Overview of the unexpected benefits of creatine. Is creatine the best supplement for students as it might increase intelligence?
Creatine is the most famous and perhaps the most sensational sports supplement, and it is one of the most researched food supplements. Creatine has been shown to be one of the most useful nutritional supplements, and its everyday use is by no means a waste of money. Clinical studies and hundreds millions of people who use creatine supports this.
As always, of course, you should be skeptical of nutritional supplements, and make your own research. This is what I’m going to do here.
What is creatine?
Dr. James Meschino tells quickly what is creatine…
In this article, I will focus mainly to tell what are the benefits of creatine for the ordinary people. Testimonials and clinical study validated benefits. I will focus mainly on those aspects which bodybuilders remain silent about creatine and its unexpected benefits.
Sad truth is, that each of us might live with this deficiency…
Are you getting enough creatine in your diet?
This I can say with certainty that no you do not get enough creatine from your diet.
“A 70 kg person that needs 2 – 3 g of creatine per day to maintain elevated muscle levels could get this amount from 286 – 429 g of raw fish. To get the same amount of creatine from cooked fish, 1,7 kg would be needed.” – Creatine supplementation: Maintenance of Elevated Levels through the Diet (PDF)
Fish and red meat are the best sources to obtain creatine through diet, and as in that research paper is stated, not many of us eat nearly a pound of raw fish on a daily basis (let alone about 4 pounds of heated fish). Red meat has even less creatine than fish.
Heating destroys the creatine effectively from these foods – according to research papers up to 92% of the creatine is destroyed at rather low temperatures. Because of this, dietary creatine is insignificant, almost irrelevant.
In order to get the recommended daily dose of 5 grams of creatine, the amount which is used in many clinical studies – then this means that creatine is one of those rare things which certainly needs supplementation.
Creatine – bodybuilders and nerds favorite supplement
University of Sydney’s research in 2003 revealed how creatine supplementation improved significantly working memory and general intelligence. This means that creatine supplementation might be amazing boost for literally everyone.
Bodybuilders and nerds are often linked by the fact that both use the same supplementation. Our brains use creatine to perform the synapses, and studies show that it improves brain function, especially for vegetarians who are definitely in a serious creatine deficiency.
In that study, creatine significantly improved brain activity, there they took 5 grams of creatine a day (heaping teaspoon), which is a good amount for anyone looking for a way to enhance brain function.
Who wouldn’t be interested in improving brain power? A few reasons…
In my opinion improving brain’s efficiency or brain power is one of the most important things that anyone could do, because basically you’re doing everything with your brain. All the things that you have achieved in your life is made with your brain, and if your brain were to work more efficiently, you would’ve achieved more.
Creatine obviously does not guarantee a major change – but if you live in a deficiency – then I can guarantee that you will lose a lot in your life – be it at work, size of your wallet, in sexual relationships, in social life, etc.
Improving brain functioning is not just something that is only for the NASA employees and professional poker players – its crucial for anyone with a brain. Imagine if you would almost never forget things. Imagine managing your life better than you’d ever dream, without stress or overload. No more forgetting where you left your keys or work papers.
If you are a vegetarian or eat fish and meat in small quantities, then you will see the benefits of creatine brain boosting benefits as substantially higher – according to this study.
Well-known biohacker Dave Asprey comments and recommends creatine as follows:
“Creatine: Not just for jocks, creatine boosts brain power too45. The University of Sydney did a double blind study showing that people who took creatine out performed those who did not while performing a mentally demanding task46. Take Now Foods creatine at 5g per day.” – Sources: 45, 46
Dave Asprey in Forbes interview: “The simplest & easiest way to raise your IQ by 10-12 points is CREATINE.”
Who would have thought that this well-known bodybuilder supplement would be making us much smarter and increase our IQ?
Creatine benefits summarized
- Raise testosterone levels (study)
- According to this study creatine will significantly improve productivity, you get more done – So, employers probably should give employees complimentary creatine supplements?
- Improves brain function (and intelligence) dramatically
- Helps to increase strength and also helps to raise larger weights (study)
- With creatine one can build muscle mass much faster than usual – thus people probably shouldn’t train without it? (study)
- Boosts your workout efficiency
- Looking for more sudden strength, harder sprint power in such as playing ice hockey or soccer? The study found that your performance you can get 10% better with creatine
- This article and its research (I am not kiddin’t this is a steroid like!) says creatine to be more effective than injected testosterone – so novices may therefore double their results with just 5 grams daily creatine dose?
This can be summed up by the fact that there does not seem to be any pro athlete, or a person who is striving to move up in the world, or people who need extrereme intelligence in their work (NASA employees, professional poker players) who wouldn’t be using creatine supplement – and if you somehow do not use creatine then you could be even better with it.
The best creatine products I have used
Let’s make it clear, that the best source to get creatine is a dietary supplement. And furthermore, I recommend only CREATINE MONOHYDRATE format that comes from Creapure® source. The rest is not worth to use your money. And if the product does not state “Creapure®”, then it should be left on the shelf.
German patented Creapure® has proven to be the only pure creatine on the market. From other sources it is possible that your creatine is some Chinese heavy-metal-containing creatine. I would not buy creatine which does not have Creapure® on the side of the jar.
Among other things, this finding changed the creatine industry, and it is no longer advisable to get any creatine which is not Creapure. From local markets is very rare to find a Creapure creatine, so I recommend ordering online.
Most experts recommend only an creatine monohydrate powder – specifically the powder, not capsules / tablets. Anything other is not even worth thinking about, because other forms of creatine may be unnecessary or even harmful. And more importantly, the fact is that almost all clinical studies which found the creatine benefits have been done with creatine monohydrate, so we know the most about it – thats the best investement.
