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Nootropics Vs Caffeine as a Stimulant


Nootropics have gained popularity as cognitive enhancers over the last few years. They are substances that improve cognitive functions such as memory, attention, focus, and creativity.


Popular amongst nootropics are citicoline, tyrosine and alpha-gpc, which have shown great promise in enhancing cognitive performance in high-stress, burnt-out individuals.


While caffeine is a popular stimulant that is widely used to increase alertness and energy, nootropics may have a better use than caffeine in high-stress individuals because they can offer a more comprehensive approach to managing stress and promoting cognitive performance.


Look at the benefits of nootropics over caffeine in people experiencing high levels of stress and burnout.


What are Stress and Burnout?


Stress is a natural physiological response to a perceived threat or challenge. The body’s response to stress is the release of hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which prepare the body to fight or flee from danger.


Stress can be beneficial in small doses, as it can motivate people to achieve their goals and overcome obstacles. However, excessive or chronic stress can have negative consequences on physical and mental health, including anxiety, depression, and burnout.


Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged exposure to chronic stress. It is characterised by feelings of detachment, cynicism, and a reduced sense of accomplishment.


Burnout affects many aspects of a person’s life, including work, social relationships, and physical health.


Burnout is a serious issue, and it is estimated that 23% of employees experience burnout at work.


How Does Caffeine Work?


Caffeine is a stimulant that is commonly used to combat fatigue and increase alertness.


Caffeine works by blocking the action of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep and suppresses arousal.


By blocking adenosine, caffeine increases the activity of other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which promote wakefulness and alertness.


Caffeine also increases the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that can improve cognitive performance in small doses.


The Benefits of Tyrosine


Tyrosine is an amino acid that is used by the body to produce dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. These neurotransmitters play a vital role in regulating mood, motivation, and cognitive performance. Tyrosine supplementation has been shown to improve cognitive performance in high-stress environments.


One study found that tyrosine supplementation improved cognitive flexibility and working memory in soldiers undergoing a military combat training course. Another study found that tyrosine improved working memory and reaction time in individuals exposed to high-altitude stress.


Tyrosine may also have a positive effect on mood. One study found that tyrosine supplementation improved mood and reduced fatigue in individuals undergoing a demanding military training course.


Another study found that tyrosine improved mood and reduced the negative effects of stress in healthy adults.


We may naturally get tyrosine from:

  • Meat (especially beef, pork, and poultry)

  • Fish (especially salmon and tuna)

  • Dairy products (especially cheese and yoghurt)

  • Eggs

  • Soy products (such as tofu and soy milk)

  • Seeds (such as pumpkin and sesame seeds)

  • Nuts (such as almonds and peanuts)

  • Beans (such as black and kidney beans)

  • Whole grains (such as oats and quinoa)

N.b it may be difficult to consume enough of these compounds through diet alone to have a significant impact on cognitive function.


The Benefits of Alpha-GPC


Alpha-GPC is a choline compound that is naturally found in the brain. Alpha-GPC is a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is involved in learning, memory, and attention. Alpha-GPC supplementation has been shown to improve cognitive performance in high-stress environments.


Studies have found that alpha-GPC improved cognitive performance in individuals with mild to moderate cognitive impairment.


Alpha-GPC may also have neuroprotective effects.


One study found that alpha-GPC improved cognitive function and reduced brain damage in rats exposed to ischemic injury. Another study found that alpha-GPC improved cognitive function and reduced the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in elderly individuals.


Foods we may benefit from are:

  • Organ meats (such as liver and brain)

  • Soy lecithin

  • Dairy products (such as cheese and milk)

N.b it may be difficult to consume enough of these compounds through diet alone to have a significant impact on cognitive function.


The Benefits of Citicoline


Citicoline is a naturally occurring compound that is found in every cell of the human body. It is involved in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, a key component of cell membranes, and acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is essential for learning, memory, and attention.


Research suggests that citicoline may have several benefits for cognitive function and mental health. For example, a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found that citicoline supplementation was associated with significant improvements in cognitive function, including memory, attention, and executive function, in healthy adults and individuals with cognitive impairment. Other studies have suggested that citicoline may have neuroprotective effects, promoting brain cell membrane repair, reducing inflammation, and enhancing the production of neurotransmitters.


In high-stress individuals, citicoline supplementation may be particularly beneficial because it can help to mitigate the negative effects of stress on cognitive function. Chronic stress can impair cognitive performance and lead to mental fatigue, making it difficult to focus, remember, and make decisions. Citicoline may counteract these effects by supporting the production of neurotransmitters that are essential for cognitive function, enhancing brain cell membrane repair and reducing inflammation.


Foods we may enhance citicoline with are:

  • Organ meats (such as liver and brain)

  • Whole eggs

  • Fish (especially salmon and tuna)

  • Soybeans and soy products (such as tofu and soy milk)

  • Wheat germ

  • Quinoa

  • Brown rice

  • Beef

Keep in mind that these compounds are often found in higher concentrations in supplements compared to natural food sources.


Why Nootropics Might Be Preferred Vs Caffeine


While caffeine can improve cognitive performance in small doses, excessive or chronic caffeine use can have negative consequences on physical and mental health. Caffeine can cause insomnia, anxiety, and irritability.


Caffeine can offer short-term benefits in terms of increasing alertness and energy, nootropics like citicoline may provide a more comprehensive approach to managing stress and promoting cognitive performance, making them a better choice for high-stress individuals.


It's important to note that the effects of nootropics can vary depending on the individual and the specific compound used, so it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any new supplements or medications.


Visit www.hmn24.com and use code HUSKNUTRITION at checkout for a little gift from me, see how super-smart supplementation can assist in your lifestyle, not just at the gym.

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