Creatine: Muscle building and Brain Boosting?

Nootropics have become excessively popular among those who want to think and perform faster than the others. There is always someone around, maybe a colleague from work or a class topper, who is actively using nootropics. The main purpose of using these supplements is to stimulate your brain and increase the learning capacity.

Creatine is also one of these brain stimulating supplements and is considered to be very effective in this regard. It is stored inside our body and works as energy back up source whenever required.
The purpose of this article is to enlighten you about the important aspects of creatine, so that you become familiar with this supplement in case you are thinking about its use as a brain stimulant.

What is Creatine and how does it work?

Creatine is a natural chemical present in the human body that is formed from the combination of 2 amino acids named arginine and glycine. The main energy currency of our body is Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) which is an adenosine with 3 attached phosphate groups.

When the body cells need energy, mitochondria (cell power house) separate a phosphate group and it provides energy by breaking the bond that the cell uses to get things done. Now, the ATP is converted into ADP (adenosine Diphosphate), which cannot produce energy for cell functions.

Here’s where creatine comes to the rescue.

As we know that creatine is stored in the body as Creatine-Phosphate. When ATP converts to ADP, it comes in to tackle the situation by providing a phosphate back to ADP so that it can become ATP again and restore its’ energy to use in future.

How creatine Works
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Creatine levels are linked with optimal memory ability

Creatine is a natural energy recycler that is why fitness conscious people use it. It is so effective because it provides your muscles a large amount of energy so that you can work harder and longer. The reason behind this energy boost is that creatine is stored in our body muscles.

The topic is not closed yet..

The other biggest store house of creatine is actually in our brain cells. The brain uses 20 % of body’s total energy every single day and the more we use our brain, the quicker will be drained the ATP reserves.

Creatine comes in picture here again. It helps revive the brain cells in a similar way like in muscles by helping “recharge” the ATP supplies so that the brain can continue to perform well.

Creatine effects on the brain

One study at the University of New Mexico was conducted on learning skills and memorizing ability of children. The main objective of the study was to analyze the ability of brain to hold information for future or long term memory. Scientists worked on children’s brains in an age bracket of 7 to12 years using magnetic resonance spectroscopy and measured different brain neurotransmitters.
The conclusion of study was that children with the high levels of creatine in their brain had a better long term memory.

Creatine improves Cognition

This creatine is also known for its cognition improving effects in human brain. People are normally aware of this supplement due to its muscle fatigue reducing effects and it is consumed by most of them just for workout purposes. Fewer people are aware of the nootropic and neuroprotective effects that creatine supplementation offers.

In sleep deprived rugby players, creatine, given in a dose of 20 grams per day improved their mood and cognitive skills after consuming it regularly for 7 days. According to another study, creatine if taken one week before sleep deprivation combined with moderate workout routine, improves complex cognitive skills in people.

Benefite of Creatine
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Creatine reduces brain fog

A few studies indicate that creatine may reverse the symptoms of brain fog caused by stress hormones, insomnia and circadian rhythm imbalance, which are very common in athletes or in people leading a modern lifestyle.

May be Helpful in Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson disease is related to dopamine levels in brain. It often leads to poor fitness, reduced muscle mass, decreased muscle strength and fatigue. As we are aware of the fact that creatine improves upper body strength and helps to enhance the muscle strength, just like it does in athletes. Creatine is taken in higher doses for 5 days (20 g per day) and then the maintenance dose stays at 5 g per day for patients of Parkinson’s disease. It has proved to be somewhat effective to prevent drop of dopamine level in brain.

Larger clinical trials are required to assess properly if only creatine supplementation can improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Dose Protocols

The dose is recommended according to a person’s body mass, age and his diet plan. Generally a 2-phase (loading + maintenance) supplementation protocol is followed in clinical practices.
• In loading dose 20 g/day (0.3 grams/kg/day) for 5 – 7 days is taken
• In the maintenance phase, creatine dose is maintained at 3 – 5 g/day
The side effects of these supplements are rare but you immediately consult your doctor if you experience anything unusual.

