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Creatine & Kidney Function: Does It Affect Function? (Science Explained)

Creatine is a popular supplement often used to enhance athletic performance and muscle mass.

There's a common concern regarding its impact on kidney function, especially with long-term use.

In this article, we examine the findings from various research studies to present a clear picture of how creatine supplementation affects kidney function.

Does Creatine Affect Kidney Function?

Most studies suggest that creatine supplementation generally does not negatively affect kidney function in healthy individuals.

It also seems to be safe for people with type 2 diabetic and postmenopausal women.

However, there may be some concerns in those with pre-existing renal issues or those with reduced function.

Studies Examined

Below are six studies we've examined and the outcomes of each.

1. No Impairment in Healthy Athletes

Long-term creatine supplementation does not impair renal function in healthy athletes.

Studies show no significant differences in kidney function markers between those using creatine and non-users (Poortmans & Francaux, 1999).

2. Safe in Resistance-Trained Individuals

Creatine supplementation does not affect kidney function in resistance-trained individuals consuming a high-protein diet.

Kidney function remained stable over a 12-week supplementation period (Lugaresi et al., 2013).

3. No Adverse Effects in Type 2 Diabetics

In type 2 diabetic patients, creatine supplementation alongside exercise training did not affect kidney function, suggesting its safety in this specific population (Gualano et al., 2011).

4. Potential Concerns in Pre-existing Kidney Diseases

While generally safe for individuals without kidney diseases, creatine should be used cautiously by those with pre-existing kidney conditions or those at risk for renal dysfunction (Davani-Davari et al., 2018).

5. Aggravation in Renal Disease Models

In animal models with cystic kidney disease, creatine supplementation exacerbated disease progression, indicating potential risks in humans with compromised renal function (Edmunds et al., 2001).

6. No Significant Effect on Renal Function

A systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that creatine supplementation does not significantly alter serum creatinine levels or plasma urea values.

These findings indicate no induction of renal damage in studied amounts and durations (de Souza E Silva et al., 2019).


Creatine supplementation, in general, does not negatively impact kidney function in healthy individuals, including athletes or those on a high-protein diet.

However, if there are pre-existing kidney function issues or reduced function then creatine should be avoided.

Creatine is generally deemed to be safe and effective.

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