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Creatine And Depression: Review

creatine-dissolving-trainergizeStudies suggest creatine may be helpful with depression,  and various mood disorders as well as being  neuroprotective. I have covered that topic over the years here on BZ via article, vids, etc. It’s also a primary ingredient in my Bomb Proof Coffee recipe. Here’s a new review worth a read covering the possible mechanisms by how creatine may exert anti-depressant effects, clinical studies that exist, and so forth on this important topic. Another recent study examined the impact of creatine on bipolar depression and found benefits.

Bottom line: Creatine does a body and brain good! 8-)

The possible beneficial effects of creatine for the management of depression

Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry 2018 September 4

Depression, a highly prevalent neuropsychiatric disorder worldwide, causes a heavy burden for the society and is associated with suicide risk. The treatment of this disorder remains a challenge, since currently available antidepressants provide a slow and, often, incomplete response and cause several side effects that contribute to diminish the adhesion of patients to treatment. In this context, several nutraceuticals have been investigated regarding their possible beneficial effects for the management of this neuropsychiatric disorder.

Creatine stands out as a supplement frequently used for ergogenic purpose, but it also is a neuroprotective compound with potential to treat or mitigate a broad range of central nervous systems diseases, including depression. This review presents preclinical and clinical evidence that creatine may exhibit antidepressant properties. The focus is given on the possible molecular mechanisms underlying its effects based on the results obtained with different animal models of depression.

Finally, evidence obtained in animal models of depression addressing the possibility that creatine may produce rapid antidepressant effect, similar to ketamine, are also presented and discussed.

Full paper HERE

Cognitive effects of creatine monohydrate adjunctive therapy in patients with bipolar depression: Results from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Journal of Affective Disorders
Volume 224, 15 December 2017,

• Depressive episodes and cognitive impairments produce most of the dysfunctionality in bipolar disorder.

• Multiple lines of evidence strongly implicate the occurrence of mitochondrial dysfunction in bipolar disorder.

• This study was the first to investigate cognitive effects of creatine monohydrate supplementation on bipolar depression.

• Creatine monohydrate supplementation for 6 weeks was associated with improvement in verbal fluency in bipolar depression.

•Future studies on the cognitive-enhancing properties of creatine monohydrate in bipolar disorder should be undertaken.

Source HERE

The Patrol Athlete

Yours Truly and Deputy P. Whitney Richtmyer have an important article in the latest Issue of Police Magazine. It covers how patrol officers should approach their exercise programs specifically to improve job performance and health, while reducing risk of injuries, and other benefits to both the officer and PD:

The Patrol Athlete

A strong, fit, flexible, explosive, and well-conditioned police officer is a better police officer. Improved physical conditioning is correlated with lower officer injury and death rates, lower sick leave usage, lower civil liability, fewer civilian complaints, lower suspect injury rate, lower suicide rate, improved mental health, lower uses of force, and lower officer-involved shooting rate.

The first rule is to work hard and train consistently. Athletes from different sports train differently, but successful athletes follow this rule. The best program in the world won’t work if you don’t train consistently and put effort into your training. But you need to focus on the right type of training for your line of work.


Vasper, A Breakthrough In Fitness?

EFw4PRSjRAc85h6OJLRQ Vasper is an exercise machine that employs several approaches that have shown promise  in studies for improving performance, health, body composition, strength, and recuperation. Those are compression/occlusion, cooling, and intervals. All three of those modalities have shown beneficial effects in studies, but it should be noted studies are ongoing.  Vasper combines all three into a single machine, which seemingly allows a greater response to exercise in a shorter time period. Some major organizations, such as NASA, Texas Rangers, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and various other groups and teams employ Vasper directly and or are researching the possible benefits. Several small pilot studies have shown some impressive hormonal effects, in the form of increased testosterone and IGF-1 and decreased cortisol levels.

I decided I had to investigate this exercise machine further and try one for myself. A Dr. Ramesh Kumar at LifeWellMD in Palm Beach Gardens Florida employs a Vasper at his facility, and I made arrangements to go try it. Obviously a single session on the Vasper does not tell us much, but I found the experience interesting. What I did notice, was after my 20 minute interval session, I didn’t feel as beat up and tired as a I normally would. Also, normally, I’m drenched in sweat from doing HIIT or intervals (which are not the same thing BTW…) but after using the Vasper, I was a little sweaty on my head and such, but I sweat easily. Dr. Kumar said most people don’t even sweat using the Vasper, which makes sense since your major extremities are being cooled during the workout. For an explanation as to the potential benefits of that, see the Vasper page. The non technical explanation is essentially the Vasper attempts to metabolically “trick” your body into thinking it’s working much harder and longer than it is without the tissue damage and other downsides that can accompany intense/lengthy workouts. I hope to work with the Vasper in the future for additional assessment, so stay tuned on that front.

The Vasper may have a variety of uses, from rehab to improved bodycomp and conditioning and definitely in the “worth a try” category in my view.

At LifeWellMD on the Vasper machine

At LifeWellMD on the Vasper machine!

