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The Magic of Creatine

healthy couple hikingWhat if I were to tell you there is a magical potion that can increase our reaction time, intelligence, energy, strength and memory? You would probably think I was a wizard or possibly a ConMan. There is no potion, but there is a substance called creatine and it is only found in meat.

This magical substance is a molecule that helps a store energy in the form of phosphate bonds and used when we need energy more quickly. Energy in our body is in the form of something called adenosine triphosphate or ATP. ATP is used by our muscles to contract and by every cell in our body when protecting and repairing our DNA.

Insuring that we have enough creatine for optimal performance for our brains, muscles and our DNA repair mechanisms, requires that we eat enough quality meats and organs.

I thought provoking study of 45 adult vegetarians found they had significantly improved their mental performance while supplementing with 5 g of creatine per day, (that is the amount of creatine found in 1 pound of red meat.) They supplemented creatine for 6 weeks in a double blind, placebo controlled intervention.

The supplementation of creatine had a significantly positive effect on working memory, intelligence and speed of processing. They concluded that creatine can be responsible for increasing brain energy capacity and influencing brain performance.

Furthermore, another creatine supplementation study that included 128 adult females who supplemented 20 g of creatine for 5 days found similar improvements in their cognitive function and memory for those woman who claimed to be a vegetarian.

This could suggest that a vegetarian diet might lead to poor mental performance and memory deficits due to the lack of creatine.

Deficits of creatine and muscle tissue can also lead to limited strength and explosive power. Another study found that 18 vegetarians found that lean muscle mass gain and overall relative strength gains were increased after supplementing with creatine for 6 weeks.

What can you do with this information?

Well, you can eat more meat, and that would be the most logical and least expensive way to absorb more creatine in your diet however, if you maintain your vegetarian eating plan supplementing with 5 to 10 g of creatine per day should be sufficient to maximize strength, memory, and overall brain performance.


Rae C, Digney AL, McEwan SR, Bates TC. Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Proc Biol Sci. 2003 Oct 22;270(1529):2147-50. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2003.2492. PMID: 14561278; PMCID: PMC1691485.

Burke DG, Chilibeck PD, Parise G, Candow DG, Mahoney D, Tarnopolsky M. Effect of creatine and weight training on muscle creatine and performance in vegetarians. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003 Nov;35(11):1946-55. doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000093614.17517.79. PMID: 14600563.

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