What does Creatine do for you?

Creatineis an organic acid (occurs naturally in vertebrates) that supplies energy to all cells in the body -primarily muscle- by increasing the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Fish and meats are great sources of creatine, yetcreatine can also be made in the laboratory so you can avoid overeating meat -and therefore avoid those possible side-effects-. Interestingly, today, creatine content (as a percentage of crude protein) can be used as an indicator of meat quality.

Creatine use is widespread among athletes and gym enthusiasts, since it increases the body’s ability to produce energy rapidly, being particularly effective in high-intensity training and explosive activities, such as weight training, sprinting, and sports that require short but intense bursts of effort. With more energy, you will train harder, and this is why creatine is typically related to weight gain. Not in fat, but muscle. Creatine is an osmotically active substance, which means that it pulls water into your muscle cells, which increases protein synthesis.

In addition to improving athletic performance, creatine is used experimentallyfor congestive heart failure (CHF), depression, bipolar disorder, and Parkinson’s disease . Since the lack of creatine in the brain results in mental retardation, seizures, autism and movement disorders , researchers are currently studying the cognitive benefits involved in creatine use.

So far, creatine has been found to be neuroprotective in vitro against anoxic/hypoxic damage . Dietary creatine supplementation has been associated with improved symptoms in neurological disorders defined by impaired neural energy provision. In this study (idem), fifteen healthy adults were supplemented with creatine and placebo treatments for 7 days, which increased brain creatine on average by 9.2%. A hypoxic gas mixture (10% oxygen) was administered for 90 min, causing global oxygen deficit and impairing a range of neuropsychological processes. Hypoxia-induced decrements in cognitive performance, specifically attentional capacity, were restored when participants were creatine supplemented, and corticomotor excitability increased. A neuromodulatory effect of creatine via increased energy availability is presumed to be a contributing factor of the restoration, perhaps by supporting the maintenance of appropriate neuronal membrane potentials. Dietary creatine monohydrate supplementation augments neural creatine, increases corticomotor excitability, and prevents the decline in attention that occurs during severe oxygen deficit. This is the first demonstration on humans of creatine’s utility as a neuroprotective supplement when cellular energy provision is compromised , although related

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24190049
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25192512
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25632150?log$=activity
4. Extracted from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25632150?log$=activity

evidence from animal studies has already supported a fetal neuroprotective role for creatine when administered to the mother during pregnancy .

Creatine has been reported -anecdotally- to have a subtle, but noticeable stimulatory effect on alertness without the anxiety or nervousness that some stimulants seem to produce as a side-effect to its users. Since the energy is basically in your “body”, your mind remains calm yet alert. This mental state has attracted different athletic and non-athletic nootropic users that find creatine an interesting stimulant alternative.

Nevertheless, there are certain(controversial) reports of kidney damage with creatine use, such as interstitial nephritis. Thus, patients with kidney disease should avoid use of this supplement. In 2004, however, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a record which stated that oral long-term intake of 3g pure creatine per day is risk-free. In contrast, extensive research has shown that oral creatine supplementation at a rate of five to 20 grams per day appears to be very safe and largely devoid of adverse side-effects , and those negative reports just apply to people with pre-existent kidney disease.

When Stimulants Are Bad?

Also referred as psychostimulants, stimulants are psychoactive drugs that result in temporary improvements in mental and/or physical performance. Thus, these compounds produce a variety of different kinds of desirable effects by enhancing the activity of the central and peripheral nervous systems: enhanced alertness and awareness, wakefulness, endurance, productivity, increased arousal and motivation, and a diminished perception of food and sleep needs. Also, many stimulants have also certain properties that can improve mood and relieve anxiety , eventually inducing feelings of euphoria at moderate clinical doses. Too good to be true?

