Better Brain Health & Body Composition From Natural Creatine? By Daniel Pierce, MS
Better Brain Health & Body Composition From Natural Creatine?
By Daniel Pierce, MS
When you think of creatine, most people envision a bunch of meatheads with mounds of muscle on top of muscle. While you wouldn’t be wrong, creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in all types of animal meats, that possess many different benefits, not just those that revolve around building muscle.
This article will look at what creatine is, if it’s safe, and some of the key benefits that you can experience through its use.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid that helps the body create an energy source known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Both the liver and kidneys are responsible for helping produce creatine. That said, consuming foods that contain creatine can provide you with a quality source to help saturate the muscles and brain.
The body stores around 95% of creatine in the muscles, while the remaining 5% gets stored in various organs, such as the brain.
Where is Creatine Naturally Occurring?
Creatine is found primarily in red meat, chicken, pork, and fish.
All of that being said, the amount of creatine you get from naturally occurring sources will be less than utilizing a creatine supplement, but that doesn’t mean it’s not beneficial.
If you follow a plant-based diet, it’s going to be more challenging taking in sources of creatine. Vegans, in particular, should focus on food that contains arginine, glycine, and methionine, as these amino acids help the body create creatine.
Vegetarians should focus on consuming dairy products, while vegans should include seeds and nuts in their diet to ensure they get enough amino acids to synthesize creatine.
Is Creatine Safe?
More than 500 studies have been done on creatine, looking at its safety and effectiveness. Overall, creatine has been found to be extremely safe. One study has even found that taking up to 30 grams of creatine per day for upwards of five years has shown zero health issues (which would be extremely difficult to do through real food sources and not with supplementation).
Two Incredible Benefits of Creatine
There are two main benefits of why everyone should focus on consuming foods that are high in creatine. These two benefits are broken down in detail below.
1. Muscle Growth and Performance
One of the most common reasons that someone would want to consume foods high in creatine is to help maximize muscle growth. Creatine helps boost exercise performance and has the ability to increase muscle strength and power, which plays a role in building lean muscle mass.
Additionally, creatine can reduce muscle fatigue and damage during workouts while also helping improve recovery.
If you’re an athlete who wants to compete at a high level, it has been found that creatine is the most effective ergogenic aid currently available to athletes — best of all, you can get it from the food you eat.
2. Brain Health
The second reason everyone should make sure they’re eating food that contains a natural source of creatine is for brain health benefits. While the muscles use up most of the creatine ingested, the remainder is sent to the brain.
When creatine is consumed through a proper nutrition plan containing meat, chicken, pork, fish, or a plant-based source (containing arginine, glycine, and methionine that can produce creatine), the user can experience improvements in memory and reasoning.
In addition, creatine has been found to help increase oxygen delivery to the brain and decrease mental fatigue.