It may also be a time saver for those looking for maximum effects in minimal time. My major criticism is while there’s a good amount of data from third party sources on the individual approaches used, there’s  little on the Vasper itself.  “On paper” the Vasper looks quite promising for a wide range of uses, but Vasper et al would benefit greatly from doing a study on the Vasper itself versus a control, such as a group following the same interval workouts minus the compression and cooling. My understanding is, there are more studies in the works.

Conclusion: if you can find a place with a Vasper in your area, it may be worth a try, depending on your goals, needs, etc. The Vasper does get high marks in “real world” settings from those employing it,  and a number of high level/pro athletes and teams using it find their general recoup improved using the Vasper. So far, I’m  optimistic with a few caveats mentioned.

Learn More about Vasper HERE:


What’s In Your Water?

For some reason I always seem to end up writing articles about contaminants found in various supplements we ingest, in particular creatine, but there have been others. First I wrote “What’s in your creatine?” which exposed the fact not all creatine supplement are created equal. That article single handedly changed the creatine market at the time. I followed that up with “What’s in your supplements” which was really just a continuation of the first article, with additional testing and comments. I’m calling this one, “What’s in your water?!” for lack of a better title.

I have always been conscious of the potential impurities in drinking water. My town sends out a yearly report on water quality, and has always been well below EPA limits on the chemicals they test for. Regardless, I have always used a water filter to filter my drinking water. (1) Continue reading..

Coconut Oil Facts

Update to this topic: a recent review of coconut oil posted below the vid is in line with my recs in this vid on coconut oil. One comment/correction I would make to that review below, It states:

“…the clinical benefits of commercial MCT oils cannot be generalized to coconut oil.”

All true, but would lead the reader to assume the clinical benefits of MCTs have in fact been well documented as beneficial, when the data has been mixed at best. MCT’s themselves in healthy people, are, to use a science term, meh at best.

Other than a small amount of coconut oil added to my Bomb Proof Coffee recipe, I tend to favor other sources of fat in the diet.

Coconut oil is all the rage these days as the latest greatest “natural” product promising
everything from weight loss to immune support. IS IT TRUE?

I cover that topic in this latest vid!

How Supplements (Should) Get Made!

Here’s a new vid from my recent visit to NutraBio, done with CEO Mark Glazier. We go through the full process on how they go from new ingredient to product that illustrates the GMP process, and where NutraBio often exceeds GMP. People will find this very educational!

For more details on my visit to the company, shorter vid mentioned in this vid, etc, go HERE

BrinkZone Visits NutraBio

My trip to NutraBio.

32161266_10155448544151517_5843624072193245184_nAs  readers who have followed my stuff over the years know all too well, I have been a consumer advocate for decades. I have tried to educate people on issues such as proprietary blends, how companies source their ingredients, or whether they test their products regularly for purity, dose, and contaminants. I have also written a number of articles and made videos on how products are really produced, passed the marketing hoopla and claims.  Most also know I rarely recommend any companies, and if I do, it’s few and far between. When I do, it’s because I personally know the owner, or have done some consulting work for the company and know how it operates, where and how products are sourced and produced,  and so forth. One company I have recommended over the years was NutraBio. NutraBio was perhaps the first company in the sports nutrition space to take a “no proprietary blend” position with their formulas, and is generally transparent about their sourcing. They also go through great lengths and expense to produce products with no fillers and excipients where ever possible. If you look at the label of various supplements, you will see “other ingredients” that may contain binders, fillers, flow agents, coatings & glazes, and so on. You will not see that with NutraBio products. It should be noted, those often added excipients are not generally harmful, but NutraBio has decided they want to offer as pure a product as is possible. To be clear, excipients found in some supplements are not necessarily a negative nor dangerous, tend to be found in very small amounts, and some products simply can’t be produced without them. I do not feel people need to go out of their way to avoid supplements that have added excipients, but for those who want to use products that don’t contain excipients or have sensitivities or allergies to them, NutraBio is an easy choice. Currently, I use NutraBio L-Tyrosine for my Bomb Proof Coffee recipe for example.


Mark G and your truly in a room that didn’t require our masks to be on at the time. In most of manufacturing section of the facility, the masks have to stay on the entire time.

On the surface, sounds great, but is it true or just a marketing angle? Many companies will make similar claims, but it’s more often than not, nothing more than BS marketing claims. I sent the owner of the company an email with some probing questions about some of the claims made and such for my own research and his response was “come see for yourself Will.”

Hence, I decided to see for myself per his offer,  so off to New Jersey I went to meet with owner of the company, Mark Glazier to get a tour and see if their claims passed the smell test. It should be noted NutraBio is a true manufacturer, which is rare in the industry. Vast majority of the time I go to visit a company for work or pleasure, it’s to see a corporate office and maybe a warehouse. I give a basic explanation of how that works in my vid “how your supplements are really made” for those who want more info on that. Mark and I did a vid that gets into the full details of how he goes about producing a product worth a watch that gets down to much more granular level, and allows people to see just how invested he is in the process that I will also post once done.


yours truly In one of the manufacturing rooms while it’s being cleaned

I spent approximately two days at the company touring the facility, doing some vids, talking with the employees and so forth. Summary finding? NutraBio is the real deal and a company that goes above and beyond minimum Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) as a manufacturer, and tests its source ingredients and final products extensively, well passed any FDA GMP requirements. To produce some of the products with no excipients for example, is both time consuming and expenses to do, but that’s what Mark wanted to offer to consumers, and seeing it in person, impressed on me it’s more than a simple marketing claim. Be it a forum, a company, or a military organization, the culture starts at the top, usually with one person. Mark struck me as a perfectionist in all things and his work ethic (he’s a member of Hall Of Fame of Martial Arts for example) comes through in every aspect of his company.


