Most of the time, the internet can be a gold mine for some fun and downright crazy stuff. Dry scooping creatine or basically anything (cinnamon challenge, anyone?) has been trending for a while.
Whether it’s for fun, for attention or for some kind of perceived “added benefit”, you’ve probably wondered, “Can you dry scoop creatine?”
Today, let me give my take to that question and answer whether there are any benefits or risks to dry scooping creatine powders.
- Yes, you can dry scoop creatine.
- It comes with risks such as choking, inhalation, creatine wastage, digestive issues and dental problems.
- The best reason to do it is if it makes your life easier and makes taking creatine easier for you.
- The method doesn’t make creatine any more effective.
- Overall, the risks aren’t huge if you know what you’re doing and are used to it. Either way, don’t do it alone, just in case.
Can You Dry Scoop Creatine?
Yes, you can dry-scoop creatine, but since there are risks attached with this method of consumption, it doesn’t make it a good idea.
Dry scooping has been common practice for many people over the recent years, and some seem to prefer ingesting their powdered supplements that way.
There’s nothing to stop anyone from dry scooping creatine or any other powdered supplements for that matter.
Consuming creatine or pre-workouts this way looks fun and with all the dry scoop challenges online, some can’t help but be curious about taking it this way.
But at the end of the day, that’s all there is to this trend. It’s just a fun and exciting way to take creatine monohydrate, with no added benefits but maybe some added risks (more on this later)
Does it change how creatine works? Nope, it doesn’t.
Is there scientific evidence to show that dry-scooping creatine is better? Nope.
What Is Dry Scooping?
Dry scooping, as its name suggests, means getting a scoop of creatine (or any other supplements in powdered form) and shotting it straight in your mouth in one go.
When you dry scoop, there’s no need to mix the powder in a water bottle or the need to mix it in your protein shake! Your mouth and a scoop of creatine is all you need.
How you swallow the creatine is entirely up to you.
Some people swallow the powder as is, while some wash it down with a gulp of water immediately after.
Honestly, I have mixed feelings about dry scooping creatine because it has no benefit.
Well, besides the fact that we’ve got one less mug to wash in the sink.
But dry scooping isn’t any better and completely unnecessary from my point of view. But if you’re in a bind, with no liquid available, I guess it works.
Risks Involved When Dry Scooping Creatine
Taking creatine powder dry isn’t the best thing to do. There are several risks (1) involved, I wouldn’t want you to experience.
Then again, if you’re used to it. You probably know what to expect and probably won’t experience these risks, or do something to negate them.
We’ve identified some common risks you might experience if you continue to dry scoop creatine.
1) Dental health problems
Say goodbye to your pearly white teeth when you keep dry scoop creatine.
Some creatine supplements contain ingredients like citric acid and hydrochloric acid, like Creatine citrate or Creatine HCL which may be damaging to your teeth without diluting them (2).
Generally, citric acid is considered safe to use and consume. But in copious amounts where powder can get stuck to and dry on your teeth? That’s when dental health problems begin.
Dry scooping creatine exposes your teeth to too much citric acid. It doesn’t sound scary, but rotten teeth might be in the future.
Long exposure to citric acid erodes the enamel on your teeth and makes your teeth weaker.
This increases your risk of experiencing dental problems such as tooth sensitivity and even tooth decay.
Imagine what your teeth would look like if you dry-scooped creatine citrate or HCL daily..
You would have traded your pearly whites for a set of yellow teeth and potential tooth decay.
2) Inhalation and Choking Hazard
Choking and inhalation into the lungs is one of the biggest and most serious risks in dry scooping.
Taking a large amount of dry creatine can leave you coughing, spluttering, or worse, choking. You risk inhaling the powder and constricting your airways!
You’ll end up having to clean more creatine on your kitchen counter, or more embarrassingly if you’re at the gym, off the gym floor in front of a full gym.
Is there a risk of dying when you choke? The chances are pretty slim if you’re around someone, but that doesn’t mean the risk isn’t there.
While you’re alone, dry scooping is much scarier because no one can help you when something happens.
Even if someone is there to save you, it’s likely you took a big gasp for air and inhaled the powder into your lungs, potentially causing a lung infection or inflammation.
Worth the risk? I’m no party pooper, but not for me.
When you dry scoop, there are hardly any benefits or any effectiveness increase to your creatine, so why take this risk? Don’t let a scoop of creatine powder be your downfall.
3) Digestive issues
Dry scooping can lead to several digestive issues, whether it’s creatine, pre-workout, protein powder and even energy gels (3).
Swallowing a large amount of dry scoop creatine without any liquid may lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, and even vomiting.
Just imagine the amount of powder your gastrointestinal tract has to digest! You’ll risk having an upset stomach and more frequent visits to the bathroom.
