T Nation

Creatine and Water Intake


For the past year or so I've made it my habit to drink at least 1 gallon of water a day and maximally 2 gallons a day. Typically I go through almost a gallon in my periworkout session (pure water and water for my BCAAs and intraworkout carbs). I take in 5 to 10 grmas of micronized creatine monohydrate (ON brand).

My question is: Being 6'2 and about 242 and about (18-20% BF), I'm wondering if this water/creatine consumption is affecting my leanness and water retention.

I'll attach a quick body profile pic for kicks.


Everyone’s needs for water are different. I consume 3-5 liters (just under/over a gallon) per day. I used to make it a point to consume at least 4 liters a day even when I was not active. It was not optimal for me. You need to find what works for you.

I don’t know you or how your body works, but two gallons sounds like a lot. Maybe you do need that much to perform optimally, and I’ll never know.

A couple things to think about: are you drinking that much because you feel that thirsty, or are you intentionally drinking that much? How much sodium and simple sugars are you getting? Have you felt adverse effects from drinking 2 gallons in a day? How frequently do you urinate? These questions will at least get you thinking about it.

Also, how you consume the water will affect how much you actually absorb. The general rule of thumb is to sip 1 liter per hour, spaced out as much as possible. Any more and you’re not absorbing all of it. Again, it’s a general rule and varies based on the individual and current activity levels. Consuming a gallon throughout a workout is probably not all getting absorbed even with the increased demand for water.

As far as how it affects your appearance, you’re definitely carrying a lot of subcutaneous water which is a very good thing unless you’re going to be in a bodybuilding/physique show in a week. Staying hydrated will help you lean out. When you do lean out (single digits BF), you won’t look bodybuilder-level shredded or anything, but again that’s not necessary unless you’re competing. I think there’s an article somewhere about how to lose subcutaneous water before a show.

So to directly answer your questions, it is definitely affecting your water retention, but is not harming your leanness. If you’re talking strictly in terms of the effect on your appearance, get down to single-digit BF and then see how the water retention is affecting your appearance. It’s too hard to say since you’re also carrying some extra fat.


Short answer: No.

You are not lean, because you are fat. Not an insult, just a fact. Keep the creatine going (what’s wrong with Biotest??) and loose fat.

Water retention only matters if you are sick or in single digits about to hit the stage.


I use to believe in that whole ‘gallon a day’ ordeal, and carry around the water jug. I’d be about to go to bed, and realized I had a 3rd of a gallon left, and would chug it, because I literally thought my kidneys would screw up if I didn’t.

However, a few years ago I took a protein that contained creatine, and wasn’t drinking a gallon a day. So, I realized that in fact I won’t turn into the guy who choose poorly when it came to the Holy Grail.

As far as bloating, water retention, whatever, start taking Kre-Alkalyn Creatine. It’s absolutely my favorite. No cycling, no retention, no nothing. It’s great, and just as cheap as the standard.

As for water, like the smart folk will tell you, everyone is different. For me, I try and drink enough water twice daily where it makes me pee clear. I figure then I’m good. When it comes to pre/intra/post, I drink around 60oz of water. It’s combined with powdered Gatorade, BCAAs, and protein. So, I think it’s best to get it in when your body wants it the most.


[quote]CaliberWinfield wrote:
When it comes to pre/intra/post, I drink around 60oz of water. It’s combined with powdered Gatorade, BCAAs, and protein. [/quote]

No, just no. Gatorade is NOT a good choice.

I’ve copy and pasted a post by Bill Roberts

Gatorade is not a quality product.

Large amounts of Gatorade are not a good idea.

The sugar content is 50% fructose which cannot be used by muscles and is in no way equivalent metabolically or for health to glucose, glucose polymers (inclusive of cyclic dextrin, maltodextrin, etc) or starches.

You’re drinking the wrong sugar, in huge quantities.

The advice given would be a big improvement.

If you must use a sugar instead of cyclic dextrin or a maltodextrin, then use glucose (dextrose.)

There is nothing magic about the electrolyte formula of Gatorade. If you’re interested I can give you a better one. Or as JWF mentions, Surge Workout Fuel would be better yet and is not a costly product.

It’s hard to believe there’s anything special about Gatorade’s flavor.

So the type of sugar is crappy, nothing special about the electrolytes, nothing cheaper about the price, so why the fixation?


Generally speaking drinking a ton of water will help with leaness and prevent water retention, along with a ton of other benefits energy skin etc so keep it up.

As mentioned wont hurt to try krealkalyn or Biotest creatine malate here