T Nation

Caffeine and Creatine


Studies have shown caffeine to reduce creatine levels in tissue.

The question is, would supplementing with caffeine before workouts, and taking creatine after the workout replenish those sufficiently to get the best of both?

I have experimented with not taking caffeine for the past two weeks and increasing the creatine, and so far I feel stronger and get more reps in all ranges.Caffeine enables me to sustain intensity for longer though.


I suppose the bodies water content may be a factor in it. Caffiene being a diuretic and creatine, in simple terms, needing lots of water to work optimally may mean the caffiene in larger amounts may affect how well creatine works in some people. Personally, one thing I do know for sure is that when I have mistakingly had creatine very close to my uber-coffee habit I have to do wind sprints to the bathroom and lose a lot more than just water. As far as it reducing amounts in tissue, I haven't had problems using both, and creatine still seems to work quite well for me with caffiene or not.



Just wondering - are you taking caffeine via coffee or a pill


I have a pre-workout supplement that has 160 mg of caffeine in each serving.

The mechanism for the depletion is activation of AMPK.

Now the study in question used higher concentrations in vitro than anyone would ever get in vivo, but the 160 mg is a few cups of joe, so I think it would have a depleting effect.


Do you have a link to said study? My medline searches are showing nothing at the moment.

And is this just a storage or usage issue? Does it actually reduce the effectiveness of creatine or just how much is stored after a workout?


I try to make sure I take in a ton of water. I have coffee, maybe 2 a day, when I wake up take a 200 mg pill and hit the tread mill. and when I lift I take 200 mg
I take creatine post workout 5 g
not sure if i'm shooting myself in the foot, but i need caffeine!!!!


It activates AMPK in the muscle cells, making them deplete ATP, reducing or completely negating the effect of creatine. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19608206

I had to go back and reread the study..And I was being too moderate. Caffeine completely negates the ergogenic effects of creatine taken at 0,5g x kg x1/d if caffeine is at 5mg/kg. Granted, that is higher than most, but no follow-up study has been done as far as I know on, say, a more effective loading protocol for creatine ( 40 g once a day is probably not opitmal for an 80 kg male) and more moederate doses of caffeine, such as you would get from a few cups of tea, coffee or diet soda. Granted, 330 ml of Pepsi Max yields 96 mg caffeine, so if you down 1.5 l in a day you're approaching 400 mg caffeine from that alone.

Then again, if you load with creatine and then use caffeine once, there seems to be merit http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12439084


You're at about 500 mg of caffeine a day, and 5 g creatine. My guess is that you load some creatine post workout, depending on how fast you metabolize caffeine, and then deplete it with the morning dose of caffeine and the subsequent coffee intake.

I have, as I mentioned, felt stronger and lifted heavier after cutting back the caffeine. Only green tea now. The length of the workouts have to be reduced though. A way to get the best of both would be nice. There seems to be one if you train, say, 3x a week, where you'd take creatine and your levels would increase towards your workout, then you'd have caffeine before each of the 3 workouts and get the effect of both the caffeine and creatine, but working out more often you might have to choose what gives you more in the long run. When dieting it might be the caffeine, when building strength creatine. Maybe rotate the two.


There have been multiple studies that have supported the use of caffeine and bodybuilding/building muscle. I'm sure there are some conflicts between the two supplements, but if you're NOT using creatine, and have a cup of coffee before your workout, there are very few/if any negative effects from this....that's what I've understood and experienced from personal use.


Activating AMPK whilst dieting can lead to beneficial effects...as you are forcing your muscles to use more carbs/fat for energy to produce ATP instead of relying on energy from creatine...

Creatine also has other benefits besides energy...in paticular, increased cell volume...





question:I have quite a coffee habit,about 2 thermos a day,I'm guessing 1.5l...I read somewhere that caffeine keeps you from using/breaking down muscle for energy,by helping to burn fat,helping w/ endurance+ against pain.Also read somewhere it helped against male pattern and so far so good(guys in the family are all bald for what it's worth).
I also want to take creatine,is it going to be a waste(how much caffeine is in 1.5 l?)or can I time it to still get the beni's?