6

votes

Creatine, underappreciated and necessary for a successful paleo lifestyle?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 09, 2013 at 1:50 AM

It's my understanding that creatine is not heat stable and gets cooked out of red meat and fish (the richest naturally occurring sources of creatine). You know from my posts that I am against insulin resistance and pro insulin sensitivity, and while creatine intake doesn't correlate with increased insulin sensitivity in the short durations studied it does increase intracellular water, dht, Lean Muscle Mass(over time), is correlated with increased bmd and increased bmd is correlated with increased type iib muscle fibers.

Not to mention how creatine works to hydrate cells, and hydrate cells intracellularly, but it also helps the cells produce more energy faster.

In short, it's pretty awesome, but that's not the point or my question really. My question is basically shouldn't we all be supplementing with creatine for optimal paleo results assuming we aren't eating our meat raw?

In case you don't know much about creatine already:

  1. http://paleohacks.com/questions/1037/creatine-and-paleo#axzz2N0EeOzmH
  2. http://paleohacks.com/questions/33740/do-you-use-creatine#axzz2N0EeOzmH

Not to mention there are literally hundreds of clinical studies of it online from doing everything from increasing lifespan, to brain function, to muscle mass. It's rich in raw red meat and apparently gets mostly cooked out upon cooking. Thanks for your thoughts :)).

  • +1 to all solid answers

2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

(1533)

on March 17, 2013
at 02:21 AM

you guys suck at being cavemens. ill take my bounty plez

2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

(1533)

on March 16, 2013
at 03:27 PM

and even just regular old grain fed turkeys/chickesn which I would caution against raw or not because they are even more noticeably imflammatory, I believe that's the fat content and their diet profile. also, there is such a way to prepare meat, quality fresh meat, by aging it, so that the beneficial enzymes and probiotics are intact, this may be of help to someone with SIBO. I know that eliminating most carbs, and fibers and eating some fermented meats has totally changed my digestion. I am extremely regular, go with ease and have no bloating, NONE, first time in my life:)!

2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

(1533)

on March 16, 2013
at 03:22 PM

upvote for raw meats! I just finished a breakfast of raw ground lamb meats, liver and hearts, best quality food around, and marketed as organic grass fed pet food no less, contains large amounts of a full range of amino acids, vitamins and minerals, extremely easy to digest and absorb. I have not picked up any parasites in the five years I have been eating raw meats, organs and egg yolks. I did get sick once, it was pretty much bad gas from eating meat from a vendor I knew better to have purchased from. I have eaten raw wild game meat hot from the animal, quality grass fed/pastured beefs

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 16, 2013
at 08:53 AM

According to top google searches for creatine, beef and chicken contain 4-5 grams per kg, which is half of what's quoted above in several posts. 1kg is too much per day for me, so I'll keep supplementing. Good question about the desirability of constant saturation. Although creatine has been researched extensively (unlike most supplements), I don't know if there are any long-term studies.

E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on March 15, 2013
at 11:51 PM

Yes they did when they ate meat rare or uncooked. Be careful indeed.

8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on March 15, 2013
at 12:23 AM

It isn't a given, but there isn't need to consume large amounts of vitamin c as we use vitamin c much more efficiently, as said in my post. Go to the link in which I refer to humans "recycling" vitamin c.

6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on March 15, 2013
at 12:10 AM

Is it really a given that paleo man evolved with low dietary vit c? Why couldn't humans, or a recent ancestor, have been eating something (leaves?) high in vit c for the majority of the paleolithic and before? Isn't this the usual explanation for why our ability to synthesize it was lost in evolution?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on March 12, 2013
at 06:24 PM

funny, this is probably a legit argument. The strongest cavemen probably ate their share of raw meat which is a natural source of creatine. In our modern world where raw meat is not always safe to consume, we must use supplements to try to match sources of nutrients our ancestors relied on. Not exactly what you were so flippantly suggesting, but still... Thanks for playing!

