Creatine supplementation improves performance in many sports. For example, it increases strength, power and speed during exercise. It may improve endurance too. However, there are some studies which show that creatine does not have any effect on cognitive functions such as memory or learning ability. Therefore, it is unclear whether creatine supplementation will enhance cognition or not.
There are several types of creatine supplements available today: liquid (e.g., creatine monohydrate), tablets (e.g.
creatine ethyl ester) and powders (e.g., creatine maltodextrin). All these forms of creatine work differently. You need to decide which one suits your needs best, based on your goals and lifestyle.
What Is Creatine Phosphate?
Creatine is a compound found in muscle tissue that is used to produce energy when needed. It is stored in the muscles and liver. When you exercise, your body uses creatine to perform physical activities. Your body stores creatine in various parts of your body, including bones, teeth, heart valves and nerves.
The amount of creatine stored depends on how much time you spend exercising and other factors like age and gender. If you do not expend enough energy while working out, then less creatine is released into the blood stream to replenish it later.
Research shows that creatine is stored in muscle cells and converts to a compound called phosphocreatine. This compound works with the main energy source for your body, adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
ATP provides energy for many types of cell work. It provides the energy so that your heart can beat and muscles contract.
The creatine phosphate helps replenish ATP during high-intensity activities. Then, the ATP provides the energy needed to keep muscles functioning.
When there is not enough creatine in your body, then it cannot be converted to phosphocreatine. As a result, the amount of ATP available for energy decreases.
This can lead to fatigue in some people.
How Does Creatine Work?
This supplement helps with the production of phosphocreatine, which is needed to produce energy. For this reason, people who take creatine supplements may experience benefits in prolonged exercise like running or weight training.
The supplement has been popular among athletes since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Many Olympic gold medalists credit the supplement with their success.
Some people take this supplement to improve their strength and athletic performance while others take it to improve brain function. The compound may even prevent or improve some age-related conditions. However, research in this area is ongoing.
Does creatine have any side effects?
While not everyone experiences them, some people may experience side effects from taking a creatine supplement. These side effects may include:
Muscle strains and pulls
Gluten intolerance can also be an issue with some people. Gluten is a type of protein often found in foods that contain wheat, rye or barley.
If you have been diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you may wish to speak with your physician before taking this supplement.
Finally, since creatine increases the amount of water in muscles, some people experience muscle cramps. These can be prevented by drinking plenty of water and including sodium in your diet.
What Are The Benefits Of Creatine?
There are many potential benefits to taking this supplement regularly. One of the most common reasons for taking creatine is to improve athletic performance. People who take this supplement may notice improvements in strength, speed, endurance and recovery time after exercise.
For example, research has shown that long distance runners experience less muscle damage and are able to run farther when taking a creatine supplement. Other studies have shown that resistance training improves when people take this supplement.
In addition to athletic performance, some people take this supplement to improve their brain function. Although more research is needed, some studies suggest that this supplement may help prevent or improve some conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
How Do You Take Creatine?
The typical dosage for this supplement depends on the reason that you are taking it. In general, people take between 2 and 5 grams each day. When taking this supplement for athletic performance, you may be able to improve your results by “cycling” or alternating the days that you take it.
Some people are not able to process creatine as well as others. People who fall into this category may experience side effects such as muscle cramping and diarrhea when taking the supplement.
If you have trouble processing it, you may wish to consult your physician before taking this supplement.
Other Nootropic Supplements
As mentioned above, there are many different types of nootropic supplements available on the market today. Some of the most common are listed below:
Piracetam: This is one of the oldest and most popular nootropic supplements available. It can improve memory, increase alertness and reduce mental fatigue.
As a result, it improves learning and promotes neurogenesis.
Aniracetam: This supplement can improve both cognitive and physical performance. It has been shown to prevent age-related memory decline in rats as well as improving learning and enhancing information retention in humans.
Oxiracetam: This supplement has been shown to improve overall cognition in addition to working as a stimulant. It also helps to improve physical performance and can increase the body’s resistance to stress and fatigue.
Pramiracetam: This supplement is believed to improve cognitive functions such as memory, focus and learning ability. It can also reduces reaction time, which may improve overall physical performance.
Noopept: This is a very powerful memory booster that can also increase visual and auditory acuity. In some people, it has been shown to improve spatial and visual memory as well as reduce anxiety.
Sunifiram: This supplement is one of the most powerful and least researched nootropics available on the market today. In some people, it has been shown to improve memory and learning ability.
It is faster-acting than other supplements so must be taken more frequently.
Picamilon: This is a combination of niacin and GABA, two common supplements on the market today. It has been shown to reduce mental and physical stress as well as promoting relaxation.
Some people report that it helps improve cognition and memory but this has not been proven.
Whether you’re looking to pass the time while trapped in a bunker or you’re trying to hold your own during an invasion, brain supplements can help. From traditional pills and capsules to more exotic powders and gels, these supplements will help you turn off that annoying peanut-butter-and-jelly voice in your head and put your brain into overdrive.
Just be sure to consult a physician before taking any of these supplements and be aware of the possible side effects.