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Creatine for enhancing brain performance

Creatine for enhancing brain performance

However, when cerebral creatine is low braih limited, creatine supplementation can positively affect eprformance creatine Creatine for enhancing brain performance enhhancing a number of neurological conditions dor 2122bran ] but not in others for a detailed review see [ btain ] Pomegranate facial mask recipes, Creatine for enhancing brain performance a Herbal extract for hormonal balance complex enhaning and cellular trafficking of enhanclng in the stressed pwrformance. Creatine for enhancing brain performance individual contribution of each of these three creatine sources remains unknown, and is likely influenced by the magnitude of dietary exposure to creatine and precursor molecules and the functionality of creatine transport and synthesis machinery inside and outside the central nervous system CNS. Bender AKlopstock T. Received : 14 April Previous investigations have observed altered regulation of brain phosphocreatine [ 6970 ], a reduction in creatine kinase [ 71 ], reduced brain creatine levels in patients carrying an allele for AD development [ 72 ], as well as a neuroprotective effect of creatine against β-amyloid toxicity [ 73 ]. It is composed of three amino acids, arginine, glycine, and methionine.

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Creatine for enhancing brain performance -

The median number of days per week with meat consumption for omnivore participants was 3. For further participant characteristics, see Table 1. After their final testing session, the last 73 participants were asked to guess the order of their supplements as the idea did not occur to us before.

However, most participants who guessed correctly reported being very unsure about their guess. We recorded the reasons for the guesses of the last of the 33 participants. Of those participants who had a reason for their guess, solubility was the most common, followed by negative side effects and positive side effects.

All three reasons seemed to improve guess accuracy see Appendix. In addition, although we did not assess this systematically, some participants reported positive side effects such as improvements in strength several participants and mood one participant.

No patients discontinued the study due to an adverse event. Adherence self-reported was high Table 2. All but one participant took the supplements in the order assigned to them.

This participant was analysed with their actual, not their assigned, supplement order. This was also true when using the robust ANOVA based on bootstrapping.

Bayes factors favoured the null hypothesis. There was no indication for an effect of diet in the exploratory cognitive tasks either. For more details on the analysis of diet, see the Appendix. There was a significant interaction between supplement and supplement order for both BDS and RAPM.

This seems to reflect a learning effect see Appendix. The effect of most interest, the main effect of the supplement, was in the expected direction but not significant. This means that 2. For RAPM, it was 0. The supplement effect was virtually the same whether diet was included as a variable or not Table 3.

Thus, we simplified additional analyses estimated marginal means, Bayes factors, and robustness checks by dropping diet as a variable for these analyses. In terms of raw scores, the effect size for BDS was 0.

For RAPM, the effect was 0. If these were IQ tests, this increase in raw scores would mean 2. For RAPM, the improvement would be 1 IQ point using the standard deviation of our own baseline, see Appendix.

a Estimated marginal means for the Backward Digit Span BDS score. Error bars represent standard errors. To facilitate the interpretation of the results of the confirmatory analysis, we provide Bayes factors.

A Bayes factor BF 10 indicates how likely a null hypothesis is compared to an alternative hypothesis given the data. not enough data to be certain , with weak evidence in favour of the null hypothesis if BF 10 is below 1 and weak evidence in favour of the alternative hypothesis if it is above 1.

We compare several alternative hypotheses postulating small beneficial effects of creatine to the null hypothesis. For RAPM, the data was very insensitive, very weakly favouring the alternative hypotheses. For BDS, the data was more sensitive, providing weak to moderate support in favour of the alternative hypotheses.

Two different approaches to calculating these Bayes factors were used see statistical analysis and the results were similar Table 4. There was strong evidence in favour of the null hypothesis compared to the alternative hypothesis postulating the effect size found by Rae et al. The data was insensitive BDS or weakly favoured the null hypothesis RAPM when compared to the half-normal model based on Rae et al.

The half-normal model based on Rae et al. Instead, the model assumes their effect size is a moderate overestimation of the true effect size. The model uses their effect size as a reference point to assign probabilities to effect sizes.