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 11, 2013
at 02:28 PM

Very interesting dude, thanks for the info on bicarbonate.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 11, 2013
at 01:22 PM

Loading phase is unnecessary.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 11, 2013
at 11:58 AM

Pretty sure our digestive tracts are pretty okay with sugar...

7d46edca72c2f8347f65d7b734d1f1eb

on March 10, 2013
at 11:57 AM

I do 7G a day. I've tried loading in the past and never saw a difference so I just take it post workout.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 04:57 AM

Same with me. I am afraid I will pick up some parasite on top of my SIBO.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 10, 2013
at 12:07 AM

Thanks for sharing your n=1. I've tried eating raw meat with good results but I'm just soo phobic that I'm going to get some sort of parasite or something since I don't have a clean source of meat.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 10, 2013
at 12:06 AM

Why is it essentially impossible to achieve saturation without supplementation? If there's 5 grams in a pound of raw beef then just a few pounds of beef for a couple days (during a starving winter perhaps) would seemingly max out creatine, followed by around a pound of meat a day for several weeks. I don't why this seems so absurd, the only catch is that you would have to 2*-9* that amount of meat if it was cooked. 2-9 pounds of meat per day does seem a little absurd.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 10, 2013
at 12:01 AM

I've been doing a short loading phase 15-20g / day for a little under a week, should be toning it down to 5g a day relatively soon. How much creatine do you take?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 09, 2013
at 11:59 PM

Interesting, out of curiosity, do you take any other supplements for powerlifting, and how much creatine do you take?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 09, 2013
at 03:34 PM

Typical levels versus saturatation? Is saturation normal or desireable in normal folks?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 09, 2013
at 03:00 AM

All I have is a Livestrong article, of which they are notoriously poorly referenced, but it's saying that a pound of beef, salmon or Herring Raw contains almost 5g of creatine. After initial loading, 5g of creatine per day is the per usual recommendation, which would be just 1 pound of raw meat per day, I don't think that I'm advocating abnormally high levels here?..

89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

(2097)

on March 09, 2013
at 02:53 AM

yeah i just might..:) thanks for reminding me

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 09, 2013
at 02:50 AM

Since it's essentially impossible to achieve creatine saturation without supplementation, I lean towards the academic question side of things (and thus the whole idea that it's uber important to have abnormally high levels to be dubious.)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 09, 2013
at 02:49 AM

I guess the better question is if superior creatine levels can be achieved with raw versus cooked sources, or is it simply a silly academic question.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 09, 2013
at 02:47 AM

But I want to stress that the reason the bro-sci says creatine causes hairloss is because it increases dht in men. DHT though is the Master Male hormone if you will: http://www.mikemahler.com/online-library/articles/hormone-optimization/dihydrotestosterone-king-of-male-androgens.html . DHT makes a man a man basically with one exception. DHT binds to cells at a much higher rate than testosterone binds to cells everywhere in the body except for muscle cells. So creatine wouldn't be like steroids, but should actually increase other manly characteristics:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19741313

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 09, 2013
at 02:37 AM

Well maybe this will give you the push you need to go out and buy a bottle, +1.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 09, 2013
at 02:31 AM

@Matt, Page 9: http://www.edb.utexas.edu/ssn/SN%20PDF/Creatine-Levels%20&%20Diet.PDF . @Kyle, they say that because creatine increases dht in men. If you believe DHT causes hairloss and that estrogen and insulin resistance to play a significant role then you're logical conclusion might be that creatine causes hair loss. DHT is also correlated with increased bmd though and bmd is predictive of longevity: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22112679 . But you bring up a good point.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 09, 2013
at 02:21 AM

Reference for cooked meat not having creatine boosting ability?

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on March 09, 2013
at 02:12 AM

This is something I've been debating for awhile. Only downside I've heard is bro-science involving hair loss. Seems like a no-lose high potential benefit, cheap supplement.