Indeed. Many stimulants are also capable of causing anxiety, dysthymia, hyperactivity and, potentially, heart failure at high doses since they rise blood pressure and locomotion. But these short-term problems are not the most serious ones (since they require a considerable amount of recklessness): addictionto stimulants can quickly lead to medical, psychiatric, and psychosocial deterioration . Unfortunately, its abuse its common and easy to develop. Drug dependence, tolerance and sensitization, as well as withdrawal symptoms, are the other side of the coin. Every addict has said at some point: “I can manage it”, but the brain does not work exclusively consciously.

Being addicted to stimulants might cause your body to reduce dramatically its production of natural neurotransmitters that fulfill similar functions,the most prominent of which include facilitation of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and/or dopamine activity, adenosine receptor antagonism, and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonism. Thus, until your body reestablishes its normal state (if it does, since there is some studies that suggest that among chronic users the damage might be permanent), you may feel depressed, lethargic, and with a detrimental brain fog . Among certain users, also psychosis has been reported . This is what users call a “crash”, unpleasant state that can provoke a reuse of the compound, which efficacy tend to decrease over time, leaving the user with an imbalanced account of benefits and side-effects .

Typically, stimulants are divided in three differentiated groups according to their effects: ampakines, eugeroics, and ADHD drugs.


1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24790000
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26070753
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26070754
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25601645
5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26070758

Ampakinesinteract strongly with glutamatergic AMPA receptors, enhancingattention span and alertness, and facilitatinglearning and memory. The main advantage of ampakines over the “traditional stimulants” (such amphetamines) is that they lack direct dopaminergic action, so they increase alertness without the peripheral effects of addiction and tolerance .

On the other hand, the main disadvantage of ampakines is that they seem to reduce the quality of sleep (and therefore, affecting memory in the long-term run). While these type of drugs can help reducing the effects of sleep deprivation in the short-term, they impact especiallyslow-wave recovery sleep, which is essential for an adequate cognitive function (idem).


Eugeroics arewakefulness-promoting agentsthatdecrease tiredness, drowsiness, and diminishes the perception of sleep needs by increasing catecholaminergic (adrenergic, dopaminergic) and histaminergic activity in the brain. They are frequently usedfor sleeping disorders, such as excessive daytime sleepiness or narcolepsy, enhancingmotivation and productivity in a short-term basis . The main advantage of eugeroics is that they do not typically produce the “crash” state associated to other stimulants. Unfortunately, developing tolerance is a frequent complaint when using eugeroics, even though they are relatively non-addictive and non-dependence-forming.

ADHD drugs

The stimulant drugs usually prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are generally effective and safe in the short term. Most children and teenagers—up to 60-80 percent—who take them decrease their hyperactivity and impulsivity, get better at focusing and concentrating, and hence experiment more success at school. However, the main disadvantage about ADHD drugs is there is no good evidence showing those benefits last for longer than two years , and even though adultswith ADHD also appear to benefit from taking medication, far fewer studies have examined the effectiveness& safety of the medicines in adult men and women . For a more comprehensive review of ADHD drugs, please refer to this article.

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16890999
7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20358418
8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25617040
9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23216449

In conclusion, while the therapeutic use of stimulants is rather approved and even advertised by doctors in the case of determined conditions such as ADHD and narcolepsy, further research is needed to confirm if these benefits can be applied to healthy adults as well. There are some recent studies that show their efficacy and relative safety in the short term , yet its use in the long-term is rather a mystery. Like many other compounds (but specially in this case, since its prevalent abuse potential), moderation is urged.

Find the Best Brain Vitamins for Women

Vitamins for women

One of the biggest worry for anyone as they get older has to do with memory loss and the ability to concentrate well. This seems particularly troubling for many women and the fear of developing memory loss disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease can loom large over you as it becomes more frequent in today’s world. There are things you can do for yourself to help make it better for you, including using certain vitamins and brain boosters that can help to enhance your memory and keep your brain sharp so that you can focus and concentrate well more of the time.

