Exercise, whether done professionally or for leisure, is beneficial for both body and mind. Physical activity allows you to control your weight, reduces risk of cardiovascular and other metabolic diseases, strengthens your muscles and bones and improves your mental health and mood.
There are, however, exercise-related phenomena that can make our training less satisfying, and thus less effective. Our muscles are often sore after training, and a few days can pass until we feel fit to train again. Recovery from exercise can also hold us back from optimizing our training. There’s also the Ceiling Effect, which is well known to everyone who trains regularly: there’s a point where no matter how much you train, your performance doesn’t seem to improve.
All these effects reduce our enjoyment of training, prevent us from optimizing our training regimen, and may even deter people from training altogether.
While PS is known mostly for its ability to help improve cognitive skills, there are also other benefits. Over the years, a number of clinical studies that tested the effects of PS on exercise showed that intake of PS enhances the exercise experience by improving several different outcomes. These include significant improvements to endurance (which can boost peak performance) and recovery, reduced muscle soreness.
Increased endurance means a person can keep training for longer periods of time. For example, those who run or cycle can keep going further and for longer, improving their results. In a double blind, placebo-controlled clinical study conducted using a model of cycling, PS was found to increase the endurance of the cyclists by a full 30%!
Our physique is influenced by many factors, some of them related to hormones found in our body, especially in the blood. Cortisol, a hormone known best for its relation to stress, causes muscle wasting when found in high levels. Exercise and sport lead to an increase in cortisol, which may reduce muscle buildup. Another example is testosterone, one of the most important hormones in the process of muscle building. In a clinical study, PS was found to reduce the increase in the levels of cortisol and simultaneously increase the levels of testosterone, leading to a more optimal hormonal balance for those who train.
Additionally, the ratio between testosterone and cortisol is known as a marker for recovery. PS was found to significantly improve this ratio, indicating that those who consume PS have better recovery capabilities compared to those who do not.
PS effect on our muscles
Testosterone and sports
Cortisol and sports
PS improves recovery after exercise
High testosterone-to-cortisol ratio indicates better recovery after exercise
PS reduces perceived muscle soreness
We train hard and we maintain a proper nutrition regimen, but not all is well: after training our muscles often feel sore, reducing our training capabilities and leading to a suboptimal training routine. In a double blind, placebo-controlled study, people taking PS reported that their muscle soreness was reduced. While the participants not taking PS still felt muscle soreness 48 hours after the training session, those who took PS were fully recovered within the same time frame, suggesting PS may enable a better training routine.
The minimal dose of PS shown to be effective for sports is 600 mg/day. Clinical studies with PS show a benefit as early as after 10 days of daily consumption. The recommended regimen is to take PS together with proteins, after completion of the exercise session, although intake of PS prior to exercise may also be reasonable. PS intake is similarly beneficial for all sports activities, with clinical studies showing positive effects from PS taken following sports such as models of cycling (or spinning), running, soccer, weightlifting, and more.