Dry scooping creatine has recently emerged as a trend on social media, leaving many wondering whether you can dry scoop creatine and if there are any associated risks or benefits to consuming creatine this way.
Can you dry scoop creatine? Dry scooping creatine is unnecessary and provides no performance benefits. Consuming creatine dry can result in impacts to dental health, supplement wastage, irritated airways, and choking. If you dry scoop creatine you’ll probably spend more time coughing up powder than anything else.
Given dry scooping has gained some traction online, I wanted to discuss whether there was any merit to doing it or whether it was just a way for your local fitness influencer to show off and appear ‘hardcore’.
What Is Dry Scooping Creatine?
Dry scooping creatine is where you take a dry scoop of creatine and dump it straight into your mouth without mixing it in a liquid. This is either swallowed dry or chased with water or another liquid to assist with swallowing.
This trend seemed to gain popularity on social media through ‘dry scoop challenges’ with it evolving into a popular way for those in the fitness community to take creatine and other powdered supplements.
If you haven’t seen what dry scooping creatine looks like, you aren’t missing out on much, but for context, here are a couple of examples doing the rounds on TikTok:
“Only alphas dry scoop creatine“
Do y’all dry scoop your creatine or nah 🤬♬ original sound – IamMustafaH
“Dry scooping creatine = the nicest way to take it“
- Learn more about creatine in the article Types of Creatine.
4 Things To Consider When Dry Scooping Creatine
When new ways of doing things gain traction, different from what you are used to seeing, it’s good to have some context and whether there are practical advantages to these new practices or whether it is a useless flash-in-the-pan fad.
Before dry scooping your creatine consider the following:
- The effectiveness of consuming creatine dry
- The risk of choking and incessant coughing
- The likelihood of creatine wastage
- The impact on your dental health
I’ll discuss these in more detail below.
Dry scooping creatine is no more effective than mixing it in with a liquid. There is a confused perception that it enters the bloodstream faster, leading to enhanced effects. There is no accuracy to that. This fallacy is born from anecdotal experience suggesting it provides some kind of “hit” when people dry scoop.
Your body recognizes 5 grams of creatine, from a performance or absorption point of view your body won’t care whether that 5 grams is consumed dry or if it is mixed in with 200ml of liquid.
Creatine can take time to dissolve with sediment sometimes being found at the end of a shaker bottle or glass, this leads people to want to consume it faster, avoiding any gritty part. While dry scooping may seem like the answer because it is quick, you’re just creating the same problem, but in your mouth.
- Stirring or shaking creatine in water and drinking and then adding more water and stirring or shaking again;
- Mixing creatine into your protein shake; or
- Mixing creatine into a juice or another liquid of choice, especially where it is flavourless.
Creatine is a fine powder and there have been anecdotal reports of it causing stomach upset, so mixing it prior to consumption is going to help the body digest it better. You may also inadvertently scoop too much creatine when taking it dry, which could cause unwanted side effects.
Dry scooping with creatine isn’t a superior way to consume creatine. In fact research has shown that ingesting carbohydrates with creatine can lead to increased creatine retention. So if you are looking to maximize your creatine supplement it is better to consume creatine alongside a peanut butter and jelly sandwich pre-workout rather than dry scoop.
- If you find your creatine doesn’t dissolve properly in water then read my other article on how to fix.
It goes without saying that when you spoon any amount, of any dry powder, into your mouth, that the probability of choking increases.
Creatine is no different.
It is an incredibly fine powder that can get stuck and irritate various parts of your airways resulting in massive coughing fits and choking.
On a scale of probabilities, you are more likely to choke when dry scooping creatine than you are likely to look ‘cool’ or ‘hardcore’.
When you are trying to dry scoop creatine waste can occur in a couple of ways, either:
- You’re coughing up a bunch of creatine so a large amount ends up outside of your body instead of in it; or
- You manage to get it down, but a lot of it remains inside of your mouth, stuck to teeth and gums and not making it to your stomach to digest.
Either way, this could result in you not consuming enough creatine consistently to ensure creatine stores in your body are built up enough to support your performance goals.
4. Your teeth
Depending on the creatine supplement you use, it may contain citric acid, a chemical that gives a tangy or sour flavor to your supplements.
This acid is bad for tooth enamel.
When you dry scoop the powder will stick to the surface of your teeth and eat away at the enamel, making your teeth weaker. Continued use of dry scooping could have very real dental impacts, leading to tooth decay in the long run.
