Phosphatidylserine for exercise and cortisol recovery-J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008

Posted by:  Kevin G. Parker, D.C.


J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008; 5: 11.
Published online Jul 28, 2008. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-5-11
PMCID: PMC2503954

The effects of phosphatidylserine on endocrine response to moderate intensity exercise
Michael A Starks,1 Stacy L Starks,1 Michael Kingsley,2 Martin Purpura,3 and Ralf Jägercorresponding author3


The findings suggest that PS is an effective supplement for combating exercise-induced stress and preventing the physiological deterioration that can accompany too much exercise. PS supplementation promotes a desired hormonal status for athletes by blunting increases in cortisol levels.


Previous research has indicated that phosphatidylserine (PS) supplementation has the potential to attenuate the serum cortisol response to acute exercise stress. Equivocal findings suggest that this effect might be dose dependent. This study aimed to examine the influence of short-term supplementation with a moderate dose of PS (600 mg per day) on plasma concentrations of cortisol, lactate, growth hormone and testosterone before, during, and following moderate intensity exercise in healthy males.


10 healthy male subjects participated in the study. Each subject was assigned to ingest 600 mg PS or placebo per day for 10 days using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design. Serial venous blood samples were taken at rest, after a 15 minute moderate intensity exercise protocol on a cycle ergometer that consisted of five 3-minute incremental stages beginning at 65% and ending at 85% VO2 max, and during a 65 minute passive recovery. Plasma samples were assessed for cortisol, growth hormone, testosterone, lactate and testosterone to cortisol ratio for treatment (PS or placebo).


Mean peak cortisol concentrations and area under the curve (AUC) were lower following PS (39 ± 1% and 35 ± 0%, respectively) when compared to placebo (p < 0.05). PS increased AUC for testosterone to cortisol ratio (184 ± 5%) when compared to placebo (p < 0.05). PS and placebo supplementation had no effect on lactate or growth hormone levels.


Other Journal articles on PS from Wiki:

In athletes, PS has been shown to improve performance,[7][8][9] endocrine response to exercise stress,[10][11] and decreased muscle damage[12] in athletes involved in cycling, weight training, golf and endurance running.

PS has been reported to be an effective supplement for combating exercise-induced stress by blunting the exercise-induced increase in cortisol levels in a dose dependent manner.[10][11]

PS supplementation promotes a desirable hormonal balance for athletes and might attenuate the physiological deterioration that accompanies overtraining and/or overstretching.[10]

In recent studies, PS has been shown to enhance mood in a cohort of young people during mental stress[13] and to improve accuracy during tee-off by increasing the stress resistance of golfers.[9]


7. Kingsley M, Wadsworth D, Kilduff LP, McEneny J, Benton D (August 2005). “Effects of phosphatidylserine on oxidative stress following intermittent running”. Med Sci Sports Exerc 37 (8): 1300–1306.

8. Kingsley MI, Miller M, Kilduff LP, McEneny J, Benton D (January 2006). “Effects of phosphatidylserine on exercise capacity during cycling in active males”. Med Sci Sports Exerc 38 (1): 64–71.

9.Jäger R, Purpura M, Geiss K-R, Weiß M, Baumeister J, Amatulli F, Schröder L, Herwegen H (December 2007). “The effect of phosphatidylserine on golf performance”. International Society of Sports Nutrition 4 (1).

10. Starks MA, Starks SL, Kingsley M, Purpura M, Jäger R (July 2008). “The effects of phosphatidylserine on endocrine response to moderate intensity exercise”. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 5.

11. Monteleone P, Maj M, Beinat L, Natale M, Kemali D (1992). “Blunting by chronic phosphatidylserine administration of the stress-induced activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in healthy men”. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 42 (4): 385–388.

12. Fernholz KM, Seifert JG, Bacharach DW, Burke ER, Gazal O (2000). “The Effects of Phosphatidyl Serine on Markers of Muscular Stress in Endurance Runners [abstract]”. Med Sci Sports Exerc 32 (4): S321.

13. Benton D, Donohoe RT, Sillance B, Nabb S (2001). “The Influence of phosphatidylserine supplementation on mood and heart rate when faced with an acute stressor”. Nutr Neurosci 4 (3): 169–178.

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