While many women may automatically want to consider the use of prescription medications as the best alternative, prescription medications can be very expensive for you and they can have harsh side effects that you may not want to deal with all of the time. Also, many prescriptions only work well for a short period of time before their effectiveness starts to wane as your body gets used to them. This is what makes memory supplements and vitamins a much better option for you. There are a number of ingredients that you can look for in supplements that have proven to be very effective in helping to enhance your memory ability and keep you feeling mentally sharp.

You want to look for supplements that make use of ingredients such as ginkgo biloba, which is known to help increase the blood flow to the brain and has been very often used to help fight dementia. Huperzine A also works in very similar fashion to many of the drugs currently being used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. It is derived from Chinese moss and helps to support greater levels of focus and cognition. Acetyl L-carnitine is another ingredient to look for as it has shown to be very effective in helping to curtail memory problems. There are also a number of vitamins you may want to consider, including vitamins B6, B12 and B3 and vitamin E, all of which are known to help enhance energy levels, neurotransmitters and help improve mental acuity. It is a good idea for you to keep all of these ingredients in mind as you look at the different products available to you and consider all of your options.

When you are in the market for the best vitamins and supplements to help you with your brain power, you want to consider all of your best options before making a decision. You should use a website like Smart Pill Guide where you can do a complete comparison of products and read reviews written so that you can be sure to find the product that suits your needs the best. This will make it much easier for you to choose the best brain vitamin for women and the one that can give you the most renewed energy levels, better brain function, better memory and higher levels of concentration.

Natural Solutions Available for Anti Anxiety Medication

Anxiety Medicine

As society is become more and more fast-paced and people are more driven than ever when it comes to trying to get as much done as possible in a single day, it is no wonder that so many people are dealing with issues of anxiety today. If you put on top of all of that experience the pressures of trying to succeed in society, pay bills, stay healthy and everything else that comes along for people today, it seems to only make sense that people want to find the best ways to deal with anxiety. There are options available to you for anxiety medicine and you want to explore your best options before making a final decision.

For people suffering from severe cases of anxiety and want to take antianxiety medication, doctors and physicians are more than willing to provide you with a prescription option if that is what you seek. The problem with prescription medication is that a great deal of it makes use of harsh chemical compounds and synthetic substances that can cause dangerous and damaging side effects to you when you take the medication for any type of sustained time period. More people today are trying to stay away from medications of this nature that can cause other problems, leading many to seek out supplements and vitamins for anxiety as a much more natural approach to treatment.

You can find that there are several choices for you when it comes to selecting natural supplements to use to help ease your anxiety. These supplements make use of herbs, plant extracts, essential oils, powders and other natural substances combined together to help provide you with the ease in mood and tension that you may experience so that you can have a much calmer approach to life and be able to think more clearly so that you can make appropriate decisions. These natural options also provide few if any side effects so that you will be able to take the supplements without fear of what they may be doing to you and your body. Many people who choose a natural supplement to help treat their anxiety find that with a regular dosage they are able to feel much better and cope more with their particular situation on a daily basis.

Before you take any type of natural supplement to help with anxiety, you should discuss your options with your physician to make sure that the antianxiety medication you choose is right and safe for you. You should then do homework on your own and explore the options available to you at Smart Pill Guide. This website can provide you with information regarding the top supplements available today to help not just with improving your brain power but in easing your anxiety and providing you with the vitamins and supplements for anxiety that can make you feel better each and every day.

12 Things You Didn’t Know You Do That Kills Your Brain Cells (part 3)

Continued from Part 2

(Note: This is a 3-Part article. If you’ve missed any of the previous part, click here for Part 1, and click here for Part 2.)

9. Mercury Toxicity. Today, with everyone trying to become healthy and lean, you should take note that our diets can kill us. I know that getting enough protein is important and that chicken breast and roast beef can get quite boring, so you might delve into fish. Watch those cans of tuna! As a general rule, only eat two to three cans of tuna per week (yes, it’s that low).

