When you think about nootropics, you probably think about using them to help you perform mental tasks: writing papers, studying for long periods of time, getting stuff done at work, etc. But did you know that they can also be used to improve physical performance?
Several nootropics have become popular for their ability to enhance various physical activities. Sports like tennis, golf, basketball, and many others require intense mental focus. Nootropics can help you to keep your mind sharp and your body ready for action.
We already published a detailed post about using nootropics as pre-workout supplements. In this post, we’re going to look at a few different nootropics that are being used to enhance physical performance.
Nootropics and Physical Performance
Caffeine and L-Theanine
The first nootropic on our list isn’t a single nootropic. It’s a simple and effective nootropic stack that is being used all over the world to improve both mental and physical performance. Caffeine and l-theanine go together like peanut butter and jelly. They work together to create a state of relaxed-but-focused energy.
Caffeine is the most widely used nootropic on the planet. Not only does it reliably improve mental performance: Caffeine also improves physical performance. Studies have shown that caffeine improves physical performance in just about every sport, from basketball to running.
Caffeine improves physical performance by increasing concentration and alertness, and by reducing fatigue. To put it simply, caffeine allows you to go harder and longer. There’s no question that it works. But caffeine works even better when combined with l-theanine.
L-theanine is able to improve mental alertness on its own.3 But when combined with caffeine, the two work together to drastically improve both mental and physical performance. L-theanine helps to reduce or even eliminate many of caffeine’s negative effects: overstimulation, anxiety, insomnia, and the dreaded crash a few hours after using it. This creates a state of calm focus, allowing you to stay in the game longer without getting tired.
This is a more soluble form of the amino acid l-tyrosine, which is a precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine. The body quickly converts n-acetyl-l-tyrosine, or NALT for short, into l-tyrosine (or just tyrosine, for even shorter). Then, it uses the l-tyrosine to make dopamine, a neurotransmitter known to play a role in focus, attention, motivation, mood, and anxiety.
NALT users often report that it improves both physical and mental performance. Several studies support these claims. One study showed that supplementing with tyrosine reduced fatigue and improved performance in people who had been awake for a long time. Other studies have shown that tyrosine is able to improve memory while multitasking and improve performance while under a lot of stress.
Many sports require some serious multitasking. Take baseball, for example. Say you’re the catcher and there’s a runner on first base. You have to keep one eye on the pitcher and one eye on the runner. You have to interpret the pitcher’s non-verbal signals to know what kind of pitch he’s going to throw and you have to read the runner’s body language to see if he’s going to try to steal second. You need to pay attention to the wind. You need to pay attention to the batter. You need to pay attention to a lot of things – and all at once.
In baseball and most other sports, you need to be paying attention to a lot of things at once. You need to stay focused even when you’re tired. That’s where NALT seems to really shine. Supplementing with NALT can help you stay in the game longer, keeping your mind sharp and your body energized.
This is a popular nootropic that is a member of the racetam family. It was created by modifying the first nootropic, piracetam. Phenylpiracetam is considered a mild stimulant and also has neuroprotective properties.
Users of phenylpiracetam find that it helps them to perform a variety of physical activities. But its use isn’t limited to modern nootropic users. In Russia, phenylpiracetam is a prescription drug used to treat fatigue, prolonged stress, and other conditions. It was originally designed to help improve the performance of Russian cosmonauts. Aleksandr Serebrov, a cosmonaut who spent 197 days on the Russian space station Mir, said he used phenylpiracetam to reduce stress and irritability while in space.
In the United States and most other countries, phenylpiracetam is available without a prescription. Nootropic users often report that it has a significant impact on physical and mental performance. Phenylpiracetam has been extensively studied in Russia, but the amount of research done in the U.S. And other English-speaking countries is limited. However, the studies that have been done support the claims that nootropic users have been making. Phenylpiracetam has been shown to improve memory, reduce fatigue, increase motivation, and improve overall performance.
While kratom isn’t usually thought of as a nootropic, it does have many nootropic properties. This plant has been used for centuries to boost physical and mental performance. Workers would chew the leaves to help them get through grueling day after grueling day of physical labor. Today, kratom is used to boost mood, reduce anxiety, manage pain, and improve overall functioning.
For many people, kratom is a game changer. It doesn’t work for everybody (nothing does), but when it does work it works wonders. Kratom is so effective that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) put it on its Monitoring List in 2014. People report that it helps them to be active longer without getting tired and to stay focused when engaged in physical activity.
There is already a lot of evidence to support these claims and new studies are being published all the time. The studies that have been done on kratom show that it is effective at relieving pain, acts as a mild stimulant, and can improve aspects of both mental and physical functioning.
This is a form of l-carnitine, which is an amino acid involved in metabolism and other bodily functions. Acetyl-l-carnitine, or ALCAR for short, is able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) more efficiently than l-carnitine.13 Many users report that supplementing with ALCAR helps them to perform better in a variety of physical activities.
Studies show that ALCAR can boost athletic performance and increase maximum oxygen consumption in adults. They also show that it can reduce muscle soreness after intense physical activity. These findings are consistent with what many nootropic users have reported.
Nootropics aren’t only useful for improving cognitive performance. They’re also great for boosting physical performance. The 5 nootropics listed above all help to keep you focused and alert, warding off fatigue and keeping you in the game longer.
These are just 5 nootropics that can boost physical performance but there are others. To learn about a variety of different nootropics, sign up for the Noo-tropics.eu newsletter.