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A Review of Nootropics Use in Sports

nootropics athletics

Nootropics can help your athletic performance.

Most individuals take nootropic supplements to boost cognition, to improve their focus, to help them study for a test, and so on.  However, many athletes may be surprised to find that nootropics can help them to perform better physically.

It would make logical sense that a supplement that can improve focus and clarity would have a positive effect on the body’s response to physical activity. The better you can focus on the task at hand, the better you will perform. Certain nootropics even directly improve muscle contraction and growth.

Some nootropics like phenylpiracetam are so effective at improving athletic performance that they are banned from competitive sports; others are equally as effective and entirely fine to use for any sport. So how do nootropics work with your body to improve your athleticism?

How Nootropics Help Athletic Performance

nootropics soccer

Nootropics can help boost cognition, which can help you think on your feet.

Taking nootropics affects the brain’s levels of neurotransmitters, which helps the brain to connect with muscle tissue and send out signals.  Raising neurotransmitter levels can help the brain to communicate more efficiently with the rest of the body, and can improve reaction times by promoting a higher level of cognition.

Specifically, most nootropics increase acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter commonly known to improve memory and learning. However, acetylcholine also improves muscle control as well as balance. Mental and physical fitness are linked, and so a quicker and healthier brain produces faster reflexes and greater endurance.  The effects of individual nootropics on physical activity vary, however, so you will need to choose wisely.

Benefits of Different Nootropics in Sports

 

nootropics hockey

Nootropics can also help build muscle (so that you win a fight or two in hockey).

Alpha GPC has been linked to increased levels of growth hormone as well as quicker fat oxidation, meaning that it promotes muscle gains and helps to burn fat leading to improved physical performance and body composition [1].  Aniracetam, in addition to being more potent than other racetam supplements like piracetam, can help to reduce anxiety as well as increase focus [2]. 

Oxiracetam increases spatial learning, which helps your brain to improve physical coordination. Huperzine A prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine to improve memory and muscle control; it also increase alertness.

All of these nootropics will improve neuronal communication between the brain and body, but also have specialized individual effects.  With all of these options to choose from, it is a simple matter of picking a nootropic and seeing which is best for your sports performance.

Which Nootropics Are Right For You?

You may be curious about trying nootropics to improve physical performance, and there are many excellent choices out there.  Be careful of taking supplements that may be banned from a particular sport, but otherwise experiment and find what works best for you.

Weightlifters find Alpha GPC and Huperzine A 1% helpful in doses of 300mg and 10mg respectively, usually stacked together.  Other athletes may find aniracetam and oxiracetam useful in doses around 750mg two times per day.  Find the stack or single supplement that works best for you, and enjoy greater athletic success!

Sources

  1. http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(12)00089-5/
  2. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014299901010056

Is Sublingual Administration Safe for Nootropics?

nootropics sublingual

Nootropics can boost your creativity.

Sublingual administration is one of many ways to take a supplement for maximum effect.  It is done by putting a supplement under the tongue and allowing it to diffuse into the bloodstream through the mucous membrane beneath the tongue.  Taking substances this way can lead to faster effects because they go straight into the bloodstream rather than being passed through the liver first or being degraded by stomach acid.

While this seems like an effective way to take nootropic supplements, many users may wonder if this method is safe.  While the majority of nootropics are perfect safe to take sublingually, some are better than others to ingest this way.

Which Supplements Can I Take Sublingually?

The effects of taking a nootropic sublingually depend on the composition of the substance.  Anything that is more acidic, like phenibut, may make the mouth sore, as do substances like adrafinil.  Some are just not as effective because they dissolve slowly, like sulbutiamine.

nootropics writing

Nootropics can also boost your writing ability.

These types of supplements are best taken orally with water or juice for optimal safety and efficacy.  The ideal nootropic for sublingual administration is one that dissolves quickly and is more effective when it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and skips the liver.

Racetam supplements, like aniracetam and coluracetam, as well as derivatives like noopept, are much more effective when they are absorbed into the tongue’s mucous membrane.  Nootropics like Alpha GPC also dissolve quickly, and have no associated taste. It also helps that many nootropics, coluracetam and noopept in particular, have very minute dosages which makes sublingual supplementation much easier.

Is It Better To Take Nootropics Sublingually?

sublingual nootropics

Sublingual administration involves putting the supplement under your tongue.

Sublingual administration is not necessarily better or worse than oral administration, and choosing to take nootropics this way entirely depends on the needs of the individual.  Taking nootropics beneath the tongue allows the user to take smaller doses because they are more effective, more concentrated, and work faster.

Also, users trying to avoid stress on the stomach and intestinal tract may take supplements sublingually to avoid side effects related to the digestive system.  Bypassing the stomach also means better absorption and less degradation, making the supplement more potent [1].

While sublingual administration seems better and more effective, it can be difficult to find nootropics designed to be taken this way. Generally, racetams as well as l-theanine and vitamin B6 will be widely available this way.  Otherwise, many supplements are only intended for oral administration.

The Safest Way to Take Nootropics with Sublingual Administration

The best way to remain safe when taking nootropics is to follow the instructions and dosages and only use sublingual administration when the supplement is intended for this form of absorption.  These supplements are entirely safe when taken as intended, but may irritate the mouth if used incorrectly.

As with any supplement, it’s best to pay attention to the guidelines to enjoy maximum positive effects.  However, finding nootropics designed to be taken sublingually can be a great way to enjoy quick and powerful cognitive effects without losing significant amounts of the supplement as the body breaks it down.

Sources

1. http://www.examiner.com/article/new-methods-of-nootropic-administration