While Hyperion Strength provides high quality and well-researched supplements for improving athletic performance, strength, and muscle mass, we have a love affair with the brain as well. These supplements for brain health, often called “smart drugs” or “nootropics”, are growing in popularity as high performance professionals look for an edge over competition.
The nootropic world is filled with names like “piracetam” and “ashwagandha,” but don't let these technical terms scare you. Many of them have undergone extensive research and creatine is one well-researched compound.
Creatine improves cellular energy, which translates to both the skeletal muscle and the brain. By increasing creatine supplementation one can enhance reasoning skills, improve memory, and prevent fatigue. Some studies show it can improve mental energy by up to 13%.
Despite the usefulness of creatine, comparing it to other nootropics can offer you an understanding of whether you should utilize this product for a dual purpose or find something else for your brain.
Beginner Nootropics and Creatine
For anyone becoming interested in nootropics and altering brain chemistry, there are a few great places to start. Depending on your goals (such as improving grades in college), there are a few options that can improve your brain function and improve your performance.
Caffeine + L-Theanine – This is one of the most popular and common blends for nootropic purposes. It is used to improve attention and focus, but it can do far more. The L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea that helps negate many of the side effects of caffeine, such as increased blood pressure / anxiety, while improving attention and focus more than caffeine alone. It can improve alpha brain waves, which are associated with relaxation and calmness.
Aside from focus and attention benefits, recent studies show L-theanine can be associated with 25% increases in BDNF (essentially fertilizer for your brain). Similar to creatine, both L-theanine and caffeine have been well-studied. In fact, it is probably one of the only nootropic compounds that has had as much extensive research.
Omega-3 (EPA & DHA) – Even though many supplements and foods tout “omega-3s,” you really want EPA and DHA for maximum effect. They both play a significant role in maintaining proper brain function. Similar to creatine, omega-3 fatty acids can be used as a neuroprotective agent that prevents damage and decline. Many elderly people should take omega-3 and creatine in order to prevent that age-related neurological decline.
Piracetam + Choline – Another great beginner “nootropic stack” includes piracetam and choline. Out of the synthetic smart drugs, piracetam is perhaps the most well-researched. Studies dating to the early 1970s make it clear piracetam is a relatively safe drug. In fact, much like creatine it can be taken at extremely high doses without causing negative consequences. While Hyperion Strength advocates maintaining a recommended dosage, it is encouraging to see the safety statistics for both piracetam and creatine.
Alpha Brain vs. Creatine
The introduction to nootropics can often come through a branded product called “Alpha Brain” from Onnit Labs. The ingredients in Alpha Brain are many and the efficacy is in question by many throughout the scientific and nootropic communities. Nonetheless, recent pilot studies showed that Alpha Brain is a promising nootropic compound with a benefit for many who do not take adequate care for their bodies.
Compared to creatine, it holds little weight, however. The preliminary studies of Alpha Brain showed enhanced performance on verbal learning tests. In contrast, creatine has a plethora of cognitive-related studies showing improved reasoning, neuroprotection, and even reduced mental fatigue. Many consider it a useful tool to combat sleep deprivation.
While Alpha Brain has its merits, you are probably better off choosing creatine as an all-inclusive nootropic for brain health. Considering it is a natural ingredient found in animals products (and all vertebrates need it), there is relatively little safety concern either.
Advanced and Natural Nootropics
When comparing creatine to some of the advanced nootropics, it is an immense trade-off. Many of the new smart drugs, such as modafinil or phenylpiracetam, can be incredibly effective as nootropics, but they do not have the same level of rigorous research as creatine monohydrate.
For those who are willing to sacrifice a level of comfort and perhaps deal with a few more side effects, these nootropics can be more appealing. However, searching for something to alter brain chemistry should be done with the utmost care; perhaps taking chances and risks is not worth it.
Of course, if you decide to use advanced nootropics with less research than creatine it is completely up to you and your goals. Try to do ample research through the NCBI database and read testimonials and anecdotes from individuals who have taken the compound. With this combined experiential and scientific knowledge, you can get a better picture of the drug.
The natural nootropic compounds are often similar to creatine in their safety, but not as powerful as the synthetic and newer compounds. For example, bacopa monieri and ashwagandha are ancient Asian herbal remedies that have ample evidence in support of their touted benefits. Because of their source it is also considered far safer to utilize these rather than other options. Compared to creatine, they are relatively similar in safety even if they can provide widely varying benefits for your brain function.
Starting with Nootropics
If you are just getting started with nootropics, it is a good idea to continue your research elsewhere to get the best information about each product. Creatine monohydrate is actually one of the best-known and recommended starting points for enhancing brain power. It is an “easy win” or “low hanging fruit”; getting started with 5 grams per day will improve cognition quickly.