Animal Researchsection" id="inhibiting-acetylcholinesterase">Inhibiting acetylcholinesterases-derived compound huperzine-A is used to enhance cognition during exercise.
Huperzine-A is a naturally found compound in the club moss plant that is refined in science labs and may provide pre workout benefits:
- Enhanced cognition. Huperzine-A may improve cognitive performance, especially focus and alertness.
- Improved muscle strength. The moss derived compound delivers muscle potentiating ability according to animal research.
Synthetically made in laboratories from an extract of the clubmoss plant (Huperzia serrata), Huperzine-A is an alkaloid believed to enhance cognitive function. Huperzine-A itself is a relatively new supplement, but its natural source has been incorporated into traditional Chinese medicine practices for centuries.
As a nootropic that easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, huperzine-A has not only been shown to enhance brain energy, but also sustain overall neuronal health. Because of this, it is sometimes added to pre-workout formulas and said to enhance mental energy and focus.
Beyond their great activity in the brain, huperzine-A products have also been used in Chinese health and nutrition to manage inflammation, fevers, and schizophrenia. More on huperzine-A as a nootropic.
How Huperzine-A Might Help With Pre-Workout Formulasibiting acetylcholinesterase
Acetylcholine is a critical neurotransmitter with a major role in maintaining sharp mental performance and overall brain health. Huperzine-A has been shown to sustain elevated levels of acetyl choline by blocking acetylcholinesterase (AchE), the enzyme in charge of degrading acetylcholine.2 3 4
Increasing the rate of acetylcholine availability by blocking acetylcholinesterase has further been shown to enhance postsynaptic muscle function, specifically in muscle conditions such as myasthenia gravis.5 By blocking acetylcholinesterase, huperzine-A may be able to improve muscle activation and contraction.6
Huperzine-A Pre-Workout Benefits & Usesne-A has primarily demonstrated nootropic effects and is thus used to boost cognitive performance.8 Early research and reviews support this finding, listing such cognitive pre workout benefits as:
The nootropic has also been shown to potentiate skeletal muscle activity in animal studies. This could ultimately increase muscle strength and restore muscle function — especially after strains and swellings — which would be ideal for bodybuilding and other anaerobic exercises.
Animal studies have found huperzine A capable of improving both cognition and muscle activity. It has been shown to:
- Increase the efficiency of muscle contraction in rat, frog, and guinea pig muscles13
- Reverse cognitive dysfunction in rats while learning tasks14
- Attenuate the impairment of spatial memory in mice15
- Facilitate cell growth, proliferation, and survival of rat brain cells16
Human Researcheight: 18.0pt;">Huperzine-A’s capacity to enhance brain power is highlighted in the results of clinical studies.
In this double-blind, controlled investigation, 34 pairs of middle and junior-high students who had complaints about memory problems were given either 100 mcg huperzine-A (Hup) or placebo every day for 4 weeks. Students administered huperzine-A had higher significantly scores on Memory Quotient testing and better performance on language lessons than the placebo group.
- The researchers concluded that “the Hup capsules enhance the memory and learning performance of adolescent students.”17
In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized investigation, 103 Alzheimer’s patients were given either 200 mcg (4 tablets) of huperzine-A or a placebo every day during an 8-week period. Approximately 58% of patients on huperzine-A demonstrated significant improvements in memory, cognitive, and behavioral functions, with better efficacy than the placebo. No severe side effect or interactions were reported.
- The researchers concluded that “Hup is a promising drug for symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.”18
In this placebo-controlled investigation, 202 Alzheimer’s patients were administered either 400 mc of huperzine-A or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. Compared to the placebo, huperzine-A resulted in significant improvements in cognition, behavior, and mood on various cognitive function measures.
- The researchers concluded that “huperzine Alpha remarkably improves the cognition, behavior, ADL,and mood of AD patients.”19
Dosage for Pre-Workout
Dosage for Pre-Workoutsearch studies have used from 200 – 400 mcg of huperzine-A.
