Last updated on November 9th, 2022 at 01:48 pm
It’s something that most of us want to know, “Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Creatine?”
If you’re anything like me, you’ll love working out and building muscle.
So, you’ll do whatever it takes to produce that awe-inspiring physique.
However, much the same as myself once more, you probably don’t want training taking over your life.
I mean, if you want to let your hair down once in a while, then so be it.
With that being said, I’m sure you may be worried if drinking alcohol may impact any supplements you’re taking.
And this especially true when it comes to creatine.
So, allow me to explain what you need to know about creatine supplementation and alcohol consumption.
Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Creatine?
You can safely drink alcohol while taking creatine without experiencing any health issues. With that being said, alcohol is a diuretic, so it will literally “steal” water from your tissues. However, creatine supplementation requires a lot of water in order for you to build and maintain muscle. Furthermore, alcohol will interfere with the production of various hormones and protein synthesis, which are required to build new muscle. In effect, even though drinking alcohol while taking creatine won’t do you any harm, alcohol can diminish the impact of creatine.
1. Alcohol and Creatine Won’t Cause Any Health Issues
Firstly, I think it’s important to state that drinking alcohol while taking creatine won’t cause you any ill-effects.
I’m sure you’re probably worried about how these two substances may react inside your body.
However, you can rest safe in the knowledge that you won’t be endangering your life or putting your health at risk.
It’s important to realise that creatine is naturally produced by the body, which is mainly created in the liver and kidneys.
Additionally, various foods we eat also contain creatine.
In fact, depending on your diet, you could in effect “supplement” creatine purely through the foods you eat.
With that being said, you would have to consume a lot of fish, meat, and milk to get to the required amount that most lifters generally require.
However, the mere fact that creatine is already in your body, and in many of the foods you eat, should prove that you won’t suffer any undue problems when mixed with alcohol.
So, you certainly don’t need to worry about drinking alcohol and taking creatine from a health perspective.
But, in truth, that’s where the good news ends.
2. Alcohol is a Diuretic
When supplementing with creatine it’s important to increase your water intake.
Basically, creatine supplementation will draw water from the body and send it to the muscles.
Creatine realistically requires a lot of water to do its job effectively.
In fact, you’ll typically find that if you’re not taking on enough water when supplementing with creatine that you’ll suffer certain side effects.
These can include dehydration, muscle cramps, and generally feeling ill.
One of the main reasons for this is because water is being taken away from other parts of the body and being directed towards the muscles.
So, the vital organs, i.e. your heart, brain, kidneys and liver, now have less water available to function to the best of their abilities.
Therefore, it is recommended to increase your water intake whenever you are supplementing creatine.
Now, if we look at this from an alcohol perspective, it’s easy to see how problems can occur.
Alcohol is a diuretic, which essentially means that it promotes water loss through urine.
I’m sure you’ve experienced the sensation of urinating what seems like 2-3 times the amount of alcohol you’ve drunk.
And of course, we all know that feeling of dehydration the morning after, and the urgent need to drink as much liquid as possible.
So, in reality, alcohol is actually doing the complete opposite of what is required when you’re supplementing creatine.
Your aim is to drink more water, and yet your alcohol consumption is forcing you to lose water.
3. Alcohol Messes With Protein Synthesis
When it comes to training hard and building muscle, alcohol can cause issues here, whether you’re taking creatine or not.
So, I’ve already mentioned the effects of water loss and dehydration, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Alcohol will also slow down nutrient absorption.
So, let’s say you’ve been eating a healthy and nutritious diet in conjunction with your training.
You know for a fact that your diet is helping to recover from your workouts, as well as building muscle.
Now, recovery is vital to you to building muscle, gaining strength, losing body fat, etc.
Whenever you train you damage muscle fibres, and as you recover the muscle fibres will repair themselves and grow back stronger and bigger.
Essentially, part of the recovery process is the body going through protein synthesis.
In the most basic terms this is a natural process in which protein is produced in order to repair the damaged muscle tissues.
However, alcohol will actually hinder protein synthesis.
So, in effect, you take creatine, which in turn helps you to workout for harder and longer.
This will mean that you’ll cause more damage than usual to your muscle fibres, which is actually a good thing in terms of muscle growth.
However, excessive alcohol consumption will then slow down nutrients being absorbed into the body, which means that the required protein won’t be making its way to the muscles.
In reality, you’ve probably cancelled out the benefits of taking creatine and exercising.
Your workout was wasted, as your muscles aren’t receiving what they need to recover and grow back bigger.
Protein Synthesis For Muscle Growth Made Easy
4. Alcohol in Moderation
Look, I’m not going to lecture you about “the dangers of alcohol”.
In fact, that would make a complete hypocrite, as I enjoy a drink every now and then.
However, something that you’ll hear often, whether you take creatine and exercise or not, is that you should keep your alcohol consumption in moderation.
Let’s face facts, whether we want to admit or not, alcohol doesn’t really do much for the body and our overall physique.
We can all live in a dream world and quote “scientific evidence” that states that some alcohol consumption is actually good for you.
Okay, I will say that there are certain benefits, but not in the quantities that most of us consume alcohol (myself included).
I think one of the most famous studies spoke about the resveratrol content in red wine.
However, no-one seems to have mentioned there’s almost twice as much resveratrol in grapes, grape juice, peanuts, blueberries, cranberries, etc.
So, why aren’t we guzzling down kilograms of peanuts and blueberries if we’re drinking red wine for the “health benefits”?
In reality, moderation will generally mean drinking a maximum of once a week, and 2-3 drinks at most.
Once you get into the realms of drinking 5-6 drinks (or more), 3-4 times a week, you’re no longer enjoying any “benefits”.
In effect, by this stage your creatine consumption is a complete waste of time, and your workouts probably are too.
The moral of the story – if you want to supplement with creatine in order to further fuel your workouts then make sure that you moderate your alcohol consumption.
So, I hope you understand that it’s perfectly safe to drink alcohol while taking creatine.
In other words, you won’t come to any harm.
However, alcohol will typically work against everything you’re trying to achieve by supplementing with creatine.
Firstly, you need to drink a lot more water while taking creatine, whereas alcohol promotes water loss through urination.
Next, creatine allows you to train harder and for longer, which will break down muscle fibres.
But, drinking alcohol will hinder the muscle recovery process, so in effect you’ve wasted both your creatine and your workout.
With that being said, it is still okay to drink alcohol while taking creatine, but make sure you do so in moderation.
While I’m on the subject of “liquids”, you can discover what I had to say about mixing creatine with either water or juice.
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.