You may have noticed phosphatidylserine being added to shakes in the gym or taken by some of your gym mates. And with a few studies backing this supplement, phosphatidylserine is becoming more widely known and appreciated.
But what is it, and how can it benefit you? If you live a hectic lifestyle, this could be your new favourite supplement.
- What is Phosphatidylserine?
- Phosphatidylserine & Cortisol
- Phosphatidylserine Benefits
- Phosphatidylserine Dosage
What Is Phosphatidylserine?
Phosphatidylserine is a key component of your cell membranes. It is a major part of the lipids that make up essential parts of your cells. It helps to cover and protect the cell and helps them to communicate.
Phosphatidylserine is found in a number of foods. It is found in high amounts of fish such as mackerel and herring, as well as in offal such as chicken hearts and pig kidney. The highest dose by far is in bovine brain. Not easy things to mix in your shakes and eat on the go!
Another source of phosphatidylserine is soya lechtin. This is a much more popular ingredient for supplements such as Myprotein’s phosphatidylserine powder. It’s safer, as it carries no risk of infectious disease from animals and is vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
Phosphatidylserine & Cortisol
Cortisol is a stress hormone which naturally occurs in the body. It’s released when the body feels under stress. This can be stress from work or lifestyle, but it can also be caused by exercise, particularly heavy resistance exercises. This is often surprising to people who only link exercise with feel-good endorphin hormones. However, stress hormones and their effects are vital to consider in a healthy active lifestyle.
Cortisol is a hormone that affects many different functions throughout the body. Cortisol affects blood sugar levels, metabolism and water retention.
High cortisol levels can be linked to weight gain in your abdomen, face and chest. So, if you are stressed and not seeing the results you should from your workout and balanced diet, cortisol could be to blame.
Not only that, but cortisol also affects memory formulation. When you are stressed and your body feels like it’s in crisis mode, it concentrates on surviving to the detriment of “non-essential” functions, of which memory is one. So, if you struggle to get your workout together and keep having to stop to go over your workout plan, it could be your stress levels.
But what does phosphatidylserine have to do with it? Well, phosphatidylserine is considered one of the most potent natural cortisol blockers available. This may sound great for you, so let’s take a deeper dive into how phosphatidylserine can reduce cortical and help manage your stress.
One of phosphatidylserine’s main jobs is to cover and protect cells, as well as facilitating messages being passed from cell to cell. They block high levels of cortisol reaching the cells and affecting them. This can massively reduce the negative effects of cortisol on the body such as stress.
However, as this is a natural product, users do not have to be concerned about being “numbed”. It does not stop the body feeling any stress, it just allows enough for the body to deal with constructively. There are therefore no known negative side effects of phosphatidylserine when sticking to the recommended dose.
One of the main benefits of your fitness goals is the balance of testosterone and cortisol in your body when you take phosphatidylserine. There is a close relationship between testosterone and cortisol and there is evidence to suggest that increased circulating cortisol will reduce testosterone levels.1 So, by lowering your cortisol levels your body may increase muscle gain in the long term as testosterone plays a key role in building muscle.
In addition, combatting the stress of cortisol can be massively helpful to those who struggle with insomnia and poor-quality sleep. As we know, a healthy night’s sleep is essential for overall wellbeing. Plus, it gives you more energy for your workouts and helps your body maintain a healthy weight.
Studies have also linked phosphatidylserine with improved memory function. In helping your cells communicate effectively, this compound keeps the brain healthy and functioning effectively.
Considering these factors, it’s no surprise that phosphatidylserine helps the body to maintain a healthy stress response. A response that is focused, clear and able to effectively identify the cause of stresses and consider a solution without panic or harm to the body.
As you might imagine, from easier weight goals to a better night’s sleep, phosphatidylserine has been linked with improving the overall mood of the people that take it. Many supplement users report a positive outlook and fewer feelings of stress.
Phosphatidylserine should be taken in 1g doses 3 times a day to feel the full benefit. No serious side effects have been reported with phosphatidylserine, but ensure you consult your doctor before taking it if you are on medication or performance enhancers.
You can enjoy this supplement with your protein shake, fresh juices or simply with water. Time your dosage to ensure that you effectively combat the cortisol released while you’re working out. Mix it in a pre or post workout shake and you can be confident your body will be protected from the harmful effects of cortisol.
What is phosphatidylserine?
Phosphatidylserine is a component of your cell membrane, helping to cover and protect cells and aid cell communication
What are the benefits of phosphatidylserine?
Phosphatidylserine helps maintain a healthy balance of testosterone and cortisol. It may also help memory function, and maintain a healthy stress response.
How much phosphatidylserine should I take?
We recommend taking 1g doses three times per day to yield the full benefits.
What are the side effects of phosphatidylserine?
There are currently no known side effects when sticking to sticking to the recommended doses.
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Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.
- Brownlee, K. K., Moore, A. W., & Hackney, A. C. (2005). Relationship between circulating cortisol and testosterone: influence of physical exercise. Journal of sports science & medicine, 4(1), 76–83.
Liam is a certified sport nutritionist with the International Society of Sport Nutrition and is enrolled on the British Dietetics Association’s Sport and Exercise Nutrition register. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Sport and Exercise Science and is graduate of the ISSN Diploma in Applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition.Liam is an experienced personal trainer, helping clients reach their health and fitness goals with practical, evidence informed exercise and nutrition advice. In his spare time Liam has competed in numerous powerlifting competitions and enjoys hill walking, football and expanding his recipe repertoire in the kitchen.
Find out more about Liam's experience here.