There aren’t any performance benefits, and the absorption rates don’t differ either.
However, if you find yourself in a situation where you have to dry scoop creatine or your pre-workout powders, at least drink water or some liquid right after to settle potential digestive issues.
4) Supplement wastage
One of the reasons why some people dry scoop creatine is because they have a firm belief that it is more effective and it enters their bloodstream quicker.
They might believe it is the best way to get their money’s worth and experience faster results or effects.
This is not true at all. You’re not getting any extra performance or health benefits by dry scooping.
But looking at the bigger picture, if you do have one of those coughing fits we mentioned above, dry scooping creatine is probably a lot more wasteful than just mixing creatine with your pre-workout shakes or any liquid.
If you dry scoop creatine, you risk an excessive coughing fit if you’re not used to it.
Have you considered how many grams of creatine powder you coughed out (and that’s before the choking hazard)? Think about the creatine wastage while you clean up the mess..
Not just that, but you’d probably get a certain amount of powdered creatine that gets stuck on the enamel of your teeth if you don’t wash it down well enough.
You may not get as much creatine as you think you do when you dry scoop. At least if it’s not something you’re use to.
But if you’re used to this method of intake and you’re efficient, then you won’t get any wastage and you can safely ignore this section.
That being said, mixing creatine with water or juice would be the best if you want to give your powder some flavor and see the same results.
Grab your shaker or water bottle, add your creatine and pre-workout supplement, and mix it with some liquid. Or whatever your preferred ritual is.
If you can’t stand the taste of it, just mix it in a tiny amount of water and shot it. Job done.
Ultimately, if you know what you’re doing, then crack on with dry scooping. You likely won’t experience what I’ve mentioned above if you’re confident and experienced with the dry scoop method (though the risks are still there).
If it fits your lifestyle and makes life easier, go for it. Just be careful. As long as you’re not falling for the myths that it’ll somehow saturate your muscle cells faster and lead to faster muscle growth, then knock yourself out.
How to Dry Scoop Creatine
Still thinking of dry scooping creatine? Risky as it may seem, I’m not going to stop you if it makes your life easier and you’re ok with it.
The best help I could extend is to give tips on how to safely dry scoop creatine.
Again, there are no additional benefits to dry scooping creatine. Your muscle won’t grow any faster, and your creatine stores won’t increase at a faster rate.
We’ve listed a 4-step process to help you consume creatine safely.
Step 1: Drink water
Drink a glass of water before taking the creatine directly into your mouth.
Doing this makes it much easier to swallow dry powder without as many risks.
Step 2: Add the powder in your mouth
Add the powder to your mouth from close range, making sure to scoop only what can fit in your mouth.
If you plan to take 5 grams of dry powder and notice that it might be too much for your mouth to handle, we recommend splitting it into two batches (in reality, 5g’s should be fine)
Your risk of choking is much higher when you attempt to take down a ton of creatine powder you can’t handle.
Step 3: Breathe through your nose
Don’t make the mistake of breathing and exhaling through your mouth while the powder is in. You’ll end up with a coughing fit, spluttering protein powder everywhere.
Keep your mouth closed and breathe slowly through your nose and exhale through the same.
Step 4: Finish with water
Wash any excess creatine in your mouth by drinking water or any other liquid you prefer.
Remember, we’re trying to get your money’s worth, and we don’t want you to waste anything..or more importantly, to hurt yourself.
Done. Congrats, you’re half way towards becoming a Tik-Tok fitness influencer!
Pros of Dry Scooping Creatine
This section is a bit of a misnomer as there is only really one “pro” I can think of.
1) Dry Scooping Creatine is Easy and Convenient
Dry scooping is generally easy and convenient. No need for a cup, or for any liquid. Take the scoop and bang. Done.
With all the risks involved in taking creatine via dry scooping, I’d always say it’s best to take creatine with water or your preferred liquid but this is the number 1 reason people dry scoop.
If you’re confident and know what you’re doing, this is perhaps the most convenient way to take your creatine.
It’s certainly a fair reason to dry scoop creatine.
Myths About Dry Scooping Creatine
Below, I’ve listed down some of the common misconceptions people have about dry scooping.
1) Creatine Powder Tastes Better When You Dry Scoop
Not a lot of people enjoy the taste of creatine. Many new forms have a sour or bitter flavor, which isn’t desirable for many.
(If you dry scoop creatine ethyl ester, then you’re a bigger man than me!)
Thankfully you can mix powdered creatine into your pre-workout drinks to make the taste a little more bearable.
This is why I find it so surprising when some people prefer their creatine consumed dry, with its chalky texture and all.
