John Berardi Recommends Creatine for Recreationalists

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Composed by John Berardi (most of this text are studies he cites):


Why You Should Be Taking Creatine

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Many people think Im crazy for recommending creatine to recreational exercisers. That's because they think creatine is for muscle building only. However creatine has also show beneficial health and cognitive effects. In fact, here are two studies that recently came across my desk you might be interested in reading:

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2006 Jan 17;:1-11 [Epub ahead of print] Links


Effect of creatine supplementation and sleep deprivation, with mild exercise, on cognitive and psychomotor performance, mood state, and plasma concentrations of catecholamines and cortisol.

McMorris T, Harris RC, Swain J, Corbett J, Collard K, Dyson RJ, Dye L, Hodgson C, Draper N.

Centre for Sports Science and Medicine, University College Chichester, College Lane, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 6PE, UK, [email protected].

RATIONALE: Sleep deprivation has a negative effect on cognitive and psychomotor performance and mood state, partially due to decreases in creatine levels in the brain. Therefore, creatine supplementation should lessen the negative effects of sleep deprivation. OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to examine the effect of creatine supplementation and sleep deprivation, with mild exercise, on cognitive and psychomotor performance, mood state, and plasma concentrations of catecholamines and cortisol. METHOD: Subjects were divided into a creatine group (n=10) and a placebo group (n=9). They took 5 g of creatine monohydrate or a placebo, dependent on their group, four times a time a day for 7 days, immediately prior to the experiment. The study was double blind. Subjects undertook tests of random movement generation (RMG), verbal and spatial recall, choice reaction time, static balance and mood state pre-test (0 h), after 6, 12 and 24 h of sleep deprivation, with intermittent exercise. They were tested for plasma concentrations of catecholamines and cortisol at 0 and 24 h. RESULTS: At 24 h, the creatine group demonstrated significantly less change in performance from 0 h (Delta) in RMG, choice reaction time, balance and mood state. There were no significant differences between groups in plasma concentrations of catecholamines and cortisol. Norepinephrine and dopamine concentrations were significantly higher at 24 h than 0 h, but cortisol were lower. CONCLUSIONS: Following 24-h sleep deprivation, creatine supplementation had a positive effect on mood state and tasks that place a heavy stress on the prefrontal cortex.


Title: Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial

Author(s): Rae and others
Source: Proceedings: Biological Sciences
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2003.2492
Publisher: The Royal Society
Abstract: Creatine supplementation is in widespread use to enhance sports-fitness performance, and has been trialed successfully in the treatment of neurological, neuromuscular and atherosclerotic disease. Creatine plays a pivotal role in brain energy homeostasis, being a temporal and spatial buffer for cytosolic and mitochondrial pools of the cellular energy currency, adenosine triphosphate and its regulator, adenosine diphosphate. In this work, we tested the hypothesis that oral creatine supplementation (5 g d-1 for six weeks) would enhance intelligence test scores and working memory performance in 45 young adult, vegetarian subjects in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design. Creatine supplementation had a significant positive effect (p < 0.0001) on both working memory (backward digit span) and intelligence (Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices), both tasks that require speed of processing. These findings underline a dynamic and significant role of brain energy capacity in influencing brain performance.
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John M. Berardi, PhD, CSCS
President, Science Link, Inc.
Founder, Precision Nutrition
Author, Scrawny to Brawny
 
I recall reading a study or two that creatine helped prevent brain injury as well. My guess is that it must help fuel neurons, so when you get a head injury and interrupted blood supply to the brain, the creatine helps keep those cells alive.

If I were a boxer, I personally would definately plan to be on creatine for the bout just for this reason alone.

a ref (one of many) http://www.healingtherapies.info/creatineNeuroProtection.htm
 
I just invite you all to think about how useful this study would make creatine for end of term, sleep-deprived students.

Great find!
 
Noskill said:
I just invite you all to think about how useful this study would make creatine for end of term, sleep-deprived students.

Great find!
Fuck, I didn't even think of that! I'm gonna keep that in mind for law school!

Good shit, NoSkill.
 
i'm going to detox for exams and load up on omegga three's and creatine
 
Good find man. I might have to start chugging some creatine around test time.
 
Great, another study on creatine that does not examine long-term effects at all. Creatine, the Wonder Drug! (For 6 Weeks At A Time)
 
Great, another study on creatine that does not examine long-term effects at all. Creatine, the Wonder Drug! (For 6 Weeks At A Time)

lol There always has to be one right? And that one is typically a white-belt.

That there are no studies that currently examine the long-term effects of creatine is slightly irrelevant. Why? Because you can use your eyes and see, most athletes have used creatine since it's inception and there haven't been a plethora of these reported cases of liver or kidney damage, or anything in the short-term studies to suggest these things would even be a factor in the long-term. You don't need to follow an athlete around for 15 years with a clipboard and a pen, tell him Creatine is safe, he'll continue using it, look him up 5-10 years from now. If creatine had any significant long-term harmful effects, I think there'd be an epidemic of Hospitalized Athletes with relating and correlating illnesses.
 
