The strength and mass building benefits of creatine are well known. In this article I will discuss some of the unexpected benefits of creatine use.
Increased Cognitive Ability
Creatine has been demonstrated to improve cognitive ability in vegetarians and the elderly. Vegetarians generally have low creatine levels because their diet provides almost none. It’s unclear why the elderly would respond positively to creatine. My guess is that our bodies produce less creatine as we age.
Young meat eaters have not demonstrated improvement after supplementation, probably because they have enough creatine in their bodies already. In any case, it’s interesting that there seems to be a connection between brain health and creatine. I’m betting that there will be more research in this area in the future.
Recent research suggests that creatine use increases endurance. In a study of runners, creatine use resulted in faster running times in 300 and 1000 meter intervals. Endurance activities which could benefit from creatine use include medium and long distance running, cycling, swimming, rowing, cross country skiing, and many others.
If you plan on taking creatine to increase endurance, I suggest taking a small daily dose of 2-5g. Larger loading doses (20g per day or more) usually result in weight gain due to water retention. Increased weight is generally undesirable in endurance sports. Studies have found that using a small dose results in little to no increase in water weight.
Chronic Heart Failure
People suffering from chronic heart failure often have low levels of creatine in their bodies. Research has suggested that using creatine may increase heart muscle strength, endurance, and body weight in patients with this disease.
Treatment Of Neuromuscular Disease
Creatine has been shown to increase strength in people with a variety of neuromuscular diseases. Use of creatine has been studied for treatment of Parkinson’s disease, disuse atrophy, gyrate atrophy, McArdle’s disease, arthritis, Huntington’s disease, miscellaneous neuromuscular diseases, mitochondrial diseases, and muscular dystrophy.
Creatine was shown to be twice as effective as the drug riluzole in lengthening the lives of mice with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Creatine has shown promise in other areas, but more research is needed. Here are a few:
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
Increasing Bone Density
Infant Sleep Apnea
Ischemic Heart disease
Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
Spinal Cord Injuries
Top 3 Creatine Supplements
Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder
ISS Complete Creatine Power