Nootropics, or nutritional supplements designed to have a specific effect on higher brain functions, have earned special attention in the fitness industry. In this article we will tell you why it is so important to include these “smart supplements” in your daily diet!
It may seem that the effectiveness of lifting weights depends entirely on the physical component, but in fact your brain has a very significant effect on the formation of muscles. If you ever drank a cup of coffee or “Red Bull” before your workout, you probably know that caffeine has a positive effect on your concentration, performance and overall workout quality. Caffeine is just one of many ingredients in a wide range of supplements, called nootropics, that help improve your brain functions and affect aspects such as resistance to aggressive effects, attentiveness and degree of body fatigue.
Nootropics provide significant benefits for the functioning of the brain both in the gym and beyond. Cognitive enhancers are known for their mental effects, and some supplements help improve memory, speed memory processes and reproduction of available information, and increase vitality and concentration. We can say, in a way, nootropics increase the power indices of your brain!
The inclusion of nootropics in the stack of additives provides the following benefits:
There is no such person who would not like to improve memory properties! Say goodbye to ridiculous situations when you go into the room and forget why you came at all or can’t remember where you put the keys while keeping them in your hand. Nootropics can effectively improve your memory. Most often, creatine , choline and piracetam are used as memory stimulants .
Many people use the popular nootropic caffeine, which effectively helps to increase concentration. In general, most supplements of this class can be used to improve care, since, in fact, they are all stimulants. In addition, some evidence suggests that increased consumption of nootropic supplements helps prevent a decrease in reaction time, usually associated with fatigue after intense physical exertion.
Nootropics help prevent fatigue by blocking a number of receptors in the brain or by stimulating more intensive energy production. By reducing fatigue, you can train longer and more effectively. The most effective supplements to achieve this goal are Rhodiola Rosea and Creatine.
INCREASE STRESS TOLERANCE
Intense physical exercise increases the level of cortisol, which is known to have a negative effect on the growth of strength indicators. However, nootropics – especially phosphatidylserine – help reduce cortisol production, helping to protect your hard-earned muscles. As a rule, a high reaction of cortisol is observed during prolonged physical exertion, and therefore, during the performance of cardio exercises, nootropes can become an extremely effective addition to the main stack.
Supplements for optimal brain function
Nootropics, as a rule, are separate compounds, but while one ingredient alone can provide amazing benefits for brain function, some of them can be pooled to achieve a much more significant effect! Below we offer you a list of the most powerful ingredients and their combinations.
Phosphatidylserine is an important chemical compound that affects a wide range of functions in the body. It is a key element for maintaining cellular functions, especially in the brain. The literature often describes the positive effects of phosphatidylserine in elderly people with and without cognitive impairment and memory impairment.
It was also proven that phosphatidylserine improves cognitive function before performing physical exercises. By taking supplements with phosphatidylserine, potentially athletes can achieve better results from training (due to increased concentration) and at the same time improve mood and mental functions.A nice bonus for those who have problems with calculations: it was found that supplements with phosphatidylserine increase cognitive abilities in solving mathematical problems (computation time is accelerated and the number of correct answers increases).
Also phosphatidylserine blunts the reaction of cortisol after aerobic activity, which contributes to the preservation of muscle mass.
L-THEANINE + CAFFEINE
L-Theanine, a non-protein amino acid that is found in green tea leaves, has a significant effect on reducing stress. When combined with caffeine, you can improve your mood, reduce stress and increase concentration.
Studies that examined the complex effects of L-theanine and caffeine indicate increased attention, motivation and mood, optimize the level of alpha waves (a sign of muscle relaxation), as well as a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. In addition, the addition of theanine to this compound neutralizes many of the side effects of excessive consumption of caffeine and at the same time increases its positive properties.
One of the most favorite additives of athletes of all times and peoples, it turns out, also has the properties of a powerful nootrope! Using the same mechanism as increasing muscle mass and strength, creatine also helps improve memory and overall brain function.
Sounds weird? In fact, everything is quite simple: your brain, like muscles, uses ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for energy. Therefore, it is logical that increasing the availability of PCR ( creatine phosphate ) in the brain contributes to ATP synthesis and the formation of energy.
Studies have shown that creatine is an effective way to improve short-term memory and thinking, and thus emphasized that creatine can be used as a stimulant for both mental and physical activity.
This popular herbal nootropin helps to increase the level of acetylcholine in the brain. The increase in this important neurotransmitter affects the improvement of memory and the improvement of cognitive functions. Since in order to enjoy the positive effects of hyperzine A, it is enough to take it in relatively small amounts, this substance is increasingly being used as one of the ingredients of pre- and post-training supplements.
CHOLINE + PIRACETAM
Choline is found in many foods that we regularly consume in food, but, as a rule, the dose is not large enough to have any significant positive effect. By itself, choline as an additive is a powerful nootropic, since it is a direct precursor of acetylcholine, which helps to improve various properties of memory. Well, the combination of choline with piracetam not only helps to further improve memory, but also can help in the treatment of neuro-degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, in old age.
Piracetam has an effect by increasing the absorption of acetylcholine and using it in specific areas of the brain responsible for improving memory. Like choline, piracetam can have a positive effect on its own, but when combined with choline, it provides a much greater effect for optimizing brain functions.
Like choline and hyperzine A, Bacopa Monier stimulates the release of acetylcholine, thus contributing to improving your memory. This herb, which is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine as a rejuvenating agent, also helps to reduce the load on the dopaminergic system, giving a feeling of joy and satisfaction. Taking supplements with Bacopa Monier leads to improved short-term and long-term memory and thought processes, helps to increase alertness and reduce anxiety.
Rhodiola Rosea is widely used as a means of stimulating mental activity (in particular, the ability to concentrate), improves mood and helps in the fight against overwork. Rhodiola helps to increase serotonin levels, thus improving the body’s resistance to stress and fatigue and maintaining normal thinking processes.
Asian ginseng is perhaps one of the most studied nootropics. It has been repeatedly proved that it helps to improve memory, increase concentration and stimulate the central nervous system. In addition, ginseng has a positive effect on physical performance, improving reaction time and endurance.
News in the field of nootropics research
The study of nootropics is a promising industry, which is currently at an early stage of development. It is therefore not surprising that there are not many indicative clinical trials of the effects of nootropics. However, several important conclusions can already be drawn from the available information: supplements of this type stimulate the functions of thinking and cognition, increase concentration, improve mood, and dull the sensations of pain and fatigue.
And so on those days when you feel like you are never tired or hardly perform your usual amounts of exercise during workouts, try using the effective ingredients of a new class of smart nutritional supplements to give your body and mind an extra boost of energy.