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


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.


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.


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