Written by Dr. Savannah Muncy, Pharm.D on
May 4, 2022
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Savannah Muncy, Pharm.D on:

Do you ever feel like your brain is foggy? Maybe you can’t seem to focus on anything, or you’re having trouble remembering things.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Many people deal with mental fog on a daily basis.

But did you know that there are ways to improve brain function and reduce the amount of cognitive fog you experience?

In this blog post, we will discuss 11 ways that creatine can help improve cognitive function and reduce the symptoms of brain fog.

We will also talk about the factors that creatine might make you feel “weird” when taking it or whether or not the supplement causes creatine brain fog.

Let’s get started.

What exactly is brain fog?

Brain fog or mental fog is a term used to describe the feeling of mental fatigue, confusion, or overall foggy thinking.

It can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, and certain medical conditions.

Mental fog can make it difficult for you to concentrate, remember things, make decisions, or solve problems.

It is a mild cognitive impairment that lasts for days or weeks for some people. For others, it can last months.

In some cases, cognitive fog can also lead to anxiety or depression. 

What is creatine? 

Creatine is a type of amino acid that is found in the body. It can also be taken as a supplement to improve athletic performance, enhance the health of muscle cells, and increase muscle mass. 

Creatine is known to be safe and effective for most people, and it can be found in some foods, including red meat, dairy, and fish.

When taken as a supplement, it is typically in the form of creatine monohydrate. 

Can creatine cause brain fog?

Not likely.

Creatine is a popular supplement that is often taken to improve athletic performance, but it can also have benefits for brain health.

Some studies suggest that creatine can help improve cognitive ability in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

It has also been shown to improve memory and reasoning skills in healthy adults.

So, if you’re dealing with brain fog, creatine might be worth considering.

But if you’re already taking creatine and you feel like it’s giving you a foggy head, consult your doctor to see if your creatine brain fog is caused by an underlying condition instead.

11 Ways Creatine Improves Your Brain Function 

Creatine has been shown to improve brain health. Here are 11 ways that brain creatine can help improve your mental function:

1) Improves blood flow to the brain

Studies have found that creatine helps to increase blood flow to the brain.

When your blood flow to the brain is increased, you are getting more oxygen and nutrients to your brain cells.

This can help improve brain function and reduce the symptoms of mental fog.

2) Increases energy production in the brain

Research shows that creatine also helps to increase energy production in the brain.

It does this by helping to create more ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the energy molecule that our cells use for energy.

More ATP means more energy for your brain cells to function properly. This can help improve cognitive ability and reduce cognitive fatigue.

ATP is also important for cell signaling, which is necessary for proper brain function.

3) Enhances memory and reasoning skills

Creatine has also been shown to improve memory and reasoning skills.

One study found that creatine supplementation improved working memory in young adults.

Another study found that creatine helped improve verbal fluency in older adults.

And yet another study showed that creatine improved visuospatial cognition, which is the ability to perceive and process visual information.

All of these studies suggest that creatine can help improve cognitive function in both young and old adults.

4) Reduces inflammation in the brain

Chronic inflammation has been linked to cognitive decline and dementia.

Fortunately, creatine has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the brain.

One study found that taking creatine supplements reduced markers of inflammation in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Another study showed that creatine helped improve symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

These studies suggest that creatine can help reduce inflammation in the brain and improve cognitive ability.

5) Enhances neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change and adapt in response to experience.

It is thought that neuroplasticity plays a role in learning and memory. Creatine has been shown to enhance neuroplasticity.

One study found that creatine supplementation improved working memory by increasing levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor).

BDNF is a protein that helps to promote the growth and development of new brain cells.

Another study found that supplementing with creatine monohydrate increased levels of NGF (nerve growth factor), which also promotes the growth and development of new brain cells.

These studies suggest that creatine can help improve mental function by enhancing neuroplasticity.

6) Protects the brain from neurodegenerative diseases

Neurodegenerative diseases are conditions that cause the brain to degenerate and lose function.

Some examples of neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease.

