We’ve all had days when it seems like the ability to get things done are near futile. This could be the result of multiple factors, such as acute (hopefully not chronic) sleep deprivation, to illness or even mental fatigue.
Regardless, you need to do something about it as you can’t spend all day just moping around like a lost soul. So what should you do?
A well placed stimulant is usually a great way to kick your day into gear, or if you’re headed to the gym to workout.
Not sure what you’re looking for? Relax, we’ve got you covered. Try some of the effective stims mentioned below to fire up your mind and body!
The godfather of all common stimulants, where would we be today if caffeine (or coffee) never became a thing? Even though caffeine as a supplemental stimulant has not been around a long time (long being more than a century), that’s not to say that its properties have not been exploited for a much longer period of time.
Found in plants such as cacao, yerba mate and guarana, there is evidence that native Amerindian tribes through parts of South America have used it for millennia, to boost energy and more interestingly, before going to war.
Let that sink in a minute. If these native tribes found it good enough to fight wars, it will undoubtedly help light a fire under your butt so that you have a kickass workout or just accomplish more in your day.
Second only to caffeine, ginseng has a storied use originating in Feudal Chinese history. Back then, it was used as an energy booster and aphrodisiac, as it was believed to boost a man’s sexual virility.
Today, it is better classified as an adaptogen- a substance which makes the body more capable of dealing with stressors. These stressors refer to both physical and mental stress, characterized by high serum cortisol levels.
Yet, while cortisol is important to our survival as a species, it’s quite the B-word if left to run a muck. By buffering the effect of high cortisol levels, complications that may arise from it are blunted.
This means increased cognition, ATP generation (or energy production), as well as improved testosterone synthesis. Cortisol and testosterone share a negatively inverse relationship, so that as one goes down the other goes up.
Testosterone also has a secondary effect of improving a man’s perception of well-being, so that neurotransmitter dysfunction does not play its hand in making you feel lethargic.
A very common ingredient in a number of preworkout products today, synephrine is considered ephedrine’s second cousin twice removed.
In reality, synephrine is far safer than ephedrine, which was a popular supplement back in its heyday but which is now banned owing to the prevalence of cardiovascular side-effects reported from its usage.
Synephrine does not have a noticeable impact on cardiovascular function, but is still an excellent stimulant that promotes the generation of ATP, and may help with fat loss along the way. It might even be able to improve your mood too, which is the perfect add-on to power through crummy days.
Even though there aren’t a lot of preworkout supplements that currently make use of Yohimbine, just a few years ago its popularity as a stimulant was enormous, in addition to its ability to promote fat loss.
To be quite clear, the reason for its drop in popularity was due to an increased frequency of reports of side effects, including blood pressure elevation.
It still remains very effective, but you need to consider any pre-existing medical conditions you may have before consuming it.
A rather surprising, but still relatively unknown supplement, which mirrors caffeine in a lot of ways, including overall stimulant properties.
However, Theacrine appears to have one major advantage over caffeine, at least when compared on a short term basis. One of the major issues with caffeine usage is the fact that after approximately just 7 days, tolerance rapidly builds up leading to diminished benefits.
At this point, many people either up the caffeine dose in an attempt to elicit the same effect (not advised), or make do with mediocre results.
Theacrine, on the other hand does not appear to lead to tolerance, at least over the course of just 7 days.
This means that if your goal is to just occasionally use Theacrine, probably as a preworkout supplement, you stand to benefit greatly from its lack of tolerance development, meaning that you experience the full power- every time.
Dimethylaminoethanol, better known just as DMAE is a special one. Found abundantly in fish, this compound may actually be the one that promotes brain health (and not omega-3 as we’ve been led to believe). It also converts to choline in the brain, being capable of easily crossing the blood-brain barrier.
DMAE is not classified “technically” as a stimulant, though it does have stimulatory properties. But that’s not to say that you don’t stand to benefit handsomely from its consumption. Found heavily in nootropic supplements, it can indeed improve brain health. It even has the very unique property of being able to remove beta-amyloid proteins in the brain (at least in preliminary studies), the compound which significantly increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
If you are desirous of consuming a stimulant to boost energy and brain power, DMAE is unquestionably your best option for daily use. Heck, you will also notice improvements in your memory from its use, making it a no-brainer (literally).
An amino acid that has the distinction of converting into dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine, L-Tyrosine is not a direct stimulant but can be considered psychoactive by virtue of conversion.
Supplementation with L-Tyrosine can deliver short-term improvement to both cognitive and physical performance owing to the stimulatory effects of the catecholamines it produces. A sense of euphoria may also be experienced from increased levels of dopamine, which incidentally can help you get things done.
First and foremost a disclaimer – Kratom is not for the faint of heart, nor for noobs looking for a casual stimulant.
Kratom is a supplement of almost mythical proportions, with varying actions depending on the specific strain and dose consumed. Some strains are actually a bit more sedating that stimulating, though Kratom also delivers what can be referred to as a sense of euphoria.
So who should use Kratom? It is only really suitable for people that have had experience using opioid painkillers, based on the fact that a significant portion of its actions depend on stimulation of receptors known as opioid receptors.
Thus, Kratom also has analgesic properties, can induce a sense of euphoria and either be stimulating or sedating.
It is currently embroiled in heated debate over whether it should be deemed a schedule 1 drug, the likes of narcotics and anabolics, though it is best compared to coffee (it is structurally related) and has a large margin of safety.
Do not consume Kratom if you’ve never danced on the dark side.
There is no shortage of stimulant based supplements for you to choose from. Some are undoubtedly safer than others, and may be better suited for daily consumption. A general rule of thumb to follow is as the potency of the stimulant increases, the less often should it be used.
Reserve the strongest, stim heavy products for days that you need an extra kick to get that workout in, and use ones that will benefit your brain if you need to have a reliable stimulant daily