Beta Blockers to Boost Mood

beta blockersBeta Blockers have been traditionally prescribed to treat people with a range of issues from heart conditions to glaucoma, high blood pressure, and even migraines. There have even been a number of famous actors and performers who used these medications to help ease their performance anxiety. However, one of the most novel and interesting uses for Beta Blockers today is an effort to help boost mood.

How Beta Blockers Work?

Very simply put, Beta Blockers are drugs, or medications also known as beta-adrenergic agents. What they do is block or inhibit specific brain chemicals called neurotransmitters from binding to beta receptors on the nerves. These chemicals are primarily Norepinephrine and Epinephrine, along with Adrenaline to a certain degree.
Continue reading “Beta Blockers to Boost Mood”

Phenibut vs GABA

While Phenibut and GABA are different supplements, they are very closely related to one another. These two supplements are both used for effects that range from cognitive enhancement to stress reduction and even to relaxation. In fact, anyone who is looking to help improve or balance out their moods, or even improve their effectiveness in the gym might want to seriously consider these supplements. Of course, this raises the ultimate question: Which of these supplements is better?

GABA Benefits:

There are many positive side effects of gaba including boosting mood

GABA, or Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, is an amino acid which is produced within the brain from glutamate and vitamin B6. While GABA is consideredan amino acid, it is not found in the proteins of the food you eat or in your own body’s store. Almost all of the GABA in your body must be synthesized from stored glutamate. [3]

This supplement is also a neurotransmitter, a powerful brain chemical. In fact, it is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter within the body that allows for balancing out other chemicals and processes that may cause neuron over excitability. When your body lacks GABA, chances are the neurons in your brain will fire off too quickly which contrary to how it sounds, will keep you from focusing, cause anxiety, and worsen depression.[3]

The primary benefit of GABA is to help balance out normal moods. Additionally, it helps to directly regulate muscle tone throughout the body and even supports the production of hormones that are needed to build muscle. GABA also helps neurons within the brain communicate more efficiently with each other. It is also reported to help with mental clarity, attention, and focus. [3]

What is Phenibut?

Phenibut is essentially a derived formulation of GABA. It is GABA plus a phenyl group molecule ring. The reason for this addition is that it helps the supplement to cross over the blood-brain barrier. The main problem with pure GABA is the fact that it is much more difficult for it to cross over this barrier and actually enter into the central nervous system. [4]

Phenibut Benefits

Once Phenibut gets into the nervous system, it has many of the same effects as GABA. Thus, Phenibut helps to calm the mind and leads to relaxation, reduction of stress, and a balancing of moods. It has also been shown to increase the body’s levels of dopamine. [1]

There are many positive phenibut side effects including relaxation
Phenibut helps you relax and unwind.

The main draw of phenibut is its potency. The fact that it absorbs better than pure GABA means that the effects are much stronger and take significantly less time to notice. [4]

It is also worth noting that phenibut is a little more versatile in its uses than ordinary GABA boosters. In fact, many body builders and weight lifters use Phenibut powder as a pre-workout supplement because it helps them to maintain mental clarity and enhances concentration and focus during their workouts. [4]

GABA Side Effects

Both supplements do have possible side effects that can usually be avoided with proper usage. However, if you’re worried about possible complications, here is a side-by-side comparison to help you determine if either one has a negative effect that could be a deal breaker.

When it comes to GABA, there are a few things to keep in mind. Always keep to the recommended dose, for one. While not guaranteed, some reports have shown that high dosages can lead to skin flushing or tingling. [3]

More importantly however would be to avoid GABA if you suffer from serious depression. GABA is mainly used to calm down heavy anxiety, but may trigger an episode in those suffering from severe forms of depression. If you suffer from this type of depression, a serotonin booster may be more useful than a GABA booster. [3]

Phenibut Side Effects

Along with the side effects that a GABA booster may present, phenibut has been reported to be somewhat habit forming and can cause withdrawal symptoms in heavy users. This can include nervousness and shakiness, psychomotor agitation, feeling easily annoyed and irritated, fatigue, anxiety, poor appetite, heart palpitations, nausea, insomnia, and feeling tense. [4]

These effects can usually be avoided by taking a recommended dose or lower and not using it more than a few times a week at most. If you do experience these side effects they are usually reported as lasting 5-7 days. [4]

Conclusion—Phenibut or GABA?

So which supplement is better? Phenibut is certainly much more powerful and also faster acting. Since this supplement is better able to cross over the blood-brain barrier, this could be a very important factor. However, the possible side effects of misuse are also a little steeper.

In contrast, GABA is less potent and should probably be taken with other supplements to ensure that it has a ‘carrier’ in order to enable it to enter into the central nervous system.

