Supplement Spotlight: Phosphatidylserine (PS)
What is it?
A naturally occurring phospholipid found in cell membranes throughout the body, comprised of both fatty acids and amino acids. It serves to maintain optimal cell function and communication but most importantly, is a key building block for brain cells.
For us bodybuilders however, possibly the most attractive benefit of this supplement is in it’s potential to suppress the release of cortisol when taken after a workout. It should come as no surprise that contest prep places a great deal of stress on the body and mind. And when your cortisol levels aren't kept in check, it can really work against you - making it more challenging to drop those last few pounds of excess weight as well as staying full and dense through carb-restricted phases. Supplementing with something like PS can help to balance cortisol levels so you have one less factor working against you during the process.
PS is considered to be part of the nootropic family of supplements (aka smart drugs) and has demonstrated some impressive cognitive-enhancing benefits in research as well – including: boosting mental focus and task performance, preventing short term memory loss, helping with ADHD, combats depression/improves mood, improves Parkinson’s symptoms, improves symptoms and delays the onset of Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
600-800 mg daily split over two doses with one dose typically taken in the post-workout period or after intense activity.
600 mg is the common research administered dose per day.
Smaller athletes and females may be able to use 400 mg/day , split over two doses.
Not the cheapest cortisol support supplement, but on my own trials and with clients, it does seem to provide some great results – both from a physique enhancing perspective and cognitive performance. I usually gauge how well it’s working, by how full and hard a client’s muscles stay while dieting over a period of a month, as well as changes in abdominal fat distribution (i.e. if a client is able to drop body fat a little more efficiently in the core).
(Attached photo - proof you can find it locally. This was at Healthy Planet.)