Guest Post: Nootropics: History and Use Bodybuilding and Strength Training

There are many supplements in the fitness game nowadays, and for better or worse, supplementation seems to have become a vital part of the fitness industry. Everyone nowadays is on something, it seems, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There are many natural supplements out there that elevate brain function and energy, like kratom, and many other supplements that elevate your performance in training or help you gain strength and muscle.

There are, of course, those “special” supplements that we needn’t mention right now, but those are also in greater use around the world, especially among young lifters, which is a worrying trend. But for the most part, natural lifters stick with reliable supplements like a good pre-workout, a protein supplement, or creatine, which is a good basis for a healthy fitness lifestyle.

What you might not have known, though, is that many of these supplements, especially the ones designed to elevate your energy in training and during the day, are rich in nootropics. Let’s take a closer look at this group of substances and see how they fit into sports, bodybuilding, and strength training in the modern world.

What are nootropics?

Caffeine is a nootropic. Creatine is a nootropic. Even nicotine is nootropic. The list is quite extensive, but the point is that nootropics are not bad nor necessarily good for you – it depends how they’re used, in which combinations with other substances, and which kind of nootropics you put in your body. A nootropic is a broad term used to describe a natural substance that binds with the receptors in the brain to potentially elevate brain function in many different ways.

Nootropics have been in use for millennia, but nowadays they are used by athletes to stimulate brain function and lift mental fog, elevate your energy levels, make you more productive, focused, and alert, and even elevate your performance in training. The right nootropics and the combination of different substances can also improve your sleep and create a foundation for a good recovery session.

For example, we all know by now that Arnold Schwarzenegger used to smoke pot before and after lifting, and that is a nootropic substance that in some way, affected his mental and physical game. Undoubtedly, nootropics have been in use way before Arnie decided to smoke a joint, but how far these substances can be traced through the history of bodybuilding and strength training is difficult to tell.

Nootropics may increase cognitive function

Herbal supplements come in all shapes and sizes nowadays, and many nootropics come from various plants that can positively affect brain function and the production of ATP in the body. For example, creatine is a natural nootropic, and you probably know that there are many uses for this substance, even though it’s not an herb. Creatine skyrockets the production of ATP in the body, giving you energy but also improving your brain functions throughout the day, and with regular use.

As a nootropic, creatine was discovered way back in 1832, but as a supplement and an active substance, creatine has only gained mass popularity at the end of the 20th century. However, it’s important to note that this popular nootropic was first put into supplement form by a French scientist, Chevreul, in the early 1900s when the first trials took place.

But, creatine is not alone. There are many nootropics out there, including kratom or CBD, for example, that may elevate cognitive function and help you be more productive during the day. In training, this can indirectly or directly elevate your performance and mental game, depending on the nootropics you choose.

More energy for lifting

Many healthy, natural nootropics can help with ATP production and cognitive processes, and some work better at giving you sustained energy for those long, grueling lifting sessions. It doesn’t really matter what kind of training you’re doing, because a nootropic will help increase your energy levels whether you’re lifting weights or doing cardio.

For the lifters of the golden era, and as supplementation was becoming more accessible, this means that nootropics must have been in use within the bodybuilding and strength training circles even then.

In the modern world, though, this is one of the reasons why nootropic smart drinks are quickly replacing traditional pre-workout drinks and caffeine in the fitness world. Nootropics give you that sustained energy source without the typical highs and lows associated with other supplements.

While caffeine and pre-workouts might have been popular way back in the day, the tides are slowly shifting to welcome more potent alternatives.

Better overall health and well-being

Over the years, researchers around the world have been conducting studies on various nootropics, and there is much more that scientists need to do in order to get definitive answers on certain nootropic substances. For the most part, though, we know which nootropics are good, and which are bad for us.

For example, we all know that nicotine is extremely bad for our overall health, plus it’s an addictive substance that’s very difficult to eliminate from your life. On the other hand, the right blend of healthy nootropics may have the ability to elevate your overall well-being, by supporting numerous healthy processes in your body.

These include improved cardiovascular health, improved mood and less stress, increased muscular strength, better vision, and less inflammation after a particularly tough workout. Of course, these effects will vary depending on the nootropic and the combination of substances in the supplement you’re taking.

Facilitating restful sleep and recovery

If you’ve been in the fitness game for any amount of time, you know just how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. Proper sleep facilitates muscle and nervous system recovery, and as you know, it reduces inflammation, which is preventing you from giving your best in training.

Athletes throughout the centuries and even in ancient times were known to use various herbs and substances to aid with sleep deprivation, and the practice of using nootropics for this purpose has persisted throughout millennia. This should come as no surprise, because nootropics are natural substances that may allow you to sleep better and get more restful sleep, which will help you rest and recover properly for every following workout session. The ancient athletes and warriors knew it, the lifters of the 20th century knew it, and so should you.

Over to you

Nootropics are becoming a big deal nowadays in the fitness industry, but as with all supplements, it’s about the quality of the substance. These substances have been in use for millennial and have been gaining popularity throughout the 20th century, and there is no denying that some are good for you, while others might have a detrimental effect.

Regardless, they may have a much bigger application in sports science and the future of strength training and bodybuilding, so consider adding them to your routine to improve your performance and overall health in training and your everyday life.

Author Bio

I’m a fitness and health blogger at, and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. I follow all the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life, and l love to share my knowledge in this field through useful and informative articles.

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