Glycolytic activity is increased in proliferating cells, leading to the concept that glycolysis could be a therapeutic target in cystic diseases and kidney cancer. Preclinical studies using the glucose analog 2-deoxy-d-glucose have shown promise; however, inhibiting glycolysis in humans is unlikely to be without risks. While proximal tubules are predominantly aerobic, later segments are more glycolytic. Understanding exactly where and why glycolysis is important in the physiology of the distal nephron is thus crucial in predicting potential adverse effects of glycolysis inhibitors. Live imaging techniques could play an important role in the process of characterizing cellular metabolism in the functioning kidney. The goal of this review is to briefly summarize recent findings on targeting glycolysis in proliferative kidney diseases and to highlight the necessity for future research focusing on glycolysis in the healthy kidney.