Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a natural, endogenous and completely safe fatty acid produced by the body to deal with pain, inflammation and immune response. It is often used to treat chronic pain and immune system issues that cause inflammation, including pain and inflammation from workout, which is our focus in this article. The reason why we need additional amounts is the fact that PEA is easily broken down in the body by enzymes. You can learn more about its effects by following this link.
In this article, we will focus on how even healthy and active individuals benefit from PEA. Readers with some medical background will pick up the benefits from this article about the receptors it affects and their respective effects. For all the others, read on!
This video with crossfitter Gabe gives his personal experience with using PEA, but we are more interested in the mechanism behind these and some other benefits.
The Background of Building Muscle
First of all, when people exercise and build muscle, they actually do this by causing microscopic tears in the muscles. As these tears heal, they make the muscle grow (as the muscle repairs itself, it gets bigger), so they are not as scary as they seem, but actually necessary and common.
The tears also bring inflammation and pain which is familiar to anyone who has ever exercised. This pain and inflammation have several negative effects. They reduce motivation to start exercising the next day. Simply put, it hurts. Secondly, even the people who are dedicated enough to keep working out cannot use full capacity, so their advancement is hampered.
The effects of PEA on reducing inflammation and restoring balance in cells (found in the above links) helps the muscles heal faster and easier by reducing both pain and inflammation. They also increase the capacity to exercise, as less pain means more capability.
One of the nuclear receptors that PEA affects is also responsible for the feeling of fullness and it is an integral part of ketogenesis. Activating it by taking PEA leads to decreased food intake, without being unhealthy in any way. Moreover, the same process instructs our bodies to burn more fat, rather than store it, which also gives us more energy and improves our ability to burn cholesterol.
Furthermore, this clinical study showed that individuals who were experiencing chronic pain throughout the body or specifically located in the neck and shoulders reported increases in pain intensity even while performing low-impact exercise. The mentioned study showed that PEA levels were lower in the chronic pain groups than in healthy controls.
This means that adding PEA in the form of capsules or liposomal palmitoylethanolamide boosts the levels of PEA in the body and thus reduces pain and inflammation. Simply put, you’re giving your body the natural, endogenous substance that it lacks. The results of this clinical study demonstrate the importance of maintaining high PEA levels in the body, especially for individuals who exercise frequently.
PEA is the natural way that our bodies use to deal with pain, inflammation, immune system issues, but it also plays a role in regulating appetite, metabolism breakdown of fats in the body and weight. If you want to build lean muscle, keep weight under control and relieve soreness, pain and inflammation that come with exercising, palmitoylethanolamide is the best way.
Aside from extreme athletes such as bodybuilders and crossfitters such as the one from the video, many of people who use PEA are those who simply exercise regularly to improve their health without any negative side effects. We have also heard from many active individuals such as dancers who love the effects of PEA.