10. Aspartame. On that same topic of losing weight, many people are seemingly now switching to zero calorie solutions when it comes to drinks and sweets! Unbeknownst to most, aspartame will kill you. You not only risk your health, but aspartame kills brain cells, and may, in some cases, can cause cancer. A big no-no, guy.

11. Lack of Sleep. Unless you absolutely need to, try not to sacrifice sleep for more work. Not getting enough sleep, aside from making you really cranky and unable to function the next day, also interferes with our abilities to learn and socialize. And yes, it also kill brain cells.

12. Food Additives. How do you know if your food has food additives? If the expiry date is longer than a month or two from now. Food additives contain neurotoxins, which not only slow down the processes of the brain, but also prevent any sort of cognitive development as well. Avoid it at all cost – that includes any and all processed food. Goodbye, bacon! (well, I guess once every now and then isn’t too bad).

12 Things You Didn’t Know You Do That Kills Your Brain Cells (part 2)

Continued from Part 1

Ouch. Even just reading that title kind of makes the hairs at the back of my neck stand up. On talks regarding the brain, we always tend to read more positive content – things that we can do to get a positive result. I’m sure you might have at one point, read “the top 10 foods to strengthen your brain,” “7 must-do’s to boost your memory,” or “the 4 best apps to boost your problem solving ability.”

We are constantly looking for ways to make our brain work better, but it seems like for the most part, not a lot of people know that there are some things that we do every day that are very bad for the brain.

In this case, perhaps the solution to a better, well-functioning brain may not have to necessarily lie in doing more, but maybe just in correcting the wrong things that we are already currently doing. The following is a list of twelve things that will kill your brain cells and will cause you mental problems. Avoid doing them!

(Note: This is a 3-Part article. If you’ve missed Part 1, click here.)

5. Dehydration. Dehydration doesn’t mean not being able to drink any sort of liquid over a few days. When you aren’t getting your recommended daily amount of water in a day (around a gallon of water), you are also affected by dehydration. Never mind the fact that water is essential for nearly all of the body’s processes, but the brain itself is 75% water – and not getting enough of it means your brain isn’t either.

6. Amphetamines. Yeah, that Adderall tablet that your friend may have slipped you right before the night of the exam – the same Adderall that you now take every day just to function at work – is killing you. You may think it’s great for the brain as you are able to focus for very long periods, but amphetamines can kill you. They are very addictive, cause a plethora of side effects, and they kill brain cells.

7. Lack of Exercise. Sure, not exercising doesn’t directly kill your brain cells in the same way everything else on this list does, but a lack of exercise does cause problems to the brain too, especially if you look at the opportunity cost of not exercising. You increase stress levels, as well as your chances for brain damage – on top of that, think about how the brain enhances your brain’s capacity and the other health benefits it brings!

8. Smoking Cigarettes. While we’re not here to give you a moral lesson on smoking, it’s true that smoking cigarettes is not only bad for your throat, lungs, and skin – it also takes a toll on your brain. Cigarettes contain toxic chemicals that not only kill brain cells, but even prevent the production of new ones. Ouch!

Continued in Part 3

12 Things You Didn’t Know You Do That Kills Your Brain Cells (part 1)

Whenever we discuss matters of the brain, it is almost always in a positive light. It’s always about “the top 10 foods to strengthen your brain,” “the 7 must-do’s to boost your memory,” or “the 4 best apps to boost your problem solving ability.” There are literally millions of facts and information on the internet on the things to do to promote a healthy brain and keep it functioning at its optimum – and we sure do love reading about that subject!

We are constantly looking for ways to make our brain work better – more effectively, more efficiently – but it seems like for the most part, information on the negative things that can affect our brain is not so widespread. A lot of the times, we are even borderline hypocritical as we may be actively trying to improve our memory and focus… while doing something completely counteractive for the brain like smoking.