It assigns most of the probability weight to effect sizes that are smaller than this effect size, and some probability to effect sizes up to twice that effect size. This is a common alternative model when replicating studies. However, we did not use it as our only model, because we were also interested in assessing the likelihood of smaller effect sizes and of the possibility that the effect size in Rae et al.

The results were similar whether using normal or Cauchy distributions. For more details on this and the aforementioned calculations, see the Appendix.

In summary, this study provides weak to moderate evidence for a small cognitive benefit of creatine and strong evidence against the effect size by Rae et al. For RAPM, all of these methods gave overall similar results to that of the normal ANOVA Table 5.

For BDS, whose skewness statistic was slightly further from 0 than that of RAPM, these methods gave results that differ from each other and from the normal ANOVA to a relevant extent Table 5. Most notably, the p -value for the supplement effect was 0.

This seems to suggest that in the normal ANOVA, the most extreme values made the effect of creatine appear smaller by inflating the variance, while relying on possibly unjustified assumptions of normality made the effect of creatine appear larger.

The distribution of p -values was what one would expect if there was no effect. For the exploratory cognitive tasks, Table 6 only includes the p -values of the supplement effect. For the full results, including the interaction effect reflecting a learning effect and the order of supplement effect, see the Appendix.

This is the largest study on the cognitive effects of creatine to date. As part of our study, we aimed to replicate Rae et al. We found Bayesian evidence for a small beneficial effect of creatine on cognition for both tasks.

If these were IQ tests, the increase in raw scores would mean 1 and 2. There was no influence of diet vegetarian vs omnivore , age, or sex on this effect. There was no indication that there was a creatine effect in several other cognitive tasks that we studied in an exploratory analysis.

So, creatine is almost non-existent in a vegetarian diet. This might lead one to expect vegetarians to benefit more from creatine supplementation than omnivores do. However, even in an omnivore diet, creatine intake through the diet is low compared to common doses for creatine supplementation.

Therefore, it is possible that the low dose in the diet does not affect cognition, while the higher dose of supplementation does. As opposed to muscles, which always receive creatine from other parts of the body, the brain synthesises its own creatine and for that reason might be more resistant to exogenous creatine [ 22 , 49 ].

This might mean that higher doses of creatine are necessary to increase brain creatine levels [ 22 , 50 , 51 ]. In our study, half of the participants were vegetarians and half of them were omnivores.

We found no indication that our vegetarian participants benefited more from creatine than our omnivore participants in fact, the creatine effect was smaller in vegetarians than omnivores to a non-statistically significant extent.

This is in line with Solis et al. Our Bayesian analysis of their data provides moderate support for the lack of a difference see Appendix. In contrast, Benton and Donohoe [ 23 ] found that creatine supplementation benefited memory in vegetarians more than in omnivores, with no difference in baseline performance.

However, given the high number of cognitive tasks in that study, the chance of a false positive was high, so we regard their finding as exploratory.

Apart from the present study and Benton and Donohoe [ 23 ], we are not aware of any other RCT comparing the effect of creatine supplementation on cognition between vegetarians and omnivores.

Under the same conditions, a number of other studies with omnivore participants [ 52 , 53 , 54 , 55 ] or unspecified and presumably omnivore participants [ 56 , 57 , 58 ] also found a large creatine effect, while other studies with omnivore participants [ 21 , 59 , 60 ] or unspecified and presumably omnivore participants [ 61 ] failed to find a creatine effect Footnote 2 , Footnote 3.

The omnivore findings are mixed while the only study on vegetarians [ 8 ] is positive, but as it is only one study, it is not a strong indication. Observational data on the role of dietary creatine in cognition is conflicting. Ostojic et al. By contrast, two studies by Giem et al. Many confounders are possible in these observational studies, such as health influencing both diet and cognitive performance, differences in lifestyle, and components in meat other than creatine.

None of the studies assessed creatine supplementation. Overall, observational evidence is mixed. Evidence from RCTs and brain creatine studies does not support the idea that dietary creatine affects brain health.

One reason for this could be that there might have been more noise in our study, maybe due to the COVID pandemic starting in the midst of the study. This reason might apply to all of our tests. However, the standard deviation for BDS in this study was almost exactly the same as in the study we aimed to replicate Footnote 5 [ 8 ] 2.

