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Logo of jissnBioMed CentralBiomed Central Web Sitesearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleJournal of the International Society of Sports NutritionJournal Front Page
J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010; 7(Suppl 1): P12.
Published online 2010 September 15. doi:  10.1186/1550-2783-7-S1-P12
PMCID: PMC2951034

The effects of acute CRAM supplementation on reaction time and subjective measures of focus and alertness in healthy college students


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of an acute ingestion of a supplement designed to improve reaction time and subjective measures of alertness, energy, fatigue, and focus compared to placebo.


Nineteen physically-active subjects (17 males and 2 females) were randomly assigned to a group that either consumed a supplement (21.1 ± 0.6 years; height: 180.2 ± 6.1 cm; body mass: 80.6 ± 9.4 kg) or placebo (21.3 ± 0.8 years; height: 181.3 ± 10.2 cm; body mass: 83.4 ± 18.5 kg) in a double-blind format. Subjects reported to the Human Performance Laboratory and were provided with one serving (3 capsules) of either CRAM (MRM, Oceanside, CA), containing α-glycerophosphocholine (150mg), choline bitartrate (125mg), phosphatidylserine (50mg), niacin (vitamin B3; 30mg), pyridoxine HCl (vitamin B6; 30mg), methylcobalamin (vitamin B12; 0.06mg), folic acid (4mg), L-tyrosine (500mg), anhydrous caffeine (60mg), acetyl-L-carnitine (500mg), and naringin (20mg); or a placebo (rice flour, PL). Subjects ingested the capsules with 12 ounces of bottled water. Following consumption of CRAM or PL subjects rested quietly for 10-minutes prior to completing a 9-question survey and commencing exercise (PRE). The survey consisted of questions describing subjective feelings of energy, fatigue, alertness and focus at that moment. Following the completion of the questionnaire subjects performed a 4-minute quickness and reaction test on the Makoto testing device (Makoto USA, Centennial CO). Subjects then performed a 10-min bout of exhaustive exercise that included a 30-second Wingate Anaerobic Power test, and the maximal number of push-ups and sit-ups performed in one minute. Subjects then repeated the questionnaire and reaction testing sequence (POST).


Subjects consuming CRAM maintained reaction time performance between PRE and POST measures, while a significant decline between PRE and POST measures were observed in subjects consuming PL. Acute CRAM supplementation resulted in an ability to maintain focus and alertness following an acute bout of exhaustion. Subjects consuming PL realized significant declines in both focus and alertness, however there were no significant differences between the groups.


Ingestion of CRAM maintained reaction performance to both visual and auditory stimuli following a high-intensity bout of exhaustive exercise, while subjects consuming a placebo experienced significant reductions in performance. CRAM might be an effective supplement to improve brain functions in young healthy college students during times of increased stress.


The authors would like to thank Chemi Nutra, Inc. (White Bear Lake, MN) for providing financial support of this study and MRM (Oceanside, CA) for providing the study material.

Articles from Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition are provided here courtesy of BioMed Central