As an avid bodybuilder / athlete, I know the importance of supplementation. Obviously, nothing outdoes a dedication to lifting and a perfect diet, but taking nootropic supplements can help push through plateaus AND give you stronger gains.
They won’t do the work for you, like many of them will suggest, but they WILL help to amplify the results from your gym workouts.
There’s a new class of supplements that have taken the supplement world by storm in the last few years called Nootropics.
Nootropics are basically supplements designed to work as alternatives to ADHD medications like Adderall, Vyvanse, and Ritalin, and are primarily used to help you improve your focus, concentration, and memory recall.
Also called “Study Drugs”, these supplements typically contain ingredients that you’ll find in most traditional pre-workout formulas like caffeine, bitter orange, and niacin.
Until very recently, most of these supplements have been marketed strictly to college students and those looking to get ahead at work.
However, bodybuilders and athletes alike can SERIOUSLY benefit from the “right” kinds of nootropics.
Here’s, a few Nootropic supplements I’ve personally used to help me push through my workouts, and give me breakthrough gains in the gym.
Nootropic Supplements That Are Effective
Combining Phenibut And A Stimulant
Phenibut is a nootropic supplement that I’ve been experimenting with a lot in the past year or so, and I can say that it truly is a wonder supplement.
It works by allowing GABA, which is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, to cross the blood-brain barrier.
Typically, GABA can’t do this on its own.
What Phenibut does is it adds a “phenyl ring” to this neurotransmitter, which enhances its effectiveness ten-fold.`
This results in feelings of euphoria, extreme calmness, and works great as an alternative to traditional benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety drugs).
You’re probably wondering how an anti-anxiety supplement would work as a workout supplement, and I have to admit, I wondered the same thing when I first learned about it
Because Phenibut stamps out anxiety, it works great in combination with stimulants, particularly caffeine.
A most of us know, typical pre-workout supplements contain big amounts of caffeine and other stimulants that have a tendency to produce high levels of anxiety / give you a hard “crashing” feeling when they wear off.
This can affect your focus and concentration during your workouts, but more importantly, leave you feeling like complete shit as the day goes on.
Phenibut essentially completely ELIMINATES this feeling, and can often produce a euphoric, stimulating experience, while also giving you enhanced concentration on your lifting sessions.
It’s best to use a small dose of phenibut to get this effect, typically no more than 1 – 1.5 grams.
Using higher doses (2+ grams) generally leads to fatigue, and will likely do the opposite of what you are looking to achieve.
I’ve used Phenibut in combo with even harder stimulants like Adderall, DMAA, and Ephedrine in the past, and can attest to its effectiveness.
One thing I will note is that you should limit your use of Phenibut to a max of once per week. It has a tendency to build a tolerance very rapidly, and if you take it too often it can often be rendered ineffective after a few short weeks.
Save your phenibut and stimulant dose for a day that is particularly hard to get through, i.e. leg day.
How You Should Take It
This part is pretty important. Because the stimulating properties of Phenibut can take as long as 1 – 2 hours to kick in, it’s important to plan your day accordingly.
Because I work out in the middle of the afternoon, here’s the way I do it:
- On a relatively empty stomach (no food for the last 2 hours or so), I will take 500 – 800 mg of Phenibut with just a glass of water.
- Wait an hour.
- About 20 min. prior to leaving the house for the gym, I’ll take a fat burner like Instant Knockout (which packs a TON of caffeine per dose).
- 20 min. drive to the gym, and I’m usually good to go.
Noopept and Phenylpiracetam
Noopept is a nootropic supplement that was first discovered in Russia in the early 1990’s, and is actually considered a drug in that country.
Here in the US, it’s commercially available as a supplement, and it has been for quite some time.
I’ve used several different brands of supplements that contain Noopept, including Lumonol and Zynapse, with varying degrees of effectiveness.
Noopept has been shown to produce anti-anxiety effects similar to that of Phenibut, and it’s mechanism of action is very similar as well.
One particular compound that I’ve stacked Noopept with is called Phenylpiracetam.
In fact, the first time I used this stack I was studying for an exam I had the following morning, and It worked very similar to that of Adderall, but without the huge crash.
Without going into a deep scientific discussion of how Phenylpiracetam works, I will touch on a few of the finer points of what it is and how it can help you persevere through your workouts.
In its most pure form, Phenylpiracetam is a stimulant that actually seems to reverse the depressant effects of benzodiazepines, and has been shown to increase physical stamina.
Since Noopept produces depressant, but cognitive enhancing effect, the addition of Phenylpiracetam with Noopept gives a surge in focus and concentration, allowing you to push harder than you normally do.
The unfortunate aspect of Phenylpiracetam is that, because it’s so strong, it’s banned from in-competition use by the world doping agency.
Fortunately, most of us reading this article are probably not Olympic or professional athletes.
How You Should Take Nootropic Supplements?
I talk about this a bit in the conclusion section below, but I’ll touch on it briefly here.
The main downside to nootropics such as these is, while they’re very effective, it takes a bit of experimentation on your part to see which dose is right for you.
With that said, typically with Noopept and Phenylpiracetam I will take both at the same time.
They both come in powder form, and for me, it seems to be most effective when dissolved under the tongue.
Typically I will take 10 – 15 mg of Noopept, followed immediately by 20 mg of Phenylpiracetam, about 1 hour prior to my muscle building workout.
One very important thing that I want to point out here is that, unlike almost all other pre and post workout supplements you might have taken in the past, the dosing for these Nootropic supplements is heavily dependent on a number of variables.
For example, with your typical pre-workout powder the directions on the label usually reflect the dose that works for 99.999% of guys, give or take a quarter of a scoop.
With nootropic supplements, EVERYONE responds very differently to different size doses.I can’t just tell you “take x amount of this and y amount of this and these are the results you’ll get.”It unfortunately just doesn’t work like that.With a little bit of experimentation, however, eventually you will find your “sweet spot”.
Lastly, I want to note that all of these substances have been thoroughly researched, and been deemed safe to take. I wouldn’t be recommending them otherwise.
I have personally tested many different combinations of these nootropics, as well as stacked them with various pre-workout supplements, and I’ve never had any ill effects to report.
Rob Miller is the founder and chief editor of SupplementCritique.com. His website focuses on buying and testing a wide range of supplements, as well as provide general fitness advice to beginners.