Is Creatine the 'Michael Jordan of Supplements?' Here’s What the Science Says
In this article, we seek to provide a simple overview of creatine and links to valuable resources & discussions around creatine for those who want to dive deeper.
What is creatine?
Creatine is a compound that is naturally produced in the human body, primarily in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys. It is also found in small amounts in certain foods, such as meat and fish. Creatine is used by the body to produce energy, particularly in muscle tissue. It is most commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders to increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance. When taken as a dietary supplement, creatine can help to increase muscle strength and endurance, allowing athletes to train harder and longer. It has also been shown to have positive effect on mental health as well as cognitive benefits, such as improving memory and thinking skills.
Is creatine safe?
According to examine.com, long-term creatine supplementation is safe in people with healthy kidneys. That said, there are no long-term creatine studies in people with kidney issues. For those with kidney issues, it would be best to consult with your physician and consider a lower dose (if any) of creatine supplementation pending your physician’s advice (source: Examine.com).
Of all types of supplementation, creatine appears to provide some of the most profound benefits on physical as well as mental performance. According to many experts & quality research publications, creatine seems to have a high margin of safety for those with healthy kidneys. The most common dosage of creatine supplementation is 5g creatine monohydrate / day, and (contrary to popular belief) a loading period is not necessary, though it can be used to see slightly quicker benefits (source: Examine.com).
Where can I purchase creatine?
You can purchase creatine on Amazon, on supplement websites, & in supplement stores. Given the unregulated nature of the supplement market, we recommend purchasing from a trusted supplement provider such as Momentous Supplements. You can find a link to Creatine Monohydrate from Momentous Supplements here: Momentous Supplements: Creatine Monohydrate.
Science-backed resources & commentary on creatine
1. Dr. Andy Galpin Interview on Huberman Lab Podcast #65
Direct link to discussion of creatine at 3:17:26
In this podcast, Dr. Andy Galpin calls creatine the “Michael Jordan of Supplementation.” He discusses creatine’s effects on the neurological system, mental health, & performance.
2. Huberman Lab Podcast #42: Creatine for Cognition (Tool 5: 5g/day)
Direct link to discussion of creatine at 32:22
Dr. Huberman discusses creatine’s potential cognitive benefits & positive effects on the brain. There’s evidence that taking 5g of creatine monohydrate / day can increase cognitive function in humans.
3. Huberman Lab Podcast #22: Science of Muscle Growth, Increasing Strength & Muscular Recovery
Direct link to discussion of creatine at 1:45:00
According to Dr. Huberman, there are no fewer than 66 studies showing that power output is increased by ingesting creatine. Creatine is a fuel source for bouts of physical activity and can have cognitive enhancing effects. There are also studies showing that it reduces fatigue. For a 180lb person, 5g of creatine monohydrate / day appears to be the optimal dose. Dr. Huberman discusses other potential dosages of creatine for different bodyweights in the clips above.
4. Examine.com: Creatine
The link above shares some additional information on creatine. Examine.com is a very reputable source on all things health & wellness-related.
This article should not be used or misconstrued as medical advice. It was not written by a certified medical expert. As always, consult with your physician before making any changes to your diet, exercise protocol, or supplementation protocol.
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