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Whether you’re an athlete, a bodybuilder, or simply someone like me who enjoys staying in good shape, using the right supplements for sports can greatly enhance your performance. Nootropics, often referred to as “smart drugs,” can be the missing piece of the puzzle if you’re looking to optimize your training efforts.
In addition to the commonly used caffeinated pre-workout supplements that provide an energy boost and the essential post-workout protein for muscle recovery, incorporating nootropics into your fitness routine can offer a unique cognitive advantage throughout your training regimen.
These nootropic ingredients play a crucial role in enhancing mental performance, which in turn can have a profound impact on your physical performance. Nootropics can assist with energy levels, motivation, focus, stress management, bodily recovery, and other valuable aspects of a comprehensive exercise routine.
It’s worth noting that many popular pre-workout supplements on the market already include various types of nootropics in their formulations. However, for those who prefer a more tailored approach, another viable option is to purchase individual nootropic ingredients and create your own customized pre-workout stack.
The key to harnessing the full potential of nootropics lies in proper timing and dosage. When integrated into your fitness regimen effectively, nootropics can become a valuable tool in your arsenal of workout strategies. Keep in mind that the complexity of your pre-workout supplement should align with the intensity of your training. Using nootropics in a sophisticated formula may yield diminished results if you’re not putting in the effort during your workouts or are easily distracted.
In this article, we will explore the top nootropics for sports supplementation and provide information on pre-made nootropic stacks designed to enhance performance across all phases of training, all of which have been proven to be effective.
Table of Contents
Sport supplements for training success
Forget about the slick commercials and colorful ads that guarantee you a great body in short time with their ‘new revolutionary supplement’.
The word supplement means just to ‘enhance or add to’. It cannot and will not help you obtain your goal unless you are doing everything else correctly. Meaning the resistance training, cardio, dieting, and rest.
Easier said than done.
However, if you are serious about losing that excess weight and getting stronger/bigger, you must first set a solid foundation of a consistent training program.
When you define it, you can set which pre- and post-workout nootropics supplements to choose from.
How can pre-workout nootropics boost physical performance?
While nootropics primarily benefit your brain, there is a strong mind-body link in using them.
This is a double benefit, because nootropics improve the mental strength, motivating you to achieve the best sports performance. In turn, as your physical condition improves, your mental state becomes healthier and sharper.
Brain-boosting nootropic ingredients optimize various aspects of cognitive functions that define a good workout.
The next biomarkers are the most important.
More energy is crucial for success in all walks of life, including physical performance. It is tight closely to better sleep management.
However, many athletes and recreational turn to stimulants, energy drinks, and caffeine to improve their endurance at the sport field.
All of these synthetics can help in the short term, but if you want a real long-term result, it’s better to take non-stimulatory route, i.e. nootropics that increase energy at the cellular level in the brain and body.
So called stim-free nootropics will help in natural energy production. You can take them as pre-workout and post-workout routines. They may also help with metabolic improvements and healthy weight management.
More energy also means more focus and attention.
Without focus, you will not be able to push yourself to the extremes to make the most of physical activity.
Nootropics for focus can get you in the zone, helping to ignore distractions and improving the intensity of your workout.
Since high-intensity training is difficult to maintain on a daily basis, both professionals and amateurs face the problem of motivation.
Nootropics promote motivation by supporting brain chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine that play the main role in mental arousal and alertness.
Also, if energy levels are low due to lack of sleep or unhealthy eating habits, motivation will dry. So, pre-workout nootropics for motivation and intensity will help in that as well.
There is growing evidence that the greatest benefit of exercising is when we push ourselves to the limits. Intense exercise changes our muscles and body at the molecular level in a way that is not possible with mild physical activity.
Strenuous exercise activates our sympathetic nervous system which prompts the fight-or-flight response and the release of catecholamines, chemicals that have been found to be involved in improving fitness.
In exercise, we encounter two types of stressors, that could be detrimental to our health as well as to the muscle tissue.
While they challenge our bodies to fortify and grow, the cortisol and oxidative stress overproduction may negatively influence cognition and metabolism.