Well, on that subject, we don’t necessarily have to keep doing more to keep our brains healthy and functioning at an optimum rate. Sometimes, the solution may not have to necessarily lie in doing more, or adding more things to our to-do list, but maybe just in correcting things that we are already currently doing that negatively affect the old noggin’. The following is a list of twelve things that will kill you brain cells and will cause you mental problems. Avoid doing them!

  1. Sniffing Paint. If you’ve ever sniffed a little paint back in your early years, you’d know that it can get you a little high for a very short while, but did you know that it can really severely inflict brain damage? In a study, it was shown that construction workers working around paint all their lives had impaired thinking abilities, and were significantly slower to react to stimuli. Not convinced yet? Sniffing enough fumes can also kill you.
  2. Being Constantly Stressed. Sure, from time to time, things can get a little out of hand – especially when you find that you have so much to do that you can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed. We all have our ways to try to cope and reduce stress, but if you aren’t handling it all too well, seek help. Cortisol, produced by stress, kills brain cells, and also does a big number on the body.
  3. Getting a Concussion. While we don’t really have much control of when we do get concussions, we need to learn and avoid situations where we are more at risk of getting them. This includes high-impact sports and maybe even riding on a bicycle or motorcycle – if you can’t stop, at least wear a heavily padded helmet!
  4. Binging on Alcohol. Yes, you’ve probably heard this way too often. While there are health benefits to drinking alcohol, the consensus is still binge-drinking, or drinking to achieve an altered state of mind (probably the reason you drink in the first place) is very bad for your brain. Drink in moderation. What is moderation? 1 glass of wine or 1 small bottle of beer a day. This means you can only drink to the point before you even start feeling slightly tipsy.
Continued in Part 2

Top 9 Foods in Your Kitchen Cabinet that Do Wonders for Your Brain (part 3)

Continued from Part 2

In current times, getting your brain the right nutrition it needs to function at an outstanding level could not be more easier! Aside from the many different ways out there – supplementing, exercising, learning new skills, and certain lifehacks – we believe the easiest way to start fortifying your brain and giving yourself the best cognitive advantage starts in the kitchen…

… and that’s exactly what we’re doing here. In this article, we’ve compiled a whole list of ‘brain foods’ that are not only great at giving your brain the much needed nutrition it needs to function at its absolute peak, but these foods are also common enough that you’re bound to find at least a couple in your kitchen! After finishing this article, go ahead and take a look. I’m sure you’ll be surprised.

By the way, this is a three-part article, so if you haven’t checked the other ones yet, you can do so by clicking the links here (Part 1) and here (Part 2). I’m sure you’ll find some useful information there, and even if you can just start consuming just one or two of the foods mentioned here, you’re already on your way to an optimally functioning brain.

7. Whole Eggs. You heard that right – whole eggs. Long gone are the time when people thought that eggs actually gave you really bad cholesterol. On the contrary, eggs not only give you good cholesterol, but is also actually a great source of choline, saturated fats, and vitamins. All of these work to boost your memory skills and also just keeping your brain in check by providing it with much-needed nourishment.

8. Alcohol. Let’s get this out of the way – yes, binge drinking on alcohol and drinking it to get into an altered state of mind (i.e. drunk) is definitely bad. However, alcohol in moderation is actually the total opposite! Research shows that drinking alcohol in moderation may actually protect the brain. And how much is moderation? One glass of wine or one small bottle of beer a day – definitely not enough to get you even slightly tipsy.

9. Berries. Sure, perhaps not everyone has easy access to berries in their supermarket or don’t find berries in their kitchen at all, but berries are vitamin-rich, and also contain antioxidants and other phytochemicals that have been shown to significantly increase thinking capabilities while also enhancing memory. What’s more, the ingredients in berries also do a great job at slowing down the aging of the brain!

So, how many in our list did you find in your kitchen cabinet? 🙂

Top 9 Foods in Your Kitchen Cabinet that Do Wonders for Your Brain (part 2)

Continued from Part 1

Getting the right foods for your brain definitely doesn’t need to be as complex as you think it should be. There are tons of ways to get your brain humming like a well-oiled engine simply by changing even just one or two of your eating habits, or by starting to eat even just a couple of the foods in this list.

