Creatine Supplements Benefits

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Introduction to Creatine Supplements Benefitscreatine supplements benefits

Wow!  This is one great supplement with some great properties and great nootropic benefits.  We can’t talk about it enough yet it is the most underappreciated nootropic out there with the best benefits.  It’s extraordinary just how low Creatine is on people’s radar.  This post called Creatine Supplements Benefits will hopefully enlighten those who don’t know about creatine.

So what is Creatine?  Well, first of all, it is also known as creatine monohydrate.  It is a small peptide made up of amino acids and is created within the pancreas, liver, and the kidneys.  Responsible for creatine creation is the amino acids methionine, arginine, and glycine.  You can click on them for more information about them if you like.

Creatine is a natural substance, a molecule found naturally inside our bodies and most present in our skeletal muscles.  What is not in our skeletal muscles is found in the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, testes, and almost every cell in our bodies.

It boosts the production of energy in our bodies when we take it as a supplement either capsule or in powder form.  Creatine stores phosphate groups as phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate) that supports the release of energy and as a result encourages muscle growth.  In this sense, it is a very popular supplement for gym goers looking to build muscle and get stronger.

Creatine Supplement Benefits

 

Creatine Enhances Brain Power

When people hear the word creating they automatically thing bodybuilding supplement and stop there.  However, creatine is a great nootropic and the effects on our brain are very strong.  For vegetarians, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted where they were given 5g/day of creatine for a period of 6 weeks.  The results showed that memory and intelligence had significantly improved as compared to those taking the placebo [1]

In 2009 a blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted that showed creatine can increase our IQ, our attention span, working memory

Creatine is also good at preventing the cognitive fatigue we get from difficult or strenuous mental tasks.  There is another study done that looks at this.  It was a placebo-controlled study using young and healthy participants that took the Uchida-Kraepelin test.

This test commonly called the UK test, which has a history of more than 60 years in Japan, is a simple and unique test that only performs a simple one-digit addition for 30 minutes. It enables to measure the actual work performance by making simulated work.

The results of these tests were as follows, those taking creatine faired much better and showed significantly fewer signs of fatigue after taking the test than those taking a placebo.

In a recent study done in 2018 shows us that taking creatine along with a regular exercise regime promotes new brain cell growth as well as alleviating chronic stress-induced depression [2].

Another study showed that creatine does boost our working memory and our intelligence because of improved brain energy capacity [3]

I think it is important to know just how creatine is able to achieve this.  It works pretty much the same way it does for muscles.  The stored creatine phosphate in our body is taken up by our muscle cells called myocytes as well as neurons in our brain.

These cells are very active and as a result, need a lot of energy in the form of ATP which is the high-energy molecule that stores the energy we need to do just about everything.  How active these cells are dependant on just how fast they can recycle used phosphate to build more ATP.

Creatine increases the amount of phosphate that is available provides much more energy stores for our brain. Kool isn’t it!

Check out my article on TrueBrain for a nootropic stack offering more brain power.

Neuro-Protective Effects

There is a heap of information on these leading researchers to surmise that neuro-protective benefits are because of the large pool of creatine in the brain.

Even though there is a lot of research done, it is still in its infancy compared to benefits in athletic performance and muscle building.  However, there is good evidence that creating is:

  • a good immune booster
  • is a neuro-protector
  • is a good supplement for those suffering from Parkinson’s Huntington’s, ALS, and Alzheimer’s

Increases Cognitive Performance In Elderlycreatine supplements benefits

Yes, it can!  There have been studies in this area including one in 2007 looking at the effect of creatine on the cognitive function of those 80 years of age and older.  The test consisted of random number generation, forward and backward number and spatial recall, and long term memory tests.

What they discovered was that there was a significant increase in everything but the backward number recall so the determination was that supplementing with creatine enhances cognition in the elderly [4].

Creatine Can Reduces Depression

Although there is not too much research done in the area of creating benefiting those with depression, there is some and they sound promising.

There was a double-blind trial focusing on female depression sufferers and found that the supplementation of creatine improved their HAM-D score.  This is a measure of depression, but you can read more by clicking on it.  The benefits began 2 weeks into the study and continued for the entire 8-week study [5].

Again, we still need much more positive data generated to be completely sure, but this study seems to point in that direction.

Creatine Decreases Oxidative Stress and Aids Recovery

Inflammation has been a target of nootropic supplements and creatine is on this long list.

We know that lipid oxidation caused by intense resistance training is reduced by supplementing with creatine.

One study has looked at the effects of creatine on inflammation in athletes post sprint training.  The study showed us that the ones that supplemented with creatine had lower inflammation markers than the group that did not take creatine [6].

