The Complete Athlete—Nootropics Boost Mind and Body
Many athletes, and specifically MMA fighters, are often on the lookout for ways to increase their cognitive and physical performance. It isn’t enough to be the strongest or the fastest person in the ring. A top performing athlete is also the smartest person in the competition. To help with all of these aspects, many athletes are turning to nootropics.
The evidence showing nootropics’ positive effects on cognition is overwhelming. But can the same be said for physical growth, performance, and speed? We need to examine what neurotransmitters are used for, and how research teams have studied them in recent years.
First, let’s talk about acetylcholine and acetylcholinesterase. Think of these as a binary function used by your body to control muscle movement, or better yet, think of them as the two positions of a switch—one for on, the other for off. Neuromodulators, such as acetylcholine are used by the brain to initiate muscle movement. It’s the signal that tells a specific muscle to start moving now. In addition to this function, it has also been linked to areas of the brain associated with memory and learning. The enzyme in this pair, acetylcholinesterase, is the off switch. It tells the muscle when to stop moving. Too much of this enzyme can lead to problems within the brain, but it is absolutely necessary for physical movement.
So how do nootropics work? Just as a megaphone amplifies your voice, a nootropic increases reception of acetylcholine. We call this a positive allosteric modulator.
A Quick Memory and a Quicker Reaction Time
Reaction time is a key factor in the studies of learning processes, focus, and memory. Each of these areas is directly connected to SRT, or Serial Reaction Time. If someone were to give you the task of flipping a switch every time you heard a noise, the SRT would be the time it takes between hearing the noise and flipping the switch.
A nootropic boots memory and therefore reaction time. Studies have indicated that if a rat with impaired memory is given a dose of common nootropics, there is a marked increase in spatial memory (maze completion) and working memory (what to do to get the prize).
Physical Benefits of a Nootropic Stack
As we mentioned earlier, it’s not enough to be the strongest or the fastest. Other factors come into play during a physical competition. Reaction time, ability to focus, and even an athlete’s mood can all affect their performance. In order to be a great athlete, one has to take care of every aspect of their body and mind.
When taking a nootropic stack, it’s important to take care of yourself. Don’t push yourself over the limit. Getting the proper amount of sleep and reducing stress levels are some of the most important factors that affect an athlete’s reflexes and reaction times.
Nootropics and sleep deprivation are a bad combo, so make sure to take care of yourself.
Professional Athletes Beware—The Debate About Mental Cheating
If professional sports aren’t your concern, then you have nothing to worry about. If you are a professional athlete, keep up to date on which supplements are allowed by your sport. In recent years, some professional leagues have debated over whether or not to punish mental cheating. These debates are ongoing, so keep up to date with all the news and protect yourself.
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