Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Study Spotlight: Beyond Muscle-Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Brain Creatine, Cognitive Processing and Traumatic Brain Injury

By: Joel Luedke

Creatine has been long been known for its ergogenic aid when it comes to performance.  Whether it comes from enhanced recovery or from helping add some muscle through higher intensity training, the studies are out there.  There has been some research coming out about cognitive benefits of supplementing creatine and the potential benefit of utilizing creatine for post concussive recovery could be significant.  This article does a great job breaking down ideas of where creatine and cognitive function can go.

What They Did:

This was a review article of the potential effect of creatine on cognitive function.  Not only in long term cognitive health but potentially in the recovery from different types of traumatic brain injury.

What They Found:
Authors believe that a high creatine content may theoretically enhance brain function, through facilitation rapid energy provision during times of accelerated ATP turnover.  Theoretically, supplementing creatine could provide this benefit.

What It All Means: 
The authors have concluded that higher levels of creatine supplementation may be the way to go when it comes to trying to optimize outcomes for health.  This could potentially look like supplementing at a "loading" rate of 20g/day as you might do in the early phases of supplementation for the first week of using creatine for muscle concentration.  The authors realized that that creatine could exert its influence in situations whereby cognitive processes are stressed, in particular acutely.

The long term effects of supplementation could show promise with traumatic brain injury and other cognitive issues.  There is hope that the potential for supplementing creatine could help in the recovery from injuries like concussion.  Not only is it easy to supplement and get proper dosages but it is also fairly inexpensive.  The research to follow is going to be big and could really help people be in a better spot in their recovery process.

This study did a pretty good job overall going though the literature and trying to figure out what the best way is to supplement creatine is for the best cognitive function. 

Reference: Dolan, E. Beyond muscle: the effects of creatine supplementation on brain creatine, cognitive processing, and traumatic brain injury. European Journal of Sports Science. 19: 1. 2019. 1-14

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