The world of nutrition is expanding every day. And whilst taditional whey protein and pre-workout have always been and will continue to be the pillars of the bodybuilding community to ramp up a gym session and feed the muscles after a workout, there’s a whole range of new products being released called Nootropics that are enhancing not only the way people diet and train but the way people live their lives in general.
The team from Performance Enhanced Nutrition give us the low down on what Nootropics are, and how they’ll assist you in everything from brain performance to libido support.
Gone are the days of being just an over-performing perfectionist in the gym. In today’s world, domination of the iron kingdom or the treadmill forest is simply not enough.
People are starting to take the same approach to enhanced gym performance and apply this to the ‘before and after’ space. The area’s where you wake up to prepare your body for the day, where people enhance their performance in the office and also improve their environment at home.
There are several areas of importance that seem to be driving the trend in performance supplementation and innovation in nutrition which include mental performance, diet assistance and post-gym fat reduction, mood enhancement, muscle repair, immune system support and in some instances also libido support.
We have put together one of the first ‘all encompassing’ overviews for all you readers here to cover what people are now using, why they are using it, what these products do and most importantly HOW they do it! Ready to learn more? Let’s jump in…
In today’s environment things are super competitive. People will generally smash out a gym session for not only their fitness goals but also to release endorphins to the brain which can absolutely in turn increase cognitive function and mental performance. Who doesn’t feel switched on after a good gym sesh right?
However now there has been a rise in trending cognitive brain function and support products such as ‘cognitive performance’ that people are using to enhance cognitive function outside of the gym also.
Believe it or not this stuff actually does work! Typically dosed on the early morning or late afternoon (best after a gym session) these supplements will generally have several extracts included which will typically include, phosphatidylserine, L-carnitine, tyrosine and bacopa.
- Phosphatidylserine is a compound that can relieve stress, boost memory, and treat cognitive decline and enhance and improve cognitive performance.
- L-Carnitine also known as ALCAR is a compound that has shown incredible benefits for both focus and memory.
- Tyrosine has been shown to support increased dopaminergic and noradrenergic activity in the brain which has been associated with feelings of motivation.
- Bacopa works by having a positive effect on the regulation of key neurotransmitters in the brain.
So as you can see these inclusions bode for an absolute powerhouse cocktail of cognitive function, hence why their inclusion is essential to a good product.
There always has been and always will be fat loss products on the market. In today’s trends we are seeing that people are smarted with their fat loss product selection, using it as a tool in a kit rather than a solution.
What we mean by this is that people will use fat loss supplementation in addition to a strict diet and strong training routine to get the absolute most out of each product!
Getting a good fat loss and weight regulation product combined with a bad diet and not enough training is like purchasing a new car with old wheels! It just won’t perform properly!
There are two schools of weight loss products that have two unique effects, one is thermogenic stimulation and the other is fat cell regulation. Think of this as stimulation vs regulation.
Key inclusions in a more thermogenic stimulant product will typically include synephrine, green coffee extract, some caffeine, garcinia and L-Tyrosine.
And, key inclusions in a more fat cell regulation focussed supplement are going to include things found in the enhanced melt blend which include white kidney bean, L-carnitine and also green tea extract.
In terms of what each extract aims to achieve…
Green tea extract can reduce stress which is a known cause of weight gain. The main health benefits of green tea extract are primarily due to its phenomenally high antioxidant content.
Studies have shown that synephrine can speed up the metabolism, which contributes to fat loss and weight management. L Tyrosine has also been shown to have a positive impact on appetite suppression and stress reduction.
White kidney works as a carbohydrate blocker that inhibits the digestion of starches such as pasta, bread, potatoes, and more. The enzyme inhibited is called ‘alpha-amylase’ which is responsible for breaking down starches.
And, Garcinia can support weight loss by giving a feeling of fullness, speeding up the body’s metabolism and increasing the amount of time to exhaustion thereby enhancing athletic performance and reducing fat
People want to wake up fresh, trim hard, work hard and perform well each day. But when we come home we want to be able to relax and unwinding can sometimes be difficult. Due to this phenomenon we are seeing more and more people switch off in the evening with a nice mood enhanced or stress reduction related product.
These work exceptionally well for busy professionals or people who train hard and want deep relaxation during the evening to wake up fresh the next day.
We have found a few key inclusions in a good stress reduction and mood enhancement product which include key extracts such as, Tumeric, L-Theanine, Lemon Balm, GABA, Magnesium and Peperine.
GABA stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid and is one of the major neurotransmitters, chemicals that brain cells use to communicate with each other. If you are easily overstimulated and often overwhelmed and stressed out, you might be deficient in this important neurotransmitter.
Tumeric is a phenomenal plant derived from the ginger family. Tumeric benefits are so vast that there are currently over 10,000 per reviewed articles published focused on various Tumeric benefits including healing, anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory, anti-depression, improved skin, enhanced relaxation properties and more.