The taste of dried creatine monohydrate isn’t any better. In fact, it’s usually worse and you’ll likely just end up with a ton of dried creatine on your teeth.
To make drinking creatine a pleasurable experience, mix creatine with water (or your preferred liquid) in a shaker cup. You can try adding some sugar free dilute to the water in your shaker bottle to mask the taste. This is my favored method.
If the chalkiness or sediment in the bottom of the cup still bothers you, why not try micronized creatine vs monohydrate?
The particles are much smaller and it mixes better in liquid as a result.
2) Your Body Absorbs Creatine Faster
Many people make the mistake of thinking that dry scooping creatine is more effective than mixing it with water.
Until now, there is no data that shows dry scooping to be more effective. Whether you take creatine in its powder form or mix it with your protein smoothie, absorption rates remain the same.
Despite many people thinking that dry scooping creatine is much better and more effective, there isn’t any data to support this claim.
Creatine mixed with liquid is much safer and eliminates any potential risks involved with dry scooping.
3) You Look Cool When You Dry Scoop
Some people incorporate a dry scooping routine into their pre-workouts because they think it looks cool or hardcore.
This is highly subjective and one man’s cool is another man’s “cringe!”.
Personally, dry scooping gives me the opposite effect of looking cool. Maybe it’s just me, but seeing someone struggle to swallow a ton of dry-scooped creatine powder isn’t the one.
How cool would you look having a coughing fit in the middle of the gym floor and spewing powder everywhere?
Probably the direct opposite of cool, but you do you…
At the end of the day, who cares if it’s your preferred way of taking your creatine? No judgement here (well, a little!)
But it’s probably not the best reason to do it.
How Should You Take Creatine?
You can buy creatine supplements in either a capsule or powdered form.
Capsules are easier to take because you don’t have to prepare or measure anything. The only problem with capsules is that they are not very cost effective and usually not a vegan-friendly creatine (for my vegan readers).
Creatine, in its powdered form, is just as effective as the capsule. It’s one of the best, most cost effective and safest ways to take creatine supplements.
But again, I know friends who hate the powder that much that they take the hit and buy capsules. Do what works best for you.
Make sure to dissolve the powder in water, your preferred protein shake, or even a smoothie!
It’s a creative and delicious way to drink your creatine supplement.
Doing this eliminates unnecessary choking or spluttering, sometimes experienced in dry scooping creatine.
If you’re experiencing low creatine levels or want to beef up, the recommended creatine dose is up to 25 grams for a week during a loading phase. You can distribute this into 5 cups of water with 5 grams of creatine each.
We recommend doing this for up to 7 days to saturate the muscles and then backing off to a 5 gram daily maintenance dose or a 10 gram, every other day dose which I prefer.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Always consult a doctor before starting to take creatine supplements. They’re generally considered one of the safest supplements in the world, but always get some bloodwork to be sure your body isn’t hiding anything. Don’t consume creatine supplements in a dose higher than what is recommended daily.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many questions pop up on Google’s search bar every time we type “dry scooping creatine.” or when we visit forums.
We’ve answered one of the most asked questions, hoping it can help you with dry scooping creatine.
Can You Dry Scoop Creatine Without Water?
Yes, you can dry scoop creatine even without water. That’s what the method is.
Fair warning though, your mouth will feel weird and dry, which I’m sure you wouldn’t want to experience.
Try and get some water down you as soon as you can after your dry scoop.
Admittedly, dry scooping creatine is much faster and more convenient for some people.
If you’re always on the go and want to hit straight to the gym, dry scooping sounds like a big-time saver.
But again, if you have enough time to spare, it’s always best to mix your creatine with your protein shake or water.
WARNING: Do not dry scoop creatine supplement alone. Make sure you have someone around just in case there is a risk of choking.
There you have it, lads and ladettes. Yes, dry scooping creatine is possible.
But does it have any benefits? Not really.
Are there risks involved? A few you should be able to handle as a grown up.
Can you dry scoop creatine if it makes your life easier? Sure. In this case, go for it. This is the best reason to do it.
Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you want dry scoop creatine or not, and risk the potential embarrassment or dangers that come with it.
Now that you know the risks involved, you know what to watch out for.
Let us know in the comments below what your preferred method of taking creatine is.
Do you prefer dry scooping creatine? What are your reasons?
(1) Abstract Title: Dry Scooping and Other Dangerous Pre-Workout Consumption Methods: A Quantitative Analysis
(2) Tribology International. Volume 42, Issues 11–12, December 2009, Pages 1558-1564
Erosion behavior of human tooth enamel in citric acid solution
(3) Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2015 Oct;25(5):504-9. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2014-0215. Epub 2015 May 20. Extreme Variation of Nutritional Composition and Osmolality of Commercially Available Carbohydrate Energy Gels