A recent paper published in the journal “Amino Acids” summarizes current evidence for the health benefits of creatine supplementation not only for athletes but also for elderly people. Creatine is a well known ergogenic aid which increases levels in creatine and phosphocreatine in skeletal muscle. Creatine boosts performance and resistance to fatigue during high intensity exercise such as weight lifting and may increase lean muscle gains from training.
Evidence presented in the paper suggests that creatine supplementation may also be of benefit to elderly people, even those who are inactive. With aging typically comes decreased strength and lean body mass as well as cognitive decline. Evidence presented in the paper shows that creatine supplementation in elderly people can increase lean body mass, strength, resistance to fatigue, can improve performance in everyday activities, and can even fight cognitive decline by increasing levels of brain creatine. These effects were amplified in elderly people who also exercised. Elderly people who exercised and suppemented with creatine also experienced increased bone mineral density above that which would be observed with exercise alone.
Young athletes looking to increase strength and muscle mass are not the only ones who can benefit from daily supplementation with creatine. Elderly people suffering from muscle atrophy and cognitive decline may experienced increased muscle strength, increased cognitive function, resistance to osteoperosis, and increased quality of life as a result. Creatine is an inexpensive supplement that can easily be incorporated into any supplement regimen, and it may have health benefits for people of all ages and activity levels.
Rawson ES, & Venezia AC. (2011). Use of creatine in the elderly and evidence for effects on cognitive function in young and old. Amino Acids. 40(5), 1349-62.
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