There is no one best answer to this question, as there are numerous factors at play here and what works for some will not necessarily work for all. As long as you stick to recommended dosages and use caution, either supplement is a perfectly viable option. However, for combating pure anxiety, phenibut comes out ahead for its potency and versatility.

Sources

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11830761
  2. http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2011/mar2011_The-Chemistry-of-Calm_01.htm
  3. http://overcomingyouranxiety.net/naturalanxietyremedies/gaba-for-anxiety/
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenibut

Critical Sleep Mistakes to Avoid

sleep mistakes to avoidSleeping seems to be on everyone’s mind right now. Unfortunately, current research published by The American Journal of Human Biology suggests that many people are committing a number of critical mistakes before or even during their sleep that can lead to sometimes harmful effects. Not only do you need to make sure to get enough sleep, but also to make sure that it is effective since the sleep process is critical for processing sugar, muscle growth and repair, healthy blood pressure levels, and much more. Be sure that you are not committing any of these sleep mistakes.

Raising Body Temperature:

In order to get to sleep most effectively, the internal body temperature must drop slightly. Unfortunately, many people engage in practices that can have the opposite effect. For example, taking a hot shower before going to sleep could mean that it takes a good 2 hours to fall asleep. Also, you should avoid working out or doing strenuous physical activity for at least 3 or 4 hours before sleeping. This waiting period is due to the fact that it can take a long time to cool down from exercise.
Continue reading “Critical Sleep Mistakes to Avoid”

Top 3 Supplements for Better Sleep and Relaxation

supplements to help with sleepSleep is becoming more of an issue for an increasing number of Americans these days. This problem is likely due to higher levels of stress at home and work, tougher economic conditions, lack of proper diet (who has the time anymore?), and many other factors seemingly beyond the scope of our control. Would you be surprised to learn that there are a number of all-natural supplements that can help lead to improved sleep and relaxation? How about if some of these supplements could even aid in reducing levels of stress? The top three picks for these benefits are discussed below. Continue reading “Top 3 Supplements for Better Sleep and Relaxation”

Schizandrol and its Anti-Oxidant Effects

schizandrol comes from the chinensis plantAnyone who is familiar with traditional Chinese herbal remedies knows that they are still an incredibly helpful resource. Among these resources we can now add an adaptogenic plant named Schizandrol A to the list. Adaptogens in general are classified as ingredients or agents that help the body cope with stress.

What is Schizandrol A and Where Does it Come From?

Schizandrol A is a very concentrated compound derived from the chinensis plant (a woody vine) that grows natively in Northern China and Eastern Russia. This natural supplement has been a traditional herbal remedy known to the Chinese for centuries, but one that is only now beginning to receive serious attention from the West. [1]

In terms of the actual content, the Schisandra Chinensis contains a fair amount of vitamins C and E, in addition to Schizandrol A and Schizandrins. Modern science regards this plant extract as a powerful anti-oxidant. [1]

The vine itself sprouts berries, which have a number of purposes in cooking and food production. These berries also have a number of medical uses, can be dried and boiled into a tea, or made into wine. [1]

Most importantly, theses berries are the source of Schizandrol A. Schizandrol A is extracted from the berries after they have been dried. This extract can be taken alone as a supplement, but is often included in many popular nootropic products. [4]

Anti-Oxidant Supplements:

Schisandrol A is a powerful antioxidant
Antioxidants help ride the body of poisons and toxins.

As a general rule, anti-oxidant supplements work by ridding the body of toxins and poisons. One of the most damaging things that anti-oxidants serve to counter are free radicals, which are essentially pieces of dead cells that roam around looking for other cells and material (such as DNA, proteins, and cell membranes) to attack. This kind of cell damage is obviously bad for your health. [5]

Damage is also caused by a process known as oxidation, which also serves to develop free radicals.

The body is capable of producing a small amount of anti-oxidants on its own, but relies on external sources to obtain the majority of its anti-oxidants. Most of these anti-oxidants are obtained through what we eat and are known as dietary anti-oxidants. These are mostly found in fruits, vegetables, and grains. [5]

By using supplements like Schizandrol and other anti-oxidants, we can help to keep our bodies free from oxidative stress, damage, and free radicals. This serves to improve the efficiency of organ function, improve cellular health, and even boosts the immune system. [1]

Schizandrol A Benefits:

One of the primary benefits of this supplement is to promote a healthy response to stressors, which can include stimulants or even an intense workout routine. Anything that can take a physical toll on the body is capable of causing an increase in the level of free radicals, through toxic substances or oxidation. [4]

As the anti-oxidants in the Schizandrol A work to clean up cellular damage they help remove excess calcium as well as protect organs against glutamate and its resulting toxicity. This can in turn help fight infections, improve heart health, and other maladies caused by this type of build up and cell damage. [4]