Creatine has been shown to protect the brain from these conditions.

One study found that taking amino acids from creatine supplements reduced the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Another study found that creatine supplementation improved cognitive ability in people with Huntington’s disease.

These studies suggest that creatine can help protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases and improve mental function in people with these conditions.

7) Boosts your mental endurance

If you’re looking for a way to boost your mental endurance, creatine may be the answer.

Creatine has been shown to improve mental endurance by reducing mental fatigue.

One study found that creatine supplementation improved cognitive ability in people who were sleep-deprived.

Another study found that creatine helped improve attention and focus in people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

These studies suggest that creatine can help improve mental endurance by reducing cognitive fatigue and improving attention and focus.

8) Increases dopamine levels

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mental function.

It is thought that dopamine levels are linked to attention and focus.

Creatine supplement has been shown to increase dopamine levels.

One study found that creatine supplementation increased dopamine levels in the brain.

This goes to show that creatine can help improve cognitive ability by increasing dopamine levels.

9) Helps prevent depression

Depression is a condition that can lead to cognitive decline.

Creatine has been shown to help prevent depression.

One study found that creatine supplementation improved symptoms of depression.

Another study found that creatine helped improve cognitive function in people with depression.

These studies suggest that creatine can help improve cognitive ability by helping to prevent depression.

10) Helps manage PTSD

PTSD is a condition that can lead to cognitive decline.

Creatine has been shown to help manage PTSD.

One study found that creatine supplementation improved symptoms of PTSD.

Another study found that creatine helped improve cognitive function in people with PTSD.

These studies suggest that creatine can help improve cognitive ability by helping to manage PTSD.

11)  Improves sleep quality

Sleep is important for mental function.

Creatine has been shown to improve sleep quality.

One study found that creatine supplementation improved sleep quality.

Another study found that creatine helped improve cognitive ability in people who were sleep-deprived.

These studies suggest that creatine can help improve cognitive function by improving sleep quality.

How much creatine should I take for brain health?

Creatine is a generally safe and effective supplement. The recommended dose is 30 mg per kilogram of body weight (14 mg/pound). 

For example, if you weigh 80 kilograms, you should take about 24 grams of creatine per day.

You can take creatine with or without food. But always make sure to consult your doctor first before taking creatine or any dietary supplement for that matter.

Why do I feel weird after taking creatine?

It could be fluid retention—one of the most common side effects of creatine, which causes bloating. To avoid this, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and not overloading on creatine.

If you still feel weird after taking creatine, it’s best to consult your doctor to rule out any other potential causes.

Are you supposed to take creatine every day?

Yes, you can take creatine every day. In fact, it’s best to take creatine with food to increase its absorption.

The best way to take creatine daily is to split your dose into two or three smaller doses throughout the day.

This will help ensure that your body has a constant supply of creatine.

What are the known side effects of creatine?

The most common side effects of creatine are weight gain and bloating.

Other potential side effects include:

  • cramping
  • diarrhea
  • dehydration
  • dizziness
  • gastrointestinal distress

As with any supplement, it’s always best to consult your doctor before taking creatine. This is especially important if you have a medical condition or are taking any medications.

How long does it take for creatine to work? 

Creatine works pretty quickly. You should start to notice the effects of creatine within a few days to a week of taking it.

To get the full benefits of creatine, you need to take it for at least four weeks.

So if you’re looking for a quick boost in exercise performance and mental function, creatine might be an excellent option for you.

What happens when you stop taking creatine?

If you stop taking creatine, your body will slowly start to deplete its stores of creatine.

After about four weeks, your body will return to its pre-supplementation levels of creatine.

There are no known side effects of stopping creatine supplementation.

The Bottom Line 

Creatine is a safe and effective supplement that can improve cognitive ability.

If you’re looking for a way to boost your brainpower, creatine might be an excellent option for you.

Always consult your doctor before taking any dietary supplements, including creatine.

If you want to learn more about brain fog and how to clear it naturally, check out these educational resources and join this amazing online community on brain health

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