Bottom line

Creatine is stored in our muscles and comes out to provide energy to the body and brain when needed. Professional players and athletes use this supplement as an energy source to carry out hard workout schedules and for muscle building. It can help you handle stress and deal with workload by boosting your brain and preventing mental fatigue. Therefore, it is also called a top nootropics agent.

Brain benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3 is a very popular supplement available in the form of fish liver oil capsules extracted from fatty fish like salmons and sardines. According to a latest research, about 19 million people in USA consume some kind of omega 3 supplements on daily basis.

The reason behind this popularity is that these omega 3s are very beneficial for many important brain functions. It is believed that the people who take some sort of omega 3 supplement, have low risk of suffering from cognitive disorders. High blood levels of omega 3 are linked with improved brain structure and cognitive functions.

In this article we will summarize everything you need to know about Omega 3 fatty acids, how they work and what their effects are as a brain stimulant in consumers. So, let’s hop right in.

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What are Omega 3 fatty acids?

These are essential extraneous fats, which mean that our body needs them but cannot make them on its own. These play a vital role in cell membrane formation and are essential for generating some hormones in the body. There are three categories of these fatty acids;

How do they work?

While the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids can no longer be denied, their cellular mechanism of action remains elusive. The omega-3 fatty acids action is complex phenomenon and involves a number of signaling pathways. Here are a few theories on some of the possible cellular mechanisms by which the omega 3 fatty acids may function.

These poly unsaturated fatty acids play multiple roles. Therefore, they are likely to act through different mechanisms. There are 4 possible mechanisms by which omega 3s can act in a cell or tissue to perform their physiological actions:

benefits of omega 3 supplement

Brain benefits of omega 3

These poly unsaturated fatty acids have a wide range of functions in brain, right from brain development to its processing. Several studies show that the omega 3 fatty acids work as a nootropics agent because they provide neuron-protection to our brain cells and their cell membranes and reduce the damage due to free radicals.

Also, by consuming the omega 3 supplements, you will experience improvement in brain functioning within weeks. It also helps to delay the onset of some mental disorders which are age-related and run in your family such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Research has proven that in the last three months of fetal development, Omega-3s are only supplied to the fetus to meet the demands of  rapid brain growth and that premature infants not only have less brain volume but they also do not suffer from brain abnormalities. Testing of kids whose mothers consumed omega 3 supplements during pregnancy revealed significant differences in their IQ, memory skills, communication and social behavior.

After birth, if the diet of children especially between ages of 6 to 12 is rich in omega 3, it will result in improved learning skills and improved cognitive ability

Other studies reveal that kids who had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) had lower levels of Omega-3s in their blood and taking an omega 3 supplement led to a visible improvement.

Our brain cell membranes pass through a natural deterioration process with the age and it is a major cause of developing age-related dementia and cognitive decline. But a few studies have shown that taking Omega-3 supplements can delay this process in some people. Since it has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, people with sufficient Omega-3 levels in blood have increased blood flow to their brains and have better cognitive skills than those with lower levels.

Research has indicated that intake of Omega-3s may be an effective treatment tool for mood swings and depression. This theory has been supported by some epidemiological studies, which show the results that people who eat more seafood have less chances of depression. It also helps to reduce the secretion of stress hormones which cause the depression and stress in people.

Daily Dose and Precautions

Consuming 1000-2000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids from a supplement per day is a safe place to start. Your dose should never exceed 3000 mg per day.

You should also consult your physician before starting its use if you are pregnant or have any other health concerns.

The Bottom Line

Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for normal brain development and function. It also helps to boost your mental health and delay age related dementia. People with depression or a mild decline in cognitive function should consider taking omega-3 supplement. They will experience a significant improvement within a few weeks.

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