People are constantly looking for new ways to increase the effectiveness of their supplements. Such is the case with the social media trend where people try dry scooping creatine.
This is when people take a scoop of their creatine powder and put it directly into their mouths.
No water. No nothing. Directly into their mouths.
As a registered dietitian and sports nutritionist, it’s my role to educate people on the safest and most effective ways to consume supplements.
Needless to say, there are a lot of concerns regarding health trends like this one.
Keep reading while I break down the risks, answer your questions, and share the best ways to take creatine.
First, let’s answer the main question.
Can you dry scoop creatine?
Related: Does Creatine Expire
Dry scooping creatine won’t provide any additional benefits compared to dissolving it in liquid.
In fact, it can cause more harm than good.
Swallowing this supplement dry can reduce the effectiveness of creatine, cause tooth decay, increase the risk of choking, and lead to supplement wastage.
What is dry scooping creatine?
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Dry scooping creatine is when you take one scoop of creatine powder and dump it directly into your mouth.
Traditionally, you dissolve creatine powder in liquid first. With the dry scooping trend, people swallow it dry or take a sip of water to make it go down a little bit easier.
If you still don’t understand what I’m referring to, here are a few videos to help you better understand.
As you can see from their reactions, it’s not a pleasant experience.
But is it worth the hype? Does it make creatine work better?
Things to Consider Before Dry Scooping Creatine
Related: How Long Does It Take For Creatine To Work?
Following the label instructions on the creatine is best, but if you’re seriously considering dry scooping, here are some things to consider:
- Is it more effective than dissolving it in water?
- Can it cause any tooth problems?
- Does it increase the risk of choking?
- Do you have more supplement wastage?
Let’s talk in more detail about each one of them.
One of the main reasons people dry scoop creatine is because they claim it gives them a bigger “hit” than dissolving it in liquid.
People state that dry scooping creatine gets faster into their bloodstream, getting a faster response from the supplement.
However, there is currently no research to back up this claim.
Creatine doesn’t work like a regular pre-workout supplement. For example, you take a pre-workout before your training session to give you an additional energy boost.
Creatine works by saturating your cells. Your cells have a natural stock of creatine inside them to provide you with fast-acting energy.
Thus, it won’t matter if you have it straight from the jar or dilute it in water.
Your body will recognize this extra creatine, but it will store it in your cells to use when it’s needed. It doesn’t care if you dry scoop it or mix it with some water (although your airways might prefer it dissolving in water).
What it cares about is the amount of creatine you have and the consistency.
In the end, it won’t make it work better.
It can even increase the chances of developing gastric problems like diarrhea, stomach cramps, and bloating, affecting your performance at the gym.
You can find different additives in creatine, such as citric acid, malic acid, or hydrochloride.
Research shows that exposing your teeth to citric acid can increase the erosion of your enamel.
When you dry scoop protein, you have a concentrated intake of citric acid and higher exposure to your enamel, making your teeth weaker.
If not treated, this can potentially lead to tooth decay.
At some point in your life, you have probably experienced coughing due to taking some dry powder straight into your mouth.
Whether intentional or not, we all know the consequence: intense coughing and an increased risk of choking.
When you dry scoop creatine, the same thing happens.
Actually, two things might happen: 1) the powder gets stuck in your airways, increasing your coughing, or 2) creatine mixes with your saliva, making a chalky texture that’s difficult to swallow.
The result is the same. You increase the risk of choking, putting your health at risk.
Finally, one of the problems with dry scooping creatine is that it increases the chances of supplement wastage.
There are a couple of ways you can be wasting your creatine:
1) You start coughing, meaning you expel creatine from your mouth.
2) It gets stuck in your mouth and teeth, not making it to your digestive system (especially if you brush your teeth right after).
In any case, it means you’re consuming less creatine than you thought. This can be one of the reasons you’re not getting better results after taking creatine.
Is it bad to dry scoop creatine? | Pros & Cons
Are there any benefits of dry scooping creatine?
