Creatine is a popular supplement that has been extensively studied for its ability to improve athletic performance. It is a naturally occurring compound that is found in muscle cells and plays an important role in energy production during intense exercise. While many athletes and fitness enthusiasts are familiar with the benefits of creatine, there are some additional advantages that are often overlooked. In this blog post we will discuss 5 benefits of creatine you may not know about.
1. Improved Cognitive Function
Most people associate creatine with improved physical performance, but research has also shown that creatine can improve cognitive function, working memory and processing speed in healthy adults.
Six additional premilinary studies show evidence that short term memory and intelligence/reasoning can be improved through creatine administration. These findings suggest that creatine may have potential as a cognitive enhancer.
2. Improved Bone Health
Creatine has been shown to have a positive effect on bone health, improving bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. According to research, creatine will reduce inflammation, oxidative stress and bone resorption, thus counterbalancing the bone loss associated with menopause.
Benefits will be more noticeable if the supplementation is reinforced with resistance physical training. Creatine supplementation has also been shown to increase bone formation in rats. These findings suggest that creatine may be beneficial for improving bone health, particularly in older adults who are at risk for osteoporosis.
3. Improved Blood Sugar Control
Research has shown that creatine supplementation may improve blood sugar control. Specifically, creatine supplementation can enhance glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in healthy adults.
Additionally, this supplementation can improve glucose uptake in muscle cells, which can help lower blood sugar levels. These findings suggest that creatine may have potential as a supplement for improving blood sugar control in people with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
4. IMPROVEMENT IN THE TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION
Creatine is generally studied as an ergogenic aid for health and sports-related performance. However, since creatine plays a pivotal role in brain energy homeostasis, and altered cerebral energy metabolism may be involved in the pathophysiology of depression, scientific evidence show that it may also be beneficial in treating symptoms of depression and anxiety.
According to a study published in the Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry journal, early clinical trials show evidence obtained in animal models of depression that address the possibility that creatine may produce rapid antidepressant effect, similar to ketamine. Another preliminary study published in the Bipolar Disorders journal suggests a beneficial effect of creatine augmentation in unipolar depression.
5. HELP FOR VEGANS AND VEGETARIANS
Given that creatine is primarily found in food such as red meat, seafood and poultry, it’s easy to imagine that adopting a vegan or vegetarian diet will decrease muscle creatine stores.
Thus, vegans typically have lower creatine levels in their blood as muscle tissue than meat eaters. However, research show that creatine supplementation can increase previously low creatine stores in vegetarians.
This can translate into great improvements in fat-free body mass, maximal strength and type II muscle fibre area compared to omnivores. Additional preliminary research found that creatine supplementation provides extra cognitive benefits in vegetarians, such as improved memory and intelligence.
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We just reviewed 5 benefits of creatine you may not know about.
In conclusion, we can say that creatine is a popular supplement that is well-known for its ability to improve athletic performance. However, as we’ve discussed in this blog post, there are some lesser-known benefits of creatine that are worth considering and which reach far beyond the traditional sport-oriented advantages.
Creatine supplementation may improve cognitive function, bone health, and blood sugar control and help treat depression and anxiety, making it a potential supplement for a variety of population spectrums, including athletes, older adults, people with diabetes, vegans and vegetarians.