Creatine & Aggression : Part 4

Is There Evidence for Creatine Causing Aggressive Behavior?

  1. How Might Creatine Use Give Rise to Aggression?
  2. Personal Accounts of Agression / Mood Swings Following Creatine Use
  3. Possible Correlation Between Brain Creatine Levels and Aggressive Behavior
  4. Scientific Studies Showing an Effect of Creatine Consumption on Mood

Scientific Studies Demonstrating Effects of Brain Creatine Levels on Mood

To date, there is no direct scientific proof that creatine supplementation provokes aggression. Therefore, until validated proof of such events exists (as a result of peer-reviewed studies appearing in the scientific literature) I am inclined to believe that such episodes of aggression are purely coincidental and originate from changes in diet, or other life factors, not directly liked to the ingestion of pure creatine monohydrate.

Next are two scenarios where brain creatine levels may influence mood. First, creatine supplementation has been shown to improve cognitive performance and possibly improve state of mind – a consequence of creatine supplementation. Secondly, under special circumstances elevated brain creatine levels are associated with increased aggression - a consequence of creatine synthesis by the body.

Creatine Enhances Mood and Cognitive Performance During Sleep Deprivation.

Sleep deprivation depresses brain creatine levels, an effect that is associated with a deterioration in mood and a decline in cognitive performance. Two recent studies have examined the effects of creatine supplementation over mood and mental acuity during periods of (experimentally imposed) sleep deprivation. These initial reports suggest that creatine supplementation may improve the performance of certain types of fatiguing cognitive tasks and possibly mood.

View our page discussing how creatine supplementation may improve indicators of intelligence.

Selected Scientific References

Creatine Supplementation Counteracts the Negative Effects of Sleep Deprivation over Cognitive Function and Mood.

Below are two studies out of the United Kigdom demonstrating that creatine supplementation improves cognitive function and possibly state of mind during sleep deprivation.

McMorris, T. et al. (2006) Effect of creatine supplementation and sleep deprivation, with mild exercise, on cognitive and psychomotor performance, mood state, and plasma concentrations of catecholamines and cortisol. Psychopharmacology, Volume 185, pages 93–103.

McMorris, T. et al. (2007) Creatine supplementation, sleep deprivation, cortisol, melatonin and behavior. Physiology & Behavior, Volume 90, pages 21-28.

The implications of these studies are that: 1) some creatine penetrates the Blood Brain Barrier and reaches the Central Nervous System (CNS) when consumed in the diet; 2) creatine supplementation improves CNS energy status; 3) creatine supplementation may help in the performance of cognitive tasks involving short-term memory and the ability to solve problems under time constraints and; 4) creatine supplementation may improve emotional state of mind after 24 hours of staying awake, but not after longer periods of sleep deprivation.

Recall that creatine (Cr) is activated within cells by an enzyme known as creatine kinase. Creatine kinase catalyzes the transformation of creatine into phosphocreatine (PCr) – the form of creatine that fuels cellular processes. This page discusses the possibility that the amount of phosphocreatine made available to the brain via the actions of creatine kinase influences mood and intelligence. Therefore, although brain creatine levels were implicated in the finding of this study, the effect of creatine supplementation per se on mood and intelligence was not examined.

View a recent Creatine Newsletter detailing the effects of creatine supplementation on indices of human intelligence.

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