Not All Substitutes Are Equal:
All cheekiness aside, we just did a post on the sexy people over at Eater’s test of the newest vegetable-only burger, by Impossible Foods.
But one of the ideas we raised at the end was: Maybe it tastes close now, maybe even identical in the future,
-But does it give you the same-or-better Nutrition when you take everything into consideration?
Well, one of Red Meat’s components is a salt called Creatine. And sciency-researchers are finding out some very interesting brain-stuff about its new best friend…
(besides saturated fat, antibiotics, and artificial growth-hormones, that is)
So far, it had seemed that all Creatine’s been good for was bodybuilding.
Gym-rats in search of those swole gains (,yo) would take the mineral salt with or without fast-carbs, and it would be attracted to the skeletal muscle tissues, absorb water & increase the size of muscle-fibers very slightly.
But those intrepid researchers then found something a little bit more interesting: Energy.
One of the other things they found Creatine does is to help the body’s cellular gas-tank, called ATP.
Swole Gains (,yo), Then Energy, Then…:
That’s a molecule the body uses to transport energy right into the cells.
And one of the funny things that goes on is that one of the Ps from ATP gets used in the process, turning it into A-D-P.
-That’s also a convenient location where our old pal Creatine steps in.
Because, as part of it going through your guts and percolating out to your muscles, it picks up a P (or phosphate) molecule all on its own, and it brings that little suitcase with it on its vacation in your muscles.
And it turns out that when you have all those extra Phosphates around,
The body can actually use them.
They don’t just stick to the Creatine & never leave.
Up To A 70x Improvement In Energy Replacement:
And so that ATP-ADP gastank recharge-cycle can end up running anywhere from 1200% to 7000% Faster if there is another P hanging around that Creatine brought in.
Oh yeah, one more thing. The system that lets Phosphate-Creatine help your muscles recharge energy faster?
-It’s also in YOUR BRAIN!
Your Brain Has The Creatine-System, Too!:
Your brain doesn’t just use 15-20% of all the energy in your body. It gets it from ATP, too.
And Creatine with Phosphate can get in there and help, too. Because that system works the same way even in your brain.
And one study by the University of Sydney & Macquarie University in Australia proved it.
They took 45 vegetarians and ran tests on them supplemented, un-supplemented, and 6 weeks later as de-supplemented.
The results they found were pretty encouraging.
-Especially because the main source of Creatine people get is from meats, so the vegetarians in question would very-likely have been creatine-deficient.
50%+ Improvement, Even On Intelligence Tests:
On intense mental tasks involving high-speed and high-difficulty, supplementation of 5g Creatine each day was shown to increase both processing-speed and working-memory.
The largest differences between the lowest-unsupplemented and highest-supplemented scores were: 60% increase on the Progressive Matrices test, and almost 50% on the Backward-Digit Working Memory test.
I don’t know what that translates to in IQ scores, and Dr. Rae’s team didn’t post results computed in that way.
But since both tests are used to assess general intelligence, a 50+% increase in score would seem very significant, indeed!
-And it makes sense. Because the brain uses so much energy for its small size and mass, keeping it fueled with that 12x-70x speed boost in high-pressure conditions seems like it certainly would show results.
Rocket-Fuel For Brains May Help Protect Them, Too!:
And on an even-more HealthTrekker note, Creatine has also been associated with some beneficial effects on diseases of the brain like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s & Huntington’s.
It’s been postualated that the localized energy boost might help. -Or it could be something more complicated like being a local anti-oxidant or a disruptor of beta-amyloid plaques.
Supplement-Safety Is Still Really Important!:
But remember as many bio-hackers recommend, it’s also important to make sure your supplements come from a high-quality source.
-Just like we reminded you back in “The Houseplant In Your Echinacea…”, and “Some vitamins bite the bullet; lead, -that is…” about purity-scares with supplements and vitamins that had either been partially or completely tainted.
So as at least one expert recommends, getting only CreaPure-certified Creatine is probably a good idea, because it’s at-least some kind of certification process, and less likely to have heavy metals from sources in places like China.
Note, for safety purposes: Long-term creatine supplementation has not been studied or declared safe. It is also counter-indicated for people with: Diabetes, Kidney issues and Pregnant Women.
Note 2: No, we do not have any association, nor do we receive compensation/consideration of any type from the people at CreaPure. Any safety-certification just seems like a great idea.
Photo Credits: Sherlock in the tunnel, Season 3 Episode 1 “The Empty Hearse”, photo by Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, Beryl Vertue, Sue Vertue, Hartswood Films, BBC Wales, WGBH, and BBC One
• Source: BBC
• Source Studies:
• Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial.
• PubMed-Creatine Reduces Mental Fatigue
• Ferrante, Klein-The Neuroprotective Role of Creatine [Google Books]