Supplement Spotlight: Nootropics

What are Nootropics?

Nootropics have quickly become one of the hottest new supplement categories. Most likely born from the cognitive enhancers found in many pre-workouts, nootropics have broadened to go beyond pre-training supplementation. This edition of Supplement Spotlight will focus on nootropics in general and the most common nootropic ingredients in particular. Let’s check it out! 

What Are Nootropics?

Nootropics are supplements that enhance cognitive functions such as intelligence, memory, creativity, and attention. In addition, the terms “cognitive enhancers” and “nootropics” are interchangeable, and both of them are acceptable. 


One reason nootropics have become so popular is because many people want maximum brain performance. Of course, optimal cognitive function while training is the difference between a good workout and a great one. No doubt, nootropic ingredients enhance focus and increase motivation. In turn, this stimulates maximum mind-muscle connection. In addition, they also increase alertness and elevate mood. Yet, optimal cognitive function goes beyond bodybuilding and athletics. 


For instance, nootropics can improve work or school productivity. Specifically, they enhance learning, attention, and memory. No, nootropics are not miracle-workers. Yet they can help you reach your ultimate mental potential.

Common Nootropic Ingredients


This is one of the best forms of choline available. It’s 40% choline by weight. Plus, it’s able to cross the blood-brain barrier. This supports increased acetylcholine levels, especially in the frontal cortex of the brain. That’s where the processes of your attention span and motor function take place. Also, acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that has a primary role in cognitive enhancement, increased attention, and memory. In addition, it helps establish the fabled mind-muscle connection. Of course, serious bodybuilders will be excited about that!



This is a popular adaptogen. Moreover, Ashwagandha has cognitive benefits. These include reducing stress, easing anxiety, and relieving depression. Further, by acting as an adaptogen, it helps control cortisol, the destructive catabolic hormone.


Bacopa Monnieri

This Ayurvedic herb has an extended history of use as a cognitive enhancer. Additionally, it acts as an adaptogen. The active ingredients in Bacopa are bacosides. These are saponins that help regulate neurotransmitters. Bacopa supports overall cognitive function. Plus, as noted, it has adaptogenic properties. As a result, that means it helps the body deal with stress. This includes physical, emotional, and mental stress.



There’s no doubt this is the most popular energy and alertness ingredient on the market. Caffeine is a powerful CNS stimulant. It targets your adenosine receptors, preventing them from making you feel tired. Caffeine increases energy, alertness, and focus. Of course, it also stimulates thermogenesis and supports performance. 



Also known as Citicoline, this both improves memory and helps prevent loss of memory. Plus, it enhances reaction time, elevates focus, and increases clarity. If you ever experience “brain fog”, this is the ingredient for you. 



Typically, this is Choline Bitartrate. This form of choline is one of the most common forms. In fact, you’ll find it in quite a few supplements. It’s a precursor to acetylcholine, often called the “learning neurotransmitter”.  As well, it’s well-known as a focus enhancer. 


Huperzine A

This is another popular ingredient. Huperzine A elevates focus and improves memory. Also, it helps prevent oxidative damage to the brain. Plus, Huperzine is a common ingredient in pre-workouts. 


Lion’s Mane

This edible mushroom has an extended history of use in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. The active compounds in Lion’s Mane are beta-glucans, erinacines, erinacea lactones, glycoproteins, and hericerins. These active compounds are responsible for its benefits. Namely, enhanced cognitive function, better memory, and better nerve regeneration. 



This is one of the most common nootropics found in pre-workouts and nootropic-based formulas. Tyrosine is an amino acid that enhances focus and improves mood. Plus, it may help combat stress. In pre-workouts, Tyrosine is often used alongside Choline.  In fact, both of those nootropics are one of the most common combinations on the market. 


Typically suggested as a sleep aid, Phenibut is a GABA precursor. Besides promoting relaxation, Phenibut also helps relieve anxiety and depression. 



This is a popular supplement that’s used for memory and learning improvement. It’s also a cortisol blocker. Cortisol is, of course, the catabolic hormone that’s released in response to stress. If you lift weights, excess cortisol release is one of the worst things that can happen. There are a few ways to avoid the effects of cortisol. First, stay anabolic by utilizing protein timing. Second, use an ingredient such as Phosphatidylserine. Third, consider using an intra-workout. Finally, have a post-workout shake as soon as you are done training. 


Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogen. As we have seen, this helps the body deal with mental and physical stress. The active ingredients in Rhodiola are rosavins and salidrosides. These are responsible for Rhodiola’s benefits. Beyond acting as an adaptogen, these benefits also include mood elevation and overall cognitive enhancement. Last but not least, they help maintain the integrity of the neurotransmitters adrenaline and dopamine.



First, this ingredient supports improved blood flow. Second, this, in turn, enhances nutrient and oxygen delivery to the brain. This is important because the brain uses 20% of the body’s blood flow. For this reason, nitric oxide boosters, which increase blood flow, may also be helpful for improved cognitive performance. Most likely, that’s not something you think about when you use a pump enhancer. Also, Vinpocetine functions as a neuroprotectant. Finally, it supports memory and overall cognitive function.


How To Use Nootropics

First of all, the best way to use nootropics is to follow all label directions of the product or products you plan to buy. To be clear, there are enough different nootropic ingredients that it comes down to intended use and label directions. 


For example, are you using a pre-workout with nootropic ingredients? Then take it the way you would any pre-workout. Are you using a specific nootropic formula? Then it will be taken before the event that requires you to be at your mental best. 

Nootropic Stacks

Nootropic Stacks are based on your goals. For many bodybuilders, simply choosing a nootropic-heavy pre-workout, such as Black Magic Bsrk Black Magic BZRK – I’ll Pump You Up (, may be enough.  


In addition, you can add a good nootropic formula to your existing stack. In this case, adding a product such as 5% Nutrition Mentality 5% Nutrition Mentality – I’ll Pump You Up ( can make a difference in your mental performance and clarity.


Are you looking for more mental performance for work or school? Here’s some examples:

Nootropics – Student/Work Stack

Do you need memory improvement? Here’s a good stack:

Nootropics – Memory Stack

How about sleep? If you experience mild insomnia, here’s a stack that can help:

Nootropics – Sleep Stack

Looking for good mood elevation? Here’s a great stack:

Nootropics – Mood Enhancement Stack





To sum up, there’s no doubt nootropics are an exciting supplement category that goes beyond sports nutrition. First, nootropics are ideal for bodybuilders and other athletes. Second, they are also ideal for anyone that seeks more mental performance. This might be students, business professionals, or gamers. Third, nootropics can fit any need or goal. This includes mood enhancement and more focus. In addition, it also includes memory and enhancing the mind-muscle connection. Finally, no matter the goal, Bodybuilding Supplements Store | I’ll Pump You Up ( is the site to find all your supplement needs!



  1. What are Nootropics? – Braintropic
  2. the-encyclopedia-of-nootropics.pdf (


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