One of the questions that comes up consistently in 2020 on Nootropics Expert® is how to increase or restore energy and motivation.
I think the question comes up because one of the easiest and first things we humans do for an energy boost is grab a cup of coffee or energy drink.
And this doesn’t feel right for most athletes or biohackers.
The thing is the caffeine in coffee or an energy drink that we associate with an energy boost is not truly a boost in energy at all. It’s simply a decrease in sleepiness.
As adenosine builds up in your system, your body and brain receive signals to start shutting down for the day. Caffeine simply delays this signal.
So to get a real energy boost we need to do more than delay sleep in 2020. We need a stack of nootropic supplements that will increase energy.
Table of Contents
Criteria for Building an Energy Supplement
For a real and true boost in energy, we need a nootropic stack that will:
- Increase ATP energy production in mitochondria
- Avoid the use of stimulants for energy
- Clean energy with no crash
- Optimize the use of nutrients from food – natural cellular energy
- Be natural and legal, safe to use every day
- Use verifiable and pure compounds
The following are some supplement suggestions you can use to boost energy. And make 2020 your most productive year ever.
Notice that caffeine is NOT on this list of energy supplements.
Energy Supplement Ingredients
Athlete and dieters love L-Carnitine because of its fat-metabolizing benefits. The thing is, the carnitine version of this amino acid is difficult for your body to absorb. Studies show only 18% reaches your bloodstream.
ALCAR is a required cofactor for cell energy production and is especially critical for muscle energy metabolism and function. Long-chain fatty acids cannot cross mitochondrial membranes without Acetyl-L-Carnitine.
ALCAR helps transport fatty acids into mitochondria where they’re needed for energy metabolism. Fueling your cells “power plants” boosts physical and mental energy.
As ALCAR shuttles fatty acids into mitochondria, it provides the fuel that is burned for energy. And then as ALCAR shuttles fatty acids out of mitochondria, it flushes out toxic byproducts.
Researchers in Italy found that Acetyl-L-Carnitine stimulates the growth of new neurites. Which increases signaling between cells throughout the central nervous system.[ii]
A double-blind, randomized controlled trial with ALCAR and 1,204 people showed a significant effect on attention, mental performance, memory and higher mental functions.[iii]
And ALCAR has been shown to reduce fatigue in patients dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome.[iv]
The majority of CoQ10 is found within mitochondria within each cell. It is part of the electron transport chain and participates in cellular respiration which generates energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
When oxidized CoQ10 (ubiquinone) accepts an electron from another molecule in the chain, it becomes Ubiquinol. And when Ubiquinol donates an electron it becomes ubiquinone. This state of equilibrium is necessary and how your body benefits from CoQ10.
Normal aging, environmental stressors, and statin drugs all deplete levels of CoQ10.
And CoQ10 boosts mitochondria genesis.[vi]
But keep in mind that for use as an energy supplement, regular CoQ10 has poor bioavailability. Because it naturally comes in crystal-form with molecules too large to pass across cellular membranes. And it’s fat-soluble which complicates its transport through your digestive system.
To compensate for the poor absorption of CoQ10, manufacturers have tried breaking up or melting CoQ10 crystals, using surfactants like oil to keep it dissolved, and adding other ingredients which cause side effects in some people.
The best option is a Coenzyme Q10 supplement made by BioActives LLC called MicroActive® CoQ10. It’s made by combining each CoQ10 molecule with beta-cyclodextrin, a natural compound made from potato starch that increases the solubility of CoQ10.
The patented form of MicroActive® CoQ10 has been shown in clinical trials to be much more bioavailable than other forms of Coenzyme Q10. And doubles CoQ10 blood levels in everyone tested after just 3 weeks of supplementing this nootropic.[vii]
Mitochondria’s role is to convert the food we eat into energy that powers cells to perform at peak function.
Your brain has more mitochondria per cell than any other area of your body. More mitochondria mean more energy. Resulting in quicker thinking, better memory, elevated alertness, and less mental fatigue.
PQQ works in synergy with CoQ10 for dramatic improvements in mental and physical energy.
Look for BioPQQ® which is a patented from of PQQ. And the most bioavailable, nature-identical, and evidence-backed form of PQQ available today.
