This article is all about creatine and all the questions surrounding it, does creatine damage your kidneys? is it a myth or truth?, what are the side effects? So lets get to it.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is a nutrient which is present in the food naturally. Our body itself produces 50% creatine in liver, kidneys and pancreas naturally. People consume creatine from the diet especially the non-vegetarians. So creatine and kidney damage are two different things. Creatine is the safest and important nutrient which our body needs.
Chemical Structure of Creatine:
What happens in the body after consumption:
It is consumed by food (red meat, salmon, tuna, beans etc) and supplements.
2. Creatine Phosphate:
After you consume creatine the body converts it to creatine phosphate (it is stored in the muscle).
When you workout you get energy from the stored creatine phosphate in the muscle in the form of ATP (Adenosine Tri Phosphate). It helps to generate extra energy during workout.
It is further broken down to creatinine which is a waste material. This now gets into the blood stream.
The blood containing the waste creatinine is filtered by the kidneys which sends it to the urine bladder from where it is excreted out of the body.
So this is the creatine cycle in the body. As you can see there is no effect on the kidneys.
If you eat 450gm fish/red meat you get only 1gm creatine. So there is no chance of kidney damage.
So how does the kidney gets damaged?
Suppose you take 1g from food and add 5gm from supplement. Then you have a total of 6gm creatine in the body. Which is also a safe dosage.
It doesn’t matter whether you add creatine from supplement or not your kidney will only get damaged if the water balance in the body gets reduced.
Water is the key factor here, as long as drink enough water then you have no need to worry, your kidney will not get damaged.
Normal water intake – 3L
When you add supplement of creatine then add 1-1.5L extra water, i.e drink 4-4.5L water and your kidneys will be safe.
If you do not drink enough water then the creatinine level in your body increases it becomes difficult for your kidneys to filter it and thus it will be at risk.
Normal Creatine Dosage:
Another reason for kidney damage is creatine overdose.
5gm is the safe dose for any individual who have healthy kidneys.
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