creatine in water

Below is a side bar from a lengthy article I  wrote on the recent studies covering the many potential health/longevity benefits of creatine. This short side bar from that article covers the possible contraindications of creatine:

Are there any contraindications Of Creatine Monohydrate?

Hundreds of studies to date have shown that creatine monohydrate is an amazingly non-toxic and safe supplement with numerous benefits. Further studies directly examining possible side effects, both prospective and long-term retrospective (up to five years), have failed to find any serious side effects of creatine supplementation (65-69) on various markers studied, such as renal function, hepatic function, and others. So are there contraindications of creatine monohydrate?

Although creatine monohydrate is clearly safe for healthy people with a very low side-effects profile using up to 10 grams per day, are there specific groups who should not use it?

Again, the data suggest very few actual contraindications. The only people who should avoid creatine supplements are those with a history of renal disease and/or those taking nephrotoxic (poisonous to the kidneys) medications. There’s been a handful of case reports that show very high doses of creatine (and the reports were not always clear as to what form of creatine was used) were associated with kidney dysfunction.(70) Typical for such a simple case report, it’s unclear what other medications were involved or pre-existing medical condition existed.

However tenuous the connection between high-dose creatine monohydrate and pre-existing kidney dysfunction, it’s prudent to advise people with a history of renal disease and/or those taking nephrotoxic medications to avoid creatine supplementation until more data exists examining that connection. As creatine monohydrate supplementation may cause a transient increase in creatinine levels in some individuals, it may act as a false indicator – vs a cause – of renal dysfunction.

Full Article HERE 

2019 update: 

Below is a large meta analysis that examined the issue of kidney toxicity and creatine, and as expected, found  nadda for kidney toxicity as it pertains to create supplements at typical doses used in studies, which are often higher than most people ingest BTW.  So next time yet another self proclaimed  expert tells you about the dangers of creatine to kidneys – which includes some medical professionals who really should know better – send them this paper:

Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Renal Function: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Journal of Renal Nutrition

Creatine supplements are intended to improve performance, but there are indications that it can overwhelm liver and kidney functions, reduce the quality of life, and increase mortality. Therefore, this is the first systematic review and meta-analysis study that aimed to investigate creatine supplements and their possible renal function side effects.

After evaluating 290 non-duplicated studies, 15 were included in the qualitative analysis and 6 in the quantitative analysis. The results of the meta-analysis suggest that creatine supplementation did not significantly alter serum creatinine levels (standardized mean difference = 0.48, 95% confidence interval 0.24-0.73, P = .001, I2 = 22%), and did not alter plasma urea values (standardized mean difference = 1.10, 95% confidence interval 0.34-1.85, P = .004, I2 = 28%).

The findings indicate that creatine supplementation does not induce renal damage in the studied amounts and durations.






  1. Joe 10 years ago

    I have read that it is a good idea to cycle off creatine periodically For the last few years I have been supplementing with creatine about ten months per year when I am generally heavy lifting and do not supplement with it in the summer when I am doing more cardio, still lifting but generally not as heavy nor quite as often, Do you think that makes sense I have had some liver red flags before I started creatine, but that problem seems to have abated since improving my diet

    • Author
      Will Brink 10 years ago

      I cover cycling in my vid series on creatine which answers the most common Qs on creatine. You can find them by looking in the “Topics” section at the top of the page. There’s no reason to cycle creatine and no harm done if you wish to.

  2. Wes Turner 10 years ago

    How does insulin spiking affect creatine and how out body processes creatine?

  3. Suresh Shukla 10 years ago

    Hi Will,
    While there are said to be no major side effects of creatine, I have come across many people – personally as well as on internet – who say that it leads to a rapid Hair loss. Does this assumption hold water?

    • Author
      Will Brink 10 years ago

      Nope. There was a single poorly conducted study done in rugby players that showed an increase in DHT, not seen in any studies before or after, and from that, bro science types will not let go of the mythology that creatine = hair loss. It’s complete nonsense.

      • sean 10 years ago

        Will, I noticed LEF isn’t offering the Creatine Monohydrate in powder form, just capsules.
        Do you know of another good source?

        • Author
          Will Brink 10 years ago

          Any company that uses CreaPure as it’s source is fine. A Google search will turn u
          various choices. I’d also let the LEF know you wanted to buy it from them,
          but want powder vs caps. They tend to be a very response company that way,
          and enough people tell them and they will bring back the powder I bet.

          • sean 10 years ago


  4. wes turner 10 years ago

    Can one get more out of creatine by timing it with an insulin spike? Is the data on this subject inconclusive at this time?

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



I'm not around right now. But you can send me an email and I'll get back to you soon.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?