The Powder Duo: Incorporating Creatine and Protein Powder into Your Fitness Regimen (2024)

When it comes to supplements for physical fitness and sports performance, creatine stands out as a supplement that may truly deliver on its promises amidst a sea of questionable options. Backed by several studies, creatine has been shown to offer evidence-based benefits. For example, a2022 studyin the journalNutrientsfound that creatine was anefficient supplement for muscle growth, and according to a2019 study, creatine may help maintain muscle mass and even play a role in fat loss. Considering these findings, if you’re aiming to improve your physique, adding creatine to your daily routine could be worth a try.

In your efforts to bulk up, it’s also smart to add plenty of protein to your diet. This necessary nutrient repairs the tiny tears exercise creates in your muscles, building them back stronger and bigger, facilitating muscle recovery and development. Alongside a balanced diet, many people add protein in the form of a powder to better meet their nutritional needs. But as you whip up a shake or other post-workout beverage, you might wonder: can these supplements be safely combined, and are there any benefits from doing so?

Continue reading to discover what you need to know about mixing creatine with protein powder.

What is Creatine?

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in your muscle cells and is obtainable from both food (you can find it in beef, pork, chicken, salmon, tuna, and more) and supplements. Though the food sources are all good options, the amounts of creatine they bring to your dinner plate do not measure up to what you’ll get from supplements—hence the multitude of powders, gummies, and other creatine-related products on the market.

Creatine is best known for providing energy for short bursts of muscle activity, such as weightlifting, sprinting, and cycling. Not surprisingly, according to older research, muscle gains and fat loss are mainly seen when it’scombined with resistance training.

These may not be the only benefits of increasing your creatine intake. Some research indicates that this compound may promote brain health and support healthy bones as you age.

What is Protein Powder?

Protein powder offers a convenient and concentrated dose of nutrients. Derived from sources such as whey, casein, soy, or peas, each scoop provides upwards of 20 grams of protein. If you’re unable to reach your daily protein goals with diet alone, protein powder can be a useful tool. Getting more of this macronutrient supports muscle growth, repair, and recovery.

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein for healthy adults with minimal physical activity is 0.8 grams per kilogram (g/kg) of body weight. However, athletes and very active people generally need more than this. Research has shown that anywhere from 1.3 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is likely a better target for athletes.

Mixing Creatine and Protein Powder

Good news for fitness enthusiasts, mixing creatine and protein powder is perfectly fine. Scientific evidence thus far has not suggested any negative interactions between these two supplements. You can confidently take them together without any concerns.

Benefits of Combining Creatine and Protein Powder

Though combining creatine and protein powder doesn’t create any magical alchemy to boost effectiveness, it’s possible that doing so may offer a slight synergistic effect. Some experts have suggested that taking the two in tandem could enhance muscle growth, although the research is inconclusive.

The more probable benefit of taking creatine and protein powder together is simply that you’ll knock two supplements out at one time. Mixing them together in a single shake could also offer a more convenient strategy than consuming them separately. You may savetime, effort, and total calories by creating a snack or mini-meal that features both.

Important Considerations

As with any dietary supplement, it’s important to adhere to the recommended dosages of both creatine and protein powder. Overdoing it on either could potentially damage your kidneys. Some people also report bloating and stomach discomfort from taking high doses of creatine.

Individual protein and creatine needs may vary based on factors such as activity level and body weight. If you have any questions about the ideal amount for your body type and fitness goals, talk to your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian with a specialty in sports nutrition.

Alternative Consumption Methods

There isn't a single best way to consume creatine and protein powder. The key is finding what works for you to ensure consistent supplement intake. Combining the powers into a drink like a smoothie or a smoothie bowl is a popular option. Enhance it by adding other healthy ingredients like frozen fruit, greens, yogurt, milk, or juice for a convenient nutrient boost.

Alternatively, smoothies aren’t your only option, try stirring the powders into a favorite juice or electrolyte beverage or even just plain water if you don’t mind the taste. If you prefer your supplements in food rather than drinks, consider adding them to yogurt or oatmeal.

However, there’s no imperative to consume your creatine and protein powder together. If taking them separately works better for you, stick with that approach.

Bottom Line

Both creatine supplements and protein powder can enhance your nutrition routine, especially if you’re focused on building or maintaining muscle mass. Fortunately, they complement each other for health outcomes and can be blended together easily in many different ways, including in smoothies and oatmeal. Combining these two supplements is both safe and convenient, though not obligatory. If you’re unsure about their optimal use or dosage, consider consulting with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian. They can give you the most personalized advice around your creatine and protein intake.

8 Sources

Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

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  2. Forbes SC, Candow DG, Krentz JR, Roberts MD, Young KC. Changes in Fat Mass Following Creatine Supplementation and Resistance Training in Adults ≥50 Years of Age: A Meta-Analysis. J Funct Morphol Kinesiol. 2019 Aug 23;4(3):62. doi: 10.3390/jfmk4030062.

  3. Creatine. Cleveland Clinic.

  4. Volek JS, Duncan ND, Mazzetti SA, Staron RS, Putukian M, Gómez AL, Pearson DR, Fink WJ, Kraemer WJ. Performance and muscle fiber adaptations to creatine supplementation and heavy resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999 Aug;31(8):1147-56. doi: 10.1097/00005768-199908000-00011.

  5. Forbes SC, Cordingley DM, Cornish SM, Gualano B, Roschel H, Ostojic SM, Rawson ES, Roy BD, Prokopidis K, Giannos P, Candow DG. Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Brain Function and Health. Nutrients. 2022 Feb 22;14(5):921. doi: 10.3390/nu14050921.

  6. Candow DG, Forbes SC, Chilibeck PD, Cornish SM, Antonio J, Kreider RB. Effectiveness of Creatine Supplementation on Aging Muscle and Bone: Focus on Falls Prevention and Inflammation.Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2019; 8(4):488.

  7. Wu G. Dietary protein intake and human health. Food Funct. 2016;7(3):1251-1265.

  8. Phillips SM, Van Loon LJ. Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. J Sports Sci. 2011;29 Suppl 1:S29-38. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2011.619204.

The Powder Duo: Incorporating Creatine and Protein Powder into Your Fitness Regimen (1)

By Sarah Garone, NDTR
Sarah Garone, NDTR, is a freelance health and wellness writer who runs a food blog.

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