Can You Dry Scoop Creatine? Benefits, Risks, & Effectiveness

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Dry scooping creatine has emerged as a trend on social media, leaving many wondering whether it is possible and whether there are any associated risks or benefits to consuming creatine this way. 

Key Takeaways

  • Dry scooping creatine is unnecessary and provides no performance benefits.
  • Consuming creatine dry can result in poor 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. 
  • If you want to dry scoop creatine, take it with at least one or two swigs of water.

What Is Dry Scooping Creatine?

Dry scooping creatine is exactly what it sounds like: you take a dry scoop of creatine and dump it straight into your mouth without mixing it with a liquid. 

It’s either swallowed dry or chased with a drink to assist with swallowing.

“Dry scoop challenges”gained popularity on social media  and quickly caught on as a trendy way to take creatine and other powdered supplements. 

A study published in 2023 outlined that the dry scooping phenomenon is most popular among males age 16-30, and is more prevalent with individuals who spend large amounts of time on social media engaging in popular gym culture.

If you haven’t seen someone dry-scooping creatine, you aren’t missing out on much. If you’re curious, check out these  examples from 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


Dry scoops of creatine 😍 #creatine #gym #gymlover #bloodylovely #fyp

♬ A dead robin On a pizza – CT

4 Things To Consider When Dry Scooping Creatine

Before dry scooping your creatine consider the following:

1. Effectiveness

Dry scooping creatine is no more effective than mixing it into a beverage.  

The misconception that it enters the bloodstream faster is based on anecdotes from users claiming it provides some kind of “hit” when dry scooped. 

Whether you ingest your creatine powder in a solid, liquid, or gel mixture, or even consume it from a natural source (like red meat), the creatine will be absorbed effectively.  

The only difference is the rate of absorption, which is slightly faster when mixed into a liquid! This doesn’t affect how well the creatine works, though. If you take the right amount, you’ll boost your body’s creatine stores. 

Creatine can take time to dissolve and sometimes leave sediment at the bottom of your glass. Dry scooping may seem like the best way to avoid that gritty last sip, but it only creates a similar problem in your mouth. 

Instead, try:

  • 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 flavorless.

2. Digestive Issues

Creatine attracts water, and there have been anecdotal reports of it causing stomach upset

Mixing it with a liquid before consumption will help the body digest it better, and reduce the risk of stomach discomfort or cramping.

You may also inadvertently scoop too much creatine when taking it dry, which could cause unwanted side effects, including digestive issues. 

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, mixing it with a carbohydrate rich liquid such as orange juice will provide more benefit than dry scooping will, and it will be much easier on your stomach.

3. Choking

It goes without saying that when you spoon any amount, of any dry powder, into your mouth, 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.’

4. Wastage

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. 

5. 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 sticks to the surface of your teeth and eats away at the enamel, weakening your teeth. Continued use of dry scooping could have very real dental impacts, including tooth decay in the long run. 

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 mix creatine with my protein shake post-workout, or on non-training days I’ll mix it in with 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

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.

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 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 wouldn’t be able to swallow it without coughing or choking.

More creatine will end up in your airways and on the floor before it would end up in your stomach. 

Additional Creatine Resources

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


Ganson, K. T., Hallward, L., Testa, A., Jackson, D. B., & Nagata, J. M. (2023). Prevalence and correlates of dry scooping: Results from the Canadian Study of Adolescent Health Behaviors. Eating Behaviors, 48, 101705.

Kreider, R.B.; Jäger, R.; Purpura, M. Bioavailability, Efficacy, Safety, and Regulatory Status of Creatine and Related Compounds: A Critical Review. Nutrients 2022, 14, 1035.

Zhang X, O’Kennedy N, Morton JP. Extreme Variation of Nutritional Composition and Osmolality of Commercially Available Carbohydrate Energy Gels. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2015 Oct;25(5):504-9. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2014-0215. Epub 2015 May 20. PMID: 25997181.

GREEN, A.L., SIMPSON, E.J., LITTLEWOOD, J.J., MACDONALD, I.A. and GREENHAFF, P.L. (1996), Carbohydrate ingestion augments creatine retention during creatine feeding in humans. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, 158: 195-202.

Allison Lin, Nelson Chow, Mary O’Connor, Setu Mehta, Reta Behnam, Duy Pham, Claudia Hatef, Hannah E. Rosenthal, Ruth Milanaik; Dry Scooping and Other Dangerous Pre-workout Consumption Methods: A Quantitative Analysis. Pediatrics February 2022; 149 (1 Meeting Abstracts February 2022): 204.

Fuller JL, Johnson WW. Citric acid consumption and the human dentition. J Am Dent Assoc. 1977 Jul;95(1):80-4. doi: 10.14219/jada.archive.1977.0551. PMID: 267657.

About The Author

Steph Catalucci

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.

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