Our supplementation protocol was different from that of Hammett et al. Compared to Rae et al. However, the number of vegetarian participants in our study was still higher than theirs and the creatine effect was not larger in this subgroup in fact, it was smaller to a non-statistically significant extent.

There are reasons to think that creatine supplementation becomes more beneficial with age more on this below.

Overall, we did not find a convincing reason for why our BDS result is different from the two other studies with young, healthy adults. The difference is not explained by diet, age, or noise. Three further studies tested the effect of creatine supplementation on BDS in a different population than healthy young adults.

In two of these studies, participants were healthy and elderly [ 55 , 61 ] and in one study sleep-deprived [ 64 ]. In these three studies, there was no creatine effect. This is surprising, seeing as theory and evidence generally suggest that sleep-deprived and older participants have a larger cognitive benefit from creatine supplementation more on this below.

One of the two studies on healthy elderly participants, Alves et al. The effect of creatine supplementation on strength is well-studied and generally large. Given that this effect was not present in Alves et al.

The results of the two studies by McMorris et al. are more difficult to make sense of. The creatine effects for BDS in these studies were smaller than in the present study, while the effects in studies with the same kind of population as ours were larger than in the present study.

Ignoring the differences in populations for a moment, it might simply be that the real effect of creatine on BDS performance lies in the middle like our study. In a review by Avgerinos et al.

The short-term memory task in Benton and Donohoe [ 23 ] consisted of the recall of 30 words. There was a creatine effect only for their vegetarian participants for this task. However, as mentioned in the discussion section on diet, this study included a large number of tasks, so we consider this finding exploratory.

The short-term memory task in Rawson et al. Rawson et al. While this is plausible in theory and there is evidence supporting older people benefiting more from creatine, it is unclear to what extent it explains the differences in findings in this case, as two studies with participants who were only slightly older [ 8 , 56 ] found large creatine effects for short-term memory while the only two studies with elderly participants found no effect.

Five of our exploratory tasks, the forward digit span, forwards and backwards block-tapping task spatial , the BVMT-R, and the immediate recall part of the VLMT also tested short-term memory and there was no indication of an effect for these tasks.

A review by Dolan et al. In line with this, we found some indication of a creatine effect for the backward digit span BDS but not for the less demanding forwards digit span and block-tapping tasks.

The VLMT and BVMT-R may also be less cognitively demanding than the BDS, but this comparison is less obvious to make. Going against this idea, McMorris et al. Overall, the effect size for BDS in the present study lies in between that of other studies, some of which found very large effects and some of which found no effect.

The reason why we found an effect for BDS, which is a short-term memory task, but not for our exploratory short-term memory tasks, might be that BDS is probably more difficult and thus requires a higher ATP turnover, which is where creatine helps. Short-term memory is critical for language comprehension, learning, planning, reasoning, and general fluid intelligence [ 65 ], so even a small improvement in the most difficult tasks might be very valuable.

It is unclear how our effect for RAPM compares to that of the third study [ 56 ] because they did not report this effect size or any other information that could be used to calculate it.

However, as their creatine effect for RAPM was in the predicted direction but not significant and presumably also not bordering significance, the effect in that study was likely not very different from that of the present study. So, our results are likely in line with those of Hammett et al.

Hammett et al. It seems plausible that this might have made the task less robust and thereby reduced the effect. In short: No reason is evident why the effect would be smaller in the present study. Noise in RAPM was lower in the present study than in Rae et al.

Again, age does not explain the difference in results. In line with the idea that cognition in young people benefits less from creatine, a large study with children aged 10—12 did not find a significant creatine effect on RAPM [ 21 ].

Avgerinos et al. The participants in Rawson et al. were younger than those of the other studies in the review [ 8 , 54 ]. However, compared to Ling et al.

A reason we find more compelling is the difference between the tasks. The logical reasoning task consists of a series of symbols, for example , followed by two statements about their order, for example before and after.

The task is to determine if both or only one of the statements is consistent with the series. Both tasks seem to differ from RAPM in being easier to solve, less varied and complex, requiring less creativity and providing no progression in difficulty.

