How Can Nootropics Help you Build Muscle

The idea that a nootropic ingredient can help you to not only lose weight (see: How Can Nootropics Help You Lose Fat), but can also increase your progress in the muscle department, may seem preposterous.

Nootropic products are mostly marketed for their ability to improve your working and academic productivity. While this will likely remain the largest customer base, there is a lot to be said for their impact on your physical goals.

fit girl

Mind and Body

The scientific community has long understood the correlation between your mindset and your performance in the gym or during any athletic endeavour, as has the sports and bodybuilding supplement industry.

Look at the average pre-workout drink and it will likely contain something which has a cognitive effect.

In fact, that ‘cognitive function’ plug has been the bridging term the sports nutrition companies have used over the last decade.

mind and bodyCognitive function boosters – as a category – could include everything from caffeine to CDP-choline.

Despite these two being very different in terms of behaviour in the body and benefits to the user, not to mention the fact that one is a nootropic and the other isn’t, they are nonetheless swept into the same general subset of compounds.

A person’s mood, focus, motivation, drive, stress level and so on are very important to their physical potential.

Given that your physical effort is the stimulus for muscle growth, and your state of mind can greatly effect your intensity, it stands to reason that nootropics and cognitive enhancers can accelerate the muscle gains from exercise.

How Do They Do This?

They are not like protein, which literally adds muscle mass.

Some allow you to dig deeper mentally, which allows you to dig deeper physically, which elicits greater overcompensation from your muscles during recovery.

Some reduce your stress levels so you can focus on each repetition in the gym instead of worrying about the job, kids, mortgage, pension, health and life in general.

Others boost your drive and motivation.

Many of them increase levels of important neurotransmitters like acetylcholine. These have a very interesting role to play, which is why the next little section is all about them

Acetylcholine

neuronsA principal neurotransmitter, acetylcholine is found in the central nervous system and the neuromuscular junction, amongst other places.

Nothing quite epitomizes the concept of the mind-muscle connection as the neuromuscular junction.

Acetylcholine is largely responsible for the force of your muscle contractions, e.g the force you can apply when lifting a heavy barbell in the gym.

Heightened acetylcholine activity has been connected with greater muscle power.

It is also associated with improved cognitive function in general.

For these reasons, ‘cholinergic’ ingredients usually form the base of modern nootropic supplements.

Conclusion

Nootropics and cognitive boosters have an impact on your physical output levels, and thus your muscle growth response.

Varying benefits from different types of ingredient contribute to this effect.

body and mindThose which improve your mood and reduce stress will help in an indirect way, by clearing your mind of worries and mental fatigue, letting you focus on your exercise session.

Those which elevate neurotransmitters have a much more direct impact on your strength and performance.

However you look at it, your mind and body are inexorably intertwined and effect each other in countless ways.

Optimizing both as best you can will have a positive impact not only to your health but your physical and mental aspirations as well.

Recommendation

We recommend you also read the article: How Can Nootropics Help You Lose Fat?

In different ways, these ingredients and supplements may help you reduce your fat percentage and further assist you in carving the physique you really want.

Scientific Sources

  1. NCBI
  2. McGill Uni

New Year Strength and Fitness Tips

Champagne It’s that time already!!?

As New Year approaches, happens, and then passes, along with a lot of merry times (plus food, alcohol…and guilt), we are often left with the overwhelming desire to make this next year count for something more.

Enter, the New Year’s resolution!

We promise ourselves that we won’t go to so many social gatherings, that we’ll go steady on the booze, harder on the healthy smoothies, lighter on the junk food and heavier on nutrition.

And then there’s ‘getting back in shape.’

It’s a lot to do come January, and unfortunately, it is sometimes/often/mostly put back and put off until it becomes the ‘maybe next new year’s resolution.’

Well, that’s just not going to happen, is it!?

One of the biggest hurdles is knowing where to start, especially if it has been a couple of years since you even thought about a gym.

OR, It might be that you were good last year, but Christmas and New Year took their toll. And, you want another few ideas to springboard you into this year.

Here’s a few summaries of articles, ideas and products to help you actually fulfill that NY resolution, or just keep the old rhythm going.

Building a Strong Base

Abs manNot everyone thinks of the core as the most important muscle group in the body. They would, sadly, be wrong. It is called the core for a couple of reasons, most notably its centralized location in your body.

The word ‘core’ also implies the importance of this group of muscles. Much like your core skills or a reactor’s core, it is the area that MUST be strong and developed before you can strengthen the rest of your body to its full potential.

