shouldn’t mix creatine with juice
- Which creatine supplement to mix with juice
Want to learn all the ways to mix creatine? Check out our complete guide to 8 Ways To Mix Creatine (Plus Liquids To Avoid)
Benefits of Mixing Creatine With Juice
The benefits of mixing creatine with juice include:
1. Higher Creatine Retention
Because of the effects of insulin, which promotes nutrient update, when creatine supplements are taken at the same time as carbohydrate and/or protein (such as the carbohydrates in juice), studies show that the body retains up to 25% more of the creatine.
This means that you might be able to shorten the creatine loading phase to 2-3 days, instead of the usual recommendation of 5-7 days. That said, there is no change to the recommendation for ongoing supplementation at a rate of 2-10g (usually 3-5g) per day thereafter.
It is worth noting, however, that higher creatine retention has not been shown to have a greater effect on performance.
Related Article: How Long For Creatine To Work (1-Week & 1-Month Results)
2. Higher Calorie Intake
The additional calories in juice can be very helpful for individuals looking to achieve a calorie surplus for weight gain goals.
This is because drinking calories is generally less filling than chewing solid food.
3. Higher Carbohydrate Intake
Each cup of juice provides about 30g of carbohydrates, which can assist in helping you to meet your carb targets for the day (i.e. if you’re on a high carb diet consisting of a 4-to-1 carb to protein ratio).
These carbs provide an energy source to fuel up for a workout, or to recover from a workout (I’ll explain the best supplement timing for creatine & juice, below).
4. Higher Micronutrient Intake
Depending on the type of juice you choose, you will also benefit from any naturally-occurring or added micronutrients in that juice.
For example, orange juice and other citrus juices are naturally high in Vitamin C, which is great for boosting your immune system.
5. Higher Satisfaction with Taste
Mixing creatine with juice gives you the added benefit of the sweet taste of juice, and the flavor of whatever type of juice you are consuming.
Most creatine supplements on their own are unflavored, so using a juice can make you more likely to want to take your creatine. A supplement will only work well if you have strategies to ensure you will take it on a regular basis.
Drawbacks of Mixing Creatine With Juice
The drawbacks of mixing creatine with juice include:
1. Higher Calorie Intake
More calories are a drawback for someone looking to achieve a calorie deficit for weight loss, which is the opposite of the benefit for someone looking to achieve a calorie surplus for weight gain.
Eliminating all sources of liquid calories (including juice) can be very helpful for an individual looking to manage appetite to achieve a calorie deficit, since chewing solid food is generally more filling than drinking liquid calories.
2. Higher Sugar Intake
Even with all-natural fruit juices where the sugar is naturally occuring, it is still a form of added sugar in the diet.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to no more than 6-9 tsp (25-36g), and 1 cup of juice provides the equivalent of almost 8 tsp of sugar (about 30g).
Too much sugar in the diet not only makes it hard to achieve a calorie deficit, but it’s also linked to poor health.
Creatine & Juice: When To Consume
Each individual’s lifestyle and personal preferences will contribute to the optimal timing for creatine supplementation.
Whatever timing works best for you to ensure consistently, regular creatine supplementation is what is best for you.
I encourage you to experiment and find what is best for you, after considering the points I raise below about different times of day for taking creatine with juice.
Is Creatine & Juice Good Pre-Workout?
Creatine is optimal to take pre-workout because the creatine levels in the body will be increased in time for exercise. The carbohydrates in the juice will provide a fuel source for the workout.
Athletes are able to maintain higher training intensity and improve the quality of their workouts when they have an increased total amount of creatine in their bodies.
Is Creatine & Juice Good Post-Workout?
Creatine and juice immediately post-workout is also a good choice because the creatine will help your body with energy after intense exercise, and the carbohydrates in the juice promote recovery by stopping the stress hormone cortisol and replenishing fuel stores.
It is also important to include a source of protein in post-workout meals and snacks, to provide the building blocks for repairing and building new muscle tissue. Consider adding a scoop of protein powder along with your juice and creatine.
Related Article: Can You Mix Creatine With Protein Powder?
Is Creatine & Juice Good When I Wake Up?
Creatine and juice in the morning is a good idea, especially if your training is in the morning since this coincides with the optimal pre-workout window, discussed above. For non-training days, it is a good idea to continue taking creatine at the same time of day.
Most people have better insulin sensitivity in the morning compared with the evening, which makes it a better time of day to consume quick-digesting carbohydrates like the sugar found in juice.
However, there are advantages to waiting until the pre-workout window (30 minutes before training), if your usual training time is not in the morning. This will allow for peak creatine and energy levels just in time for training.
If it is not practical for you to wait until pre-workout, or if you are more likely to forget if you don’t do it first thing in the morning, it is better to create an easy-to-remember routine than to risk forgetting to take your creatine.
Is Creatine & Juice Good Before Bed?
Creatine and juice before bed can be a good idea if this coincides with the post-workout window, or if this is a time of day that creates an easy-to-remember routine that makes you more likely to remember to take it. Some people also sleep better when they consume some carbs before bed.