Available Formswder in capsules from clubmoss extracts
Supplements in Review Say
Supplements in Review Saysize: 14pt;">Huperzine-A 200 mcg as a pre-workout.
Huperzine A may boost cognitive function. Huperzine-A is a potent nootropic that has been repeatedly demonstrated great cognitive-boosting effects, which may enhance focus during workouts.
Take 200 mcg of huperzine A in a pre workout formula for enhanced cognition. We suggest taking 200 mcg of huperzine-A supplements per day for its complete pre workout benefits. Jym, Spazmatic, Kotiak, and Untamed Labs Ape Sh*t are some of the most popular pre workout supplements incorporating huperzine A.
- Li YX, et al. Pharmacokinetics of huperzine A following oral administration to human volunteers. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 2007 Oct-Dec;32(4):183-7. ↩
- Patoka et al. Huperzine A–an interesting anticholinesterase compound from the Chinese herbal medicine. Acta Medica (Hradec Kralove). 1998;41(4):155-7. ↩
- Cheng DH. Huperzine A, a novel promising acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Neuroreport. 1996 Dec 20;8(1):97-101. ↩
- Pohanka M, et al. Inhibitors of Acetylcholinesterase and Butyrylcholinesterase Meet Immunity. Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Jun;15(6):9809-25. ↩
- Fambrough DH. Control of acetylcholine receptors in skeletal muscle. Physiol Rev. 1979 Jan;59(1):165-227. ↩
- Ma X, et al. Huperzine A from Huperzia species–an ethnopharmacolgical review. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Aug 15;113(1):15-34. ↩
- Pohanka M, et al. Caffeine Inhibits Acetylcholinesterase, But Not Butyrylcholinesterase. Int J Mol Sci. 2013 May;14(5):9873-82. ↩
- Tun MK, et al. The pharmacology and therapeutic potential of (-)-huperzine A. J Exp Pharmacol. 2012 Sep 5;4:113-23. ↩
- Zhong MQ, et al. Huperzine A: Is it an Effective Disease-Modifying Drug for Alzheimer’s Disease? Front Aging Neurosci. 2014;6:216. ↩
- Huang XT, et al. Reducing iron in the brain: a novel pharmacologic mechanism of huperzine A in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiol Aging. 2014 May;35(5):1045-54. ↩
- Desilet’s AR, et al. Role of huperzine a in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Ann Pharmacother. 2009 Mar;43(3):514-8. ↩
- Zhang RW, et al. Drug evaluation of huperzine A in the treatment of senile memory disorders. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao. 1991 May;12(3):250-2. ↩
- Patil KD, et al. Potentiation of acetylcholine action by huperzine-A and physostigmine on some vertebrate effectors, including human iris sphincter muscle. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2003 Apr;19(2):135-43. ↩
- Wang R, et al. Huperzine A attenuates cognitive dysfunction and neuronal degeneration caused by beta-amyloid protein-(1-40) in rat. Eur J Pharmacol. 2001 Jun 15;421(3):149-56. ↩
- Liu J, et al. Effects of synthetic (-)-huperzine A on cholinesterase activities and mouse water maze performance. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao. 1998 Sep;19(5):413-6. ↩
- Tang LL, et al. Effects of huperzine A on secretion of nerve growth factor in cultured rat cortical astrocytes and neurite outgrowth in rat PC12 cells. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2005;26:673-8. ↩
- Sun QQ, et al. Huperzine-A capsules enhance memory and learning performance in 34 pairs of matched adolescent students. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao. 1999 Jul;20(7):601-3. ↩
- Xu SS, et al. Efficacy of tablet huperzine-A on memory, cognition, and behavior in Alzheimer’s disease. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao. 1995 Sep;16(5):391-5. ↩
- Zhang Z, et al. Clinical efficacy and safety of huperzine Alpha in treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer disease, a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial. Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2002 Jul 25;82(14):941-4. ↩