Creapure creatine products
If you live outside of U.S, for example in Singapore, Russia, Brazil or Europe, then your best choice is iHerb.com which ships to over 150 different countries.
Creapure® from iHerb:
Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder, 300 g (pure micronized Creapure® creatine monohydrate)
Universal Nutrition, Creatine, 500 g (pure micronized Creapure® creatine monohydrate)
If you have not yet ordered from iHerb.com, you’ll get $5 off from your first order, if you order for more than $40 dollars you’ll get $10 off. You get the discount code automatically from my links and while you’ll benefit from this, I also benefit by getting “iHerb credits” that I can use towards my next orders. Thank you for this!
Getting creatine from a Chinese source is not worth it, even its significantly cheaper. Nutritional supplements (and all food, drink) and their possible heavy metals and other impurities are bad things for brain function and health, and it is really worth to invest in quality products.
And I cant deny that a higher quality creatine always works better and provides a more effective and practical results.
If someone is afraid that the creatine causes too much water retention in the body, like many women think that creatine would make them into big testosterone beast… For a normal woman creatine alone does not change them into a large testosterone beast – it only helps to train harder and get more efficient brain function + with good luck women might add one size to their buttocks and breasts.
One thing is for sure: When you start using creatine monohydrate, during the first week you will get 2-4 pounds more weight. It is water, and it is nothing to worry. In women, this can be converted to the fact that you might look like more curvy.
Possible side effects of medicine use, you can see information here.
Age warning: Since this will greatly motivate students to acquire creatine supplementation, therefore I would point out that for people under 18 years of age it is not recommended to use creatine supplement. If you start using creatine too young, it is rumored to have possibly bad side effects, and there might be concern for liver damage. There is not a lot of “facts” about this, just urban legend.
How to use creatine
There are dozens of instructions on how to use creatine. Others say that you need to do the creatine loading phase first – meaning the 4×5 grams per day for five days, and after that move to the to five grams a day. (heaping teaspoon is 5 grams)
Others say that 5 grams per day is good and almost the maximum that you should ever take, because otherwise it is pointless. Those who exercises a lot uses largest of approx. 5 grams of creatine a day, so the excess can be detrimental.
5 grams creatine powder per day is a good rule of thumb. Nobody needs more than that. Creatine does not really need a break almost ever, wise continuous use (such as 5 grams per day) is not harmful. But, as with everything, after certain time our body and brain can get used to the benefits, in which case you do not feel or see the benefits so significant. In this case, a month or a couple of weeks break can again bring the benefits back – at the gym you will see better results and brain functions again in a better way. It is always a good idea to give your body a break from any nutritional supplementation that you take.
The creatine loading phase (4×5 grams per day for five days) is not required to do, but it may be wise if you want results fast, and if you want to quickly saturate your muscles with creatine. Loading is not harmful at all, and you might get correct your creatine deficiency faster.
Load withh 20 grams per day for the first five days, or just always use only 5 grams per day. Both of these works, and I would prefer the latter as the loading phase is not essential.
How to take creatine?
I recommend to put 5 grams creatine dose in a glass mug, water up to 20 oz (6 dl). So, get a big mug, or use eg. empty coconut oil glassjar, which in the current hormone-disrupting plastic world is a very popular choice.
Creatine does not dissolve into water very quickly. The dose may certainly be taken directly into the mouth and rinse with water down, the stomach will digest it anyway, but as the expert who changed the creatine industry stated in Getting The Most From Creatine -video, it makes sense to dissolve the creatine powder if you feel like getting stomach ache from insoluble creatine. One reasonable way is to leave creatine for the night to dwell in a glass jar, and its likely dissolved in the morning (when mixed in between it dissolves much faster).
An important note. Take creatine always with a carbohydrate / sugar, this is because because creatine is transported by means of insulin into muscles. So add teaspoon of honey to your creatine water. Or take creatine with post recovery drink, for example smoothie with a banana.
Creatine is best to take after your workout, when creatine stores are used. This is supported by studies: Creatine Before or After the Workout? Finally the Answer is Here! Study Says: Better Take it for After Mass & Strength
Post workout shake/smoothie is the most optimal way. When using creatine, it is better to get slightly more liquid from your diet. If you get normally (through food and drinking) daily 2 liters of water, then when you use creatine it is good to get up to 3 liters. Creatine binds water to your muscles, and when you use it as a food supplement, you may often find that you are thirsty, and may have dry mouth – this is why it makes sense to take a large amount of water with your creatine.
If you do not exercise/workout (or days when you do not workout), and you want to take creatine only for the brain boosting benefit, then I recommend to take it with the so called Bulletproof coffee. This recommendation I took BulletproofExec site comments – commentor said to receive significantly higher brain function than with just normal Bulletproof coffee by adding 5 grams of creatine in to coffee. Warm coffee also dissolves the powder quickly. This is a great strategy which all should try at least once in their life. Creatine + Bulletproof coffee can achieve almost “Jedi like laser-focus”.
I honestly see no reason why somebody shouldn’t supplement creatine, nor do I see any logical basis for the seeming ’fear’ of this compound in society. It’s safe, it’s healthy, it’s cheap and for most people, it just works. Get some Creatine Monohydrate, take 5g a day, and you’re good to go. If humans didn’t make any in the body, this thing would be a vitamin.
– Kurtis Frank (Examine.com)
Sources & references:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBoUp8c1IjU — Which Creatine is Best?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zoq7yB1LR1Q — Confusing Directions to Take Creatine
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqY_JtJazyw — Getting The Most From Creatine
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3nHfKXtuI8 — How to Take Creatine Do’s and Dont’s!! Bodybuilding Tips by TMW
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CdExTVO5ug — Creatine Side Effects: The Facts!
https://www.llnl.gov/str/FoodSection3.html — The Cooking Makes a Difference