- Related Article: Should Beginners Take Creatine? Who SHOULD & Should NOT Use
Should You Dry Scoop Creatine? My Recommendation
Please don’t dry scoop your creatine.
It doesn’t absorb better into the body, it doesn’t provide increased benefit and you don’t in any way look better than people who take creatine mixed with liquid.
Creatine is best mixed in with water or another liquid of your choice. I often have it in with my protein shake post work workout, or on non-training days I’ll even mix it in with some yogurt or protein oats. Creatine typically comes flavorless, making it easy to work with a variety of things.
Mixing creatine is the preferred method because it allows creatine to dissolve making it easier to digest and easier on the body. It is also a great way to avoid unnecessary choking and coughing up powder all over yourself.
There is no evidence indicating any kind of benefit to dry scooping creatine. I looked. So the only reason to do it would be to showboat, but honestly bypass this pointless craze, use creatine properly, get super jacked and showboat about that instead – people will pay more attention.
- Some people dry scoop their creatine before bed because they don’t want to drink a lot of liquid at night. We also don’t recommend that practice
How To Dry Scoop Creatine If You’re Going To Do It
If you’re aware that dry scooping creatine is mainly hype or if necessity dictates a need to dry scoop creatine, like for example you forgot your shaker at home or you don’t have time to clean up then approach with caution and try these tips:
- Take a swig or water before dumping dry creatine into your mouth
- Take a swig of water after dumping creatine into your month
- Avoid taking a breath when you have dry creatine in your mouth
- Stick to pure creatine, mixing it in with other supplements may cause it to fix or bubble and block your airways or create breathing difficulties
There doesn’t appear to be a perfect way to dry scoop your creatine, so try what works best for your palate.
Does It Matter If You’re Going to Dry Scoop Creatine on It’s Own or If the Creatine Is Part of a Pre-workout
Dry scooping creatine when mixed with something like a pre-workout could be more problematic for you.
Pre-workout often contains citric acid, which as explained above, is really bad for your teeth and dry scooping could result in tooth decay.
Pre-workouts also contain significant amounts of caffeine and the quick consumption of caffeine could lead to stomach cramps, vomiting or heart palpitations.
You certainly run the risk of choking, coughing and wasting your creatine when you dry scoop it on its own and the risks or side effects appear greater when dry scooping creatine as part of a pre-workout supplement.
Related Article: Can You Dry Scoop Protein? (A Registered Dietician Answers)
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is Dry Scooping Creatine More Effective?
No. Dry scooping with creatine is not more effective. Your body doesn’t change the absorption rates of your creatine because you have had it dry. In fact, research suggests creatine is most effective when consumed with carbohydrates pre-workout.
Can You Take Creatine Without Water?
You can take creatine without water, but instead of opting to take it dry, use another preferred liquid, like a juice or protein shake to have with your creatine. When creatine is mixed in with a liquid it is easier on the stomach and to digest. There is also less chance of you feeling side effects if you have stomach sensitivities.
Can You Dry Scoop 20g of Creatine At Once?
You could weigh out 20g of creatine, which is a lot because creatine is a fine white powder, and dump it into your mouth, but would you be able to swallow it without coughing, spluttering and choking, probably not. More creatine will end up in your airways and on the floor, before it would end up in your stomach.
Does Dry Scooping Creatine Work Faster?
No. Dry scooping creatine does not work faster. This is a misconception because when dry scooping you could feel the active ingredients of the supplement in your mouth and think it is working quicker but in reality, dry or mixed with liquid, the absorption rates by the body are the same.
Additional Creatine Resources
- How Long For Creatine To Work? (1-Week & 1-Month Results)
- What Happens When You Stop Taking Creatine? (6 Things To Know)
- Can You Build Muscle Without Creatine?
The Bottom Line
Dry scooping creatine has an exhibitionist element to it, and those who do it will have you believing it’s hardcore and hits you harder.
Don’t buy into the hype. Don’t confuse hype and popularity with legitimacy.
The best advice I can provide on this is: don’t dry scoop with creatine.
About The Author
Steph Catalucci | Nutrition Coach
@macronutritionau | macro-nutrition.com.au
Steph Catalucci is an online nutrition coach from Australia, working with clients all over the world. Her passion for nutrition was born through wanting to treat her body better, for health and performance. She is a strong advocate for understanding nutrition to develop informed nutritional habits that go beyond just food. Steph leverages a decade of her own nutritional experience to help people make sense of the noise and carve a path forward with their nutrition, supporting clients with whatever body composition goal they have. When not coaching or writing, you’ll find her training for her next powerlifting competition.