1. What Is It?
Phosphatidic Acid is a phospholipid that makes up a small percentage of the phospholipid pool that is found in the body. Phospholipids are a class of lipids (fats) that form a main component of the cell membrane. Their structure is typically made up of 2 fatty acids and a single phosphate group.
Phosphatidic Acid is a lipid messenger that has been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis by signalling stimulation of the Mammalian Target of Rapamycin… otherwise better known as the mTOR pathway.
2. What Does It Do?
Activation Of mTOR Signaling
Phosphatidic Acid has been shown to enhance mTOR signalling in the body. The Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) signalling pathway includes both intracellular and extracellular signals and serves as a central regulator of cell metabolism, growth, reproduction and survival. The mTOR pathway has always been a focus for sports supplements due to its involvement in hypertrophy. Studies have shown that mechanical load-induced muscle hypertrophy, aka building muscle from resistance training, is fully dependent on mTOR signalling within the skeletal muscle.
Increase Muscle Growth
As we just mentioned, muscle hypertrophy or muscle growth is essentially regulated by the mTOR pathway. Phosphatidic Acid has been shown to increase the activation of the mTOR pathway. Furthermore, studies have shown that supplementation with Phosphatidic Acid actually leads to an increase in Lean Body Mass (LBM) of 2.6% over only 8 weeks of resistance training. This is compared to a placebo group than only saw an 0.1% increase in LBM over the same 8 weeks.
Reduce Protein Breakdown
This benefit is still a bit unknown as to the exact mechanisms that play a role here but the theory is pretty straightforward. With the increased activation of the mTOR pathway due to Phosphatidic Acid supplementation. The body is put into a state where protein synthesis is upregulated. This appears to occur regardless of subjects being in a caloric deficit or surplus, therefore the theory suggests that Phosphatidic Acid supplementation would have tremendous benefits while in a calorie deficit to help prevent protein breakdown and muscle breakdown due to excessive training. As mentioned, this hasn’t been studied as such but the research suggests the benefits are there given the mechanisms at work with Phosphatidic Acid.
So far we have talked about effects you may not necessarily feel or notice while using Phosphatidic Acid. Over the space of 8 weeks, subjects that consumed Phosphatidic Acid saw an increase in their 1RM Squat of 12.7% where the placebo group only saw an increase of 9.3%. The same for 1RM Bench Press, with the Phosphatidic Acid group increasing by 5.1% while the placebo group only increasing by 3.3%. Increases in mTOR activation increases in protein synthesis and enhancing the natural effects of resistance training has shown that Phosphatidic Acid does have a physical effect on Strength and Power.
3. How Much Do I Need To Take?
You will need, 750 mg of Phosphatidic Acid per day, as simple as that. All studies used a 750 mg serving of Phosphatidic Acid taken per day, consistently over the course of the study period. Be sure when you are looking at the Phosphatidic Acid supplements you ensure you are getting the full 750 mg of active Phosphatidic Acid.
Some companies may show the product containing 1,500 mg of Phosphatidic Acid (yielding 50% actives) which would provide you with the required 750 mg. On the other hand you will have companies state their product contains 750 mg of Phosphatidic Acid (yielding 50% actives) which will only get you 375 mg of active Phosphatidic Acid per serve.
4. When Do I Take It?
While dosing of Phosphatidic Acid during the studies was not controlled. It appears most supplements containing Phosphatidic Acid suggest either a Morning or Pre-Workout dosing time.
Our suggestion would be to keep Phosphatidic Acid supplementation as consistent as possible. Think of it like another creatine type of supplement. Consistent daily dosing is always going to yield the best results. Taking your daily serve of Phosphatidic Acid in the morning, with some food to aid absorption will help keep your consumption consistent.
5. How Long Does It Take To Work?
All the studies on Phosphatidic Acid were conducted over an 8 week period. That’s not to say you will need to wait until 8 weeks to see any benefits but the results do suggest that consistent consumption will yield the best results.
You will not see any benefits after a single dose of Phosphatidic Acid. We would suggest physical results could be expected to be seen after approximately 3 – 4 weeks of consistent supplementation of Phosphatidic Acid along with a structured resistance training program.
6. What Are The Top Products?
The top product containing Phosphatidic Acid are: