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Dietary Supplementation that Works: The Effect of Phosphatidylserine on Golf Performance.
Alan L. Hammond, GolfersMD Health News
Oct 12, 2010

Perhaps like in no other sport, the stress level felt in the silence between the time a golfer addresses the ball and when impact is made is always elevated. Add in the additional stress of competition and that period of silence is almost deafening. It can certainly cause the coolest of customer to break a sweat, loose focus and hit an errant shot. Golfers would welcome a dietary supplement that enhances cognition, clear thinking and performance. Phosphatidylserine, or PS for short, may do just that. At least, it may come close.

Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid found in the cells of all plants and animals. The PS used in dietary supplements is derived from plants. The largest perceived benefits of PS reportedly come in the elevation of cognition, enhancement of memory, increase in nutrient absorption into the brain and enhancement of nerve cell transmission. All of those things are thought to translate into clearer thinking. In short, for golfers that means less “choking” when the game is on the line. PS is commonly found in such name brand supplements as Biochem Neuro PS and NOW Brain Elevate.

In order to determine the viability of the perceived benefits of PS, researchers with the International Society of Sports Nutritionists conducted a 2007 study of Phosphatidylserine. A random, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was performed to evaluate the effect of oral phosphatidylserine (PS) supplementation on golf performance in healthy young golfers with handicaps of 15-40.

Subjects were given 200 mg of PS per day, in the form of a nutritional bar, over a period of 42 days. Both at the outset and upon conclusion of the study, perceived stress, heart rate and the quality of the ball flight was evaluated. Subjects teed-off 20 times aiming at a green 135 meters (roughly 147 yards) from the tee area.

Results of the study showed that PS supplementation significantly increased the number of good ball flights, whereas placebo intake had no effect. Also, PS supplementation showed a trend towards improving perceived stress levels during teeing-off whereas stress levels remained unchanged in the placebo group. Supplementation did not influence mean heart rate in either group.

From the testing results, researchers concluded that six weeks of PS supplementation shows a statistically insignificant tendency to improve perceived stress levels in golfers. While improvement in stress levels was insignificant, the number of good ball flights during tee-off which might result in improved golf scores was substantial.

Source: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutritionists. 2007 Dec 4;4(1).

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