Need an extra push to get to the gym after a long workday? Looking for a supplement that fights against burnout?
If so, you might benefit from phenylethylamine, a nootropic making its way into the supplement market.
Phenylethylamine, or PEA, functions similarly to a neurotransmitter and contains properties that may enhance focus, mood, and athletic performance.
However, many claims about PEA are based on small, isolated studies or anecdotal evidence. In addition, the benefits of taking phenylethylamine as a supplement are still being explored, which means taking it may cause unwanted side effects.
This article covers everything you need to know about PEA supplements, from their supposed benefits and drawbacks to the best 6 phenylethylamine supplements on the market.
PEA, short for phenylethylamine, is an organic compound.
It can be made in a lab or found naturally in the brains of humans and some animals. It’s also present in some foods, like chocolate, herbs, and some nuts and seeds.
PEA is a trace amine, meaning it is found in lower concentrations in the body than other amino acids.
Like the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, phenylethylamine stimulates activity in the nervous system and helps create certain chemicals that support mood. It works similarly to amphetamine or Adderall, a drug used to treat ADHD.
Due to this, some health experts believe that a phenylethylamine supplement can double as a nootropic supplement and pre-workout supplement. It potentially improves mood, focus, athletic performance, and overall well-being.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that the benefits of PEA are still being explored.
Some brands state that phenylethylamine is an appetite suppressant and can aid weight loss, but there is no significant scientific evidence that supports that.
What research we do have suggests that phenylethylamine can emphasize the effects of neurotransmitters that influence mood, like dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and acetylcholine.
Disclaimer: PEA is NOT a treatment for any diseases or medical conditions. However, because some research looks at people with conditions like depression and ADHD, this research suggests in may help those who are just using it as a supplement. PEA supplements are NOT designed to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease by the FDA, so please DO NOT do anything without talking to your healthcare provider.
With that said, let’s look at the research on PEA with regards to:
- Brain fog
- Poor concentration
- Low motivation
Some studies have linked low PEA levels with depression and therefore suggested that PEA supplements can improve depressive symptoms.
For example, one study showed that subjects with major depression who took PEA supplements experienced improved symptoms for up to 11 months.
A review supported these findings, suggesting that PEA had therapeutic properties and could be used as an antidepressant.
Other research suggests that PEA can be used as an alternative treatment for ADHD.
Lastly, some brands market PEA as a pre-workout supplement that supports athletic performance. This may be true, but it’s a little deceiving.
For example, one study found that participants had higher phenylethylamine levels in their urine after working out. This suggests that PEA production plays an active role in releasing “feel-good” hormones during exercise.
In other words, the more PEA you have in your system, the more your endorphins will kick in.
Based on this logic, a PEA supplement may help you feel better during your workout, which could technically improve your performance. However, it does not directly improve your cardiovascular or muscular health in the way other pre-workout ingredients can.
Simply, it helps encourage the production of feel-good hormones, which may improve your mood, mental performance, and productivity.
The 5 Best Phenylethylamine (PEA) Supplements
Let’s take a look at the best 6 PEA supplements on the market.
*Note: We do have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you purchase from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.
Price: From $15.68
Pure Bulk offers a reliable, potent PEA powder supplement. Every serving contains 500 mg of pure phenylethylamine powder for your cognitive needs. They also have it available in pure powder, gelatin capsules or veggie capsules.
You’ll pay a tend more for the capsules, but you can’t beat the convenience.
Pure Bulk third-party tests its products, so you know you’re getting a safe supplement. Its ingredients are also free from sugar, soy, dairy, and gluten.
Sometimes with supplements you don’t need to (and shouldn’t) get complicated. This is just a pure PEA powder supplement at a great price.
Price: From $24.99
Firma Vita offers a reliable, high-quality option for your PEA needs. Each capsule delivers 400 mg of Beta Phenylethylamine in every serving. It is also vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO.
Every bottle includes 90 servings if taking the recommended one capsule per day.
Price: From $20.99
Cognitive Compounds Phenylethylamine by HR Supplements is a solid, capsule-based PEA supplement. It delivers a moderate dose of 400 mg of phenylethylamine in every serving. HR Supplements also third-party tests their product, ensuring you’re getting a reliable and safe supplement.
Every bottle comes with 120 capsules, which is a four-month supply.
Price: From $15.95
FitPowders offers everything you’d want in a phenylethylamine supplement. Every serving delivers 250 mg of 100% pure phenylethylamine. It also comes in powder form, which means you can add it to your favorite drink. FitPowders Phenylethylamine is third-party tested for purity and manufactured in an FDA-registered facility.
Price: From $30.62
LiveLong Nutrition Phenylethylamine is a potent dietary supplement, delivering 500 mg of PEA per serving. This higher dosage makes this option better for people who have taken phenylethylamine in the past and know that they can tolerate it.
It contains 50 to 100 servings depending on if you take one or two capsules per day. (We recommend taking just one to start).
Overall, if you’re looking for maximum benefit, this is a good option.
Although we ranked these supplements, we want you to decide on the best product for you.
Here’s what we took into consideration when ranking these products.
The supplement industry isn’t FDA-regulated, making finding a reputable supplement challenging.
That’s why we only select companies that adhere to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations and have their products third-party tested.
Clinical studies have used phenylethylamine in doses of 100 and 500 mg, so we looked for supplements that had doses in this range.
Living our healthiest lives can get expensive. That’s why we selected high-quality products that won’t hurt your wallet.
You can take 100 to 500 mg of phenylethylamine per day. However, it’s best to check with a health professional before trying this supplement.
Some foods that naturally contain phenylethylamine include chocolate, cocoa beans, eggs, legumes or beans like soybeans, chickpeas, and green peas, and nuts like walnuts and almonds. However, the PEA levels in these foods are quickly metabolized and typically do not reach the central nervous system.
Phenylethylamine is potentially unsafe for some users.
It is chemically similar to amphetamine and could cause similar side effects. Side effects include anxiety, rapid heart rate, confusion, dizziness, and more.
It may also worsen symptoms of mental health conditions in some people. Due to this, it is best to consult a health professional before trying this supplement.
Phenylethylamine and phenylalanine sound similar but are structurally different. L-phenylalanine is an amino acid, while phenylethylamine is a neurotransmitter metabolized from phenylalanine. Both may support brain health.
A phenylethylamine supplement may be worth it if you’re looking for a mood enhancer and brain-boosting supplement. However, it can cause side effects, so checking with a healthcare professional before trying phenylethylamine is best.