Most of you are aware of the benefits of Creatine for increasing muscles, strength and stamina. Did you know that Creatine has now been scientifically shown to increase brain power and memory too?
A new Australian study has found that Creatine can boost memory recall and brain function by up to 20%, as well as improve sports fitness. Taking five grams a day for six weeks enhances both short-term memory and IQ, report the researchers, whose study appears in the journal, Proceedings: Biological Sciences, published by Britain's Royal Society (Royal Society, news release, Aug. 13, 2003, C Rae, AL Digney, SR McEwan and TC Bates).
Researchers from the University of Sydney and Macquarie University, both in Australia, tested this by giving Creatine supplements to 45 young adult volunteers. Vegetarians were used for the tests, mainly because meat in the diet is in itself a source of Creatine, and it would be difficult to gauge exactly how much an individual had consumed. The volunteers were split up and given either Creatine or a "dummy" pill for periods of six weeks.
Dr Caroline Rae, a research fellow at the University of Sydney states: "If you were trying to remember things for an exam, it would certainly be very useful. You could take it a few weeks before the exam, because it would theoretically improve your memory when you're preparing for the exam, plus your recall during the exam and maybe even your general ability to do the exam. When you're thinking hard, the blood supply to your brain is increased. But there's a lag before it happens and that's where phosphoCreatine is really useful. It means you can do the task for longer."
The study found people taking Creatine at levels commonly used to boost sprint performance in sport were better are remembering long numbers. Those taking the supplement could recall on average 8.5 digits, compared to seven for the control group - a 20% difference*. They also performed better in a pattern recognition test that is well-validated as an assessment of general intellectual ability or IQ, Rae said. The extra Creatine provided an alternative form of stored energy for brain cells to tap into.
Dr Rae said Creatine could improve performance in people with neurological diseases like Huntington's disease, and reduce the severity of heart disease and strokes. This is the first time it has been shown to boost memory in otherwise healthy individuals.
What does all this mean for you? It means that supplementing with Creatine can not only boost your stamina, energy, endurance, strength and muscle levels, it can also boost your brain power. How about that for a super-product?
If you have never tried Creatine before then you must give yourself the opportunity of experiencing all the benefits of this super-supplement. For those who have tried Creatine and would like to try a new form which is 10x more soluble than ordinary Creatine, please have a read of Creatine Instant.
*The effect on working memory was tested using a backward digit span test in which the subject has to repeat in reverse order progressively longer verbal random number sequences. Intelligence was tested using Ravens Advanced Progressive Matrices - a methodology commonly used for IQ assessment involving completion of pattern sequences. The test is a well validated measure of general ability with minimal dependence on cultural factors. "Both of these tests require fast brain power and the Raven's task was conducted under time pressure," says Dr. Rae. "The results were clear with both our experimental groups and in both test scenarios: Creatine supplementation gave a significant measurable boost to brain power. For example in the digit span test subjects ability to remember long numbers, like telephone numbers, improved from a number length of about 7 to an average of 8.5 digits." The study shows that increased Creatine intake results in improved brain function, similar to effects shown previously in muscle and heart. The results agree with previous observations showing that brain Creatine levels correlate with improved recognition memory and reduce mental fatigue. "These findings underline a dynamic and significant role of brain energy capacity in influencing brain performance," says Dr. Rae. "Increasing the energy available for computation increases the power of the brain and this is reflected directly in improved general ability."
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