Creatine supplements are popular among bodybuilders and competitive athletes. Creatine increases lean muscle mass by boosting intracellular water content, but other studies have shown that creatine increases the activity of satellite cells, which increases the potential for growth of muscle fibers and also aids in muscle recuperation.

Recent research shows that creatine supplementation can also have a beneficial effect on cognitive performance. This is probably because creatine monohydrate supplementation results in significant increases in creatine concentrations in the human brain.

Subjects were divided into a creatine group and a placebo group. They took 5 grams of creatine monohydrate or a placebo four times a day for seven days, immediately prior to the experiment. The subjects were sleep-deprived for six, 12, and 24 hours with intermittent exercise. 

The researchers found that at 24 hours, the group that supplemented with creatine had significantly better performance in respect to random movement generation, choice reaction time, balance, and mood state.

The study indicated that creatine can aid in the mental functions of bodybuilders who may be sleep deprived and that creatine not only aids muscles, but it may also overcome brain fatigue.

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For bodybuilders who want to pack on size, two supplements have been clinically proven to increase muscle mass and strength: whey protein and creatine. In a 10-week, single-blind, randomized study, 17 resistancetrained males were matched for strength and placed in one of two groups: (1) a group that consumed a supplement containing protein, creatine, and glucose immediately before and after a workout or (2) a group that consumed the same supplement in the morning before breakfast and late evening each training day. 

Findings indicate that after 10 weeks of training, supplementation before and after each workout resulted in significantly greater improvements in strength and lean body mass with a decrease in body fat percentage compared with those who took a supplement in the morning and late evening.

The authors concluded a whey protein/ creatine/carbohydrate supplement may enhance the desired changes from strength training, when taken immediately before and after a workout session. – FLEX