Creatine for vegetarians and vegans

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Pat
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Creatine for vegetarians and vegans

Post by Pat » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:54 am

What do you all think about taking creatine? It's produced by the body, but vegetarians and vegans have lower levels because the only dietary sources are animal products. There are some studies that show it improves cognition in vegetarians, but medical studies like these seem to be pretty unreliable. Even with big RCTs, there have been contradictory findings regarding various supplements.

I bought some to try it out. It comes in powder form. You put a teaspoon in a glass of water or juice and chug it. The taste is unpleasant—chalky and bitter—but not gag-inducing. It's pretty cheap—a year's supply would be around $30. It might take a minute or so a day, which is six hours a year, which, at $15 an hour, is $90 or so. Is it worth it?

http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/creatine
http://examine.com/supplements/Creatine/#summary1-4
http://www.amazon.com/NOW-Foods-Creatin ... s=creatine

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RyanCarey
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Re: Creatine for vegetarians and vegans

Post by RyanCarey » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:49 am

I tried it for about a month. It took about a minute a day. I was strict vegetarian. There was no perceptible difference, although I wasn't seeking to measure it. I will probably finish the left over creatine in January. It's very hard to tell whether it is beneficial.
You can read my personal blog here: CareyRyan.com

LJM1979
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Re: Creatine for vegetarians and vegans

Post by LJM1979 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:30 pm

I tried it but had stomach problems and stopped.

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Daniel Dorado
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Re: Creatine for vegetarians and vegans

Post by Daniel Dorado » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:30 pm

I tried it, but I use to forget it. I take it from time to time.

I think there are more interesting supplements for vegans. Vitamin B-12 is mandatory, and another interesting supplements are DHA, vitamin D (in months without sunlight), zinc (in some countries), vitamin C...

LJM1979
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Re: Creatine for vegetarians and vegans

Post by LJM1979 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:17 pm

Daniel Dorado wrote:I tried it, but I use to forget it. I take it from time to time.

I think there are more interesting supplements for vegans. Vitamin B-12 is mandatory, and another interesting supplements are DHA, vitamin D (in months without sunlight), zinc (in some countries), vitamin C...
As you may know, there are now vegan forms of D3.
For example:
http://store.veganessentials.com/source ... p3509.aspx

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Pablo Stafforini
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Re: Creatine for vegetarians and vegans

Post by Pablo Stafforini » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:35 pm

I take ~5 g of creatine daily. My main reason for taking it is that it is part of Michael Rae's supplement regime, and on matters of nutrition and supplementation, I trust Rae's judgment more than anyone else's (including my own). Another, weaker reason, is that some folks, including Luke Muehlhauser and Jesper Östman, have mentioned studies indicating that creatine improves cognitive performance. However, I never bothered to read these studies myself, or to test with some degree of rigour whether my cognitive performance improved after I started taking this supplement.

Here are the supplements I take, in decreasing order of how strong my credence in their overall net benefits is:

Vitamin B12
Vitamin D
Zinc
Creatine

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Pablo Stafforini
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Re: Creatine for vegetarians and vegans

Post by Pablo Stafforini » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:02 pm

After writing the post above, I realized that I am no being very rational about which supplements I take or fail to take. So I decided to email Michael Rae. Here's the message I sent him:
Hi Michael,

I am an avid reader of your posts, which I've found to be incredibly
useful in designing my diet and supplement regime. However, I have a
very limited budget at the moment, and as a consequence I can afford
only a fraction of the supplements I was taking until recently. In
deciding which supplements to drop from my regime, having a list of
supplements ranked by importance (i.e., expected benefit to be
derived from taking a regular dose) would be of enormous value.

I know you are a busy person, and for this reason I'm offering you $50
to compensate you for creating such a ranked list. If you allow me to
post the list publicly, so that others can benefit from it, I'd pay
you another $50.

I see the irony in offering you money in exchange for information
which I need due to budget constraints. However, this only shows how
valuable this information would be to me.

