Dr Eric Rawson The Proof

Creatine for brain health & physical performance with Dr Eric Rawson

In Episode #212, Dr Eric Rawson joins me to examine the muscular and cognitive effects of creatine.

“[Creatine] allows us to train harder, recover better in the weight room, and improves quality of life because it enhances strength and conditioning.”

Performance supplementation is a flooded field. With supplementation sceptics on one hand and relentless marketing promotion on the other, it can be difficult to know what to believe. Dr Eric Rawson joins me today for an in-depth conversation on creatine, breaking down everything you need to know about this widely studied compound.

“[Creatine] is a nutrient, not a drug.”

Eric Rawson, PhD is Chair and Professor of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Science at Messiah University. He has spent decades researching the interactions between nutrition and skeletal muscle, with a particular focus on creatine and its effects on muscle and brain function. As a very well-established figure in the field, he brings a wealth of knowledge to today’s conversation.

“Almost everything we’re talking about with athletes also applies to muscular dystrophy patients, frail older adults, and so many other vulnerable populations. There’s much more at stake here than just ‘is that unnatural’.”

In Episode #212, we cover the basics of creatine consumption and push deeper into specific, common questions people may have. You will learn about the muscular performance and brain health benefits of creatine for people of different demographics, including age, gender, and diet. Dr Rawson also outlines dosage guidelines, addresses common concerns people may have, and speaks to the evidence we have about safety.

Specifically, we cover:

  • Intro [0:00]
  • Breakthrough Creatine Research [1:53]
  • What Creatine is [11.00]
  • Is Creating Essential? [12:48]
  • Testing Creatine Levels [17:10]
  • Vegetarian vs Omnivore [23:01]
  • Improving Performance [28:40]
  • Analyzing Other Compounds [52:24]
  • Safety of Supplements [1:05:48]
  • Gender Impact [1:21:30]
  • Creating Dosage [1:27:50]
  • Brain Health & Creatine [1:29:06]
  • Outro [1:57:55]

Dr Rawson offers specific guidelines that you can action, as well as covering the science behind why. In a world where anyone and everyone online makes nutrition claims, it’s critical to have reliable, rigorous evidence to support these. I hope you found this episode clarifying and useful.

If you enjoyed hearing from Dr Rawson, you can connect with him via Twitter. You can also read more at his university faculty page, or email him if you have further questions.

Thank you to The Proof friend Eimele Essential 8 for sponsoring today’s episode. Eimele Essential 8 offers the right nutrients, in the right doses, to complement a plant-rich diet. To save 5% on your first order, head to theproof.com/friends.

Enjoy, friends.

Simon

More about Eric Rawson, PhD

Eric S. Rawson is Chair and Professor of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Science at Messiah University in Mechanicsburg Pennsylvania. Dr. Rawson received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he studied under the direction of Dr. Priscilla Clarkson. Over the past two decades, Dr. Rawson’s research has focused on the interactions between nutrition and skeletal muscle. In particular, Dr. Rawson has studied the effects of the dietary supplement creatine on muscle and brain function. Dr. Rawson has been an active member in the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) since 1996, has served on the ACSM Board of Trustees, on the ACSM Annual Meeting Program Committee, as Chair of the ACSM National Chapter Nutrition Interest Group, and is a past president of the Mid-Atlantic ACSM regional chapter. Dr. Rawson has delivered more than 170 professional presentations, is co-editor of the text Nutrition for Elite Athletes, co-author of the text Nutrition for Health Fitness and Sport, and has authored/co-authored numerous articles and book chapters. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and various foundations.

Supporting studies

  • Cerebral creatine deficiency syndromes: clinical aspects, treatment and pathophysiology PMID: 18652076
  • *Nutrients*, Volume 13, Issue 3: Current Evidence and Possible Future Applications of Creatine Supplementation for Older Adults

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