Somatomax is a multi-purpose sleep supplement marketed as a sleep and hormone enhancing blend which will allow you to ride the “new wave of hGH release”. It’s made by hi-tech pharmaceuticals and boasts of a myriad of benefits. The main claims Somatomax makes is that it increases hGH (human growth hormone), improves sex, promotes “feelings of well-being”, and improves the quality of sleep. It is mainly sold as a sleep supplement however contains a broad range of ingredients that do more than just make you tired.
This review is going to give an overview of the ingredients of Somatomax then evaluate each ingredient on its own. After going over the ingredients, the benefits and side-effects will be given followed by a brief summarizing stance.
Ingredients of Somatomax
First, this is a list of the ingredients in Somatomax and an overview of their effects as well as benefits.
- Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA): A neurotransmitter and naturally produced amino acid which reduces nerve cell impulses in the brain
- 4-amino-3-phenylbutyric acid (Phenibut): A synthetic CNS depressant that can be used to treat anxiety, insomnia, depression and general nervousness
- Mucuna pruriens extract (50% L-Dopa): A seed containing L-Dopa which is an amino acid precursor of dopamine
- L-arigine HCL: A complex amino acid which is converted into Nitric Oxide (NO) and can improve blood flow
- L-tyrosine: An amino acid and building block of protein that is needed for the production of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine
- L-phenylalanine: An essential amino acid used by the body to build protein and produce dopamine and epinephrine
- Vitamin B-6: A water-soluble vitamin that enhances the CNS, helps produce serotonin and norepinephrine, and improves absorption of L-tyrosine
These ingredients are all in a proprietary blend, except Vitamin B-6 which is 10mg per serving, so their dosages are not known. The proprietary blend is 14g total per serving. There are 20 total servings per container.
Most sleep supplements have the amino acid, GABA, in them. GABA is naturally occurring and is synthesized in the brain for several purposes.
The main function of GABA is its role as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, blocking nerve cell impulses that fire in response to stimulus. By blocking these signals, GABA creates a calming effect and decreases the activity of the nervous system.
Specifically, GABA works by binding to receptors in the amygdala, slowing down its overall activity and lessening anxiety. Once GABA binds to receptors in the amygdala, chloride is let in and directly inhibits neurotransmission post-synaptically. Because of this effect, GABA is commonly taken for better and deeper sleep. This study found that GABA reduced time taken to fall asleep, improved its quality, and lengthened the sleeps duration.
For some people, doses of GABA give feelings of euphoria, mostly due to the reduction of anxiety. Many substances like alcohol give their anti-anxiety effect due to their effect on GABA, either decreasing uptake in the synapse or elevating production of the neurotransmitter.
Additionally, there has been reported to be a link between GABA supplementation and increases in GH (growth hormone). GABA is claimed be able to stimulate the pituitary gland, causing it to secrete GH. There is contradicting evidence on this however and while some studies have found GABA to elevate levels of GH, this is still disputed between researchers.
The standard dose to take is 150-500mg. You can take doses up to 5g without problems typically but it’s always better to exercise caution when first trying out a new supplement. The common effects from a dose of GABA are a tingling sensation, a feeling of calmness, and a slight sensation of being tired. All these effects vary from person to person and relate to the dose taken.
Regarding how effective GABA is, there is a debate on if it works at all. The argument against taking GABA is that it is not able to cross the blood brain barrier. The case for GABA however is there are GABA receptors in the gut as well so taking GABA does have some effect even if it can not cross the blood brain barrier. There also is a large deal of anecdotal evidence that it does work.
For pure GABA with the purpose of reducing anxiety and improving sleep, the best source is from Bulk Supplements. They offer 250g of pure powder for $16, this should last you more than a year and is cheaper than many other GABA supplements that contain 1/10 the amount.
If you’re only interested in the sleep-enhancing benefits from GABA, an alternative I’d suggest is this sleep blend by Solstice.
Overall, GABA is a good addition to Somatomax and boosts its function as a sleep-aid.
The next ingredient that Somatomax contains is phenibut.
Phenibut is a highly potent GABA-mimetic, binding to the same receptors in the brain that GABA is able to. Phenibut can cross the blood brain barrier much easier than GABA however leading to a more pronounced effect from taking it. Phenibut is taken for a multitude of reasons from anxiety relief and improved cognitive function to improved sleep and recreation.
Phenibut is a controversial chemical due to the strength that it has. It is effective as a stress-reliever and means of reducing insomnia but there are also side-effects that can be experienced if it is taken too frequently or in overly high doses. Because of this, it is important to be responsible in how much you take. Somatomax recommends 1 scoop per serving so it advised not to overdo this amount the first time you take it since the amount of phenibut in each serving is not specified.
When used at the right dose, in addition to improving sleep and lowering anxiety, phenibut can also help balance the amount of alpha and beta brain waves by increasing GABA and lowering glutamate. This increase in GABA will work alongside the GABA already present in the supplement to thoroughly reduce excitatory responses in the amygdala.
