Why are Nootropics so Good for Your Fitness?
Nootropic, or “brain booster supplements”, are gaining more and more popularity these days. As we have realized over the last decade, caffeine included in pre-workouts, or taken in the form of coffee or energy drinks have a profound benefit on our workouts. We notice greater focus, drive, intensity and endurance where we should be feeling fatigue and defeat. Caffeine is just one of many “brain boosting” supplements that will help to make you into a machine in the gym.
These nootropics have tremendous benefits both in and out of the gym. By enhancing your cognitive function you will experience greater mental performance, memory, have increased focus and superior energy. While you may not think that mental function is important for lifting weights, just remember that most lifters will tell you that creating the mind-to-muscle connection is crucial to busting through plateaus and pushing it to the next level.
What are common ingredients found in Nootropics?
There are hundreds of supplements that qualify as being a “brain” supplement. While they all have benefits, choosing the right one depends on the results that you desire. Across the board there seem to be a handful of ingredients that are most popular.
- Huperzine A
- Bacopa Monnieri
- Rhodiola Rosea
- Asian Ginseng
- Ginko Biloba
Each of these ingredients contains very promising benefits. While each essentially fortifies the mind, some are chosen for their ability to improve memory, some for increasing focus and others for generating drive and intensity in one’s training. You could technically take all of these; I would consult a doctor first however. The average person has no need for all of these at once. Consider what your needs are, to ultimately make the right supplement stack choice for you.
What benefits do these brain boosting ingredients provide?
As we can see there are a lot of choices to make regarding ingredients, and if they all have great benefits it can be confusing to make a decision. We will dive a little deeper into some of the most popular ingredients used in fitness supplements, and uncover what makes each so unique.
- L-Theanine: An amino acid that is known to increase cognition, especially the ability to switch between thinking about one concept to another. Studies have shown a rise in focus, motivation, mood, as well as reducing stress levels and blood pressure.
- Caffeine: Helps to increase mental focus, and attention, caffeine will also improve mood and the central nervous system during intense training. Taking along with L-Theanine has shown to have amazing benefits.
- Creatine: The brain, just like muscles, requires ATP to produce energy. By increasing creatine levels in the brain it help with energy formation. Creatine is shown to improve short-term memory and reasoning skills.
- Huperzine A: Shown to enhance communication between neurons. It is has shown to be a benefit to the autonomic, peripheral and central nervous system.
- Bacopa Monnieri: This is becoming increasingly popular in many supplements. It improves the release of acetylcholine, which can help enhance memory. It is a traditional Ayurvedic herb that reduces stress, helps increase feelings of happiness and pleasure. Studies have shown that it may lead to improved memory, better performance, greater attention, and a reduction in anxiety.
What About Prescription Nootropics?
If the all natural supplements don’t have the desired effect, you could always look into prescription products like Modafinil (aka Provigil). Particularly if you have a sleep disorder or other medical issues that cause excessive drowsiness. You’ll either need a prescription or you can try to buy it online. It is not usually habit forming when used according to directions. A product like this can be a real productivity saver and provide an unexpected boost in the gym, for people who experience more extreme drowsiness during the day.
So are Nootropic supplements worth trying?
Chances are if you are reading this you are interested to know what including a “brain boosting” supplement in your diet can do for your training. These nootropics can be helpful to improve mood, memory, motivation and focus. As a side benefit taking these can be quite helpful in protecting the brain, enhancing brain function and reducing cognitive decline. However, you are probably thinking more about how it’s going to improve your game in the gym, not at cross-word puzzles when you’re 60. By including these nootropics you are enhancing your personal concentration. By enhancing concentration you are giving yourself a leg up over, well, yourself. They will help you zero in on your activity and truly make a substantial mind-to-muscle connection.
There are several combinations of ingredients to try, and many supplements create blends of nootropics to enhance the workout experience. Choosing the right combination of ingredients is a matter of knowing what you want to achieve. Coupled with a nutritious diet and a solid training regimen, these nootropics can certainly make a substantial impact on your training.