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Can I Take Nootropics Before a Workout? (Backed by Research)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
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As a personal trainer, I recommend that many of my clients and readers take a pre-workout supplement to gain a physical energy boost.

But in many cases, people are simply lacking focus and motivation at the gym after a tough day at work behind a desk.

If your physical energy hasn’t been drained at work, but you still struggle at the gym, then you could be tempted to take a nootropic as a pre-workout.

But before you do that, let me show you how we have tested these effects so that you avoid a few simple mistakes.

Quick Summary

  • Achieving maximum performance in workouts doesn’t just come down to having great energy levels.
  • Mental fatigue and low brain energy can limit how motivated and focused you are on the training session.
  • With the right kind of ingredients, you can further boost your workout performance and stop struggling with motivating yourself in the first place.

Are Nootropics Good for Working Out?

Holding a dumbbell after taking nootropics

Yes, nootropics can be good for working out. One of the key parts of achieving a great workout routine isn’t just physical performance but mental focus and motivation as well.

Sports and exercise psychologists agree that people struggle to overcome mental barriers to starting a workout and then staying focused on achieving the best results each time [1].

And while having exercise partners, supportive family and friends, and some form of reward system can help maintain higher levels of motivation, taking some brain supplements can help out as well.

Many nootropics are specifically designed to improve focus, reduce distractions, and get you into an overall better mood.

Here’s the thing.

How many times have you gone to bed with the plan of getting up the next day and having a great workout or run? Then the next day comes, and all that motivation from the night before is gone.

If a regular brain booster could give you more consistent motivation and focus, you would be in a much better position to keep up with a training plan.

When Should You Take Nootropics For Workout Performance?

You should take nootropics for workout performance about 30 to 60 minutes before a workout, in most cases.

Some products recommend that you take them first thing in the morning, and that’s fine if you go to the gym or for a run in the morning.

Otherwise, aim to get the peak brain performance boost before you head to the gym so that you get maximum benefits at the time you need them most.

4 Ingredients to Look Out For

A handful of nootropics supplement

I teamed up with a nutritionist who's also an expert in nootropics to show me what scientific research says about ingredients that can boost mental focus and motivation.

Here are the things she recommended to look out for.

1. Phosphatidylserine

This is a particularly effective ingredient for improved brain activity as it has been shown to have an impact on multiple functions, including memory, concentration, focus, and mood [2].

It can also help with reducing feelings of stress, which could have an impact on how motivated you are to go to the gym in the first place.

“Phosphatidylserine (PS) is an amino acid derivative compound that is fat-soluble and found in high amounts in the brain, where it contributes to cognitive functioning.”
- Kamal Patel, MPH, MBA at Examine.com

2. Vitamin B6

This is a critical vitamin for the brain, and it improves blood and nutrient flow to the brain [3]. Research has been positive enough for this to be a recommended vitamin to prevent dementia in elderly people.

3. Bacopa Monnieri

A pot of Bacopa Monnieri

This herbal extract has also been proven to have a positive impact on cognition and a reduction in oxidative stress [4].

These preventive benefits can help you reduce overall stress, and that can get you a lot more focused on what you’re meant to be doing at the gym.

4. Acetyl L-Tyrosine

Here is another well-researched ingredient where there is plenty of scientific literature to support it for improving mood and focus [5].

It’s so effective that it’s become very common in standalone pre-workout supplements.

FAQs

Do Athletes Take Nootropics?

Yes, many high-performance athletes take nootropics to help them with the mental aspects of training and sports. These supplements can provide the extra competitive edge to train harder and achieve more in competition.

What's a Nootropic Pre-Workout?

A nootropic pre-workout is a supplement that aims to boost focus and motivation to help you work harder during training. By being able to focus on each rep and set, you can significantly improve the quality of each movement.

Try Supplementing Your Brain for Improved Muscle Performance

If you’ve gained control of your physical performance but sometimes struggle with motivation and keeping your workout movements without distractions, then try using some brain nootropics.

Many professional and amateur athletes rely on them, and we have tested dozens to see which will work best:

Order your first supply and see how well they can work for you when it comes to keeping you on target for your fitness goals.


References:

  1. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01147/full
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25933483/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14584010/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746283/
  5. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/L-tyrosine#section=Pharmacology-and-Biochemistry
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