Schizandrol A as an antioxidantTraditionally, the less powerful forms of this extract were used to improve symptoms of the common cold as well as boost lung and kidney health. Recently however, this more concentrated form has found uses to boost mood, reduce anxiety, and improve focus and concentration. [4]

There is further evidence to suggest that Schizandrol A may help to increase the levels of Acetylcholine and other neurotransmitters within the brain. This will serve to improve memory formation, learning capacity, and even help improve mental energy, focus, concentration, and clarity. [3]

Plus, Schizandrol A can help raise nitric-oxide levels and therefore assist in performing numerous physical activities and processes throughout the body. This is why some may choose to include it in a pre-workout supplement. [3]

Schizandrol A Dosage and Side Effects

For the best results, a healthy adult can take 100-400 mg of Schizandrol  A up to three times a day without any side effects, as it is a very safe herb.

However, a very important word of caution. Schizandrol  A should not be taken by pregnant women as it produces a stimulating effect which could cause contractions of the uterus, leading to possible miscarriages. It is not advised for breast-feeding mothers to use this supplement either.

Sources

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schisandra_chinensis
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1678991
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2962140/
  4. http://www.supplementhq.com/benefits-of-schizandrol-a/
  5. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/antioxidants

How Does Resveratrol Cross the Blood-Brain Barrier and Why This Crossing Makes Resveratrol More Effective

resveratrol for increased brain healthResveratrol is one of the most well-known supplements around despite it being rather late to the party. We all are likely aware that this supplement acts as a potent anti-oxidant supplement and has a lot of incredible health benefits such as potentially even being able to increase life span. One of the most interesting things about this supplement, however, may be related to its ability to cross over the blood-brain barrier, which is simply a way for a substance to enter into the central nervous system.

Resveratrol Health Benefits:

The Resveratrol supplement is a natural anti-oxidant found in grape skins, berries, cocoa, and peanuts. It has even been compared to a modern fountain of youth since it also appears to have the potential to slow down the aging process in human cells. Studies have been conducted on this supplement at a wide variety of research facilities including Harvard Medical School. It is considered to play a very positive role in supporting cardiovascular health, insulin uptake, and even blood flow to the brain. There is also a lot of evidence to indicate it can be very helpful in controlling metabolism and leading to healthy weight loss. Continue reading “How Does Resveratrol Cross the Blood-Brain Barrier and Why This Crossing Makes Resveratrol More Effective”

PEA and Theanine Combo to Relax

green tea contains theanineFor anyone who is feeling stressed out, anxious, or overly tired, there are some natural supplements that can help. Two of these are PEA (Phenylethylamine) and L-Theanine. They both show many beneficial effects which include elevating mood, combating stress, and improving cognitive abilities. A closer examination into both of these supplements can help us understand why and how.

What is Phenylethylamine?

This supplement is actually a derivative of the amino acid Phenylalanine which is found in chocolate and a number of other food sources. There is much evidence to suggest that it is able to influence and improve mood. This effect, along with several additional benefits, are thought to be caused by the supplement having a modulating effect on several brain chemicals including Dopamine which is believed responsible for regulating mood and movement functions. But wait, there’s more!

DMAE Benefits and Dosage for Better Sleep

A proper dmae dosage benefits those looking for help sleepingDMAE is a naturally occurring brain compound that has also been made into a supplement form. This supplement has a number of different uses and benefits, with many users reporting it to be one of the best things they have ever tried. There is evidence suggesting that it can help everything from your mood to how much mental energy you feel. Sleep is also a big issue today. It seems as if too many people are not able to get enough sleep, fall asleep quickly enough, or stay asleep and wake feeling rested. Well, DMAE may just be an interesting solution to these problems. But wait, there’s more!

The Top Five Benefits of Nootropic Supplements

nootropics as brain boostersNootropics are a class of supplements known to have brain boosting or cognitive-enhancing effects and abilities. Despite relatively similar methods of actions, each one has a specific set of benefits and effects. This makes it not only fun but exciting to learn about each different formulation and see whether or not it would be a good fit for your personal supplementation routine. However, before even getting to that point, it is helpful to step back a bit and take a look at some of the top Nootropic benefits in general. Continue reading “The Top Five Benefits of Nootropic Supplements”

Counteract Caffeine Side Effects with L-Theanine

Counteract Caffeine Side Effects With a Theanine Source Like Green TeaProbably the most popular nootropic substance of all is caffeine. Whether this is in the form of caffeine supplements or just by drinking coffee, there is little doubt that caffeine has some interesting effects. These effects include nervousness, jitters, and even an unpleasant energy crash as the main effects wear off. However, the good news is that it does not need to go like this anymore. Using a theanine supplement is a very effective way to combat and overcome the normal side effects of caffeine. Continue reading “Counteract Caffeine Side Effects with L-Theanine”