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9 Answers

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3
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on March 11, 2013
at 11:48 AM

I take Creatine [Creapure] (5g) + Sodium Bicarbonate NaHCO3 (7g) every day. Mixed with BCAAs [Xtend] (14g) on workout days pre-workout.

See: Creatine: "not escalate single dosages beyond 5g" and "10-15g/day for 3-5 days followed by a maintenance dose of 3-5g/day" and Bicarb: "0.2g/kg body weight": http://bit.ly/LjAf49, http://bit.ly/Lqzxp3, http://bit.ly/KCAtSd.

Also see: Supercharging Creatine With Baking Soda: Study Shows Increased Peak Power and Endurance - Plus: How Bicarbonate Could Help You Lose Fat & Build Muscle: http://bit.ly/N1dKpz

As a sidenote see: NaHCO3 HIITs Interval Training: +34% Time to Exhaustion, +91% Total Work & Significantly More Lean Mass With 200mg/kg Baking Soda and High Intensity Interval Training! http://bit.ly/KCAtSd. The Latest on Sodium Bicarbonate: Serial Loading Almost as Effective as Acute Loading and Free of Gastrointestinal Side Effects. Plus: Can You Use Potassium Bicarbonate Instead http://bit.ly/KCAiGw. Lactic Acid: http://bit.ly/KCABBl

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 11, 2013
at 02:28 PM

Very interesting dude, thanks for the info on bicarbonate.

4
89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

on March 09, 2013
at 02:14 AM

Its been on my list to look into for a while ( i was especiallly interested in it when i flirted with vegetarianism )

As much as i like my meat.. i cant ever see me eating it raw...blechh

a little blurb for the ladies

"While creatine supplementation is well researched (something many other sports supplements lack), about only one third of human studies involved female subjects. But it???s what those female studies are finding that warrants women cast another look at the creatine jug. What the research revealed was: creatine benefits are greater in women than in men; and unlike men, women do not gain weight from creatine supplementation even when loading (See ???Loading: is it necessary????).

see more here- http://www.oxygenmag.com/Nutrition/Articles/Is-Creatine-Right-For-You.aspx

89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

(2097)

on March 09, 2013
at 02:53 AM

yeah i just might..:) thanks for reminding me

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 09, 2013
at 02:37 AM

Well maybe this will give you the push you need to go out and buy a bottle, +1.

3
7d46edca72c2f8347f65d7b734d1f1eb

on March 09, 2013
at 02:36 PM

I take it and get great benefits from it in body comp and workouts. I have spent a lot of time with 'Dr. Google' reading up on creatine and it seems that all the negative consequences people seem to blindly toss out do not have any validation while the benefits have extensive documentation and studies to substantiate the benefits. I know Robb Wolf has talked about it a few times in his podcast and he is a fan, but he also points out that some folks seem to be responders while others do not. I think he is referencing body comp and perforence benefits there thought if I recall correctly and not necessarily the other health benefits other posters and the original question pointed out here.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 11, 2013
at 01:22 PM

Loading phase is unnecessary.

7d46edca72c2f8347f65d7b734d1f1eb

on March 10, 2013
at 11:57 AM

I do 7G a day. I've tried loading in the past and never saw a difference so I just take it post workout.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 10, 2013
at 12:01 AM

I've been doing a short loading phase 15-20g / day for a little under a week, should be toning it down to 5g a day relatively soon. How much creatine do you take?

2
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 09, 2013
at 10:37 AM

Stephen, I don't really know but I will share my n=1 (I can't believe I am writing this! I hate n=1)

I have always loved Lebanese cuisine, but when I found out they eat raw lamb (kibbi neya), I was completely grossed out. I thought that nobody in the right mind would try eating raw meat. Then I tried sashimi and LOVED IT!!! Later I found out that raw meat is a delicacy and is known to many different cultures.

Basically, I try to eat most vegetables/fruits raw, because I get really drowsy if they are cooked. But some foods I have to cook (not my choice) because otherwise I might get food poisoning. Fish and meat are some of them.