Best wishes,

Pablo

PS: I understand that it might be difficult to come up with a strict
ranking of supplements: for certain pairs, you might be uncertain
about which one offers more expected benefits. In these cases, I
don't care which supplement is listed first; for my purposes, I'd be
more that satisfied if I could tell, for each supplement, whether it
is more or less important that most other supplements on the list.
If he writes back, I'll let you know.

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Daniel Dorado
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Re: Creatine for vegetarians and vegans

Post by Daniel Dorado » Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:20 pm

LJM1979 wrote:
Daniel Dorado wrote: As you may know, there are now vegan forms of D3.
For example:
http://store.veganessentials.com/source ... p3509.aspx
Yes, although I take D2 supplements in winter (800 mg daily). And I drink Alpro soya milk, fortified with vitamin D2 and another vitamins and minerals.

More info about D2 and D3: http://veganhealth.org/articles/bones#d2d3

Jesper Östman
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Re: Creatine for vegetarians and vegans

Post by Jesper Östman » Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:14 pm

Awesome that you mailed Rae! Not taking Omega3?

On creatine, cognitive enhancement can be powerful, so if it is cheap even a small chance of the gain might make it worthwhile. What I will do sooner or later is to find some good cognitive test - train it until there are negligible increases from training and then try with and without creatine for some periods.

1 min seems a lot, at least if you drink something else during the day. I either put it in my morning protein or my morning water, if I am not taking protein. Timed it and 10-20s extra time seems likely (in shaker or in water).
Last edited by Jesper Östman on Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

LJM1979
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Re: Creatine for vegetarians and vegans

Post by LJM1979 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:31 pm

Daniel Dorado wrote:
LJM1979 wrote:
Daniel Dorado wrote: As you may know, there are now vegan forms of D3.
For example:
http://store.veganessentials.com/source ... p3509.aspx
Yes, although I take D2 supplements in winter (800 mg daily). And I drink Alpro soya milk, fortified with vitamin D2 and another vitamins and minerals.

More info about D2 and D3: http://veganhealth.org/articles/bones#d2d3
Thanks; that's interesting info.

Pat
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Re: Creatine for vegetarians and vegans

Post by Pat » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:52 am

Jesper Östman wrote:Awesome that you mailed Rae!
Is this someone I should know about? What are his credentials? I skimmed his recommendations. Contra him, I take a multivitamin—it's easy. Maybe I'm slightly overdosing on some vitamins, but it seems that my body should be able to handle it. It's not megadoses or anything. He recommends CreaPure creatine (such as this), which isn't much more expensive than the stuff I linked to above.
On creatine, cognitive enhancement can be powerful, so if it is cheap even a small chance of the gain might make it worthwhile.
Good point. You could argue that there could be some subtle side effect that hasn't been detected yet, but that seems unlikely, since it's just increasing levels of something already in your body to around the level that meat eaters have. Also, I'm unconcerned about health outcomes that lie more than 30 or so years down the road, since it seems they'd be discounted into oblivion (though I haven't heard people argue about this, so my confidence is low).
1 min seems a lot, at least if you drink something else during the day.
This would depend on your situation to some degree. Here are the steps involved for me:

* grab a glass and a spoon
* take a pitcher of water out of the refrigerator and pour a cup of water
* unscrew the lid on the creatine container
* eyeball a "rounded teaspoon," decide it's too little or too much, and try it again
* dump the spoon into the glass and stir it (probably for too long)
* chug the glass of water
* put the water back in the refrigerator. Put the spoon and glass in the sink. Screw the lid back on the creatine container.
* [later] wash and rinse the glass and spoon by hand. When they're dry, put the glass in a cupboard and the spoon in a drawer.
* pee slightly more often
* buy some more creatine every now and then. Wait in line at the post office to pick it up.

I could cut down on some of these steps. I wasn't reusing the glass because I was afraid it would make the next glass of water taste funny, but I've gotten used to the taste. Also, I could be more careless with my dose, since it's just a shot in the dark anyway.