R-Lipoic Acid is the form of lipoic acid naturally occurring in your body. And is a cofactor for mitochondrial enzymes involved in carbohydrate energy production.
R-Lipoic Acid increases acetylcholine production by activation of choline acetyltransferase, and increases in glucose uptake. This process supplies more Acetyl-CoA for the production of acetylcholine.[x]
R-Lipoic Acid is both water- and fat-soluble allowing it to work inside and outside of cells.
R-Lipoic Acid also regenerates other antioxidants which are depleted by the ongoing fight with free radicals in your cells. It allows you to use the antioxidants Vitamin C & E, glutathione and CoQ10 already in your body over and over again.
In fact, R-Lipoic Acid is so efficient at what it does, it boosts the energy in your cells while reducing inflammation and getting rid of heavy metals.
R-Lipoic Acid is used throughout your body. It helps increase insulin sensitivity which reduces the threat of diabetes.
And it reduces the chances of metabolic syndrome which is associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and weight gain.
I recommend the patented, sodium salt form of R-Lipoic Acid called Bio-Enhanced® Na-RALA. It is a purer form of alpha lipoic acid and has been shown to have a higher absorption rate compared to other forms of ALA.
Best Energy Supplement Stack for 2020
I used to get each one of these energy-boosting nootropics separately. Because I found it took all four supplements reviewed on this page for a consistent, daily, boost in energy.
And then came Performance Lab® and their new line of supplements in 2018.
After two years of personally testing this stack I can vouch for its authenticity. This stack helps increase energy levels, and when used daily, I can work all day long without getting fatigued.
And even better – no crash later in the day like you get from using stimulant-based energy drinks.
If you need more energy to accomplish what you want to in 2020, try the nootropic supplements reviewed in this post.
And if you want to save some money then get them in a unique, pre-formulated energy stack called Performance Lab® Energy.
[ii] Taglialatela G., Navarra D., Olivi A., Ramacci M.T., Werrbach-Perez K., Perez-Polo J.R., Angelucci L. “Neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells stimulated by acetyl-L-carnitine arginine amide.” Neurochemical Research 1995 Jan;20(1):1-9. (source)
[iii] Montgomery S.A., Thal L.J., Amrein R. “Meta-analysis of double blind randomized controlled clinical trials of acetyl-L-carnitine versus placebo in the treatment of mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s disease” International Clinical Psychopharmacology 2003 Mar;18(2):61-71. (source)
[iv] Tomassini V., Pozzilli C., Onesti E., Pasqualetti P., Marinelli F., Pisani A., Fieschi C. “Comparison of the effects of acetyl L-carnitine and amantadine for the treatment of fatigue in multiple sclerosis: results of a pilot, randomized, double-blind, crossover trial.” Journal of Neurological Science 2004 Mar 15;218(1-2):103-8. (source)
[v] Tian G., et. Al. “Ubiquinol-10 Supplementation Activates Mitochondria Functions to Decelerate Senescence in Senescence-Accelerated Mice” Antioxidants & Redox Signaling 2014 Jun 1; 20(16): 2606–2620. (source)
[vi] Noh Y.H., et. Al. “Inhibition of oxidative stress by coenzyme Q10 increases mitochondrial mass and improves bioenergetic function in optic nerve head astrocytes” Cell Death & Disease 2013 Oct; 4(10): e820. (source)
[viii] Kuo Y.T., Shih P.H., Kao S.H., Yeh G.C., Lee H.M. “Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Resists Denervation-Induced Skeletal Muscle Atrophy by Activating PGC-1α and Integrating Mitochondrial Electron Transport Chain Complexes.” PLoS One. 2015 Dec 8;10(12):e0143600. (source)
[ix] Paz M.A., Martin P., Flückiger R., Mah J., Gallop P.M. “The catalysis of redox cycling by pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), PQQ derivatives, and isomers and the specificity of inhibitors”. Anals of Biochemistry. 1996 Jul 1; 238(2):145-9. 1 (source)
[x] Ahmed H.H. “Modulatory effects of vitamin E, acetyl-L-carnitine and α-lipoic acid on new potential biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease in rat model.” Experimental Toxicologic Pathology 2012 Sep;64(6):549-56. (source)