By Robert Schinetsky
To be elite, gamers need to react, solve problems, and maintain a level head all at a moment’s notice. And, to top it off, they need to be able to do this for hours on end.
To say the least, serious gaming requires superior mental faculties coupled with the sustained calm, collected composure of an international diplomat negotiating trade disputes.
Until recently, nootropics were used predominantly by corporate executives, Silicon Valley technophiles, or biohackers looking to unlock the hidden powers of the human mind.
These days, nootropics are more mainstream, sought out not only for their ability to enhance productivity, focus, and drive, but also for their ability to help stave off cognitive decline.
One of the most prominent sects to embrace all things nootropics are gamers.
And, when you consider the monumental amounts of brain power gamers invest into their craft, it’s easy to understand why nootropics have become so appealing to the market.
Today, we’re going to show you how to level up your gaming with nootropics. Whether you’re a rank beginner or paid professional, by the end of this article you’ll understand what nootropics are and what are some of our top recommendations for gamers looking to get an edge on the competition.
Let’s get started!
The term “nootropic” refers to a broad class of compounds both naturally occurring in nature as well as those synthetically created.
When we hear the word nootropic we quite frequently think of “smart drugs” that improve our ability to learn, think, or memorize — and these are certainly some of the benefits that can be derived from using nootropics.
However, for a compound to actually qualify as a nootropic, it must satisfy five criteria set forth by the doctor who coined the term “nootropic” — Dr. Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea.
Those five criteria are:
● Enhance memory and the ability to learn
● Support brain function during stressful situations, such as hypoxia (low oxygen), electroconvulsive shock, or even cognitively demanding situations (like those occurring during intense gaming sessions).
● Protect the brain from chemical and physical toxins, such as anticholinergic drugs (for ex. Diphenhydramine) and barbiturates.
● Boost natural cognitive process by increasing neuronal firing in the cortical and subcortical regions of the brain.
● Non-toxic to humans
Two other important things to mention regarding nootropics are that:
● Certain nootropics need to be used for several weeks in order for their benefits to be realized (bacopa monnieri is a prime example), while others can offer a more immediate effect (for ex. noopept), and
● The body can build up a tolerance to certain nootropics (just like it can stimulants), which means they start to lose their effectiveness and should be cycled.
This is a fairly loaded question as not every nootropic works in the same manner (or even on the same neurotransmitter systems) as every other nootropic. But, if we’re speaking in broad terms, nootropics are capable of doing the following:
● Boost production of important neurotransmitters and neuropeptides (like BDNF and NDF), which can enhance memory, learning, and verbal fluency
● Improve neural plasticity
● Increase cerebral blood flow (which delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the brain)
● Enhance connection and communication between neurons
● Decrease neuroinflammation
● Reduce accumulation of neurotoxic proteins like β-amyloid
● Boost mental energy
To answer this question, we must first consider what are some of the desired outcomes that a gamer would want from using nootropics. Once we’ve identified desired end-result, we can reverse engineer which ingredients are best suited to fulfill that want.
In no particular order, gamers want/need to:
● Heighten focus & learning
● Boost creativity and problem-solving
● Reduce stress and anxiety
● Increase mental energy
● Quicken reaction time
Given this set of desired characteristics, a number of powerful nootropics immediately jump to mind.
For improving learning and memory, we need to focus on amplifying the effects of “the learning neurotransmitter” — acetylcholine.
In order to help increase acetylcholine production in the body directly, we can increase the amount of choline we have. Choline is an essential nutrient that’s required for optimal cognitive development as well as the structure of cell membranes.
Alpha-GPC is known to be very efficient and increasing acetylcholine levels in the brain, which fosters greater learning and focus. It also helps provide a stronger mind-muscle connection as acetylcholine is heavily involved in muscle contractions.
Additionally, Alpha GPC can also raise dopamine levels, which helps increase mental energy and creativity. Dopamine is another major neurotransmitter in the brain, most often associated with motivation, reward, and decision-making.
As you can imagine boosting both dopamine and acetylcholine have the potential for huge upsides for gamers looking to really dial in focus, motivation, and creative problem-solving.
And, as an added bonus, other research indicates that higher doses of the nootropic may be able to enhance athletic performance (power output and strength), too!
Finally, when combined with caffeine, as is often the case with Alpha-GPC (as well as many other nootropics), Alpha-GPC has been documented to improve reaction time, focus, and alertness — three qualities that pay tremendous dividends for gamers!