Alternatively, the negative finding by Rawson et al. could also be explained by the creatine effect in the reasoning domain being smaller than suggested by the findings of Rae et al. and Ling et al. The present study and Hammett et al. In sum, two studies found much larger creatine effects for RAPM than that in the present study, while a third study did not find a significant effect.

Possibly the real effect lies in the middle like our study. RAPM, while not a pure measure of g [ 66 ], substantially correlates with general intelligence [ 66 ] and predicts academic achievement [ 67 ].

Even small improvements would be very valuable. We did not find a creatine effect for our exploratory tasks. Our negative finding for the verbal fluency task is in line with the only other study using the same task [ 23 ].

Our negative finding for the long-term memory part of the VLMT is in line with two studies assessing long-term memory [ 21 , 61 ] and in contrast with one study which found a creatine effect for this domain [ 55 ].

The study which found an effect on long-term memory used an idiosyncratic task in which participants had to remember a combination of occupations and photographs of faces. It might be that this task has characteristics that make it more susceptible to benefit from creatine—e. perhaps it is more difficult.

Our negative finding for the trail-making task, which tests task switching, is in line with the same two studies [ 21 , 61 ]. Our negative finding for the Stroop task, a test of inhibition, is again in line with the same two studies [ 21 , 61 ] and in contrast with one study which found a creatine effect for this task [ 57 ].

In contrast to Van Cutsem et al. These differences might explain why Van Cutsem et al. In addition, Van Cutsem et al. More difficult tasks have been hypothesised to benefit more from creatine supplementation [ 50 ], because they require more energy, i.

a higher ATP turnover, which is benefited by creatine. This modification might be why Van Cutsem et al. In sum, for the exploratory tasks, overall the evidence does not support a creatine effect. However, as the evidence for the Stroop task shows, this might be only when the tasks are made too easy for participants, so that creatine has no chance to help.

It has been claimed that creatine supplementation is more likely to benefit older adults more than younger ones [ 7 , 68 , 69 ]. One theory behind an effect of age is that brain creatine levels might decrease with age. There is evidence that this happens with muscle creatine levels [ 70 , 71 , 72 , 73 ] although see [ 74 , 75 ] , although it is unclear if this is an effect of ageing itself or a result of other reasons such as dietary choices or reduced physical activity [ 22 ].

Similarly, brain creatine might be affected by ageing directly or mediated by reduced brain activity. However, Solis et al.

Experimental evidence suggests an effect of age. A meta-analysis by Prokopidis et al. However, there are reasons for caution. For reasons unknown to us, the meta-analysis did not include Hammett et al. In addition, as described above, a number of other studies with participants younger than ours found large creatine effects.

The observational evidence reported in the discussion of diet [ 62 ] is consistent with an effect of age. However, as they did not include young adults, we cannot know if they would not show the same correlation.

In their review, Smith-Ryan et al. The limited evidence from the present study and previous studies does not support this idea. There have only been three RCTs on the effect of creatine on cognition in healthy women and three in healthy men.

One of the studies with women found a creatine effect and two did not find an effect one of these with only elderly participants. Two of the studies with men one of these with sleep-deprived participants found a creatine effect and one did not find an effect. Apart from the present study, which found no effect of sex, studies who included both men and women did not report the effect of sex.

In their meta-analysis on the effect of creatine on memory performance, Prokopidis et al. There are a number of limitations to this study. Despite the large sample size compared to other studies, a larger sample size would be needed to be powered for effects that are smaller but still relevant.

The COVID pandemic started in the middle of the study, might have added noise to the data, and meant that we had to switch from in-person cognitive testing to testing via video call.

However, we do not see this potential source of noise reflected in the standard deviations compared to pre-pandemic studies.

However, creatine intake through meat is usually substantially lower than the supplemented dose [ 13 ]. Adherence was self-reported and not checked with blood samples.

A major limitation is that brain creatine levels were not assessed. The largest contributing factor to correct guesses was likely the difference in the solubility between the powders, followed by negative and positive side effects.

We attempted to counteract differences in solubility by recommending participants to stir the supplements into yoghurt. Mixing creatine in yoghurt rather than water might have negatively affected creatine absorption, because the lower water content and usually cold temperature of yoghurt would decrease creatine solubility [ 77 ].

