T Nation

Taking Creatine with One Kidney?


Hi guys, this is my first post on here as I’ve been reading t nation for about a year but have only just signed up as a member. Brief bit about me so far, before I ask address my topic. I’ve been training for 2 years (give or take), started off at around 60kg, ectomorphic I know, when I was 17 but now around 78 kg at 19 continuing my lean aesthetic bulk.

Supplements have always been a struggle to get my head around as IMPORTANT BIT I’ve had one kidney for nearly all my life, the doctors have said that supps should be fine but I have other trainers and the odd doctor or two saying I shouldn’t have very much. I’ve always only ever used protein powder (mainly for the calorie bump) and recently am using bcaas and pre workout. Now I want to step up to creatine as I’ve heard good things, QUESTION Do you guys think it would be ok for me to use?

If so what brand? Kinda only want a light one. How much per day? Do the benefits out way my ‘on the fence’ view? Does it really harm the kidneys? (As far as I know it doesn’t but hmmm) etc thanks guys, sorry if it’s too long lol


there is no scientific literature to suggest that creatine in any way causes problems for healthy kidneys.

With that said - I can understand why you would be hesitant in your position.

Creatine’s ok but it’s hardly a game changer, and it’s certainly not something you’d ever need, so if you’re in any way unsure just play it safe and spend your money on bacon instead.


From examine.com:

"For those with healthy kidneys: No. For those with impaired kidney function, it is highly unlikely but one should still check with their medical doctor.

Please see our Creatine rubric for human clinical studies on the kidney. The net result was that even with one kidney, creatine had no negative effect on the kidneys. This is a topic that has been replicated numerous times in different populations by different researchers, and yet not a single peer-reviewed study or case report has surfaced where creatine is the causative factor behind kidney damage.

In one study, an individual with one kidney that was slightly damaged was loaded with 20g of Creatine a day and no problems were found.[1]

There is some confusion regarding the kidneys with the metabolite (waste product) of creatine, called ‘creatinine’, which is also a diagnostic criteria for kidney problems. This is a case of a supplement giving a ‘false positive’ and is in no way harmful, and can be read up more on our creatine disambiguation section."


is no scientific literature to suggest that creatine in any way causes problems for healthy kidneys.

With that said - I can understand why you would be hesitant in your position.

Creatine’s ok but it’s hardly a game changer, and it’s certainly not something you’d ever need, so if you’re in any way unsure just play it safe and spend your money on bacon instead.

Yeah I agreee with Yogi, if you’re worried about it I wouldn’t take creatine because it’s not that drastic of an increase in performance or size in my opinion/experience. And as for the experiment on the INDIVIDUAL with one kidney who supplemented creative with 20g of creating a day, that is an INDIVIDUAL and it was not an experiment on a group of individuals with one kidney. I’m not saying that creatine does or doesn’t affect the kidneys (in my opinion it doesn’t) but if I were you I wouldn’t want to make a serious medical decision based off of the result of one person. But all in all diet can increase your performance far better than creatine can.

When are you taking the bcaas? Cause I use mine before, during, and after my workout and I find that it brings a lot of the same performance benefits of creatine other than (mostly water) weight gain


If you go for it get plain old monohydrate - cheap and I understand as effective as anything else on the market. Like with any supplement, it’s just that - a supplement. I like it though, I’ve been using it daily since January 2015. I think it does help a bit, and a bit is a bit.


If you decide to use it, you don’t need any more than 5g a day.


If want to try a ‘light one’ check out one of the newer krealkalyn types. Obviously as a precaution up your water a bit. Beta Alanine a good alternative also


I’m taking my bcaas during my workout usually but will start taking them before, during and after and see if i see any noticeable difference, thank you. Just that I’ve heard friends that have had a great experience after starting to use creatine and am tempted to try


Yeah just put 2-3 scoops of bcaas in your bottle and just sip on it on the way to the gym, in the gym, and on your way back. I know it can be difficult to resist a certain supplement when your friends are telling you how awesome it is, but honestly creatine gains for me leave as quickly as they come. I usually run creatine for about 8 weeks and gain around 5lbs of water weight in the first week (loading phase) and then maybe 1-2 more lbs of muscle (hopefully) but when I get off of it I lose that same 5lbs which I can probs my contribute to water weight. But when I’m on it my muscles do not feel or look as dense as they do when I’m on just bcaas and a proper diet. When I was in high school I thought that creatine was my answer to the goals I wanted (I was 165lbs senior year) but it wasn’t until I learned that a proper diet with a main focus on pre workout meals and post workout meals, helped me achieve my goals. To where I gained 30lbs in the following two years. Sorry I got way off track but my point is is that your question is a medical question and not some bro science question that most of us on here can answer. In my opinion creatine creates more confidence and better performance in the mind than it does for the body. Your friends are seeing the scale go up and they think “wow creatine does really build muscle!” When in all actuality, it’s creating a belief or trust in progressing in the gym towards their goals which can eventually lead to a deeper motivation for dieting and exercising that has far more benefits than 5g of creatine a day can haha. But anyways, take the belief and confidence that your friends have in creatine and build your own belief in your own system.

And btw what are your stats? (BW, BF%, Age, Height, Max lifts, calories, etc)


And goals too


Also…if you do go consult your DR…just know they will likely be on the conservative side.

After I tore my hamstring playing softball I went to my Dr. and she said: “You know creatine and other supplements can have the same effects as steroids on your heart and kidneys right?” lmao.

Many of them have no clue, especially general practitioners who have to know a little bit about everything.


Lastly, your serum Creatinine at baseline, if you’re a pretty muscular guy, will likely be on the high side of the reference range or possibly even outside of it.

This is a result of muscle turnover and should not be confused for kidney damage (barring a lack of corroborating factors).

As mentioned above creatinine is the main metabolite of creatine and may be slightly increased as a result of taking it. If your BUN is within normal limits with your creatinine a little outside of the reference range, you should be fine.

BUN is an indicator of how much protein is going out via your urine and the amount of protein metabolites in your blood.

Labs will come up if you see your doc…want you to be prepared my friend.


I see, this helps a lot thank you. I am more inclined towards not taking creatine, not because of the kidney, but because it seems like it wouldn’t benefit me as much as like you suggest, diet and bcaas etc so thank you. I suppose it’s really not so different to bcaas anyway so will continue with just that and see how i progress, however i may try creatine for a motivational boost at some point in the far future. As for my stats, I’m 77kg, around 13% bodyfat, based on online calculations and caliper calcs, just turned 19 years old, 5 ft 10, my max lifts for the big 3 are 110kg bench, 160kg dead and 140kg squat all raw (no belts, straps etc at all). I eat around 2800-3200 calories a day usually fitting my macros and since i’ve always been a skinnier kid i’m just trying to get to 80kg in the next year and a half/2 years and lean out at that then see where to go from there maybe going for my first show. Always been focused on aesthetics/sort of bodybuilding and my programme has always been (week 1 strength week 2 volume week 3 tension/intensity methods week 4 strength week 5 deload) along those lines ish. Thanks


This is a main reason why i’ve posted this question. Different doctors say different things and have never really had the same doctor so all the info gets mixed around. Before I started training my creatinine levels were all normal for me and as soon as i started training they boosted obviously due to increase in muscle mass, nutrition etc which showed up in samples causing panic to some of the 10+ different doctors i see. Some doctors want to do tests because of this, others say its fine, others say its bad, one has even said to stop supplementing cut down on my training all together! Difficult situation to be in especially when in the distant future i want to adapt my training and nutrition to a amateur bodybuilder level. Thanks for the help, taking everything into account.


Good luck to you!