Phosphatidylserine Information

Phosphatidylserine is a relatively new supplement that started showing up a few years ago.  It really has a two main benefits as I see it.  It helps to mitigate the catabolic effects of cortisol and helps to restore memory and learning capacity in the elderly.  Although it has been effective in helping improve cognitive abilities, we are only going to discuss the benefits of taking phosphatidylserine as an anti-catabolic supplement.

For bodybuilders, cortisol can be a real killler to what you are trying to achieve.  For those that don't know, cortisol is an abundant and active glucocorticoid that assists with normal metabolism and reduction of stress.  Release of cortisol is stimulated by stress and low blood levels of glucocorticoids.  The bad thing for us though is that cortisol increases the rate of protein breakdown as well as removing amino acids from cells and transporting them to the liver to be used for energy.  On the positive side though, cortisol makes this energy available when stress levels are high and it also works as an anti inflammatory agent.  After a workout, cortisol levels will rise.  This excess cortisol is the real problem.  This excess cortisol works against what you are trying to acheive, which is the gain of lean muscle mass.  These postworkout high cortisol levels break down muscle tissue and block the entry of amino acids into the muscle cells.  This is a very bad thing.  Ideally, this is the time that you are wanting to take in a high quality protein supplement and some good low glycemic index carbs to speed healing and growth.  The big problem is that regardless of the quality of protein you take, when cortisol is high, protein is more apt to be excreted in urine or processed by the liver into glucose.  Cortisol also appears to inhibit carbohydrate use. You may have high blood glucose levels, but the glucose may not be transported into the muscle tissue particularly well.

This is where phosphatidylserine comes in.   Phosphatidylserine benefits to helps cut down on these high cortisol levels which cause these problems.  Phosphatidylserine is essential to the healthy functioning of virtually all cells in our bodies with highest concentrations in the human brain. In the brain it acts upon an assortment of nerve cell functions including: the conduction of nerve impulses; the accumulation, storage and release of neurotransmitters; the activity and number of receptors involved in synaptic discharge; and the maintenance of healthy cells.  Phosphatidylserine works by lowering cortisol levels in response to working out the muscles in bodybuilding and endurance training.  The bottom line is that by taking phosphatidylserine, you may be able to speed recovery times between workouts dramatically.  Because cortisol can halt protein synthesis, phosphatidylserine may actually increase your postworkout absorption of amino acids.

Possible Side Effects: In studies done so far, participants complained of no major side effects, although nausea developed in some cases. An unwanted energy boost or mild insomnia may develop. Avoid if you have kidney problems (reduced kidney function or kidney failure).

The current dosing is around 400 - 800 mg per day.  I would recommend a divided dosing schedule just to be smart.  Perhaps, 200 mg 4 times per day would be a good start.  This supplement is fairly inexpensive so I would give it a shot. 

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