Bodybuilding is much more than physical changes. Bodybuilding is a way of life – filled with dedication, hard work, tenacity, and passion. Bodybuilding is far from easy and you must be in the right mind set in order to achieve your goals. That’s why supplements geared towards brain health and power are equally as important as supplements that increase strength, muscle mass, and recovery speeds. Supplements for your brain are perhaps the most important. Physical strength will not exist without mental strength.
There are quite a few supplements that maximize brain health and power. One of the most common is caffeine. If you’ve ever had a big cup of coffee before a workout session you will understand why caffeine is such a popular supplement in the bodybuilding world. Caffeine is just one of many supplements that can increase focus, drive, endurance, and the overall greatness of a workout session. So lets get to it! Let’s dig a little deeper on the Top 10 Best Supplements for Brain Health and Power…
10. Fish Oil:
Fish oil can be consumed in two ways. One is to eat fish, the other is to take pills. Fish that are especially rich in beneficial oils, otherwise known as omega-3 fatty acids, are mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, cod liver, whale blubber, and seal blubber. Fish oil was created in pill form to fill the gaps in people’s diet you either don’t eat fish or don’t eat enough of it. It’s simple, gets the job done in one pill, and has some serious brain power benefits.
When taking fish oil, you are aiming to intake as much omega-3 fatty acids as possible. Two of the most important fatty acids in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fish oil is FDA approved to lower triglyceride levels and is proven to increase brain power, improve ADHD symptoms, and treat anxiety.
9. MCT Oil:
MCTs or medium chain triglycerides, are a form of saturated fatty acid and an extremely healthy source of fat. With more and more research we are learning that MCT oil should be consumed every day. Most MCT oil is made entirely from coconuts, one of the best sources of healthy fat in the world. MCT oil is growing every day, becoming one of the most popular sources of clean fuel for our brains and bodies. MCT oil is one of the best ways to kick start your energy in order to improve your workout performance or aid in your weight management program.
When MCTs are absorbed into the blood stream, they bypass right through the digestion process that long chain triglycerides, which are found in most foods, go through. MCTs provide the body with quick energy and are less likely to be stored in the fat cells.
Turmeric is one of the most popular supplements for brain function. It is a potent anti-inflammatory and cancer preventive molecule that bodybuilders can’t get enough of. This small molecule not only exerts anti-inflammatory benefits such as cancer prevention and treatment, but it also improves brain function, boosts energy levels, alleviates cognitive decline related to aging, reduces risk of diabetes, can be used as treatment for diabetes, and so much more.
7. Creatine Monohydrate:
Creatine is a supplement that is extremely underrated when it comes to enhancing brain function. It is very similar to protein in the sense that it is a nitrogen containing compound. It occurs naturally in the the vertebrates and it helps to supply energy to the cells in the body, mainly in the muscles as well as enhance memory and overall brain function.
This might sound a little strange. A supplement that can improve muscle mass and strength AND have positive effects on your brain? The supplement has this power because our muscles use ATP for energy in the same way our muscles do. When we increase the phosphocreatine in our brains, ATP synthesis occurs and energy is formed.
Creatine monohydrate can be produced in the liver and kidneys from amino acids and there are also small amounts in animal foods. However, even though creatine monohydrate occurs naturally in the body, sometimes we need a little more. While it can be found in food, most of it is destroyed during the cooking process. This is why we love creatine supplements so much!
Phosphatidylserine is a chemical with a lot of effects on the body. Perhaps the most important and impressive effect of this supplement is it’s role in the maintenance of cellular functions, specifically inside of the brain. Taking a Phosphatidylserine supplement has been proven to increase cognitive function and memory impairments in people of all ages. For bodybuilders, taking this supplement before working out can help you maximize your results by helping you stay focused and alert as well as improve mood levels and mental function.
5. Huperzine A:
Huperzine A is an herbal nootropic that increases the levels of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter) within the brain. Increasing this neurotransmitter leads to enhanced cognitive functions and improved memory. This supplement is easy to take, shows promising results, and can be taken before and/or after working out.
4. L-Theanine and Caffeine:
L-Theanine is a non-protein amino acid that is commonly found in green tea leaves. This amino acid is proven to significantly reduce stress levels. When taken in conjunction with caffeine, magic can be experienced! L-Theanine and caffeine can improve mood levels, reduce stress, promote the ability to focus, increase motivation, improve alpha wave levels, which is a sure sign of relaxation, and reduce heart rate and blood pressure.
Another plus, when using L-Theanine in conjunction with caffeine, the nasty side effects that are known to follow supplementing with caffeine, drastically decrease.
3. Choline and Piracetam:
Choline is a powerful nootropic that directly increases acetylcholine which improves memory formation. Choline can be taken alone as a supplement since it is so powerful. However, when combined with piracetam, this supplement duo can lead to even better memory formation, prevention of neuro-degenerative diseases, and overall brain function.
Just like choline, piracetam can be taken on it’s own. It works by increasing acetylcholine uptake and utilizes specific parts of the brain that are responsible for memory formation. The combination of these two supplements is pretty much unbeatable!
2. Bacopa Monnieri:
Just like most brain boosting supplements, bacopa monnieri improves acetylcholine release, which as we’ve learned, enhances memory function and formation. However, the power doesn’t stop there. Bacopa monnieri is a traditional herb with a long list of brain health benefits. It can reduce stress on dopaminergic systems, increase feelings of happiness, improve short and long term memory, improve test performance, enhance attention levels, and greatly reduce anxiety symptoms. A natural herb and a long list of bodybuilding benefits? Sign us up!
1. Asian Ginseng:
Asian ginseng has been time and time again proven to improve memory, enhance focus, increase attention, boost mood levels, and improve physical performance with reaction times and endurance. Asian ginseng is a natural nootropic, which means it is a cognitive enhancer. We just can’t get enough of this one. Who wouldn’t want to take Asian ginseng supplements?