Muscles require a lot of energy to perform work during physical activity. Creatine’s integral role in the energy production process in muscle is well established. However, another real energy “guzzler” is the brain. This organ commands almost 25% of total daily energy requirements.
In a similar fashion to muscles, supplementation with creatine monohydrate is shown to increase creatine content in the brain, but up until now, scientists were not sure if this really does improve brain function?
At least one well-constructed study suggests it does.
This study involved healthy individuals and creatine supplementation (8 grams a day, 5 days) or a placebo. Before and after the supplementation protocol, the participants performed a series of mathematical calculations. Results showed that those given the creatine performed the calculations more efficiently. Just as in muscle, the extra creatine provided an excellent energy buffer during mental “exercise” in the brain.
The researchers also assessed cerebral hemoglobin levels and determined that supplementation with creatine actually improved oxygen delivery to brain cells. The increased energy buffering capacity and increased oxygen delivery were the explanations put forward by these scientists for the brain-boosting benefits of creatine. And let’s face it, we can all benefit from more brain power.
Source: Neuroscience Research 42; 279-85, 2002.