Exploring the Connection Between Creatine and ADHD: What the Science Says - Lucid™

Exploring the Connection Between Creatine and ADHD: What the Science Says

Written by: Kat Austin

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Time to read 5 min

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, affects countless individuals, presenting challenges in attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. While traditional treatments strive to alleviate these symptoms, there's a buzz around a potential game-changer: creatine supplementation.


Recent studies are hinting at a connection between creatine and ADHD symptoms, sparking curiosity about its role in managing this condition. So, how exactly can creatine benefit ADHD symptoms?


Let's dive in and uncover the answers.

Key Takeaways

Emerging research hints that creatine supplementation might help manage ADHD symptoms by improving cognitive performance.

Creatine may boost working memory, intelligence, and attention span, showing promise as a nootropic.

Creatine is generally safe for healthy adults, but consult a healthcare professional before use, especially if taking other medications or having health conditions.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects individuals of all ages, profoundly impacting daily functioning, cognition, relationships, and more. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it's a prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder, affecting approximately 8.8% of children and 2.5% of adults .


Symptoms such as difficulties in maintaining attention, episodes of hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior can significantly disrupt daily life. Additionally, individuals with ADHD may experience less common symptoms like problems with eye contact, fatigue, or hypermobility.


While current treatments, including stimulant and non-stimulant medications, alongside behavioral therapies and lifestyle interventions, aim to manage symptoms, they often carry risks of unwanted side effects. This underscores the pressing need for alternative approaches to comprehensively address ADHD symptoms.


So, where does creatine fit into the ADHD equation? Let's explore further.

Creatine and ADHD: Basics and Benefits

Creatine, a naturally occurring compound primarily found in muscle cells, plays a crucial role in energy metabolism. Studies have highlighted its potential cognitive benefits, with creatine supplementation being linked to improved cognitive performance.


In fact, creatine has been linked to powerful nootropic effects, and it’s thought to help boost several areas of cognition, including working memory and cognitive endurance.


Low creatine levels are associated with neurological conditions like ADHD. Creatine deficiency may affect individuals with specific genetic defects in creatine biosynthesis or transport, resulting in various intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, ADHD, ASD, and seizures.


However, the evidence regarding its impact on ADHD is still limited. While many people have used creatine to manage ADHD symptoms with positive results, creatine is only one part of a well-rounded cognition-supporting regimen.


Let’s take a look at the research surrounding creatine and ADHD:

The Science Behind Creatine and ADHD

Creatine may hold promise in influencing ADHD symptoms, but the evidence is overall inconclusive.


Some studies propose that creatine supplementation could positively affect cognitive performance by bolstering brain creatine levels, potentially offering relief for ADHD symptoms.


However, contrasting findings from other studies ( 2007 , 2017 ) indicate no substantial alterations in cognitive function or brain creatine content among ADHD patients following creatine supplementation.


Although evidence regarding creatine's benefit for ADHD has been mostly inconclusive, other evidence exists to support creatine's use as a nootropic for general cognition enhancing benefits. For instance:


  • Creatine May Boost Working Memory and Intelligence

    • A study at the University of Sydney found that creatine supplementation improved working memory and intelligence in young adult vegetarians, who typically have lower creatine levels due to diet.

    • Participants took 5 grams of creatine daily for 6 weeks in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.


  • It May Increase IQ and Attention Span

    • Research conducted by the University of Sunderland involved giving 5 grams of creatine daily to healthy non-vegetarians for 2 weeks.

    • The creatine group showed improvements in memory, attention, and IQ tests compared to the placebo group.


  • Creatine May Repair Brain Cells and Provide Neuroprotective Effects

    • Limited evidence suggests creatine could offer neuroprotective effects against diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

    • Creatine's role in supporting brain energy metabolism makes it a promising candidate for therapies targeting cell repair and replacement in neurological diseases.


Is Using Creatine for ADHD Safe?

When considering the safety of using creatine for ADHD, it's crucial to weigh the potential benefits against the risks. While creatine may provide relief for some ADHD symptoms, there are notable concerns regarding its long-term effects and safety.

Potential Creatine Side Effects

Potential side effects of creatine supplementation include gastrointestinal issues like nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Additionally, there's a risk of dehydration, especially if adequate water intake isn't maintained while using creatine.


It's also essential to be cautious about interactions with other medications or supplements, as creatine may interact with certain drugs, such as diuretics or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Can You Take Creatine with Adderall?

Many people who suffer from ADHD or related conditions may take a stimulant medication such as Adderall to manage symptoms. Thankfully, you may still be able to try creatine for ADHD while taking Adderall or similar medications.


There have been no adverse interactions found between Adderall and creatine. Of course, you should still talk to your doctor when including new supplements in your wellness regimen.

Who Shouldn’t Take Creatine?

Although creatine is thought to be safe for the liver in healthy adults, those with liver or kidney problems shouldn’t take creatine. Furthermore, creatine should not be given to people who are pregnant or children without a doctor’s guidance.


Before starting creatine supplementation, individuals should consult with a healthcare professional, particularly if they have underlying medical conditions or are taking medications. Monitoring for any adverse reactions and adjusting dosage as needed is essential to ensure safety while using creatine for ADHD management.

Conclusion

So, can you take creatine for your ADHD? Well, while early research hints at a potential link between creatine and cognitive function, we're not quite there yet. We need more studies to really understand how creatine fits into managing ADHD.


Still, creatine is safe for healthy adults and may provide nootropic benefits that help to improve focus and endurance. It may be a suitable option for anyone looking for a tried and true nootropic supplement to help ease the symptoms of ADHD. 


Pair it with other nootropics for ADHD to create a personalized stack that supports overall cognitive function and gives you the boost you need.






Lucid beverages contain a blend of brain-boosting nootropics + powerful mushrooms designed to unlock your brain's full potential so you can zone in on what's important. 


Ready to become lucid?  Check out our starter kit. 

Resources

  1. “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)” https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/adhd.htm

  2. “What is ADHD?” https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/adhd/what-is-adhd

  3. “Does brain creatine content rely on exogenous creatine in healthy youth? A proof-of-principle study” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28079396/

  4. “Evidence of brain dysfunction in attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder: a controlled study with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17707309/

  5. “Effects of methylphenidate treatment on the cerebellum in adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a magnetic resonance spectroscopy study” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28165547/

  6. “Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14561278/

  7. “Cognitive effects of creatine ethyl ester supplementation” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19773644/

  8. “A review of creatine supplementation in age-related diseases: more than a supplement for athletes” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4304302/#:~:text=New%20studies%20indicate%20that%20creatine,%2C%20Alzheimer%27s%20disease%2C%20and%20stroke .