In front of one of the blending rooms.

NutraBio started out as a single ingredient company selling in bulk, and more recently moved onto offering their own formulas, from pre workouts to protein blends and so forth.


If you’re looking for a company that produces their own products and goes above and beyond what’s required of them by law to guarantee what’s on the label is in the product, in the doses listed, using quality ingredients that are tested extensively, NutraBio has that covered.


The Creatine Grave Yard

2018 update.I have added  Creatine hydrochloride to the list. Thought it was there, but I wrote that article before HCL existed, hence why it was not on the list. Someone asked why HCL was not on the list, and to my surprise,  they were right!

See 2012 update to this article HERE

The Creatine Grave Yard
By Will Brink © 2009

Looks like another “high tech” form of creatine has got one foot planted firmly in the creatine grave yard. What is the creatine graveyard? It’s where forms of creatine – other then monohydrate – go when either science has shown them inferior to monohydrate, and or it’s life cycle of hype has come to and end.

I refer specifically to creatine ethyl ester (CEE). As with the many “high tech” forms of creatine before it, all manner of claims were/are made about how superior it is to creatine monohydrate (CM). It always starts the same. First the company will invent a long list of negatives about CM such as “poorly absorbed” or “causes bloat” or “is not stable” and then goes onto claim their form of creatine has solved all those invented negatives. The problem is, the data already shows CM does not suffer from virtually any of the negatives they invent, nor do they show their form “cures” those negatives. Continue reading..

First Time In Print!

Vacation Gone South


Vacation Gone South: Collected Works is parts I,II,III and IV of the highly rated novella E-series in a single printed volume for new readers and fans alike. With additional content added for prior readers of the series, a must read for fans of fast paced gritty thrillers. Reviews from the E-series:

The litmus test for me for a good fiction yarn is if it makes me feel like I’m actually there in the action, and Vacation Gone South passes that test with flying colors. – US Navy SEAL Commander (ret) Mark Divine

5 out of 5 stars…”Great action, gun style folks will have ‘ah hah’ moments left and right. Very on point with description of certain tactics. I was hooked and look forward to the next.

AN AWESOME BOOK!!! A true page turner and loved the details!

… another home run. He is truly one of the better up-and-coming writers of the thriller-fantasy genre. People will be saying ‘I bought Brink before he became huge’ some day soon.

“Excellent! If you like military fiction but despise people getting the important details wrong… this is for you. Once again, I finish a Will Brink book and immediately want to read another one.

Awesome, gritty, edge of my seat.

“Finally! None of the clueless BS that turns most action fiction into wallbangers. ( Wallbangers are books you throw against a wall while wondering why you bought it)”

“…he mixes a fast pace with witty introspection and insight into the spec-ops community that is sorely lacking (mostly because said members don’t, and can’t, talk about it)…

…Brink also brings to the narrative a depth of knowledge and interesting insights about all manner of subjects . His main character is a smart guy who says a lot of smart things.

I enjoy the authors ability to blend his story and factually correct methods of warfare into a beautiful story. Wink is a true Light Fighter.

“…the dialogue , attention to detail and the action are all first rate.

See more HERE

The Golden Age Of Bodybuilding On Tape!

Those old enough to remember the  90′s know it as the “golden age of bodybuilding” and it was! The magazines – pretty much all of whom I wrote for – were at their peak in sales and popularity, the industry was growing rapidly and still a lot of fun, and people actually cared about who won what show and so forth.  Bodybuilding on all levels at that time was truly fun and exciting and I was lucky enough to be right in the middle of it.  Those who were part of that time will remember Muscle Media 2000 as perhaps the best of the mags, and names like Dan Duchaine, Bill Phillips, Mike Mentzer, Shawn Phillips, Will Brink (yours truly), Charles Poliquin, and many more, were the names people knew and followed.


Now digitized and online!

Why this trip down memory lane? Shawn Phillips literally found some boxes full of the original Muscle Media 2000 audio tape series and has digitized them and put them on line! When he called to tell me he was looking in the warehouse for something else and found this box of old cassette tapes interviewing all the popular names of the time, we went down memory lane laughing like idiots. It was obvious what needed to be done next, and the MM2k Vault was created for those who want to be transported back in time to the golden era. For those who may not remember all this with the clarity us old dudes, this is your chance to see what the big deal was! I had a great time doing them, and even more fun listening to them myself. If you wanna go down memory lane, or want to listen to what the most popular people at the time had to say and what it was like to listen someone like Dan Duchaine or Bill, or a much younger me pontificate about all manner of fun topics, these are a MUST listen.

If you wanna take the trip click  HERE




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