Nootropic adaptogens and antioxidants relieve stress and allow you to train at full intensity and recover faster.
Sleep and maintenance
As much as you really want to keep the hard-earned results of your training regimen, inadequate sleep and recovery can destroy them faster than you have achieved them.
Good sleep is necessary for physical and mental health and good quality of life said the recent research.
The connection between rest and exercise is therefore mutual.
The body needs to adapt to the stress associated with training, replenish muscle glycogen (energy stores), and it takes time for the tissue to repair and strengthen.
For the physical and mental recovery between workouts, nootropics that promote sleep are therefore smart aids.
Neurotransmitters to be optimized for exercise
Nootropics optimize neurotransmitters activity along the several brain chemical systems. All this will help improve the physical performance.
The Dopaminergic System
Dopamine is involved in our seeking of pleasure. It plays an important role in motivation to do things, both good or bad.
When our dopaminergic connections are optimized, we look for healthier ways to find pleasure. Like in training sessions.
When dopamine activity is unhealthy, we seek immediate gratifications like indulging in eating, playing video games, watching TV, or doing drugs.
Nootropics optimize dopaminergic circuits by increasing your motivation with a higher reward value.
The Serotonergic System
Serotonin plays a key role in the inhibitions and impulsiveness in the brain.
When serotonin is low, the inhibitions may lead to impulsivity to not follow the good reward value. Your long-term goals will suffer because you will not have motivation, and stress will create bigger and bigger problems for you.
Commitment to a regular training regimen requires a balance of serotonin and dopamine in order for motivation to be higher and stress reduced.
The Cholinergic System
This brain pathway is associated with higher cognitive processes and relates to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
This is the primary chemical in the brain that link mind-body communication between muscles and neurons.
When the acetylcholine chemical is low, that affect motivation, mood, but also an energy arousal and attention.
Nootropics will improve cholinergic system by optimizing acetylcholine synthesis, acetylcholine receptors sensitivity and inhibiting its breakdown.
This will help you to gain more motivation for the training by reducing stress and increasing focus and energy.
How to choose pre-workout supplements?
While you train for any reason, you don’t necessarily have to juice up to boost effects.
There are always levels to that. Each manufacturer has several types, stronger or weaker, simple or complex formulations.
First, you need to think about what exactly you expect from your pre-workout, that is, what “symptoms” you have.
Pre-workout for strength training or working on muscle mass
Pre-workout because you are tired and sleepy
Pre-workout because you want to do longer workouts, that is, work on the definition or endurance
The basic components, i.e. ingredients of any complex pre-workout would be the amino acids like beta-alanine, L-citrulline, L-arginine, taurine, but also caffeine and green tea extract.
These ingredients delay mental and muscle fatigue, improve endurance and recovery, increase training focus, increase efficiency in high-intensity training, and indirectly muscle growth, promote the faster and better supply of muscles with oxygen and nutrients, which is why we have the famous “pump” effect.
There are also complex formulations that, in addition to these basic ingredients, can also contain creatine, which certainly participates in increasing strength, and thus muscle mass (and you can drink it after training). Such a blend is ideal for bodybuilders and powerlifters.
If you are not in the phase of increasing strength or muscle mass, you may not need such a formulation, but it would be enough to take only one amino acid or component that will give you the desired effect.
If you are tired, it may be enough to use caffeine in a 100 or 200 mg tablet.
If you just want a good “pump” in training, L-arginine is the perfect amino acid with such action.
If you are looking for greater endurance, take L-citrulline.
Pre-workout homemade stack
If you want to start via the natural route, which is always a good idea if you are a beginner, try freshly pressed juice from beets and pomegranates for the naturally occurring compounds they have.
This might be the healthiest way to go.
If you want it, it’s better to get caffeine from coffee or tea prior to working out.
Here’s one combo worth a try because it works great:
2 shots of espresso
1 cup of combined juice from beets, pomegranates, and tart cherries
5000 mg creatine monohydrate
3000 mg agmatine sulfate
We’ll now show you supplements that combine best nootropics for exercise in a ready-made capsule or powder.
