Comments Off on Creatine

Creatine is a nitrogenous acid that is found and produced naturally to supply energy to cells to the muscles and other systems of the human body. It is extensively used by body builders and athletes for training and to gain muscle mass. Creatine has also been identified to improve cognitive ability. Studies have shown that vegetarians have lower amounts of creatine levels because approximately half of creatine storage comes from food which generally comes from meat [1]. Due to this professionals tend to enjoy testing the effects of creatine on vegetarians. When creatine was administered to vegetarians with 5g a day for 6 weeks, the supplementation had positive impact on working memory and intelligence tasks requiring speed of processing. Demonstrating creatine having a large influence on brain energy capacity and performance [2] [3]. Creatine has also been demonstrated to protect the brain against traumatic brain injury [4].

•Supplies energy to muscles and helps to increase muscle mass
•Improves body performance
•Increases memory and intelligence

There are several different supplements that are on the market which provide creatine. The original and still the most popular being creatine monohydrate, there has been some debate about the bioavailability of creatine monohydrate and its effectiveness as a supplement. Even though research indicates that the belief that creatine has a low bioavailability is untrue and it is closer to 100%, further testing does show that creatine citrate and creatine pyruvate are more effective showing higher concentrations in the blood after use [5]. Creatine ethyl ester, another supplement designed for body building that derivatives from creatine and is converted back to creatine in the body, claims to have much better absorption rate and increases the skeletal muscle uptake of creatine leading to an increased ability to regenerate ATP. Although a study comparing the 2 shows that CEE was not as effective at increasing serum and muscle creatine levels or in improving body composition, muscle mass, strength, and power [6]. Creatine monohydrate is still effective, is supported by a lot of medical and fitness professionals and is usually cheaper than its opposing supplements.


The dosage for creatine as fitness supplement is 5-10g per day post-loading when using creatine monohydrate. However there aren’t many recommendations towards how much someone should take as a cognitive enhancer, with researchers using 2g a day for a 30 day program but also 20g a day for a 5 day program [7]. There has also been conflicting reports that creatine may have some unwanted health effects, for example it might be associated with asthmatic symptons, cause gastrointestinal symptoms, including loss of appetite, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, or nausea, and kidney damage, and although there is less concern about kidney damage these days however people with previous problems with kidneys should avoid taking too much [8]. Even though there have been a couple of negative reports like most supplements and nootropics, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2004 reported that a long term intake of 3g of pure creatine per day is risk-free [9].

In conclusion creatine appears to be a very important substance for the distribution of energy in the body and mind, and should be looked into for anyone who wants to enhance their performance cognitively or physically. I also advise anyone especially on a vegetarian or vegan diet to look into it to boost there creatine levels up to people with a regular diet.


1. Burke DG, Chilibeck PD, Parise G, Candow DG, Mahoney D, Tarnopolsky M (2003). “Effect of creatine and weight training on muscle creatine and performance in vegetarians”. Medicine and science in sports and exercise35 (11): 1946–55.

2. Caroline Rae, Alison L Digney, Sally R McEwan, and Timothy C Bates. Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Proc Biol Sci. 2003 October 22; 270(1529): 2147–2150.

3. Benton D, Donohoe R. The influence of creatine supplementation on the cognitive functioning of vegetarians and omnivores. Benton D, Donohoe R.

4. Sullivan PG, Geiger JD, Mattson MP, Scheff SW. Dietary supplement creatine protects against traumatic brain injury. Ann Neurol. 2000 Nov;48(5):723-9.

5. Harris, R. et al. Comparison of New Forms of Creatine in Raising Plasma Creatine Levels. J Int. Soc. Spts. Nutr., 2007, 4, 17-22.

6. Spillane, Mike; Schoch, Ryan; Cooke, Matt; Harvey, Travis; Greenwood, Mike; Kreider, Richard; Willoughby, Darryn S (2009). “The effects of creatine ethyl ester supplementation combined with heavy resistance training on body composition, muscle performance, and serum and muscle creatine levels”. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 6: 6. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-6-6.PMC 2649889. PMID 19228401.

7. Rawson ES, Venezia AC. Use of creatine in the elderly and evidence for effects on cognitive function in young and old. Amino Acids. 2011 May;40(5):1349-62. Epub 2011 Mar 11.

8. “Creatine: Safety” ( . Retrieved 2012-11-19.

9. “Opinion of the Scientific Panel on food additives, flavourings, processing aids and materials in contact with food (AFC) on a request from the Commission related to creatine monohydrate for use in foods for particular nutritional uses.” ( 26 April 2004