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The effects of phosphatidylserine supplementation on cognitive functioning prior and following an acute bout of resistance training in young males


Making quick decisions and reducing the amount of errors at the beginning of a competition are crucial to the success in team sports and individual events. Phosphatidylserine (PS) has been shown to reduce stress and increase performance in runners, cyclists and golfers. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over pilot study was performed to evaluate the effect of PS supplementation on cognitive function prior to and following an acute bout of resistance training in 18 males aged 18-30.


During the first testing session, subjects were familiarized with the serial subtraction test (SST) and performed 1 repetition maximum (1RM) lifts in the smith machine squat (SQ), leg press (LP), and leg extension (LE). Subjects consumed PS (400 mg/day, SerinAid, Chemi Nutra) or placebo in a random, cross-over design for 14 days, with no washout period between supplementation. Following supplementation, subjects performed 5 sets of 10 repetitions at 70% of their 1RM on SQ, LP, and LE. SST was measured prior to exercise (PRE) and 5 (5POST) and 60 (60POST) minutes after exercise.


PS supplementation significantly reduced the time needed for a correct calculation by 19.8% (1.27 s per calculation; Placebo: 6.4 s, PS 5.13 s; p = 0.001), and reduced the total amount of errors by 33% (PRE: Placebo: 27, PS: 18, p = 0.18) at PRE compared to placebo. Exercise significantly improved SST time (p = 0.03). PS did not improve SST compared to placebo post exercise.


PS supplementation significantly increased cognitive function prior to exercise. Improved cognitive function could benefit athletes and non-athletes alike. Further research is warranted to determine the effects of varying dosages and duration of PS supplementation on cognitive function during exercise.


The authors would like to thank Chemi Nutra, Inc. for providing financial and material support of this study. Thanks are also due to the Kilgore Research Center at West Texas A&M University for providing funding for this study. We would also like to thank the researchers at the Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory at Texas A&M University for their help in completing this project.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Parker, A., Gordon, J., Thornton, A. et al. The effects of phosphatidylserine supplementation on cognitive functioning prior and following an acute bout of resistance training in young males. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 7 (Suppl 1), P2 (2010).

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  • Placebo
  • Cognitive Function
  • Resistance Training
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Young Male