Phenibut also stimulates dopamine receptors, increasing the overall quantity of dopamine in the brain. This effect likely causes the increased sex drive and better quality of sex felt after taking phenibut, supporting the claims made by Somatomax. There have been studies that show phenibut has serotonin-increasing effects as well but there is not enough overall evidence to make that a substantiated claim.
To most people, supplementing with phenibut causes them to feel reduced anxiety, less stress, more sociability, moderate euphoria, and better overall in terms of mood. Just as with GABA, there are further assertions that phenibut boosts GH and gives weightlifters an edge. This study supports the GH increase by proving that GABA-ergic substances stimulate basal GH secretion. This impact on growth hormone would reduce fatigue, improve strength, and heighten overall energy during lifting.
Taking these benefits of phenibut supplementation into account, as long as Somatomax is not taken in overly sized doses, the phenibut present in this dietary supplement validates the effectiveness of Somatomax for hGH release, enhanced sex, feelings of well-being, and better sleep.
To buy phenibut on its own instead of as an ingredient of a mix, my recommendation is to purchase phenibut HCL capsules from Nootropics Depot. This will supply 45g of phenibut, enough to easily last a year, for $33.
Following phenibut, mucuna pruriens is another substance present in the proprietary blend of Somatomax that’s been proven to have positive effects. Mucuna pruriens is an adaptogen, placing it in the same category as ginseng, tongkat ali, and ashwagandha, among others. Mucuna pruriens has been used historically for more than 3,000 years, with records showing it being taken for mood, sex, and the general treatment of ailments.
Among the ingredients of Somatomax, mucuna pruriens is the most supported by evidence from studies. Mucuna pruriens is used in modern medicine to treat a large number nervous disorders as well as parkinson’s and infertility.
The primary benefits of mucuna pruriens result from containing L-Dopa. L-Dopa is a precursor to dopamine. While dopamine can not cross the blood brain barrier L-Dopa can, making it ideal for supplementation.
L-Dopa, after being converted into dopamine in the brain, has multiple benefits. Some of these are improved memory, boosted cognitive function, possible testosterone increase, elevated libido, anti-oxidant effects, and a positive effect on brain health.
The mucuna pruriens in Somatomax is 50% L-Dopa which is more than enough for a significant effect on dopamine.
However, since the dosage of mucuna pruriens in Somatomax is unknown, it is hard to say how much of these effects will be felt. A standard dose is 1g so, assuming that there is at least 500mg mucuna pruriens per serving of Somatomax, it is likely that this supplement will add a stimulating effect to Somatomax as well as a boost in libido and GH secretion. The extent of these effects can not be stated though.
If mucuna pruriens alone interests you, the highest quality mucuna pruriens extract currently available to buy is the 250g pure powder pack from Bulk Supplements. L-Dopa is better absorbed when it is converted from mucuna pruriens so to get the full effects of mucuna pruriens by itself, this powder is the most optimal supplement to take.
The fourth ingredient of Somatomax is L-arginine. L-arginine is a more well known supplement in the fitness industry, usually present in preworkouts as well as nootropic blends for improved health.
L-arginine is an amino acid that is believed to convert into NO (nitric oxide) and also plays in a role in assisting the body to make protein. The exact mechanisms of L-arginine are still mostly unclear but it has been observed to increase NO and reduce blood pressure, making it an ideal supplement for better circulation and more optimal workouts.
In addition to assisting in the production of protein and NO, L-arginine is also said to have a positive effect on testosterone and GH. These statements are not at all verified by studies so L-arginine should not be taken with that expectation.
The one study which has examined the effect that L-arginine has hormonally was done on mice. This study concluded that L-arginine may be a factor in the anabolic action of testosterone but this finding is not necessarily relevant for humans.
Wether or not L-arginine boosts testosterone and GH remains speculative, but it is an effective supplement for blood flow and is needed for the construction of protein by the body.
Like all the ingredients in Somatomax, L-arginine can be purchased by itself as a pure powder from Bulk Supplements. I’d recommend the 1kg pack since the recommended dosing of L-arginine is 2-3g/ 1-3 times per day. This pack will last at least 4-5 months at this dosing if not 8-12. This is convenient if you’re interested in forming your own blend or if you are simply interested in L-arginine and its benefits.
L-tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid that is used as a precursor for dopamine. It is also a building block of protein and plays a role in the synthesis of other neurotransmitters like epinephrine, also called adrenaline, and norepinephrine, also called noradrenaline.
L-tyrosine yields a stimulating effect that increases energy, augments cognitive function, boosts testosterone, boosts GH, and increases libido. It is able to do all of this by replenishing the neurotransmitter dopamine.
L-tyrosine is very similar to the other ingredient, mucuna pruriens, in Somatomax. This combination is likely excessive since they are not both needed. L-tyrosine is safe to use in high doses so this combination doesn’t warrant too much concern but a large increase in energy can be expected.