Skip the core exercises and you are asking for trouble at some point, whether it comes in the form of accidental injury or chronic injury.

Don’t be glum about it though, some good work in this area will have you feeling stronger and fitter than ever before. Check out the following article and regain your core strength in the car to come.

Building the Base for Abs

Don’t Skip Leg Day

squat barHere’s another muscle group perhaps second most vital in comparison with the core muscles, but it’s a close second.

If the core is your body’s central strength, then your legs are its movement and lifting power. There is no such thing as a balanced muscular frame without your legs being the majority of your muscle mass.

Where leg training is concerned, classic multi-joint movements such as deadlift and squat are still the grandfathers of strength.

And, without leg strength, there is little point in building abdominal, back and upper body muscle mass.

Why? – Well, aside from looking quite silly, you will find your unbalanced muscular structure to weaken areas such as your lower back and hips, and even affect your posture and stance for as long as it takes to correct the situation.

Start your New Year by bolting on some good leg strength exercises to add to that core!

Don’t Skip Leg Day

Spin to Burn Fat

cardio womenYou may be wondering where your cardio-vascular system gets a workout amongst all of this strength business. CV is essential for overall health, and to keep the fat at bay.

The Aerobic and Anaerobic system must be worked to achieve balance in a cardio-vascular context, in order to improve your utilization of oxygen and improve your body’s ability to partition nutrients into storage for energy rather than fat.

Spin bike workouts are the perfect blend of aerobic and anaerobic intensity. They can also boost your leg muscle and core strength when done correctly.

The workout below is not for the absolute beginner but you can easily adapt it to your needs. First and foremost, it’s a calorie burner – a fat burner – and it really tests the max capacity of your anaerobic system.

If you are looking to expand you aerobic (oxygen/fat using) system then you must change it down a few gears and cycle to an intensity where you are breathing deep but not hitting anywhere near the red zone.

Spin Bike Workout

One For The Ladies

dumbbell squatLadies, this next section is for you. The men can take a message from it though, so don’t be afraid to read it guys!

Losing weight isn’t and shouldn’t be all about cardio and aerobic workouts. A stronger muscularity will help in many ways and this article series is about going from strength to strength.

A common misconception among women is that strength workouts will leave you looking bulky. Fair enough, some ladies want to look that way; bodybuilders for example.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Size is only one possible manifestation of muscle strength, and there are ways to lift for strength without getting bigger.

Read these 3 articles. They were written by one of our favourite writers, in what we would call an ‘organic style’. You see the ideas in raw form, almost as they are being thought. It’s often a good way to see how training people think through their craft.

Part 1(a): Be Strong Lose Weight 

Part 1(b): Strength Training for Women – Important Points

Part 2: Strength Training for Women – Exercises Explained

A New Supplement for A New Year

The Best Fat Burners

Instant KnockoutWe’ve always hoarded our reviews of the best fat burners and weight loss supplements that we have tested, adding to it when we come across something particularly good.

With the hundreds and thousands of products available, we have to be fairly cut-throat when it comes to recommending one or not.

Here is a link to the best fat burners we have found, tested and reviewed. You can got from there to the individual, full reviews, or even the product sites.

The Best Fat Burners

PhenQThe Best All Round Weight Loss Supplement

Narrowing it down to the one overall weight loss supplement is tricky but for this year at least there are few which can challenge PhenQ for the top spot.

So, if you are looking for something to help you resist junk food, partition your carbs better, improve your energy levels and burn fat then this is the one for you.

The Best All Round Weight Loss Supplement 

Best All Round Everything Supplement

MuscletronicPerhaps leaving the best until last, Muscletronic iGPC has made it to this category due to its ability to help you:

  • Build Muscle
  • Burn Fat
  • Improve Cognitive Function

It contains ingredients which can do all three of these things, and doesn’t compromise strength in any area. It does this with the clever use of multi-functional and synergistic ingredients, each one improving the effects of the others.

A clever blend with a smart drug effect, a mood improving effect and the classic muscle-up and fat-loss factors that most people buy 3 or more supplements to achieve.

Take Muscletronic alongside your usual protein and we’re sure you’ll be impressed.

Read the Full Review of Muscletronic

!!!Happy New Year and Good Luck!!!

