You may have noticed phosphatidylserine being added to shakes in the gym or taken by people you know as part of a balanced lifestyle. Indeed, studies have been done on phosphatidylserine, but the positive properties of it are 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 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 the cells 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 is safer, as it carries no risk of infectious disease from animals and is vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
Phosphatidylserine And Cortisol
Cortisol is a stress hormone which naturally occurs in the body. It is 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 often 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 steroid hormone and effects many different functions throughout the body. Cortisol effects 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 it is 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.
As you can imagine, as a stress hormone cortisol is also linked to anxiety and depression.
So what does phosphatidylserine have to do with it? Well, phosphatidylserine is considered one of the most potent natural cortisol blockers available.
One of phosphatidylserine‘s main job 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.
Essentially, they stop the body from receiving an overwhelming amount of cortisol, so it does not reach the “fight or flight mode” that is unhelpful in everyday modern life. 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.
One of the main benefits of your fitness goals is the balance of testosterone and cortisol in your body when you take phosphatidylserine. By lowering your cortisol levels, you will make it much easier for your body to build muscle mass while you are training.
In addition, combatting the anxiety and 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 is 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, with fresh juices or simply with water. Time your dosage to ensure that you effectively combat the cortisol released while you are 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.