Does consuming creatine damage kidneys is quite a common question asked by people mainly bodybuilders out there. People generally have misconceptions about creatine damaging kidneys because of wrong information available in the market.
Consuming creatine won’t ever have an impact on your kidney if you continue drinking enough water. Why creatine won’t damage your kidney? This is the answer you will be getting in this article. In this blog, I will be explaining the fact of why creatine can never damage your kidney and the exact science involved behind how creatine reacts with the kidney. Let’s begin.
What is creatine?
Creatine is basically a nutrient that is found in foods as well as produced inside the body. Creatine is present in foods naturally. Our body produces 50% creatine within itself in the liver, pancreas and kidney naturally. Creatine is one of the safest nutrients that your body actually needs. Creatine helps in the development of muscle mass.
On a regular basis, you consume creatine from your daily food especially non-vegetarians. Non-vegetarian food possesses more creatine than vegetarian foods. Creatine is also found in supplements. Red meat, salmon and tuna fish are some of the non-vegetarian foods that are rich in creatine. Vegetarian foods like beans are rich in creatine.
How does creatine work in the body?
To understand why creatine does not damage your kidneys we need to understand the process of how creatine is utilized in the body and finally excreted out. When you consume creatine via supplements or food the creatine enters your body. The creatine is converted to Creatine Phosphate in your body which is stored in your muscles. When you work out this creatine phosphate acts as the source of extra energy ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). After working out the creatine phosphate is further broken down into Creatinine which is a waste material itself and not required by the body anymore. The creatinine is then transferred to the body fluid (blood). We all know that blood is filtered by the kidneys. The other wastes of the body including the creatinine is filtered by the kidneys and transferred to the urinary bladder to be urinated and excreted out of the body. This is how the kidney helps in removing creatine from your body after being utilized.
Are kidneys affected by creatine?
As you can see the kidneys are not at all affected by creatine. Even if you slightly increase the daily creatine intake it won’t affect your kidneys. For example, if you are consuming 450grams of fish or red meat you generally consume about 1 gm of creatine. There’s no chance that your kidneys can even be affected by such low amounts of creatine.
What is the safest dose of creatine?
You can generally consume 1 gm of creatine from foods along with 5g of creatine from supplements (for bodybuilders) which makes it a total of 6g of creatine. This is the normal dose of creatine you can consume in a day. If you are a non-vegetarian you can easily get this amount of creatine but if you are a vegetarian and you are dedicated to body-building it will be a little hard for you to reach this mark by just consuming beans.
When can your kidneys get damaged?
It doesn’t matter whether you added creatine supplements or food to your diet if you are not drinking the recommended amount of water per day your kidneys may get damaged. Water is the key factor that takes care of your kidneys. As long as you are drinking enough water per day your kidneys will be healthy. The recommended daily intake of water is 3 liters. When you are consuming supplements rich in creatine in high amounts you should also increase the daily intake of water to 4 liters. If you can do so you don’t need to worry about creatine damaging your kidneys anymore. The creatinine is easily removed by your kidneys via urine. Also, keep a check on how much creatine you are consuming per day. Overdosing of creatine raises the creatinine levels in your body which might affect your kidneys.
What if you already have kidney-related issues?
If you have any kidney-related issues before adding any supplements you need to check your daily protein intake and sodium intake. Your kidneys are generally damaged due to dehydration and bad lifestyles which include alcoholism. It is recommended to always drink more water if you have kidney-related issues. You can always work out and consume supplements under such medical conditions but always remember to keep the levels moderate. Always consult your doctor if you have serious kidney-related issues. The doctor will advise you to take a kidney test to determine the condition of your kidney and then will guide you on what you can do and what you should not do.