The Mental Side of Sports Nutrition

Getting the edge on fitness is not just about the body. There is another area that has not gotten nearly enough attention: the brain.

During exercises, the brain benefits from the right nutrition just like any other part of the body. Athletes dedicate hours upon hours training and consuming nutritional supplements to improve physical performance.

Be mindful that investing in cognitive function is just as important for peak performance as fueling your muscles.

Performance-Optimizing Ingredients

There are specific ingredients that optimize neurotransmitter production, promote motivation, concentration, & focus, improve reaction time, and support overall brain function. This is crucial for achieving peak performance during physical activity.


Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a valuable asset in the realm of sports nutrition, offering relief from muscle soreness, facilitating recovery, and promoting overall well-being.

Clinical trials have shown Phosphatidylserine supplementation is effective for counteracting exercise-induced stress and safeguarding against the physiological toll of overtraining.

PS is a type of fat abundantly present in cell membranes throughout the body. PS is most concentrated in brain tissue, where it comprises 15% of the total phospholipid pool. Studies examining athletes involved in cycling, weight training, and endurance running demonstrated PS might help prevent muscle soreness, speed recovery, and improve well-being. (2)

In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over design, Monteleone et al, PS supplementation was found to suppress cortisol and ACTH responses during staged cycling exercise. Compared to the placebo group, cortisol levels were 30% lower, demonstrating the potential of PS supplementation to lessen the severity of stress responses to exercise. (3)

Furthermore, a study conducted at California State University investigated the effect of PS on hormone levels, muscle soreness, and feelings of well-being among experienced weight-trained athletes deliberately undergoing overtraining. Subjects reported diminished muscle soreness and an enhanced sense of well-being during the two-week training period when supplemented with PS, particularly noticeable after the first week.

Neuro-Synergy is a comprehensive blend crafted to enhance mental clarity, mental energy, and alertness. It contains 50 mg of Phosphatidylserine per scoop, harnessing its benefits to support peak cognitive and physical performance.


Acetyl-L Carnitine is found naturally in your muscles, heart, liver, kidneys and plasma. It's essential for energy production and fat metabolism, and the average human body contains 25g of L-Carnitine, predominantly (95%) located in skeletal muscles.

Seeking that extra workout edge? I highly recommend focusing on improving your mental agility and alertness. Acetyl L-carnitine, once primarily used by athletes to increase maximal aerobic power and help burning stored fat, it's currently recognized for its ability to improve mental as well as physical performance. (5)

Cognitive brain function benefits associated with acetyl l-carnitine includes an increase in memory and learning capacity along with an improved speed of memory recall and thought processing.

Other studies showed subjects’ ability to think more clearly with a lengthened attention span, as well as improved overall concentration and focus. In a double-blind study in two randomized homogeneous groups of both sexes of 15 subjects each, one group underwent supplementation with acetyl l-carnitine, while the other group was given a placebo. The people who took acetyl l-carnitine exhibited statistically significant improvement in their behavioral performances, memory tests, attention tests and Verbal Fluency tests. (6)

Furthermore, emerging research indicates acetyl l-carnitine may improve sensory perception, especially in the areas of sight and sound. Users also reported their reflexes are faster and reaction times are shorter. (7)


Huperzine-A is an alkaloid sourced from the Chinese herb Huperzia serrata. It stands out as a potent cognitive enhancer with promising benefits for athletes. that blocks the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which damages the learning neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, causing a relative increase in acetylcholine to occur. 

In addition to acetylcholinesterase inhibition, other neuroprotective properties have been identified — reduce oxidative stress, regulate the expression of apoptotic proteins, protect mitochondria, and upregulate nerve growth factor. (11, 12)

Nutrition has always been an essential focus in athletics, but the focus on the effects of cognitive nutrition has been rather narrow, focusing instead on the physical benefits. The Central Fatigue Hypothesis states fatigue is governed by the central nervous system, and not the muscles themselves, suggesting fatigue is actually coming from the brain. (13) 

Cognitive function is influenced by nutrition and the positive effect cognitive sports nutrients have on athletic performance in the form of reducing exercise-induced stress, promoting motivation, concentration and focus, improving reaction time, and providing neuroprotective properties. (14)

Huperzine A is one of many nutrients found in Neuro-Synergy, a powdered supplement for powerful focus and optimal neurotransmitter production.


Tyrosine is an amino acid precursor to neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which play key roles in mood regulation and cognitive function. Supplementation with tyrosine has been shown to improve cognitive performance, memory, and alertness, particularly during periods of stress or sleep deprivation.

Neuro-Adapt provides 400 mg Tyrosine, and also includes other brain-supporting nutrients such as phenylalanine and vitamins B6 and B2. It's a very effective blend! 


Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that serves as a precursor to several important neurotransmitters, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. These neurotransmitters play key roles in mood regulation, cognitive function, and stress response.


B-vitamins, including B6, B12, and folate, are important for brain health and neurotransmitter synthesis. Adequate intake of these vitamins is essential for maintaining cognitive function, energy metabolism, and mood regulation. B-vitamin supplementation has been associated with improved cognitive performance and reduced mental fatigue.





- Jack Grogan, Chief Science Officer for Healthy Goods


1. Fahey TD. Biological markers of overtraining. Biol Sport. 1997;14:1–19.

2. Ralf Jäger et al, Phospholipids and sports performance. Published online 2007 Jul 25.

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

4. Fahey TD, Pearl MS. The Hormonal and Perceptive Effects of Phosphatidylserine Administration During Two Weeks of Weight Training-Induced Over-Training. Biol Sport. 1998;15:135–144.

5. Broquist, H.P. and Borum, P.R. 1982, Carnitine Biosynthesis. Nutritional Implications. Advances in Nutr. Res.4: 181-204.4

6. Sinforiani E, Iannuccelli M, Mauri M, Costa A, Merlo P, Bono G, Nappi G. Neuropsychological changes in demented patients treated with acetyl-L-carnitine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 1990.

7. Passeri M, Iannuccelli M, Ciotti G, Bonati PA, Nolfe G, Cucinotta D. Mental impairment in aging: selection of patients, methods of evaluation and therapeutic possibilities of acetyl-L-carnitine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 1988.

8. Amen DG, et al. Reversing brain damage in former NFL players: implications for traumatic brain injury and substance abuse rehabilitation. J Psychoactive Drugs. (2011)

9. Polich J, Gloria R. Cognitive effects of a Ginkgo biloba/vinpocetine compound in normal adults: systematic assessment of perception, attention and memory.Hum Psychopharmacol. (2001)

10. Amen DG, et al. Reversing brain damage in former NFL players: implications for traumatic brain injury and substance abuse rehabilitation. J Psychoactive Drugs. (2013)  Effects

11. Effects of huperzine A on acetylcholinesterase isoforms in vitro: comparison with tacrine, donepezil, rivastigmine and physostigmine. Published online 2007.

12. Progress in studies of huperzine A, a natural cholinesterase inhibitor fro Chinese herbal medicine.  Published online 2006.

13. Acworth I, Nicholass J, Morgan B, Newsholme EA. Effect of sustained exercise on concentrations of plasma aromatic and branched-chain amino acids and brain amines.  Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 1986;137(1):149-53.

14. Lemyre P-N, Treasure DC, Roberts GC. Sport Psychology. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology. 2006;28:32-48.













The best way to test heavy metals.

Featured product

Hair Mineral Analysis Kit

Healthy Goods

Hair Mineral Analysis Kit


Recently viewed