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Seeking Insight on Creatine vis-a-vis Longevity & Overall Well-Being

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 13, 2011 at 9:41 PM

My title pretty much nails what I'm looking for.

I'm already pretty tuned in to how creatine is generally used in athletic circles, particularly in strength training. So I'm not specifically looking for commentary on that angle, which is easy to find online.

Rather, I'm more interested in informed opinion and/or evidence about the possible role of creatine (monohydrate) in terms of promoting healthy longevity, and as an "anti-aging" agent, to the extent of minimizing and/or reversing various syndromes associated with advancing years.

For instance, there are a few studies indicatin creatine boosts long-term memory, and can help with Parkinson???s Disease. And studies suggesting it can improve brain function and may help with inflammation.

Both my diet and exercise approach are Paleo, and I'm aware that creatine isn't Paleo. I take supplements if and when I am convinced doing so serves my overall well-being, as opposed to whether it meets some Paleo litmus.

With that in mind I welcome perspective as to whether to include creating monohydrate in my diet. If yes, in the same time frame (window) as exercise? (I do 2-3 strength training sessions per week, using basic bodyweight exercises, and free weight squats; however, I am not looking to lift heavy or build big muscles these days, hence I'm not oriented toward the usual workout-oriented creatine + BCAA post-post workout approach. Also, I run 4-5 times per week: two sessions being HITT, three sessions being slow and low-stress, frankly a mix of walking and running.)

What I'm asking pertains more to whether to put some creatine in a bottle with water and shake it up and drink it, for general protective value, including: neuro-protective. And if so, is any of the thinking vis-a-vis "loading phase" relevant to any such use?

Just so I'm clear: when I toss out "healthy longevity" and "extending healthy longevity" I'm speaking in the broad sense of wanting to continue eating, moving, playing, resting, working, and relating with other life forms, in a full-capacity manner (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) for lots of birthdays. Or, to put it in terms favored by a variety of longevity researchers: I'm interested in compressing my mortality. ("Live Long, Drop Dead" ??? Mark Sisson.)

In light of this goal: What role, if any, might creatine monohydrate play in my life, on a daily (or perhaps weekly basis, assuming not necessarily every day) basis.

Thanks in advance for your views.

Keith

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on September 14, 2011
at 12:28 AM

If you mix your monohydrate with warm water and allow it to fully dissolve (so the water is totally clear again before you drink it) you can eliminate almost all the bloating and GI issues that people think are inherent with creatine supplementation. I agree it is a natural "paleo" thing to use, not to mention there is a tonne of research on the benefits for many purposes (both medical and strength-based).

Medium avatar

(8239)

on September 13, 2011
at 11:18 PM

Thanks for your suggestions. I get your idea about upping insulinenic foods to maximize the effect, but overall my thinking these days is to keep insulin levels on the low side, for the overall longevity value of doing so. Increasingly, one becomes aware of the various tradeoffs in various health/fitness practices. If I still wanted to build muscle the way I once did, I would want to mobilize insulin activity in those post-workout 4:1 carb:protein shakes. Instead, I like the way I feel consuming fewer calories (though by no means a CR diet), so I opt for lighter strength training. Choices!

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2 Answers

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Medium avatar

(19469)

on September 13, 2011
at 10:58 PM

It seems like you might be on to something! Although, I disagree with the statement that "creatine isn't paleo". If something is found in large quantities in red meat, it's "paleo" in my book!

Since you are not interested in creatine supplementation for strength purposes, you could try the protocol created by Dr. Eric Serrano, but with the elimination of a loading phase. This would look like 3 weeks of .15g creatine per kg of bodyweight and 1 week off (repeated as often as desired.)

I have personally had much better results with "micronized" creatine monohydrate and find that it mixes much better and there are far less GI disturbances.

It has also been found that insulin can enhance muscle creatine accumulation, so you could pair it with high starch or insuligenic foods (potatoes, whey protein, etc.) to maximize it's effect.

Since it looks like you get a good bit of cardio every week, I would also advise that you increase your fluid/electrolyte intake to avoid any issues regarding cramping.

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on September 14, 2011
at 12:28 AM

If you mix your monohydrate with warm water and allow it to fully dissolve (so the water is totally clear again before you drink it) you can eliminate almost all the bloating and GI issues that people think are inherent with creatine supplementation. I agree it is a natural "paleo" thing to use, not to mention there is a tonne of research on the benefits for many purposes (both medical and strength-based).

Medium avatar

(8239)

on September 13, 2011
at 11:18 PM

Thanks for your suggestions. I get your idea about upping insulinenic foods to maximize the effect, but overall my thinking these days is to keep insulin levels on the low side, for the overall longevity value of doing so. Increasingly, one becomes aware of the various tradeoffs in various health/fitness practices. If I still wanted to build muscle the way I once did, I would want to mobilize insulin activity in those post-workout 4:1 carb:protein shakes. Instead, I like the way I feel consuming fewer calories (though by no means a CR diet), so I opt for lighter strength training. Choices!

1
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on September 13, 2011
at 09:49 PM

If you eat enough meat(~1lb/day) you should get all the creatine you need. Personally I don't currently have the cash to do that so I supplement with creatine(sources that use creapure are the best imo) for the athletic and cognitive benefits and think pretty much everyone probably should if they don't obtain enough thru dietary sources.

I mix it with water and eat it with either my PWO meal or the meal after that.

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