In addition, yoghurt has a lower pH value than water 4 vs. Overall, our educated guess is that creatine absorption when mixed in yoghurt is similarly effective as in cold water but worse than in warm water.

For future studies, we recommend cellulose as the placebo and a mixture of cellulose and creatine as the treatment, as these two look extremely similar when dissolved in water.

The alternative solution with capsules would require participants to consume many capsules per day. This would likely reduce adherence and massively increase costs.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to achieve perfect blinding when side effects occur with higher frequency in the creatine condition. The side effects of creatine are well-known and not dangerous [ 1 , 4 , 5 , 6 ]. Supplementing creatine is safe, easy, and very cheap.

The real effect of creatine on cognition is likely smaller than that reported in Rae et al. However, even small improvements in cognition may be relevant, especially if accumulated over many people and over time.

The results of this study do not allow any strong conclusions, but it would be worthwhile to test for a small effect of creatine in strategically designed, larger studies. We used the score after supplementation and not change from baseline, because subtracting the same baseline from both after-supplement scores in a crossover study would cancel out, which would give the same result but complicate the analysis unnecessarily.

Samadi et al. However, the creatine effect is correctly measured by the difference in change between the two groups i. Note also that in addition to creatine and placebo, both groups received beta-alanine.

One of the studies with omnivores that did not find an effect was on children [ 48 ]. Another one also found no effect of creatine on strength, in contrast to a large body of literature [ 50 ].

As opposed to us, they included two baselines. To better compare our results to them, we did not just look at their reported effect but also calculated their effect size using just the after-supplement scores like we did in this study see Appendix. Their effect was still much larger than ours.

Using the doubled effect size for Rae et al. Bayes factor that indicates how likely a null hypothesis is compared to an alternative hypothesis given the data. Kreider RB, Kalman DS, Antonio J, Ziegenfuss TN, Wildman R, Collins R, et al.

International society of sports nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine.

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Dissociated expression of mitochondrial and cytosolic creatine kinases in the human brain: a new perspective on the role of creatine in brain energy metabolism. Creatine for the Treatment of Depression.

Escalante G, Gonzalez AM, St Mart D, Torres M, Echols J, Islas M, Schoenfeld BJ. Analysis of the efficacy, safety, and cost of alternative forms of creatine available for purchase on Amazon. com: are label claims supported by science? Thomas Rutledge, Ph. Thomas Rutledge Ph. The Healthy Journey.

Memory Creatine: A Treatment for Memory and Mental Health? Creatine may help our minds as much as our muscles. Posted April 3, Reviewed by Ekua Hagan Share. Key points Creatine is most commonly known as a sports supplement to enhance physical performance.

New research indicates that creatine is also important to brain function, affecting mood and cognition. Early trials suggest creatine supplementation can improve stress resilience, depression, and brain functions such as memory.

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Enhanving is a natural supplement Garcinia cambogia extract used to improve athletic performance. It Pantothenic acid and hormone production also boost brain function, fight certain dor Pantothenic acid and hormone production, and accelerate muscle growth. Creatine is a natural enhanding used to boost athletic performance 1. Phosphocreatine aids the formation of adenosine triphosphate ATPthe key molecule your cells use for energy and all basic life functions 8. The rate of ATP resynthesis limits your ability to continually perform at maximum intensity, as you use ATP faster than you reproduce it 9 Creatine supplements increase your phosphocreatine stores, allowing you to produce more ATP energy to fuel your muscles during high-intensity exercise 10 , Creatine monohydrate peerformance one of the most Crextine and effective sport Creafine around, but most of the enhacning is aimed at braim very legitimate effects on skeletal muscle Pantothenic acid and hormone production and strength gain. Here Intense workout routine Pantothenic acid and hormone production surprising brain-related benefits of creatine, backed by science for your consideration. We are not a medical resource. Before you dive into all the fun neuroscience of creatine, you should have a working understanding of it as both a supplement and a chemical compound. Creatine plays important roles in rapid energy production and protection against oxidative stress. It can then be stored as creatine or bound to a phosphate group to form creatine phosphate.

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