You may have heard Professor Andrew Huberman mention creatine on one of his podcasts or interviews.
Creatine is one of the best bang-for-buck supplements out there.
It is also one of the most widely researched supplements for safety and a variety of physical and mental benefits.
Today, we will take a deep dive into Andrew Huberman’s creatine recommendations, why he takes creatine, and his personal creatine protocol.
What Is Creatine?
Creatine is a natural substance made in the body and found in foods like meat and fish.
It helps your muscles produce energy, especially during short, intense activities like sprinting or weightlifting.
People often take creatine supplements to improve athletic performance.
In simple terms, creatine helps replenish the energy source in your cells, making it easier for you to perform high-intensity, short-duration activities.
Some studies also suggest that creatine could have benefits in cognitive functions and mental health wellness.
The usual dose is about 3 to 5 grams per day, and it’s generally considered safe for most people.
However, it can cause water retention and, in rare cases, may upset your stomach or affect your kidneys.
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine turns into something called phosphocreatine in your muscles.
This helps quickly make ATP, the energy your muscles use.
Having more phosphocreatine means you can make ATP faster, giving you extra energy for quick, intense activities like weightlifting or sprinting.
In simpler terms, taking creatine helps you have more ‘quick energy,’ so you can lift more weights or sprint faster.
|Creatine||A substance your body uses to make quick energy for your muscles.|
|Phosphocreatine||What creatine turns into; helps make ATP quickly.|
|ATP||The energy currency for your cells, especially muscles.|
|Creatine Kinase||The enzyme that helps turn creatine into phosphocreatine.|
Creatine offers a variety of advantages that extend beyond athletic performance to include cognitive and potential long-term health benefits.
Here’s a rundown based on the latest scientific evidence.
Creatine supplementation is widely known for its role in enhancing muscle performance.
It increases the creatine content within muscles, which in turn supports the generation of ATP, our body’s primary energy source.
This is especially beneficial for high-intensity, short-duration activities like sprinting or weightlifting.
Studies have shown improvements in power output ranging from 1% to 20% in such activities.
Hydration and Mass Increase
Creatine has a unique ability to improve cellular hydration.
It draws water into muscle cells, which not only supports muscle function but can also increase muscle size.
Over time, this water influx may also contribute to muscle growth by supporting protein synthesis.
Reducing fatigue is vital for athletes and anyone involved in prolonged physical activities.
Various studies have demonstrated that creatine plays a significant role in reducing the onset of fatigue.
This likely occurs due to improved ATP production, giving your muscles more energy to work with during strenuous exercise.
Creatine isn’t just beneficial for physical performance; it has also shown promise in enhancing cognitive functions.
The brain, like muscles, requires substantial energy to operate efficiently.
Creatine is an energy source for neurons, particularly those involved in tasks requiring focus and quick thinking.
Bone Mineral Density
Preliminary research suggests that creatine might have a beneficial impact on bone mineral density.
While more research is needed, early findings indicate a positive correlation between creatine supplementation and improved bone health.
This could be due to its effects on muscle mass and function or direct effects on bone cells.
Potential Neurodegenerative Disease Benefits
While not a cure or preventive measure for conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, some studies suggest that creatine may offer some benefits.
These benefits likely stem from its role in cellular energy metabolism, which is crucial for the function of neurons.
Andrew Huberman Creatine Recommendation
Huberman has noted that creatine has a number of important functions throughout the body and brain.
It’s popular in the fitness world because it can draw more water into muscles and increase power output, enhancing physical performance.
However, creatine also has interesting effects on mood.
Some supplements are superior for their physical & mental health effects, cost-to-benefit ratio and accessibility. Creatine is at/near the top of the list. @DrAndyGalpin describes why on the Huberman Lab Podcast. Full episode at https://t.co/TphgkoRrWQ #Biology pic.twitter.com/o5GePE61BE— Andrew D. Huberman, Ph.D. (@hubermanlab) April 4, 2022
It’s been shown to improve the symptoms of major depression and can potentially enhance the effects of antidepressant medication.
That being said, creatine isn’t right for everyone.
It’s been reported to promote hair loss in some individuals and increase mania in people who are already manic.
Huberman Creatine Dosage
In regards to creatine dosing, Huberman has said he personally takes 5g of creatine each day.
He mentioned that in the past, he followed the protocol of a creatine loading phase, where you take up to 25g per day for roughly a week before dropping the dosage back down to 10 to 15g daily.
During this time, Huberman said he took creatine with fruit juice to aid in the transportation of creatine into the muscles.
This protocol was particularly geared toward bodybuilding.
|Loading Phase||20 grams, divided into 4 servings||5-7 days||Divided into 4 servings of 5g each; helps to saturate muscles quickly|
|*Maintenance Phase (Huberman Recommended)||3-5 grams||Long-term (months)||Daily dose to maintain saturation; individual needs may vary|
|Special Considerations (Elderly, Athletes)||2-10 grams||As advised||May require more or less based on activity level and medical condition; consult physician if kidney problems|
However, he no longer follows this protocol and now takes 5g of creatine daily.
Huberman Creatine Timing
Huberman takes creatine either in the morning or prior to a workout.
One of Huberman’s guests on the podcast, Dr. Andy Galpin, said the following regarding creatine.
“The timing doesn’t matter. Totally irrelevant. Take it in the morning, breakfast, take it at night, take it anytime you want.”Dr. Andy Galpin
Does Huberman take creatine?
Yes, Andrew Huberman has said he takes 5g of creatine daily for both physical and mental benefits.
What supplement brand does Huberman use?
Huberman has not mentioned a specific brand on the podcast but is affiliated with Momentous, which provides high-quality supplements.
Should I take creatine every day?
Yes, creatine is most effective when taken every day.
Be sure to consult your healthcare professional first to determine whether it’s safe to supplement creatine.