Mixing Creatine with Pre-Workout: All You Need to Know

Pre-workout as a standalone supplement has its advantages. It can also be stacked with supplements as well if done properly. The intent of stacking is to enhance overall sports performance while achieving various benefits.

You may be considering the idea of mixing creatine with pre-workout. If this is the case, we’ve put together this guide to address all the burning questions that are asked about this. Some may have legitimate concerns about this mixture for several reasons such as adverse side effects.

But we’ll give you the straight facts in this guide. Let’s get started with what you need to know.

Can you mix creatine with pre-workout?

This is the million-dollar question that we’ll answer right now. The answer is yes. Some pre-workouts may already contain creatine, but not enough of it. On the other side of the coin, if the pre-workout you choose doesn’t have creatine already as an ingredient - then go for it.

What makes it necessary to mix creatine with pre-workout?

When it comes to the combination of creatine with pre-workout, the goal is obvious. You want to maximize your fitness goals and enhance your workout performance every single time.

You may find yourself achieving some awesome results such as increased strength, focus, and energy. In a nutshell, you’re multiplying your benefits by mixing creatine with pre-workout. Some say that the supplements should be taken separately as opposed to together (and there’s nothing wrong with that.)

This will ensure that you get the best benefits out of each of these popular supplements. As mentioned, you may be mixing it with pre-workout that contains a small amount of creatine that will give you nominal benefits. Thus, you’re boosting the amount of creatine which can amplify your results.

What are the benefits of creatine supplementation?

The benefits when you work out with creatine are awesome for those who use it. If you take a creatine supplement on a regular basis, you can enjoy some of the following benefits including:

  • Improving overall athletic performance during resistance training and overall exercise performance
  • Increase in lean muscle mass
  • Excellent muscle recovery during high-intensity activity
  • Increase in muscular strength

When you’re dosing creatine, you can begin with what is known as a loading phase. This will be 20 grams each day for a cycle of two to five days. Alternatively, you can extend the days of your cycle by decreasing the dosage.

What are the benefits of pre-workout?

Pre-workout has its benefits as well. When taking it regularly, you get to enjoy the following:

  • Boost in energy levels
  • Improvement in muscle strength
  • Better mental focus
  • Excellent performance benefits

As you may have noticed, some of these benefits may be similar to creatine - especially the improvement of strength. Raw Nutrition has plenty of pre-workout options for you. Raw Nutrition provides plenty of supplement options for those who want to increase their overall fitness performance and meet their overall goals.

When should creatine and pre-workout be taken?

Whether it’s mixed with pre-workout or as a standalone, the best time you can take creatine is on three separate occasions: before a workout, after a workout, or both. If you choose the last option, you’ll need to cut your dosage in half. Don’t worry though, you’ll still enjoy the benefits of increased athletic performance and muscle recovery.

You can mix the first half of your creatine dose with your pre-workout so you can “kill two birds with one stone”. Nonetheless, timing is everything when it comes to taking these supplements. Pre-workout should be taken…well, before the workout itself (hence the name).

Are there any potential side effects of mixing creatine with pre-workout?

The truth is that the risk of side effects does exist when mixing creatine with pre-workout powder. That’s why it is important to make sure you include the correct dosage of each when mixing them. As such, these are the following side effects to be aware of:

Overstimulation

Bear in mind that both creatine and pre-workout may contain caffeine. This can cause overstimulation, which will trigger jitters, increased heart rate, and not being able to sleep. It may also cause your blood pressure to rise as well due to the rapid heart rate. 

A pro tip to be mindful of is mixing creatine with a non-stim pre-workout. This will prevent overstimulation from occurring. Don’t be afraid to experiment with it to avoid this side effect in particular. Another tip is to double-check the amount of caffeine in both your creatine and pre-workout before mixing the two.

Dehydration

Creatine has the ability to draw water into your muscles. But here’s the crazy twist that happens when it’s mixed with pre-workout: the latter will trigger a diuretic effect - which may increase dehydration risk. For this reason, you want to drink plenty of water to maintain optimal hydration levels.

Digestion issues

If you take a high dosage of each supplement, it could lead to various digestion issues including but not limited to bloating and stomach aches. One more good reason to monitor the dosage you take.

These are common side effects. Severe ones like kidney strain may be rare. If you have any concerns about the side effects associated with mixing creatine and pre-workout, please consult your physician accordingly.