EDIT: I seriously cut down on the time I spend taking creatine. Now I just shovel it into my mouth and wash it down some water. Broscience says this is OK. I also reuse the spoon without cleaning it.
Last edited by Pat on Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pablo Stafforini
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Re: Creatine for vegetarians and vegans

Post by Pablo Stafforini » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:33 pm

Further to my previous message, Michael Rae kindly agreed to create a ranked list of supplements and also gave me permission to post it publicly, with the caveat that it has been optimized for me, "a non-egg-eating vegetarian, with excellent nutritional intake, but with no blood work to inform on functional nutritional status, and who is not on CR and has no health issues, and is not extrapolable to the general supplement-using public." Here's the list:
* Vitamin D3 (Start at 1000 IU/d, but get your 25(OH)D3 levels tested!)
* 17 µg vitamin B12 (1/6 of a 100 µg tablet); or 5µg as Brewer's yeast with vitamin B12
* 420 mg Phosphatidylcholine
* 48 µg Iodine (1/4 of 225 µg, 6 d/wk)
* 1 mg Lithium
* 15 mg menatetrenone (even less, if you can get it: without specific indication, you really only need <1-- µg. Try sprinkling out a fraction of a capsule/d, as I do with Li)

* 1500 mg taurine
* 1/2 tsp (~2.5 1.8 g) CreaPure Creatine monohydrate (do not buy commodity creatine!).
* 125 mg ALCAR
* 5x 0.5 g Beta-alanine, between meals
* 250 mg Lactoferrin (Listed here if you tend to low ferritin; optional if not)
[Provinols,if you can find them ...]
* 1 drop per eye N-acetyl-L-carnosine eyedrops

Highly optional:
* Combination of: 500 mg IP-6 + 500 mg Inositol, 1-2 x/d
* 1000 mg AjiPure L-Lysine, ~1 h before each meal.
* 5 g AjiPure Glycine
* 750 mcg melatonin (as required)
* 800 mg piracetam and/or 500 mg pyroglutamate
I should add that Michael went way beyond what I expected, asking me all sorts of questions and providing me in turn with highly valuable answers to questions I myself asked him. I paid him $100 as promised, but this information is worth much more to me than that amount. If I didn't endorse a utilitarian morality, I would have sent him a few extra hundred bucks to express my gratitude. Given my current moral views, however, I think this money is better spent on a cost-effective charity, such as Effective Animal Activism.

In the coming days, I hope to create a spreadsheet listing the cost per day of taking each of the supplements in the list. A spreadsheet of this sort will help me (and others) decide which of these supplements are worth taking. I also intend to write a full post on my diet, listing its ingredients and providing a detailed nutritional analysis. (Why? Because diet has strong effects on health, energy and cognition and as such can greatly affect how effective you can be as an altruist. According to Mark Lee, self-improvement one of the "three pillars" of effective altruism. As he writes, " In the pursuit of a better world, you are your own greatest resource. Learn how to make yourself stronger, smarter and better.")

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Daniel Dorado
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Re: Creatine for vegetarians and vegans

Post by Daniel Dorado » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:57 pm

Br J Nutr. 2013 Nov 29:1-3.

Brain creatine depletion in vegetarians? A cross-sectional 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) study.

Yazigi Solis MY, de Salles Painelli V, Artioli GG, Roschel H, Otaduy MC, Gualano B.

Abstract

The present cross-sectional study aimed to examine the influence of diet on brain creatine (Cr) content by comparing vegetarians with omnivores. Brain Cr content in the posterior cingulate cortex was assessed by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS). Dietary Cr intake was assessed by 3 d food recalls. Vegetarians had lower dietary Cr intake than omnivores (0·03 (sd 0·01) v. 1·34 (sd 0·62) g/d, respectively; P= 0·005). However, vegetarians and omnivores had comparable brain total Cr content (5·999 (sd 0·811) v. 5·917 (sd 0·665) IU, respectively; P= 0·77). In conclusion, dietary Cr did not influence brain Cr content in healthy individuals, suggesting that in normal conditions brain is dependent on its own Cr synthesis.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24290771


Jack Norris commented that paper: http://jacknorrisrd.com/brain-creati...-vs-omnivores/

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