Creatine Lessens Sleep Deprivation

Studies have shown that supplementing with creatine can help us function better when sleep deprived.  A study using what was considered elite athletes proved that creatine does just that.  Their skill performance improved significantly.

Up to 24 hours of sleep deprivation, creatine was able to enhance mood and improve task taking that place stress on the prefrontal cortex [7]

Fact: Creatine Increases Strength

The world is awash with studies showing the benefits of creating for increasing strength.  It is that good. It can increase your muscle strength along with 4 weeks of strength training.  The more creatine you uptake and body mass changes, the greater you’re performance gains will be.

In 2003 a study showed that creatine supplementation increased a lifters 1 rem max bench press from between 3 and 45%.

Another study in 2013 showed that taking creatine increase both muscle strength and muscle endurance.  This study had volunteers performing heavy squats and heavy bench press.

Creatine Increases Muscle Size

This is an exciting benefit of creatine supplementation and the one benefit is known for the most.  Creatine is one of the few legal substances that will increase muscle size when combined with exercise [8] and it is the most effective with the most science backing it.

Ons study comprising of 250 athletes compared the most popular muscle building supplements and found that creatine alone showed the greatest benefit of all of them [9].

Another study using athlete participants found creatine supplementation added 5.7 lb or 2.6 kg of muscle mass 24 lb or 11 kg to bicep curl and an amazing 70 lb or 32 kg to the leg press.  All of these being a 1 rep max and not many reps [10].

Protects Against Muscle Loss In Elderly

Muscle mass and strength decline with age.  We know that is a fact, but we can certainly protect ourselves from that by supplementing with creatine.

What makes this important is not just our skeletal muscles which are very important, but also our body muscles that protect us from certain health problems.  One that is talked about a lot is chemo treatment.  This can take a tremendous toll on your body and the more healthy muscle you have the greater your chances of cancer survival as shown in this study.

Creatine does protect against muscle loss in the elderly and resistance training has shown to significantly slow muscle decline.  Just think of the number of falls due to lack of leg strength.  Broken bones and loss of life are commonplace after a fall.

Should You Take Creatine?

Well, the answer is yes.  As you can see it has benefits for just about anyone and you don’t have to be an elite athlete to reap those benefits.  Muscle growth lessens sleep deprivation, reduces depression, I could go on.

Not only are the benefits huge and for everyone, but creatine is inexpensive there are really no side effects to speak of.

How to Take Creatine

There are a lot of schools of thought here, but this one seems to stick out the most and be the most popular without using a computer to figure out the best time.

One 10-week study provided a dietary supplement containing creatine, carbs and protein to adults who weight trained [11].

Participants were divided into two groups. One group took the supplement soon before and after exercise, while the other group took the supplement in the morning and evening, so not close to exercise.

At the end of the study, the group that took the supplement close to exercise gained more muscle and strength than the group that took the supplement in the morning and evening.

Based on this research, it may be better to take creatine close to exercise, rather than at some other time of the day.

For example, you could take the whole dose after you exercise or split the dose, taking half of it before you exercise and the other half afterward.

Where to Buy Creatine Monohydrate

You can find creatine at most health stores but beware of the quality.  Buying online is a good place when you know of a proper vendor with quality products.  The Nootropics Depot is one of those companies with a great reputation and great products.  You can purchase Creatine Monohydrate by clicking here or the jar to the right.

5 thoughts on “Creatine Supplements Benefits”

  1. I love that you mentioned the nootropic aspect of creatine. Societal dogma talks about the weight lifting benefits and the muscle gains. I personally always have creatine next to my computer as I am working away as a cognitive enhancer.

    I don’t believe there is anybody on this earth who shouldn’t take 5-10 mg of creatine monohydrate daily.

    Thank you for this post!

    Ben 

  2. Hi Stew.

    Thanks for your post. Creatine supplements have always been around in my house but I never took them seriously until I read your article.

    I am really amazed to find a range of benefits creatine supplements have to offer. Sleep deprivation is a usual thing with me and I think I should start taking creatine supplements and I hope it will help me function better.

    Thanks for the informative post.

    Nick

  3. I’m in the bodybuilding and fitness world for a long while, and what I can say about creatine is the following: it works, but be careful, don’t take cheap ones, also take a good look to the ingredients, don’t take scrambled ones, since they ask to much for it and it won’t work, I always take the one of JYM, for the price and quality this is the best one, many people I’m training are happy with it and you see results! Just don’t forget to drink lots of water with it. Anyway, thanks for sharing it with us! 

    • Creatine is a staple for me being a 6 day a week Crossfit athlete and I agree that you have to find quality products.  There are many great creatine producers out there and doing your research is easy enough to find the best one.

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