Since juice has a high sugar content, it is important to brush your teeth and thoroughly rinse your mouth after taking creatine & juice before bed. Leaving any residue of a sugary liquid or food on your teeth at bedtime dramatically increases the risk of cavities, and your dental health is an important part of your overall health.
A commonly-cited study shows that creatine supplementation can reduce the negative impacts of sleeplessness, but this study does NOT discuss the timing of supplementation, meaning that it is not necessary to take creatine before bed to get these benefits.
If you’d like help discussing supplementation and nutrition strategies, please consider booking a complimentary consultation with one of our coaches.
Mixing Creatine With Juice vs. Water: Which is Better?
Creatine is equally effective as a supplement whether it is mixed with juice or with water. What is “better” is relative to your own individual goals and preferences. It is up to you as to whether and how juice fits into your overall nutrition plan.
Recall that the benefits of mixing creatine with juice are:
- Higher creatine retention (25% more) when ingested with carbohydrates and/or protein, which can shorten the initial loading phase for creatine
- Higher calorie intake (~130 calories per cup of juice, varies depending on the type of juice)
- Higher carbohydrate intake (~30g per cup of juice)
- Higher micronutrient intake (Vitamin C)
- Higher satisfaction with taste, which can make creatine supplementation more palatable
These benefits are most relevant for individuals looking to optimize athletic performance and/or trying to increase their intake for mass gain goals.
Next, recall that the drawbacks of mixing creatine with juice are:
- Higher calorie intake (~130 calories per cup of juice)
- Higher sugar intake (~30g per cup of juice)
These are drawbacks for individuals trying to limit their calorie intake for weight loss or weight maintenance goals. Added sugar can be especially challenging for someone with diabetes.
Who Should Mix Creatine With Juice?
Individuals looking for an easy way to add calories to their diet should mix creatine with juice.
This is most often bodybuilders in a bulking phase, or anyone looking to gain weight for health, performance or aesthetic reasons.
Who Should Not Mix Creatine With Juice?
Anyone who is having a hard time achieving a calorie deficit and/or managing cravings during a calorie deficit should not mix creatine with juice.
For anyone looking to maintain or lose weight for health, such as a bodybuilder in a cutting phase, a zero calorie option is to mix creatine with water instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Creatine Dissolve In Juice?
Yes, creatine will dissolve in juice. A shaker bottle is recommended to assist.
How Much Juice Do I Mix With Creatine?
The amount of juice to mix with creatine depends on your goals and how many calories you would like to consume in this format. In general, 1-2 cups of juice is recommended, which will provide approximately 125-250 calories depending on the type of juice.
How Much Creatine Do I Mix With Juice?
The general guideline for ongoing creatine supplementation is 3-5g per day. You can take this as a single serving, or split the dose into two servings, one each for pre- and post-workout.
What Kind Of Creatine Should I Mix With Juice?
We recommend creatine monohydrate, which is regarded as the most clinically effective and extensively studied nutritional supplement for increasing high-intensity exercise capacity and lean body mass during training.
Related Article: 10 Types of Creatine Explained (Best & Worst)
What Kind of Juice Can You Mix With Creatine?
You can mix any kind of juice with creatine.
What’s most important is that you choose the type and amount of juice that is right for your overall goals, since the juice is a source of fast-digesting simple carbohydrates that provide quick energy for workouts.
You’ll also want to pick juice that you like, to help you take creatine on a regular basis.
Can You Mix Creatine With Orange Juice?
Yes, you can mix creatine with orange juice. Avoid orange juice with added pulp before a workout since this adds fiber that can slow down digestion and cause discomfort when working out.
Can You Mix Creatine With Apple Juice?
Yes, you can mix creatine with apple juice, which is optimal pre-workout because apple juice is a fast digesting simple carb.
Can You Mix Creatine With Cranberry Juice?
Yes, you can mix creatine with cranberry juice. The amount of juice and whether you choose unsweetened or sweetened will depend on your overall goals. The added sugar can help with a calorie surplus for bulking or maximizing performance.
Can You Mix Creatine With Pomegranate Juice?
Yes, you can mix creatine with pomegranate juice. The amount of juice will depend on your overall goals. Note also that pomegranate juice has been studied and shows a benefit in promoting recovery by reducing muscle soreness after resistance training.
Can You Mix Creatine With Tomato Juice?
Yes, you can mix creatine with tomato juice. The amount of juice will depend on your overall goals. Keep in mind, however, that tomato juice is usually high in sodium from added salt, and is not suitable for a low-sodium diet. It also provides lower calories and carbs than other sweet fruit juices.
Regardless of whether you choose to mix creatine with juice or with water, we do NOT recommend dry-scooping creatine. To learn more about creatine, check out the list of links below.
About The Author
Lauren Graham is a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified nutrition coach. She focuses on helping busy professionals balance healthy eating and purposeful movement. Lauren has a background in competitive swimming and is currently competing as a CrossFit athlete. She has a passion for training, teaching, and writing.