There are no benefits when it comes from dry scooping creatine. It won’t get absorbed any faster into your bloodstream.
So, what is my recommendation as a health professional? Don’t dry scoop.
It’s an unnecessary practice that provides no additional benefits and can have more health concerns.
Mixing it with a liquid makes it easier to swallow and digest.
What are the health risks of dry scooping creatine?
As mentioned before, dry scooping creatine can have some health concerns.
For example, it can increase the risk of choking. If you’re alone, this can be a dangerous practice.
Additionally, one of the reasons I often recommend breaking down the creatine is that it can cause gastric problems.
Taking creatine in powder form straight into the mouth can increase the chances of developing those gastric problems I mentioned (diarrhea, stomach cramps, and bloating).
So, is it worth it? In my opinion, nope.
If you decide to dry scoop creatine anyway, how do you do it?
If you’re thinking of dry scooping creatine because it’s easier or you have nowhere else to mix it up, here are some recommendations on how to do it the safest way possible.
First, avoid breathing while you have the powder in your mouth. This will prevent it from getting to your airways, causing you to choke or start coughing.
Second, if you must dry scoop creatine, take a sip of water before adding it. Take another right after having the scoop of creatine.
The Most Effective Forms of Taking Creatine
As we learned, dry scooping creatine is not the most effective way of taking it. Other ways have scientific evidence backing up their claims.
According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), combining your creatine with a carb or a mix of carb and protein can help increase its absorption.
While this won’t impact the outcome (giving you more power or better performance), it seems it can have a better muscle uptake.
For example, try adding creatine to your favorite fruit smoothie (carbs) or a combination of fruit and protein powder (carb and protein) to increase its absorption.
Another way to increase creatine absorption is to have it after your workout. Your muscles are more receptive to supplements after training, increasing their absorption.
However, remember that creatine works by saturating your cells. Thus, if you cannot have it after your workout, you can have it at any other time during the day.
Consistency is more important than timing when it comes to creatine.
A current complaint I often hear during my consultations regarding creatine is that it doesn’t dissolve very well in water. This usually leaves a grainy texture whenever you drink it.
To avoid this, slightly heat the water – never boiling, just somewhat hot. This can make it easier to dissolve, preventing that grainy texture.
If that doesn’t work, you can add it to any food. For example, you can sprinkle your creatine on top of a parfait with Greek yogurt and fruit to have the perfect carb and protein combination.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I dry scoop creatine?
Yes, you can dry scoop creatine. However, it won’t give you any additional benefits compared to dissolving it in water. It won’t make it absorb any faster. It can also affect your health by increasing the chances of choking and producing stomach discomfort.
Is dry scooping creatine better?
No, there is no difference in creatine absorption when you dry scoop it or dissolve it in liquid.
To increase its absorption, have it with a carb source, like fruit. Or try a carb and protein mix, like a protein smoothie with fruit.
Can you dry scoop without water?
You can take creatine without water, but to avoid increasing the risk of choking or stomach issues, mix it with another liquid.
For example, mix it with a sports drink (carb) or a protein shake to increase its absorption.
Is dry scoop more effective?
There is no research supporting the claim that dry scooping creatine is more effective than drinking it with some water.
If you want more effective creatine supplementation, have it with a carb (oatmeal) and a protein (Greek yogurt). Also, try to have it after your workout.
Does creatine need to be dissolved?
No, you don’t need to dissolve it to have an effect.
However, dry scooping is not the handiest approach to taking your supplement. If you don’t want to dissolve it but don’t want to dry scoop, sprinkle it on top of your meals.
Can you dry scoop creatine? | Final Thoughts
Dry scooping creatine doesn’t show any additional nutritional benefits over mixing it with water.
While it might make you look “tough,” it exposes you to health concerns like choking, damaging your teeth, creating waste, and increasing stomach discomfort.
If you don’t want to dilute creatine, you can sprinkle it on your meals for a safer approach.
Do you have more questions or thoughts on this topic? Be sure to share those, and don’t forget to send this article to the dry scooper in your life.