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“Grandma, what are you doing with my creatine?!” Yes, this blockbuster sports supplement used by men the world over to help increase strength and energy during workouts may now have a new generation of fans.
Benefits for Seniors
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reveals that creatine has tangible benefits for seniors. Scientists from Spain, Texas, and Colorado teamed up to investigate the effects of short-term creatine supplementation on women ages 60-80. Participants who took 0.3 gm of creatine per kilogram of body weight for seven days significantly improved their scores in the sit-stand test, which measures a person’s ability to sit or rise from a chair or walk down stairs.
Researcher Conrad Earnest, PhD, director of the Center for Human Performance and Nutrition Research at the Cooper Institute in Dallas says of creatine supplementation for those 60 and older, “It wouldn’t hurt.” He does caution, however, that supplementing with creatine would only be valuable to a certain segment of seniors. “The most profound effect would be for those maintaining some degree of activity in general,” explains Earnest. “If one remains sedentary, the effect is minimal.”
Other research shows that supplementing with creatine for one or two months can help active adults improve strength by 5-15 percent and increase lean body mass by 1-3 percent.
For those seeking a power and performance benefit, the generally prescribed dosage is 3-5 gm once or twice daily with at least 8-12 ounces of water or fruit juice. If you’re looking to increase your strength, especially if you are an active older adult or senior, check out the creatine section of a vitamin store.
Creatine May Help Alleviate Depression
Women battling major depression may have a surprising new ally in their fight with the muscle-building dietary supplement creatine. Researchers from the University of Utah report that women with major depressive disorder (MDD) who took their daily antidepressant along with 5 gm of creatine responded twice as fast and experienced remission of the illness at twice the rate of women who took their antidepressant alone. The study, published Aug. 3, 2012, in the American Journal of Psychiatry online, suggests that taking creatine could provide a relatively inexpensive way to assist women who haven’t responded well to antidepressants.
– – – – Clip-and-Save Tips for Creatine – – – –
• Compare the cost with the actual amount of creatine in the product—creatine levels can vary from 100 to 500 gm per container.
• Make sure the label says “pure creatine monohydrate.”
• Creatine can start to break down once it hits liquid, so consume any liquid products (including powder-water mixes) as soon as possible.
• Read the label: Many creatine products also contain HMB (for muscle tissue health and strength) and glutamine (for muscle cell maintenance and immune function).