Top ready-made nootropic blends for workout
If you train seriously, the need for pre-workout nootropics will be greater than taking the basic PWO ingredients or the usual heavy dose of caffeine. This can only be determined by experience and your needs and goals.
We have put together the advanced ready-made solutions that contain the best nootropics for exercise and other basic ingredients added to enhance the quality of the formulation.
Visit Performance Lab, which is a leader in nutritional supplements. All the formulas use ultra-clean industry ingredients, are vegan-friendly, and are packed in prebiotic-infused NutriCaps® design. All supplements add up to well with one another and with other specific supplements, they are produced for all sport and health goals you can imagine.
Best pre-workout supplement
Pre Lab Pro®
RedNite® Red Beetroot powder
Setria® Performance Blend
L-Citrulline (Kyowa Quality®)
Natural Caffeine (from Coffea robusta seeds)
NutriGenesis® Vitamins & Minerals
Himalayan Pink Salt
Pre Lab Pro® is an all-around synergistic formula without artificial sweeteners, additives or stimulants, to deliver benefits for all fitness goals ranging from strength to cardiovascular to overall health.
It supplies ergogenic for speed, stamina, endurance, cardio, recovery, and anabolic gains. It contains nootropics for energy, focus, motivation & calm intensity. It also supports hydration, electrolytes, stress resistance, and accelerate recovery.
Pre Lab Pro® is a berry-flavored highest-quality sports drink you can take as pre-workout and intra-workout.
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Best intra-workout supplement
Alpha GPC (Choline)
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Mucuna Pruriens Extract
Vit B6 (Pyridoxine)
Vit B12 (Methylcobalamin)
NITROvit® is one of the best cognitive enhancers that you can use for all sort of workout. It is full of 1,741 milligrams of top quality nootropics per daily portion of three capsules. Such a well-dosed supplement is rarely seen in today’s ready-made nootropic blends.
It consists of several nootropics we mentioned that support instant focus and concentration, motivation and mental drive, stress resistance, enhanced memory recall and faster cognitive processing, and balance your immunity that can have a significant impact on training and sport results.
Its main star is a high bioavailable peptide Noopept that fuel the neurotransmitters to regulate mood and anxiety, and retain learned information and memories. This leading formula will keep your brain clear and focused for hours.
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Best post-workout supplement
Performance Lab® SPORT Post
Creapure® pH10 (contains 94% Creatine
Monohydrate [83% Creatine])
SR CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine
P40p™ Organic Pomegranate Extract
(Punica granatum) (fruit) (40% punicosides, 50% total polyphenols, 50% ttotal polyphenols)
Sodium (from Himalayan Pink Salt)
Performance Lab® SPORT Post is innovative sports-drink-in-a-capsule full of restorative nutrients that recharge muscle, optimize growth, and repair. It is designed to nourish and hydrate muscle tissue for maximum gains and fast, healthy recovery.
SPORT Post supplies daily creatine and beta alanine that are shown to produce the best muscle benefits in human research. Other sports nutrients are added for heightened synergistic benefits, making this post-workout formula rock solid.
The product is designed for long-range use, you can take it after every single workout. It synergizes with the premium Sleep formula.
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Best sleep supplement
Performance Lab® Sleep
Magnesium+ (as Magnesium Bisglycinate and
Magnesium [from NutriGenesis®])
Whole Montmorency Tart Cherry (Prunus cerasus) - fruit
(as CherryPURE®) (50:1 concentrated ratio)
Performance Lab® Sleep is an innovative formula for restful and rejuvenating sleep that supplies natural ingredients that work on mind-body cell renewal for peak next-day performance.
It supplies a minimally effective dose of natural cherry-sourced melatonin to reduce groggy side effects like in the cheap supplements loaded with synthetic melatonin.
Thanks to the anthocyanin antioxidant, it supports overnight joint and muscle repair, anabolic growth, and cognitive recovery.
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In the world of fitness, the convergence of brain and body benefits is clear. While nootropics are designed for cognitive enhancement, their positive effects on the brain translate into physical advantages, and vice versa.
As you establish your training regimen, remember the power of nootropics to maximize your workout potential. Write us how it goes!