What’s more though, you don’t even have to go far! All the foods and drinks here are very common and I bet that at least a couple of them may just be hidden away somewhere in your kitchen cabinet. If not though, they’re still common enough for you to be able to just pick up at your nearest convenience store.

If you haven’t read the first part of this 3-part article though, click here to check Part 1. We’ve got some cool info there as well!

4. Caffeine. There is literally over a thousand different products out there that contain caffeine. A can of coke? Yes. A cup of hot green tea? Yes. A good old cup of Joe? OBVIOUS YES! Did you know that caffeine not only wakes you up, but for a short time, actually really gives you a substantial surge of focus, alertness, and may even boost short-term memory? Just like chocolate, it also does wonders for your mood. Too bad its effects aren’t long-term though.

5. Chewing Gum. While chewing gum, much like coffee, doesn’t have any long-term effects on your brain, for the time that you are actually chewing the gum, your alertness, attention, and focus levels really goes up! In fact, did you know that baseball players chew gum just to help their reaction time and ability to hit the ball? Let’s not forget that chewing gum is also amazing if you are feeling a little sleepy. Oh, and on the other hand, it also gives you good breath. Just remember not to open a pack in front of your friends!

6. Water. What? Really? When’s the last time that you saw water on a list about food that does wonders for your brain? Okay, it’s not technically food, but then again, we put caffeine in here! And most sources of caffeine are liquid as well! Knowing the fact that your brain is made up of 75% water, it’s actually pretty essential. Your cells and your organs need water as a fundamental pillar just to function, so don’t forget to drink up! And if you aren’t convinced yet, research proves it too – those who stay well hydrated score significantly higher on test results.

Continued in Part 3

Top 9 Foods in Your Kitchen Cabinet that Do Wonders for Your Brain (part 1)

As opposed to what most people think, the topic of cognitive enhancement and brain hacking is not that complex at all. While the brain is indeed a very complicated lump of tissue between our ears, getting it to work at an optimal level is actually very, very simple. There are quite a number of things that you can do to achieve the next level in brain function, but the easiest thing to do – which you can start actioning right now – is to start eating foods that have positive effects on your brain.

Hold your horses there, mister! Don’t tune out just yet. You can still keep eating your double cheeseburger and jumbo fries – just hear me out…

Eating right is not just good for your physical health, but for your mental health as well. The brain needs nutrients just like every other part of your body, and surprisingly, you might find a lot of these ‘brain foods’ just littered around your very room.

  1. Wholegrain cereal. If you’ve ever tried getting into shape (or are currently trying!) and are actively pursuing a healthy lifestyle, you should probably already have wholegrain cereal somewhere in your kitchen. No, Corn Flakes or Fruit Loops do NOT count. Look into some wholegrain alternatives. Do the same for bread, pasta, and rice as well! Wholegrain cereal are great complex carbs, giving you a steady supply of energy, allowing you to focus and concentrate much better.
  2. Fish. Who doesn’t have cans of tuna lying around their house? Remember, the oiler the fish the better. Oily fish contain Omega-3 Fatty acids, which are great for nourishing the brain. It’s been shown that these fatty acids can aid in memory, help prevent age-related brain diseases, and even slows down the aging of the brain.
  3. Chocolate! Who doesn’t like chocolate? Who doesn’t have chocolate? Chocolate is one of the most common sweet snacks available in every convenience store. And in case you wanted to know, it’s actually been debunked that dark chocolate is better. Sweet or milk chocolate is good as well, but just make sure not to eat too much of it as it can really screw up your sugar levels. Chocolate generally makes you feel good, activating the pleasure centers in your brain, getting you more motivated to do work. But in addition, it also allows you to focus a lot better for a short period of time! Just make sure you don’t eat a whole box of snickers in one sitting!
Continued in Part 2