Synephrine is a naturally occurring alkaloid molecule found in some plants and animals in varying amounts. It is unclear when this alkaloid was first identified, but it first appeared in Europe towards the end of the 1920s being sold as a drug under the brand name Sympatol. It was then being prescribed as a remedy for a number of respiratory conditions, which include asthma, whooping cough, colds, and hay fever.
More recently, synephrine gained popularity as a weight loss aid and it has become a favored component in the more popular brands of weight loss supplement stacks. This popularity can be attributed in part to the ban imposed on ephedra, to which it shares similar mechanisms of action.
Most, if not all of the synephrine being sold as a dietary supplement is extracted and synthesized from the Citrus aurantium plant, more commonly known as bitter orange. Just like ephedrine, synephrine has vasoconstrictive abilities, although at a lesser potency compared to ephedrine.
In 2004, the FDA banned ephedrine from being produced and sold in the US due to the dangers it poses to cardiovascular health. Ephedrine users naturally went looking for legal alternatives and the milder synephrine became the obvious choice. Synephrine soon became a regular addition to weight loss supplements, which often combines it with caffeine and appetite curbing agents.
Synephrine is an alpha-adrenergic receptor and it is also a stimulant. Since these properties do affect the cognitive processes in the brain, it may be considered as a nootropic agent.
Unlike a host of other so-called dietary supplements, the fat burning properties of synephrine is backed by actual clinical studies. As an adrenergic compound, synephrine is also considered as a stimulant, has the ability to raise blood pressure and speed up the heart rate when administered intravenously. The good thing about synephrine is that when it is administered orally, the heart rate as well as the metabolic rate is raised without affecting the blood pressure.
Synephrine’s main contribution to cognitive enhancement would be its ability to reverse mental fatigue, and perhaps speed up the brain’s processes. To a certain extent and duration, it can also help improve focus and motivation. As a regular pick-me-up compound, synephrine may also help fight depression. To be considered as a true nootropic agent however, a supplement must have the ability to have a positive effect memory retention and recall, logical reasoning, learning skills, and communication skills. Admittedly, the abilities of synephrine fall short in this regard.
Like most stimulants, the effects of synephrine will eventually sputter at some point. As the effects of synephrine wane, its cognitive enhancing effects also falls, and in some instances may even be reversed. Synephrine supplementation is also notorious for causing a few side effects and these include tension headaches, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, insomnia, and mental fatigue.
- It helps manage mental fatigue.
- It helps you to focus.
- It may help alleviate depression.
- It has helps improve physical performance.
- It is an excellent weight loss aid.
- It can complement your existing nootropic stack.
- It is not a ‘true’ nootropic.
- Its stim effect may be counterproductive to cognitive enhancement.
- It may cause a reversal in its nootropic effects once its potency starts to wane.
- It has unpleasant side effects.
Due to our varying sensitivities to different compounds, care must be taken when dosing with supplements that have stim effects like synephrine. The recommended dosage for weight loss supplementation is set at 10 to 30 milligrams taken three times daily, with the last dose taken at least 6 hours before bedtime. No data is available with the dose ideal for cognitive enhancement. As with other supplements, it is best to consult with your physician before you start supplementing with synephrine.