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Nootropics are a newer class of supplements in the fitness space that is starting to build up some traction. While they have been used for quite a while within other industries that require a lot of mental fortitude, their popularity in the fitness world seems to be growing rapidly. There is good reason for this hype as Nootropics can increase cognition, focus, alertness, mood and can have positive effect on sense of well-being – perfect for someone wanting that energy boost either pre-workout or thoughout the day when you start getting foggy from that calorie deficit.
So what exactly is a Nootropic? The term Nootropic is used to describe a group of supplements that are used primarily for their effect on the brain. These compounds can directly or indirectly enhance the brain’s capability and potential, increasing our cognitive abilities in tasks that require more mental energy.
There are two main classes that fit under the broad scope of the term ‘Nootropics’ – Cholinergics and Racetams.
Racetams are synthetic compounds that improve and increase brain function. There are a wide range of Racetam compounds currently within the market, each with structural differences yielding various properties and effects on the brain. Racetams, being synthetically derived tend to be restricted and harder to get a hold of, meaning we don’t see a lot of them in the fitness space, however, the most popular and commonly used Racetams are Piracetam and Noopept.
Cholinergic compounds however are more common and starting to make their way into our range of sports supplements. They are definitely ingredients to seek out when selecting a product to aid in mental clarity, energy and mood. Being cholinergic means that compound is used by the body to increase and/or prevent the breakdown of Choline and Acetylcholine, which are learning neurotransmitters, in the brain. Popular compounds that provide the brain with Choline are CDP-Choline, Alpha-GPC and Phosphatidylcholine. While ingredients such as Huperzine-A inhibit the breakdown of the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, and allow for longer lasting cognitive enhancement. Taking cholinergic supplements can lead to improvements not only in cognitive function and focus, but also in muscle contraction and reflexes. This is achieved through the increased capacity of neural pathways, resulting in enhanced muscle power and more effective muscle recruitment.
The benefits gained from Nootropic use is desirable and as it is a developing space of supplements, I’d be keeping my eyes peeled for what’s next to develop in the way of Nootropic supplementation. The increases in cognition, energy, alertness, mood, memory retention and learning potential is undoubtedly a massive performance enhancement that can help improve results for anyone and almost any situation. Make nootropic ingredients some of the ones to seek out when picking a supplement geared towards improving your mental energy, you won’t be disappointed!