What are the ingredients in creatine and pre-workout?

It’s important to know what’s inside the supplements you are taking. This section will break down the ingredients found in creatine and pre-workout separately. Let’s start with creatine’s ingredients:

Ingredients in creatine

Creatine consists of three amino acids: L-Arginine, Glycine, and Methionine. These can be found in all kinds of different foods such as various types of fish and meats. So you could already be getting a modest amount of it in your diet. What you may have noticed was that there are no other active ingredients found in creatine supplements other than the amino acids.

Pre-workout ingredients

On the other hand, pre-workout has a slightly extensive product list. While it may contain small amounts of creatine, it will also contain the following as well:

Caffeine

It will help increase energy throughout your workouts along with increased physical performance and focus. Any pre-workouts that contain stimulants will have this ingredient. It can also be found in creatine supplements as well.

Once again, if both supplements have caffeine in them, you’ll want to reduce the dosage to avoid overstimulation. Don’t forget that you can switch to a non-stim pre-workout to ensure this side effect does not occur.

Beta-Alanine

This amino acid is designed to buffer lactic acid while slowing down muscle fatigue. If you’re noticing an increased amount of endurance in your high-intensity workouts, this is the reason why. So if you feel like going the extra mile, go for it.

Branch-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

These include but are not limited to leucine, valine, and isoleucine. Each of these will be beneficial to the muscles while enhancing muscle recovery. The reduction of muscle soreness will also be an excellent benefit thanks to these BCAAs.

Citrulline Malate

If you’re wondering what causes a muscle pump during your workouts, this is the ingredient responsible. Citrulline Malate is a nitric oxide booster that will open up the blood vessels that will accompany more blood flow to the muscles.

If you notice your muscles getting bigger and fuller, it’s this ingredient doing the job. It will also improve the delivery of other essential nutrients.

As you may have noticed, both creatine and pre-workout share some of the same ingredients. For this reason, we should stress that you check out the amount of said ingredients so you don’t prevent any overdosage (resulting in side effects). If needed, you can always play around with different dosage amounts, even if it means reducing the regular amounts as directed for optimal amounts of these key ingredients.

Reading the label will make the difference between enjoying the best results and experiencing side effects due to an accidental overdose of certain ingredients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we have the basic information out of the way, we’ll answer frequently asked questions regarding creatine and pre-workouts. Here’s what people are also asking:

Is creatine good for your heart?

Believe it or not, yes. According to one study, creatine is said to be essential to a healthy and functioning heart. There is also another study that points to creatine can also be beneficial for those who may be dealing with failing hearts - especially when the transportation of natural creatine is decreased.

When should pre-workout be consumed?

You should take your pre-workout supplement at least 30 to 45 minutes before exercise.

Can you gain weight on creatine?

There is a possibility that you may gain weight on creatine since it can be linked to water retention in muscle stores. It can also allow you to gain weight by way of muscle building. The one thing creatine cannot do is cause you to gain weight in terms of fat.

Is pre-workout just caffeine?

Yes and no. Most pre-workouts will contain caffeine and others may not. At the same time, caffeine is not the only ingredient in pre-workouts that have it. Don’t forget that it also contains various amino acids as well.

Is 200mg of caffeine a lot?

It can be for those with a caffeine sensitivity. Therefore, it may be a good idea to consider a non-stimulant pre-workout such as Raw Nutrition’s Pump Non-Stim. However, this is the same amount of caffeine found in our Essential Pre-workout. Keep in mind that the daily amount of caffeine a healthy adult can consume is around 400 mg (assuming they have a normal tolerance level).

How long does pre-workout kick in?

This will depend on factors such as the body weight of the consumer. On average, you can expect the pre-workout to kick in anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes after consumption. Please note that this is an average window so it may vary from one person to another.

Should beginners take pre-workout?

If they choose to do so, they can. However, it is recommended that they use a pre-workout that doesn’t contain a lot of caffeine. Furthermore, they may want to refrain from mixing it with creatine for the time being until they are comfortable with taking pre-workouts regularly.

Conclusion

Creatine and pre-workout can mix well together, enhancing workout performance like no other. Keep in mind that you can play around with the doses to ensure you get optimal results while avoiding any side effects. Please be sure to review your labels before you go about mixing them and enjoy the awesome results when these supplements work together.

Unlock the power of pre-workout mixed with creatine. Begin your transformation today!

March 18, 2024 — Aaron Napoles