Since L-tyrosine and mucuna pruriens both increase dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline, this will have a negative impact on the sleep-boosting effects of this supplement. Thus, it is advised to not try Somatomax on a night before an early morning for the first time you take it in case you find the effects of the supplement to overstimulate you as opposed to calm you.
L-tyrosine has been found to decrease stress in some studies but that could simply be related to a higher amount of confidence from increased cognitive function and elevated dopamine.
It is possible that the GABA and phenibut will cancel out the stimulating effects of the MP and L-tyrosine, allowing you to receive benefits from all substances without a negative impact on sleep but since the dosages of these substances are not known it is difficult to speculate on wether or not it will work out in that ideal scenario.
If the energy and cognitive boosting effects of L-tyrosine interest you, I advise the 250g pure powder supplement from Bulk Supplements, costing $15, since it is the highest quality, largest amount, and cheapest price for any L-tyrosine supplement available.
The final ingredient in the proprietary blend of Somatomax is L-phenylalanine (LPA). L-phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that is needed for the building of protein and serves a role as a micronutrient. Additionally, L-phenylalanine is a precursor to L-tyrosine, the ingredient directly above this one on the list.
Since L-phenylalanine is converted into L-tyrosine, the benefits are very similar. This also means that many of the effects of L-phenylalanine are cancelled out because of the limited uptake of L-tyrosine that the body is capable of performing.
This all means that unless there is a large difference in how much L-tyrosine is present vs L-phenylalanine, the L-phenylalanine will likely never be fully converted into dopamine since it has to go through one more step than L-tyrosine which is already going to be converted by the body into dopamine along with the L-dopa from the MP.
Due to L-phenylalanine requiring a longer time to take effect since it first converts to L-tyrosine it is possible that it will provide a sort of time-delayed second dose of dopamine but this is not guaranteed. Without going too in-depth, some people report to respond better L-phenylalanine than L-tyrosine but this is purely anecdotal and to be taken with due skepticism.
Overall, the L-phenylalanine won’t hurt the effectiveness of this supplement. It will most likely add a slight amount of additional stimulation but it is far less crucial to the blend than other substances like phenibut, GABA, and MP.
To purchase L-phenylalanine individually, I, as you most likely could predict by now, would recommend 250g of pure L-phenylalanine powder from Bulk Supplements. This is because Bulk Supplements carries larger amounts of higher quality products, making them the best source of substances to buy by themselves.
L-phenylalanine also differs slightly from L-tyrosine in terms of its mechanisms in the body so it is worthwhile to try both in case one elicits a better response when taken.
Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) is a water-soluble vitamin needed by the body for many functions. Some of these function are improved immunity, brain health, an efficient CNS, energy production, and a stable mood.
Vitamin B-6 is present in many foods but is also available as a dietary supplement. It is mainly added to Somatomax to increase the absorption of L-tyrosine and other ingredients, adding to the effectiveness of this supplement. It also facilitates the production of serotonin and dopamine, further optimizing the sensation of well-being claimed to result from this supplement.
It is not necessary to take vitamin B-6 on your own, deficiency is rare, but for some people additional intake is able to enhance brain function and alleviate feelings of depression and anxiety.
For the active form of vitamin B-6: Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate, or P5P, can be purchased from Bulk Supplements at the price of $65 for 100g of P5P powder to be used for the purpose of supplementing your food intake and improving general health.
The Benefits of Somatomax
The benefits of taking Somatomax are a lessening of anxiety and stress, better sleep, increased sociability, elevated libido, boosted dopamine, less insomnia, and feelings of wellbeing. It is also possibly able to boost GH however this is not a definite effect. There are substantial positive effects on both sleep and mood and since increased dopamine increases testosterone, all the claims of this supplement are true (to an extent).
The Side Effects of Somatomax
The side effects of this supplement are mainly nervousness and possible mania from L-tyrosine and L-phenylalanine, possible lightheadedness, and potentially undesired levels of sedation. Phenibut has a large amount of potential side effects if taken too regularly so Somatomax should be initially taken at no more than the recommended dose and not overly frequently.
Phenibut is also considered to be a powerful depressant so it is very important to not combine Somatomax with alcohol or any barbiturates since that could lead to high disinhibition and unconsciousness.
L-tyrosine and L-phenylalanine can cause headaches and nausea as well as down regulation of dopamine receptors if Somatomax is taken too often.
Wrapping it up, Somatomax is an effective sleep, libido, and general wellbeing supplement but needs to be taken with caution. It has a powerful combination of ingredients, all without specified doses so the effect on you may vary from this review slightly based off the amount of each substance and how your body reacts to the combination. I would recommend it more as an occasional post-gym evening supplement than as a sleep-aid but overall for $38 it has good value.
To buy Somatomax, click here.
For more on supplements, such as 5 proven benefits of beta-alanine and how betaine anhydrous can help to build muscle, visit this page.