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Creatine Side Effects

Question: Is It True That Creatine Will Deteriorate Your Kidneys?

I have been thinking about buying some pure creatine to work out with so I can gain muscle quicker. But I have hesitated buying it because of something that I heard. One of my friends told me that his football coach took the football team off creatine because he said that some college (I can't remember which one) done some research on creatine and determined that within ten to twenty years of taking creatine that it will deteriorate your kidneys. Is this true? Is their any side effects from taking creatine?

Question expanded by another reader.
I am a 15 year old weight lifter who weighs around 155 lbs. I can bench around 160. I am looking for something that will make me gain some weight (muscle not fat weight) and something that will make me bench more. My doctor said that creatine can cause kidney problems. I don't really know who to believe because I read many articles that said creatine had no side effects. If there is a doctor or someone who knows a lot about this stuff, can you please answer my question?


Answer #1

I have spoken with several Nephrologists and they concur that creatine is extremely dangerous to people with any kidney impairment and long term usage does lead to kidney failure.

Answer #2

The best suggestion I have heard is to take it for 8 weeks on, 4 weeks off. It will give your kidneys a chance to produce adenosine tryphosphate (ATP). This is to assure that your kidneys will not stop producing atp forever, which still remains a mystery.

Good Luck,

M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor University of British Columbia

Answer #3

Creatine is a compound that your body forms on it's own in the amount of about 2mg per day. This small quantity does not cause any problems with kidney stones and the like. However, when taking creatine supplements in the amounts advised by bodybuilders and salespeople, usually around 10-20mg per day, you have an increased risk of developing kidney stones because of the insolubility that is observed in such saturated amounts. Creatine works to give you excess energy beyond what is normal so that you can work-out longer and hence develop more muscle. It does this by acting as a "supplement" ATP so that your body can regenerate its ATP supply while still supplying you with the energy to work-out. This prevents you from going anaerobic and developing lactic acid buildup.

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