Actually, I am not concerned about damage to organs at all.

What I am concerned about is that I follow GNC's recommendations and take a daily 5-10g maintaince dose. However, I am worried by a lot of comments based on perhaps half-baked studies indicating that the body over time adjusts to the increased creatine intake and levels off its own creatine production to compensate, thus implying that I am wasting my time with the maintainance dose!
 
What I am concerned about is that I follow GNC's recommendations and take a daily 5-10g maintaince dose. However, I am worried by a lot of comments based on perhaps half-baked studies indicating that the body over time adjusts to the increased creatine intake and levels off its own creatine production to compensate, thus implying that I am wasting my time with the maintainance dose!

The body is an odd machine indeed. You overload it with something, it will do one of two things: biologically attempt to compensate (like when it boosts estrogen to balance more testosterone of anabolic users), or shut down (like what happens to athletes who both train hard and eat well, but use recreational drugs).

However, there are ways around it. This is why cycling creatine might be a good idea. To give your body a break from continued creatine use and allow for it to return to normal even if only long enough for the re-introduction of creatine to be as when you first used it (if applicable where creatine is concerned). These studies are far from half-baked. Just keep in-mind running studies is expensive, and to do so for periods of time greater and 3 years becomes VERY costly. Someone has to pay for all of that, and usually the person who is the proverbial wallet wants to see progress. So it's tought for the science and research community to sustain funding for such endeavors.
 
With the way that creatine has burst onto the market, I am simply surprised that I haven't seen more long-range studies. Maybe they are in progress now.

The reason why I feel some of the studies are half-baked is because some of them are not double-blind, etc.

Also, it seems as if for every study or expert that leans toward cycling, I can find another one leaning towards maintaince dosage. I tend to lean toward the maintaince dosage because lots of health centers like GNC recommend it, despite the fact that it would be more profitable for them to recommend cycling.
 
Also, it seems as if for every study or expert that leans toward cycling, I can find another one leaning towards maintaince dosage. I tend to lean toward the maintaince dosage because lots of health centers like GNC recommend it, despite the fact that it would be more profitable for them to recommend cycling.

Well, depends on how you look at it. Maintaining dosage means you run straight through your supplements, right? Whereas with cycling you go some time without using, to me that would suggest your stuff would last longer by cycling. Now mind you, I'm talking cycling without that loading-phase nonsense.

Creatine has been around for quite a while. Hell even the bodybuilders in the 60's and 70's were aware of it, they used to just get it from copious amounts of beef. Right now I'm of the opinion that long-term studies haven't been conducted because there's just nothing that is madating the need for it. But that opinion is subject to possible change.

For me personally I always recommend cycling supplements, especially if you're constantly improving your performance. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
 
All of the cycling splits I have seen in magazines, online, and on supplement labels I have calculated out to costing more than the 5-10g maintaince dose.

In terms of cycling supplements, do you just mean the sort of "extra" supplements like NO, creatine, etc. or are you also including supplements like vitamins, flax seed, fish oil, etc?
 
All of the cycling splits I have seen in magazines, online, and on supplement labels I have calculated out to costing more than the 5-10g maintaince dose.

How is that possible? You take a normal dose of 5g of creatine per day (no loading), then you stop for a week after a two months, then continue for two more months. I don't see where the extra expense is coming from with this as opposed to 4 straight months of creatine use. If anything, you should be getting and extra week.

My guess is the cycling splits you saw call for the loading phase, during which you're supposed to use double the amount of creatine you normally use, which there's no reason to do.

In terms of cycling supplements, do you just mean the sort of "extra" supplements like NO, creatine, etc. or are you also including supplements like vitamins, flax seed, fish oil, etc?

Yes, the only things I don't cycle are the Multi, the greens pill I use, protein, and the form of EFA (Essential Fatty Acids) that I use.
 
i like your cycleing idea KK, would you think it would be acceptable or optimal to buy small containers of both creatine and protien powder and cycle by switching between creatine and protien when you finish one of the tubs? I'm talking roughly a 2 - 3 week supply container.
 
yomon said:
i like your cycleing idea KK, would you think it would be acceptable or optimal to buy small containers of both creatine and protien powder and cycle by switching between creatine and protien when you finish one of the tubs? I'm talking roughly a 2 - 3 week supply container.

Absolutely not. Don't cycle protein. Just take it. You don't cycle food, do you? Protein is food for your muscles.
 
Absolutely not. Don't cycle protein. Just take it. You don't cycle food, do you? Protein is food for your muscles.

Correct, this is why protein is one of the things I listed that I do not cycle.

lol Wilhelm you reminded me of something goofy I've been reading. I keep seeing articles that state "protein suppresses appetite." Every time I see that I giggle. Protein = food. You eat, you should no longer be hungry. Derr.
 
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