In my most recent shipment I received, I got a large bag of PEA and a tiny packet of hordenine. Both are often taken together to get an hour-long energy rush, mood booster, or general-purpose kick in the ass.
Personally, my experience with PEA and hordenine has varied and I think it needs more experimentation before I determine its usefulness to me, but the rest of you may be interested.
Where to get PEA and Hordenine
Powder City offers both for cheap (under $10 for both at the minimum), and it’s where I purchased mine.
What are PEA and Hordenine?
PEA is Phenylethylamine, a neurotransmitter substance found naturally in chocolate, and is synthesized by the body from the amino acid L-phenylalanine. When taken orally and in small doses, PEA tends to be broken down quickly by the MAO-B enzyme to the point where it does not reach the brain and has no significant, obvious psychoactive effect.
Hordenine is a mild MAO-B inhibitor and is named for the germinated barley (Hordeum vulgare) that it was first extracted from. MAO-B is an enzyme responsible for taking apart certain amines, PEA being one of the specifically-targeted amines. On its own it can reportedly act as a stimulant but more research must be done to fully understand hordenine.
If it’s not clear now, I’ll explain why the two of these are often taken together.
What else does PEA do?
PEA is usually added to fat burner and pre-workout stacks. Being “similar to amphetamine,” it boosts levels of noradrenaline and dopamine1, and also has anti-depressant, energy and mood boosting properties.2
Endogenous PEA is normally broken down by the body into phenylacetic acid. (Fun fact: phenylacetic acid is a building block for a key ingredient in meth manufacturing)3
In one study, it was found that during and after exercise, blood levels of phenylacetic acid are increased.4 Endogenous PEA may therefore be responsible for the anti-depressant effects of exercise.
How the PEA and Hordenine stack works
PEA is degraded by MAO-B in the body. Hordenine is an MAO-B inhibitor. Pairing the two allows the PEA to remain in the blood for a longer time than normal and eventually reach the brain.
The most frequently recommended dose of PEA is 800 mg.
Hordenine doses may vary from Powder City’s recommendation of 25 mg. The obvious psychoactive effects tend not to start unless you take at least 50 mg or 100 mg but BE CAREFUL of going above 25 mg.
My experience with PEA and Hordenine
The first time I took the PEA and hordenine together at 800 mg / 25 mg respectively, I noticed no obvious psychoactive effect. It does taste horribly bitter, but not as sharply bitter as piracetam (for example).
After doing some quick Googling for doses of this stack, I found one suggestion to take hordenine on an empty stomach about 20 minutes before taking PEA. The following day, I did exactly that. However, I noticed nothing.
After reading further about others’ use of the PEA and hordenine stack, one individual suggested increasing the hordenine to further inhibit the action of MAO-B and let the PEA kick in by taking around 100 mg or so. The following day, I did exactly that: 100 mg hordenine to 800 mg PEA.
This created a kind of euphoria at first, a sudden rush of energy. Not long after though, the heart began pounding. Not as severely as when taking too much caffeine, but it was strong. Instead of letting the PEA/Hordenine combo kick my ass, I took some Kava Kava to take the edge off it. The heart pounding calmed down, but the sudden “whoosh” of energy diminished.
To ensure it wasn’t a fluke, I tried it again on another day with 125 mg hordenine to 800 mg PEA. Same thing happened.
It feels like being on the verge of a panic attack. I simply took another GABAergic (Kava) and calmed down. Though I’m sure by this point that the calming part usually takes place when PEA and hordenine begin to leave the system.
Generally, the effects of this stack do not last for more than an hour, which is good for when it goes overboard.
Thoughts and Conclusion about PEA and Hordenine stack
I can see why some people may enjoy or use the PEA and hordenine stack on a regular basis, but I do not think it is an all-purpose stack. In fact, until I figure something out to make this one more useful, the combination of PEA and hordenine may be little more than a novelty “natural high” type of substance.
Perhaps it could be useful as a pre-workout “get up and go” aid since it packs a different kind of oomph than caffeine in that department and it doesn’t last all day. The muscles feel more relaxed on PEA and hordenine compared to caffeine in my opinion, and caffeine even be synergistic with PEA and hordenine.
The major drawback is that PEA and hordenine creates a kind of mild anxious feeling that gets a little more intense at higher doses. It’s not very comfortable, but as long as you’re occupied (maybe take some theanine?) it should not be too overwhelming. It’s actually quite conducive to a meditative state if you can calm your mind and slow your heart rate down if it starts to feel overwhelming.
- People who are prone to anxiety disorders or who have cardiovascular issues should not be taking PEA and hordenine in high doses if at all
In the meanwhile (as I’m writing this post actually) I am going to see if re-dosing hordenine will be able to compensate for the short half-life.
If you’re interested in experimenting with something like this for yourself, I’d get some PEA and Hordenine. They are cheap enough so it won’t be a waste if you don’t like it, and each component may be useful on its own. Just be careful and do your research!
Wikipedia – Phenethylamine – Pharmacology ↩
The Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences, Phenylethylamine modulation of affect: therapeutic and diagnostic implications ↩
Wikipedia – Phenylacetic acid ↩
British Journal of Sports Medicine, Phenylethylamine, a possible link to the antidepressant effects of exercise? ↩