I make sure my meat is rare, very very rare and my fish is not overcooked.

I feel so much better after eating raw meat. I cannot even eat cooked meats now - only if they are covered in bone broth or served with gelatin.

I cannot understand the mechanics of it. Creatine? Taurine?

My guess is sometimes, when people would go hunting and gathering, they would eat some of their meat raw. Raw eggs, raw liver, for example. They did it for millions and millions of years. But when they brought their trophy home, they would cook it - the whole animal - with ears and head and all. Sometimes they would even leave the fur on.

So... I guess our digestive tracts are well-adapted to raw meats on occasions. The only thing our digestive tracks cannot handle are sugar and processed foods. Although, in one million years, who knows...

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 10, 2013
at 12:07 AM

Thanks for sharing your n=1. I've tried eating raw meat with good results but I'm just soo phobic that I'm going to get some sort of parasite or something since I don't have a clean source of meat.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 04:57 AM

Same with me. I am afraid I will pick up some parasite on top of my SIBO.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 11, 2013
at 11:58 AM

Pretty sure our digestive tracts are pretty okay with sugar...

2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

(1533)

on March 16, 2013
at 03:27 PM

and even just regular old grain fed turkeys/chickesn which I would caution against raw or not because they are even more noticeably imflammatory, I believe that's the fat content and their diet profile. also, there is such a way to prepare meat, quality fresh meat, by aging it, so that the beneficial enzymes and probiotics are intact, this may be of help to someone with SIBO. I know that eliminating most carbs, and fibers and eating some fermented meats has totally changed my digestion. I am extremely regular, go with ease and have no bloating, NONE, first time in my life:)!

2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

(1533)

on March 16, 2013
at 03:22 PM

upvote for raw meats! I just finished a breakfast of raw ground lamb meats, liver and hearts, best quality food around, and marketed as organic grass fed pet food no less, contains large amounts of a full range of amino acids, vitamins and minerals, extremely easy to digest and absorb. I have not picked up any parasites in the five years I have been eating raw meats, organs and egg yolks. I did get sick once, it was pretty much bad gas from eating meat from a vendor I knew better to have purchased from. I have eaten raw wild game meat hot from the animal, quality grass fed/pastured beefs

1
2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

on March 16, 2013
at 03:08 AM

instead of supplementing our diets because we are eating a less then optimal food source when we choose to cook out meats, would it not make sense to eat meat raw? seriously consider it. raw meat is the most nutritious, easy to digest, natural and healthful foods we have. eating the whole animal is a good way to insure pretty complete nutrition, all of the organs, the marrow, and other tissues beside muscle meat contain a variety and variable amounts of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fats, and in their raw state they are perfectly digestible and absorbable. i honestly don't know why more people haven't caught on. perhaps they are afraid of getting ill. if you buy from reputable farmers, who grow happy healthy animals on good pasture or are lucky enough to eat healthy wild life that you can butcher yourselef you should have no fear of sickness. five years and counting, i have only been sick once, and i knew better eating from the source i did, and it wasn't horrible, just a bad case of the toots.

2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

(1533)

on March 17, 2013
at 02:21 AM

you guys suck at being cavemens. ill take my bounty plez

1
8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on March 14, 2013
at 11:39 PM

Here's my take..

It is in my understanding that we as humans create our own creatine (within our liver and kidneys). Thus, looking solely at that fact could lead some people to believe we don't need to ingest exogenous creatine. This is the same logic that leads mainstream "health experts" and bodybuilders to believe that we don't need to consume gelatin/collagen, because we make our own glycine and proline.

I'm sure us folks at Paleo Hacks are aware of Dr. Weston A. Price and Ray Peat, both of whom tout the many benefits of increased proline/glycine consumption via gelatin.

http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/gelatin.shtml

http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/why-broth-is-beautiful

Improved joint health and digestion, increased longevity, reversal of diseases.. all from the consumption of amino acids we already produce!!!

