Creatine and Cognitive Function: Enhancing Memory and Mental Performance
What is Creatine?
In modern times, competition is prevalent in every domain. In this competitive world, every human is racing towards achieving success and proving his superiority over his counterparts. Starting from education, to building a successful career, competition is everywhere. Youngsters are always thriving to have a competitive edge and perform their best. In sports too, your talent and skills are applauded till you are at the peak of your performance. To remain competitive, sportspersons often opt for supplements and substances to improve their athletic performance. Creatine is a common choice for bodybuilders to enhance their strength and muscle mass. Now you may ask what is creatine? Creatine is a substance that is often used as ingredient for supplements made for enhanced athletic abilities. This is formed naturally in ourbody in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Food sources like sea fish and meat are also abundant sources of creatine.
Creatine supplements for cognitive disabilities
Cognition is vital in an individual’s daily life to ensure the proper functioning of the body and mind. When it is affected, the brain stops functioning properly and the individual faces mental or neurological disabilities. As the brain is the most important organ in our body that drives us to respond to external factors, a little impact on cognitive functions may create havoc. Cognitive disabilities can occur throughout a human’s entire lifespan. Trauma, genetics, and old age are the three most common reasons for people suffering from certain mental illnesses and memory loss. Trauma can be both physical and emotional. A person can develop cognitive ailments post a fatal accident or a shocking event like the loss of a loved one. Creatine can help in improving the situation by stimulating the brain cells.
Benefits of Creatine
Athletes especially involved in intense sports like sprinting and weightlifting are the most common consumers of creatine supplements. Fish oils enriched with Omega 3 fatty acids are prescribed widely to treat cognitive disorders. The amino acids present in creatine supplements give clinically proven results in treating conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s,or Dementia. Few studies say creatine consumption can treat certain heart conditions by lowering the fat component and unclogging the arteries. Creatine benefits are also slowly being introduced in the medical field with varied outcomes. Creatines are easily available and are cheaper options. If enough due diligence is conducted on this substance’s use in the treatment of cognitive disabilities, it may be a game-changer in medical history. The varied results based on differences in age groups, food habits, and background should also be considered.
Sources of Creatine
Creatine is found in meat, and fish, and is naturally present in our bodies. So, why do we need creatine supplements if we get enough supply of the substance from our daily food intake? The answer is simple. The recommended dosage for creatine supplements is 5g daily. An equivalent amount of creatine can be found in 1 kg of meat! So, there’s a gap in dietary intake that needs to be addressed by creatine supplements. Also, it is proven in clinical trials that vegetarians get more benefits than meat-eaters from creatine supplements.
Side effects of Creatine
The effects of creatine can have different outcomes from person to person. It is seen that people having a sufficient source of creatine in their body don’t get much benefits from these supplements. Let’s through some light on the common creatine side effects that have been recorded in medical files.
- Weight gain, due to water retention in the body
- Muscle cramps or pulls
- Upset stomach or diarrhea
- Nausea or dizziness
- Liver or kidney failure
- Elevated blood pressure
Apart from the above-listed ones, there may be other effects too based on the individual’s health condition, age, food habits, etc.
Precautions to take
Considering the side effects of creatine as discussed above, one must be cautious before opting for creatine supplements. Creatine is not recommended for underage people, lactating mothers, or pregnant women. It is also can be harmful for people suffering from hypertension, or existing liver, or kidney ailments. A session with a medical expert is highly recommended to know if creatine supplements are safe to use. Self-prescription can be fatal, and one must take precautions before using creatine supplements.
Wrapping it up
In this article, we discussed at length how creatine is widely used in the sports field. Creatine supplements are a popular choice for athletes thanks to the properties of creatine that boost energy levels, especially during short-duration, high-density sports. Creatine is also believed to be a safe alternative to help in improving cognitive functions. It may improve short-term memory and analytical or reasoning skills in individuals. However, no proven reports are available to establish this fact. Medical supervision is advised to avoid any harmful side effects. Be responsible and don’t make a purchase influenced by marketing stunts.