What is Creatine?
Creatine is an amino acid that is produced in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Its main function is to provide the body with the energy it needs, particularly within the muscle cells. The major sources of creatine include protein-rich foods such as red meat, eggs, and fish.
Creatine supplements are commonly used by bodybuilders and athletes due to its effect on muscle mass. However, recent findings show that creatine supplements are highly effective for cognitive enhancement as well. Due to this, many individuals have now started taking creatine supplements to boost brain function.
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine is required to regenerate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is the body’s main source of energy. Once the creatine stores inside the muscles are exhausted, the ATP production stops with the body beginning to be drained off of energy. As creatine supplies increase, ATP begins to be synthesized. The more the creatine available, the more the ATP can be produced.
For Cognitive Enhancement
The creatine produced in the liver or kidneys is transported via an active transport system into the blood while the creatine taken through supplements or food sources is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. The blood takes the compound towards the brain where it binds to phosphates. This creatine phosphate increases the brain energy consumption. In short, creatine helps the brain cells improve their speed and efficiency, enhancing mental performance.
Benefits Of Creatine For Cognitive Enhancement
With creatine supplements, the users experience a variety of benefits especially vegans and vegetarians who tend to have low creatine reserves because of them avoiding the primary sources of creatine that is meat. A few Advantages of creatine are mentioned below:
As creatine helps with ATP re-synthesis, this results in a positive effect on memory span. Creatine is great for the memory especially short-term memory, as with an increase in energy available, the brain cells are able to learn about the situation and analyze it more aptly than other times.
While the individuals’ memory is improved, it also results in improving their reasoning skills. This means important matters are better looked at and studied before narrowing down to logical reasoning. This is helpful throughout the day, for professional, educational and maybe even domestic matters.
Relieved Brain Fatigue
With different problems faced throughout the day, the brain seems to get tired. This may cause poor decision-making, brain fog or overall low performance. The increase in the intake of creatine helps avoid this problem as creatine consumption allows oxygen to be enhanced and hence, a greater yield of energy. With energy readily available, brain fatigue is reduced, and the brain’s ability to sort through difficulties is restored.
Creatine is also found helpful in enhancing one’s mood. The mood is considered a significant cognitive function that plays an important role in both, physical and mental performance. Not only does creatine have a profound effect on the daily mood management, but it is also said to be helpful for people suffering from depression, one of the most common problems faced by people in this modern world.
Increased Mental Endurance
The additional energy from creatine may result in allowing the individual to work for more hours in the day with high quality work. In addition, sometimes we need to cut down on sleep in order to get done with a project. Creatine also helps reduce symptoms of sleep deprivation which means an individual can work for a longer span of time on a few hours of sleep.
Repaired Brain Cells
Recent studies have shown that low energy in the brain leads to the death of brain cells leading to life-threatening diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Supplementing with creatine has resulted in neuroprotection against a wide number of neurodegenerative diseases as creatine optimizes the ATP levels that are required in order to maintain a healthy brain.
The most common dosage is between 3 and 5 grams daily with each dose normally taken in powder form in the morning and afternoon. A user can choose to split the dose into multiple doses throughout the day or take it all at once.
Although some people have taken about 25 grams to about 250 grams daily, doses tend to vary depending on each individual’s personal preference and need. Athletes and bodybuilders, who tend to be the largest consumers of creatine supplements, consumer a larger dose because of creatine’s profound effect on muscle mass. Studies also show that creatine absorption is best when consumed with a carbohydrate.
Creatine is one of the well-studied nootropics of all time. Although, as being a non-essential compound creatine is generally safe to use, it does come along with a few precautions and side effects.
An overdose of creatine may be harmful to the kidneys and liver that have to suffer through the excess dosage in order to get rid of it from the body. Another possible effect of too much creatine consumption can weight gain, fever, headaches, nausea, anxiety, etc.
In conclusion, creatine has proved to be a helpful substance for those who need focus and mental clarity. Not only does it boost several cognitive functions, but it also improves the health of neurons. This substance can be consumed solely on its own or may be combined together with one’s nootropic stack.
The One Drawback To Creatine
As mentioned, creatine works best if taken with a carbohydrate. This poses a problem for those on a diet or people who are health conscious who tend to avoid carbs. For creatine to be used efficiently, one needs to take some sugar or additional carbohydrates along with the supplement.