Up until the past few decades, Americans included more collagenous food in their diet (think whole chicken vs. 99% fat-free, skinless chicken breasts). This phenomena, along with the popularity of eating low-fat, PUFAs, and so on, really explain a the appearance of different diseases and health issues in this nation. Paleo-man sure got a fair amount of collagen in his diet.

On the other side of the coin, let's look at vitamin c, AKA ascorbic acid. We as humans are one of the very very few species that do NOT produce our own ascorbic acid. It could be pretty easy to assume that we need a LOT of vitamin c in our diet, especially when we find out that an adult goat produces up to 13g of vitamin c per day.

BUT, when you take a closer look at the whole situation, we find as that, as humans, we essentially "recycle" used-up vitamin c. This probably explains why eating paleo doesn't necessarily give us boat-loads of vitamin c, but at least well-beyond the RDA of 90mg.

The two areas that have fruits ultra-rich in vitamin c weren't populated by humans until the end the paleolithic era: Australia (kakadu plum) in 50,000 BC and Central America (acerola cherries) in 12,000 BC. This is my reference.

So, paleo-man survived (and perhaps lived optimally) with limited vitamin c, yet we're bombarded with studies that show how a couple thousand milligrams can do this and that for us.

So, in the end, we really need a researcher who can take the approach that Ray Peat and Price did, and really look at if humans of the past consumed creatine via undercooked/rare meat, and what are the possible life-extending, universally-wholesome properties of increased creatine levels, if there are any. It's those two questions that have helped us identify the historical and evolutionary significance of vitamin c and collagen in our diets.

In the meantime, as more research and analysis is performed, the significance of exogenous creatine will become more apparent. Until then, we'll be left with anecdotal accounts of creatine usage.

I hope my post shed some light on this.

6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on March 15, 2013
at 12:10 AM

Is it really a given that paleo man evolved with low dietary vit c? Why couldn't humans, or a recent ancestor, have been eating something (leaves?) high in vit c for the majority of the paleolithic and before? Isn't this the usual explanation for why our ability to synthesize it was lost in evolution?

8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on March 15, 2013
at 12:23 AM

It isn't a given, but there isn't need to consume large amounts of vitamin c as we use vitamin c much more efficiently, as said in my post. Go to the link in which I refer to humans "recycling" vitamin c.

1
5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on March 11, 2013
at 02:23 PM

Good question, also something I've been considering for awhile. I understand that further to the benefits you cite, creatine can also be used as a protective measure against neuro degenerative diseases.

I'm in the process of leaning out (would like to go from 18% BF down to 10%) and am interested in whether this would help or hinder that process, as I'm seeing some conflicting evidence via the google.

I'm planning on doing 5g daily for two weeks every two months as soon as my next blood panel comes back clean on kidneys. I want a good before measure, and also want to make sure they can handle it as I have had issues with gout previously.

1
9adbf19e76ac38da796f29302c4be90a

on March 09, 2013
at 04:07 PM

Depends on how dogmatic you are with paleo. Since creatine supps are made on a factory production line somewhere that is not very paleo to eat. Based on this criteria fish oil, prescription meds and more aren't paleo either so I don't adhere to that view.

I use it myself because I powerlift and creatine works like a champ for muscle mass growth which correlates to bigger lifts.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 09, 2013
at 11:59 PM

Interesting, out of curiosity, do you take any other supplements for powerlifting, and how much creatine do you take?

-2
1d0687585913b77fb1016976a649d005

on March 11, 2013
at 03:09 PM

Yup, all the strongest cave men took creatine. Careful out there.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on March 12, 2013
at 06:24 PM

funny, this is probably a legit argument. The strongest cavemen probably ate their share of raw meat which is a natural source of creatine. In our modern world where raw meat is not always safe to consume, we must use supplements to try to match sources of nutrients our ancestors relied on. Not exactly what you were so flippantly suggesting, but still... Thanks for playing!

E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on March 15, 2013
at 11:51 PM

Yes they did when they ate meat rare or uncooked. Be careful indeed.

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