Often referred to as ‘Natures Xanax’, L-Theanine is a potent amino acid with studies showing subjects feeling considerably calmer and more focused after taking the compound.
Known as a medicinal herb since ancient Greek times, lemon balm has long been known to relieve anxiety, promote sleep, and sooth agitation. Studies of lemon balm have produced impressive results with regard to stress reduction.
Piperine is the key chemical in black pepper. It is similar to capsaicin a chemical in chili and offers many health benefits including stress management, weight management and more.
And a key way that magnesium reduces stress is through an increase in GABA or ‘gamma-aminobutyric acid’. When GABA is low, the brain can become stuck in the “on” position and it becomes impossible to relax.
A key trend in today’s sporting world is that people are training harder and longer than ever before. With this comes increased pressure to perform and recover. Logically off the back of this we are seeing a rise in the preparation of the body to handle such intense training and hence the rise of high quality muscle repair supplements!
Basic inclusions that feed the body daily with respect to muscle repair capabilities include: Chondroitin, glucosamine, magnesium and fish oil. While a simple mixx, when combined, these make up an essential part of daily muscle repair support.
Chondroitin plays a key role in the formation of cartilage and specifically supports the body’s natural cartilage repair process. Not only this but Chondroitin also acts as a ‘shock absorber’ for joints, meaning enhanced ability to endure harder training sessions and improved mobility in healthy adults.
Glucosamine helps maintain the elasticity and strength of cartilage in joints meaning more mobility and enhanced heeling capabilities in muscle fibres.
Magnesium is without equation on of the most powerful muscle repair and rejuvenation products in the world. Not only will magnesium drastically speed up muscle recovery and repair but due to its unique ability to relax muscles will also allow you to sleep like a baby.
And fish oil has been shown to facilitate increased muscle protein synthesis in response to an insulin and amino acid infusion significantly. Meaning more absorption or protein meaning faster muscle repair and enhanced muscle rejuvenation.
Immune System Support
Put simply, people are getting smarter. And people know during winter that sometimes a flue shot just doesn’t cut it! As such we are seeing a steep rise in immune system support products that keep athletes healthy throughout the winter season and many during the summer too!
Key inclusions in a good immune system support blend will typically include Elderberry, Echinacea and of course Vitamin C.
The key health benefits attributable to elderberries include their ability to alleviate allergies, boost the immune system, protect against bacteria and infection, lower blood sugar, help with weight loss, moderate the digestive process, and slow down the ageing process amongst many others.
Echinacea is a native North American coneflower that was discovered and used as a traditional herbal remedy for more than 400 years by the Great Plains Indian tribes.
Studies have shown that Echinacea can reduce the chances of catching a cold by up to 58%, can reduce the duration of the common cold by almost one-and-a-half days and can phenomenally ramp up recovery times when recovering from most injuries or illnesses.
And, known as one of the most advantageous immune system support extracts in modern science, Vitamin C is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues.
In addition to this it’s involved in many body functions, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage and bones!
Not only this but Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid can also treat and prevent exercise inhibiting symptoms such as cold, flu and fatigue, boost natural immune systems and act as a guard to any unwanted impediments to the human immune system.
So as can be seen without question these three inclusions are essential to a healthy immune system support blend.
It’s important to note that libido support is its that, supportive extracts to ensure a healthy libido. Whilst there are pharmaceutical grade performance enhancement products available, libido support aims to tor healthy males and give them the extra ‘pop’ needed to sustain year round libido activity and key extracts are currently being leveraged in a very specific way to help achieve this.
Three key ingredients and inclusions in many male vitality and libido support products will include Tonkat Ali, Ginseng and Ginko.
Tongkat Ali has been shown to not only support male vitality, performance and libido but has shown an aphrodisiac effect in many subjects making it an all-around exceptional product.
Numerous studies exist demonstrating reduced anxiety and improved male sexual performance following Tongkat Ali administration, with such effects thought to be due to a restoration of normal testosterone levels and higher libido function.
Ginseng is an exceptionally popular extract gaining more prominence in modern nootropics and vitality.
The key active extracts in ginseng relevant to male vitality and libido function are called Ginsenosides. The Ginsenosides are what are said to regulate and impact sexual behaviour and sex drive.
Like Ginseng, Ginkgo increases nitric oxide levels and blood flow and thus is helpful for male libido and healthy function.
As can be seen these three inclusions provide exceptional synergy and are essential to any male health, libido and / or vitality blend.
In summary we can see how and why nootropics are changing the game and advancing innovation in nutrition.
With the overall goal being human excellence and peak performance in all aspects of life, we expect this space to grow and expand exponentially to the benefit of all product enthusiasts over time.
More about Performance Enhanced Nutrition
Performance Enhanced are the leaders in nutrition and sports food development with the most advanced and ever expanding range of alternative human performance products designed to meet the needs of advanced human performance in all aspects of life.
Check out their website for a large range of sports nutrition and supplements, training guides, exercise blogs, nutrition help and much more.