Formulator Jonathan Bechtel, founder of the Florida-based startup supplement company Health Kismet, said the ingredient forms the basis of a new mood support product called Incredible Mood. It’s an unusual choice, he acknowledged, but it’s an informed one.
“I think creatine is probably under appreciated as an ingredient for mood support. It is almost always used in pre-workouts. But biochemically there is a very sound basis for it. When you are not lifting weights the brain is the most creatine-thirsty organ in your body. As much as 20% of the body’s resting energy is used by your brain,” Bechtel said.
Creatine is important in the body’s energy pathways. Creatine itself is produced in the body as part of the methylation cycle, a cycle that includes S-adenosylmethionine, or SAMe, as a precursor molecule. Supplementing with creatine in a mood support setting not only supplies more of the molecule directly for the brain’s energy demands, Bechtel said, but also frees up more SAMe, which would otherwise be consumed in the body’s endogenous creatine production. SAMe is a brain health ingredient in its own right and has been associated with positive effects on depression, anxiety and Parkinson's disease. Bechtel said there is also evidence to indicate that creatine has mental clarity-boosting properties.
Bechtel, who has a degree in nutrition from Ohio State University, said he was committed to including science-backed ingredients in clinically relevant doses in his products. For this reason he has always favored powdered products in tubs as a delivery method, because it allows more room for active ingredients without resorting to requiring doses of multiple capsules or tablets.
“There is just more space,” Bechtel said. “Incredible Mood is designed as a drink mix with 8 grams of active ingredients. We have a full 5 grams of creatine in there. It is meant to address the nutritional deficiencies commonly seen in people suffering from depression.”
Bechtel said in addition to its biochemical benefits, creatine has an additional promising property, it’s stability, making it easy to use in a scoop delivery mode. SAMe, by comparison, is relatively unstable, making it difficult to formulate with.
In addition to the creatine, the product also includes clinically relevant doses of mood support, adaptogenic botanicals ashwagandha and Rhodiola rosea, both in 250 mg doses. These are organic, sourced from Mountain Rose Herbs in Oregon. Manufacturers are often prone to keep their supplier close to the vest, but Bechtel said he’s proud to advertise his connection with Mountain Rose because he believes in its quality control.
“They are very careful with how the herbs are harvested. They source whole herbs, not piles of powder, so they can be sure what they are getting. And they take special care in the drying process, which is important. A lot of the nutritive value can be lost with improper drying,” Bechtel said.
The finished product itself does not make an organic claim because no organic source of creatine exits, Bechtel said. In addition to his mood support product, Bechtel offers super foods and greens blends.