The brain and body naturally need a wide assortment of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and more to function optimally. Unfortunately, most people struggle to take in enough of these essential dietary elements, especially if they don’t regularly consume a healthy amount of meat. Below, our team of nutrition experts from Breinfuel will explore the vital, brain-boosting benefits of creatine and why it’s essential for promoting optimal brain performance.
Please continue to learn more about the essential role of creatine, its impact on the brain, and the various benefits it can provide. Also, please consider exploring our selection of other significant health and nutrition articles on our website and some frequently asked questions about our products.
All About Creatine
Creatine is an amino acid required for the body to create its on-demand energy source; adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is an energy-carrying molecule located in the cells of all living things. While we naturally produce some creatine in our kidneys and liver, we can’t make enough of it on our own to function correctly and have to get the remainder from our diet. We typically receive creatine from consuming specific animal products (like red meat and fish).
However, because it’s susceptible to degradation during the cooking process, most people receive far less creatine than what they need from their diet- especially if they’re vegan or vegetarian. Thankfully, people can rely on creatine supplements to make up for it.
Creatine and the Brain
The brain uses more energy than other organs and accounts for approximately 20% of our body’s energy usage and calorie intake. While our muscles can take up much more of our energy depending on our level of physical activity, they can at least rest and recuperate, but our brain runs 24/7. As such, our brains need access to proper amounts of energy to function properly and avoid issues, especially when it needs to handle a heavy cognitive load.
Proper creatine supply in the brain helps ensure optimal energy production to support our overall cognitive performance and brain health. However, our brain’s creatine stores naturally deplete as we age, likely because of decreased physical activity and the development of various diseases. Many medical professionals believe that these reduced creatine stores in older people are heavily tied to cognitive decline and neurological diseases.
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What The Research Says
Multiple research studies conducted in Australia and Britain have examined the impact of creatine on college students’ cognitive performance. The studies involved a group of participants provided with either creatine supplements or placebo pills. Participants were also divided into dataset groups of either omnivores or vegetarians.
According to the results of each study, creatine supplementation had significant positive impacts on working memory and intelligence measures related to processing speed. Members of placebo groups did worse at the cognitive tasks involved, especially if they belonged to the vegetarian group. The Australian study noted that their performance was similar to individuals impacted by traumatic brain injury (TBI), ADHD, schizophrenia, and dementia.
Benefits of Creatine
Creatine is scientifically known to provide many significant benefits for those who get enough of it in their diet, especially if they leverage quality creatine supplements. Some of the most notable benefits of creatine are that;
1. It Improves Brain Function
Creatine naturally plays a significant role in brain health and functioning, and research shows that the brain needs more ATP when performing more cognitively intensive tasks. Creatine supplements can help the brain produce mote ATP and might also increase mitochondrial function and dopamine levels.
In one study, researchers found that vegetarians taking creatine supplements demonstrated a 20-50% improvement in various intelligence and memory test scores. Another study found that older individuals taking creatine supplements for two weeks showed significantly improved recall ability in memory.
2. It May Help with Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease involves reduced dopamine levels within the brain, leading to cell death and severe symptoms impacting mental and physical performance. As stated above, creatine is thought to increase dopamine levels. According to one study, individuals with the disease who were given creatine with a weight training regimen demonstrated improved strength and daily function compared to those just given a weight training regimen.
3. It May Fight Other Neurological Diseases
Many severe neurological diseases involve a reduction of phosphocreatine within the brain. Because creatine can increase these levels, many experts believe it may help slow or reduce neurological disease progression. In some animal research, creatine restored the brain’s phosphocreatine stores by 72% in mice with Huntington’s disease. Other animal research indicated creatine supplements might also help treat Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and more.
4. It Reduces Fatigue and Tiredness
Creatine supplements help increase phosphocreatine stores within the muscles, aiding in the formation of higher ATP levels within the body and creating more energy to fuel muscle movement, especially during high-intensity exercise.
5. It’s Safe and Easy to Use
Along with creatine’s diverse range of brain benefits, it’s also safe, easy to use, and one of the cheapest supplements on the market. It has a massive selection of great options for people to choose from. Scientists have researched the impacts of creatine for over 200 years, and countless studies support its safety for long-term use with no reports of adverse effects on healthy individuals during five-year-long clinical trials.
Creatine is an essential amino acid critical for helping our body produce ATP, a vital energy source. While our bodies naturally create some creatine and receive more from various animal products, most people get less creatine than they need to function correctly. Adding more creatine to your system via supplements and health drinks can be a great way to ensure you get all the tremendous brain-boosting benefits it can provide!Are you ready to go beyond coffee and tea for better performance? Try Breinfuel!