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 your 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 an 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 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 adenosine with 3 attached phosphate groups.
When the body cells need energy, mitochondria (cell powerhouse) separate a phosphate group, and it provides energy by breaking the bond that the cell uses to get things done. 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 to become ATP again and restore its’ energy to use in the future.
• 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 with 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 storehouse of creatine is actually in our brain cells. The brain uses 20 % of the body’s total energy every day, and the more we use our brain, the quicker the ATP reserves will be drained.
Creatine comes into the picture here again. It helps revive the brain cells in a similar way to 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 children’s learning skills and memorizing ability. The study’s main objective was to analyze the brain’s ability 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 study concluded that children with high levels of creatine in their brains had a better long-term memory.
• Creatine Improves Cognition
This creatine is also known for its cognition improving effects in the 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 a moderate workout routine, improves people’s complex cognitive skills.
• Creatine reduces brain fog
A few studies indicate that creatine may reverse brain fog symptoms caused by stress hormones, insomnia, and circadian rhythm imbalance, which are common in athletes or people leading a modern lifestyle.
• May be Helpful in Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is related to dopamine levels in the brain. It often leads to poor fitness, reduced muscle mass, decreased muscle strength, and fatigue. As we are aware, creatine improves upper body strength and enhances 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 with Parkinson’s disease. It has proved to be somewhat effective in preventing a drop of dopamine level in the brain.
Larger clinical trials are required to properly assess if only creatine supplementation can improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
The dose is recommended according to a person’s body mass, age, and 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 consult your doctor immediately if you experience anything unusual.
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 the workload by boosting your brain and preventing mental fatigue. Therefore, it is also called a top nootropics agent.