Huperzine is another mighty nootropic that complements and synergizes with Alpha-GPC. Whereas Alpha-GPC helps directly boost acetylcholine levels in the body, by increasing choline concentrations, Huperzine indirectly amplifies the effects of acetylcholine by serving as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor.
Basically, huperzine stops the acetylcholinesterase enzyme from breaking down acetylcholine which results in more acetylcholine.
Additionally, huperzine has also received great interest for its ability to promote neurogenesis (the creation of new brain cells) as well as combat neuronal cell death, making it a key target for researchers looking to combat dementia.
Ashwagandha is a staple component of Ayurvedic healing, and it’s an ideal supplement for gamers.
The reason for this is that ashwagandha is an adaptogen.
Adaptogens are a collection of plants that stabilize the nervous and endocrine systems of the body to help balance your hormone levels to minimize stress.
Basically, adaptogens improve the body’s ability to perceive, interact, and recover from physical, psychological, and emotional stress, which helps reduce anxiety and cortisol — the stress hormone cortisol.
As you can imagine, reducing mental and physical stress enables an individual to perform to their highest level possible.
Numerous clinical studies have been performed on KSM-66 (the premier form of ashwagandha) and found that it has[9,10,11]:
● Enhanced memory and cognition
● Decreased stress and cortisol
● Support a healthy body weight by decreasing emotional eating tendencies brought on by stress
Furthermore, compounds naturally occurring within ashwagandha, known as withanolides, have been found to regenerate axons and dendrites as well as rebuild synapses, all of which are taxed during intense gaming sessions.
Finally, not only do adaptogens like KSM-66 improve our ability to deal with and recover from stress, it can fortify the body’s resistance to future stressors.
For gamers looking to get in the zone and dominate the competition, Nutrex has created Lipo-6 Dynamix.
Lipo-6 Dynamix is a powerful dual-action nootropic/thermogenic specifically designed to enhance mental energy and acuity while at the same time helping you remain calm, cool, and collected.
Try a scoop today and see just how much better gaming performance can be!
1. Giurgea C. “Pharmacology of integrative activity of the brain. Attempt at nootropic concept in psychopharmacology” Actualités Pharmacologiques (Paris). 1972;25:115-56.
2. Schettini G, et al. Molecular mechanisms mediating the effects of L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, a new cognition-enhancing drug, on behavioral and biochemical parameters in young and aged rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. (1992)
3. Trabucchi M, Govoni S, Battaini F. Changes in the interaction between CNS cholinergic and dopaminergic neurons induced by L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, a cholinomimetic drug. Farmaco Sci. (1986)
4. Bellar D, LeBlanc NR, Campbell B. The effect of 6 days of alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine on isometric strength. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12:42. Published 2015 Nov 17. doi:10.1186/s12970-015-0103-x
5. Hoffman JR, et al. The effects of acute and prolonged CRAM supplementation on reaction time and subjective measures of focus and alertness in healthy college students. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2010)
6. Zhao, Q., & Tang, X. C. (2002). Effects of huperzine A on acetylcholinesterase isoforms in vitro: comparison with tacrine, donepezil, rivastigmine and physostigmine. European Journal of Pharmacology, 455(2–3), 101–107. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0014-2999(02)02589-x
7. Ved HS, et al. Huperzine A, a potential therapeutic agent for dementia, reduces neuronal cell death caused by glutamate. Neuroreport. (1997)
8. Ma T, et al. Huperzine A promotes hippocampal neurogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Brain Res. (2013)
9. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions Choudhary, D., Bhattacharyya, S., & Bose, S. (2017). Journal of Dietary Supplements, 1-14. Chicago
10. A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Chandrasekhar, K., Kapoor, J., & Anishetty, S. (2012). Indian journal of psychological medicine, 34(3), 255.
11. Body Weight Management in Adults Under Chronic Stress Through Treatment With Ashwagandha Root Extract: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial Choudhary, D., Bhattacharyya, S., & Joshi, K. (2017). Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine, 22(1), 96-106.
12. Kuboyama T., Tohda C., Komatsu K. “Neuritic regeneration and synaptic reconstruction induced by withanolide A.” British Journal of Pharmacology 005 Apr;144(7):961-71.
13. Panossian A, et al. Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2010 Jan; 3(1): 188-224.
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