The FBFA Team

Ingredients: More Than Meets the Eye – Part 2: Multi-Functionality

fat burners for absPart 1 of this article discussed the Synergy of ingredients, i.e. the way they work with one another to have a greater effect than the sum of the individual components.

When manufacturing a supplement – especially one that comes as small capsules – it is essential to use compounds/ingredients which are synergistic, mostly because there is little volume to take advantage of, and what there is should be as efficient as possible.

The other reason is that if the ingredients do not behave synergistically, they may be competing for the same receptor sites in the body and therefore acting counter-productively to the end goal.

Another interesting trait of these substances we might find in the capsules and scoops of our favourite supplements is Multi-functionality. It’s another way to get the most from the supplement as a whole and expand the benefits to the user.

In a way, this fits under the umbrella of synergy anyway, because when two effects, caused by the same ingredient are mutually beneficial you could say it is synergistic with itself!

A good example is those ingredients which metabolize fat. They are amongst the most common because they help the user to lose fat (well, the good ones do) and get an energy boost at the same time. You’ll often see thermogenic, energy boosting blends in pre-workout supplements and capsule fat burners.

The Ingredient’s Curriculum Vitae

safety and studiesWhile multifunctionality is good, it’s the way you use it that counts. There’s no point having a product marketed as an out and out fat burner if you thin it out with muscle-builders that might have a secondary – and smaller – effect like thermogenesis.

A fat-burner should contain ingredients which burn fat, primarily, while a muscle-builder needs anabolic compounds. Before the recipe is designed, however, the effects of each ingredient should be researched almost like a manager would look at job applicants’ CVs. And once all the top qualifiers have been identified, they can be shortlisted for the ultimate formula.

In a perfect world, this process would produce ridiculously powerful, safe and effective supplements. Of course, money and other limiting factors, such as politics, within and outside the industry prevent this from happening in many cases.

As the handicap of money stunts technological development (and nearly all other sectors), so it does with supplement science.

Another, and pervasive, problem in the sports nutrition business is its lack of oversight. The FDA and other authorities seem to have neither the inclination nor the precedent to instil stricter rules as to what supplements can and cannot contain.

Rather than open up the field, affording it the freedom to produce the best possible supplements, it brings out the worst in the profiteers at the head of most companies.

Unscrupulous companies will put pitiful amounts of an ingredient in their product, an ingredient which might work at higher dosages.

scientistsOthers will add illicit compounds to their formula, hoping to sell enough of it before the FDA (or other authority) finally does get wind of it and makes them take it off the shelves.

Rarely does this result in a punishment more severe than a bit of profit loss for the company, and the authorities have bigger fish to fry than supplement manufacturers.

All of this means what you get in a product is not always what you think. On this website, we always test products and only ever recommend ones which have come from an inspected lab and that has a top safety record.

…but back to multifunctional ingredients. You can see there are obstacles between the design and production of a perfect formula, but the most conscientious companies will endeavour to use multi-functional ingredients applicable to their product’s goal as well as selecting those which are synergistic with one another.

Examples of Multi-Functional Ingredients

Coleus Forskohlii

forskolin muscletronicQuite understated in the field of sports nutrition, the bioactive component Forskolin has several beneficial effects on the human physique. What’s even more interesting is that these effects come via one mechanism: the increase of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in the user.

This simple compound produces a thermogenic fat-burning response in the main body of the user. In men, it’s elevation in the testicles boosts testosterone production, the principal anabolic hormone. And, in the mind, it enhances cognitive function!

Note: Forskolin is also synergistic with Caffeine, another cAMP booster!

Alpha GPC

muscletronic shadow figureAlpha-glycerophosphocholine, or Alpha GPC for short, is an acetylcholine booster, which is a principal neurotransmitter in the brain and central nervous system. Its elevation improves cognitive function and even helps the user generate more contraction force in their muscles.

That’s not all though. Another effect of Alpha-GPC is that it increases endogenous human growth hormone production. This in turn may have an anabolic effect on muscle tissue and even a fat burning result as well.

Example Products

MuscletronicAs mentioned earlier, the supplements we recommend on this website are all of the highest quality we could find, and all of them have the characteristics we are describing here and in the article on synergy.

If you are on the hunt for a good fat-burner, or even muscle supplement, you could do much worse than the products below. Make sure you read the reviews to figure out which one(s) is the best for you.

Here are the links to the reviews of some of the top products we have used:

  1. Instant Knockout
  2. ThermaKOR
  3. Muscletronic
  4. PhenQ
  5. Phentaslim