Creatine and alcohol use

Learn about the effects of alcohol on muscle hypertrophy and what happens when you consume alcohol during a creatine cycle.

First there are no scientific studies on the use of creatine mixed with alcohol, but there are researches on the effects of alcohol on the body and on creatine. Putting together the facts makes it easy to see if they mix or not.


How does muscle grow?


When you train with weights in the gym, you actually destroy and break down muscle tissue. The only reason the muscles get larger during training is because of the blood flow and precisely because the muscle is being injured (microscopically). Muscle enlargement occurs only during rest, when protein synthesis occurs. Protein synthesis is the production of new muscle proteins. What happens is that during muscle repair you end up building more than you damaged during training, and the more you damage, the greater the “profit”.

How does creatine work?

Creatine is produced naturally by the body, in the liver, pancreas and kidneys. Creatine can also be found in foods such as red meats and fish. Creatine, in a simple and brief way, helps increase ATP, which is the energy used for activities that require rapid and explosive movements (lifting weights is a good example). Our body maintains a very limited dose of ATP, which is sufficient for only a few seconds of intense activity. From the moment ATP levels fall, the muscle becomes fatigued. Bottom line: when you take creatine, the ATP levels are higher and you gain more muscle explosion, achieving more repetitions and increased load on the exercises.

The Effects of Alcohol on Muscle Building

There are several harms of alcohol when it comes to muscle building, but the main ones are:

– Decreased Protein Synthesis
– Decreased Anabolic Effects of Insulin and Growth Hormone
– Decreased Testosterone (Main Anabolic Hormone)

Adding Creatine with Alcohol

Creatine on the one hand will provide an anabolic environment for the body, increasing the levels of ATP, promoting an increase in protein synthesis, allowing your body to go beyond its natural limit, this in addition to increasing your gains, you can do with that your body releases more anabolic hormones to supply the demand. But alcohol consumption will do just the opposite: decrease the synthesis and break down the levels of the anabolic hormones in your body. It is not necessary to be a scientist to know that alcohol will limit or completely negate the effects of creatine supplementation.



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In conclusion

To maximize the anabolic effects of creatine it is vital to avoid alcohol. Taking creatine and alcohol is the same as throwing your precious money in the trash.

Your muscles build up through a process called protein synthesis. When you are in the gym it will break down and damage your muscles. Creatine works by giving you more “explosive energy” that allows you to pump out those extra repetitions and train harder longer. On the other hand had alcohol hinders the body’s process of building muscle. Alcohol interferes with protein synthesis and production of the body and the release of insulin and growth hormone. In extreme cases, if you train hard with creatine and drink alcohol your body may not be able to completely repair all of the damaged muscle tissue resulting in increased recovery times and negative muscle growth. As you can see creatine and alcohol really do not mix.

The potential benefits of creatine are not seen when used with alcohol. So if you are serious about building muscle and size it might be a good idea to keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum especially after your workouts and before bedtime. If you drink alcohol, always drink plenty of water while you are drinking and afterwards.


When you consume too much alcohol and creatine may present potential health risks. Alcoholism not only hinders the body’s ability to build muscle and oxidize fat, but also increases the risk of damage to body organs such as the liver and kidneys. Creatine is “probably safe” for most people at the recommended dosage, according to MedlinePlus – an information service of the National Institutes of Health.

The recommended dose is up to 20 g per day consumed in increments of 5 g for up to five consecutive days, followed by a dose of 2 g or more during the maintenance phase. Creatine should not be taken with caffeine or be used by people with kidney disease, diabetes or who may be pregnant.

1. Kreider, RB (2003). Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, 244, 89-94.
2 American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. (1999) Alcohol effects on luteinizing hormone and testosterone

Does creatine cause headaches and dehydration?

Foods that contain creatine