To improve your chess game, start by enhancing your brain power!
Here are the best nootropics for chess players.
Table of Contents
What are Nootropics?
Nootropics are substances claimed to enhance cognitive function in healthy individuals.
Nootropics are often called cognitive enhancers, brain steroids, miracle drugs, and smart drugs.
They’re just a way to boost your brain power.
Taking nootropics is important to enhance studying chess in the middle and end games, where higher cognitive skills are required.
This list of cognitive abilities is essential for both beginners and experienced grandmasters.
- Energy to prevent mental and physical fatigue
- Heightened and longer duration of focus
- Spatial Recognition
- Anxiety and stress reduction
Why take Nootropics?
Nootropics help you to function more efficiently and retain more information by focusing your mind on the task at hand.
This helps you grasp information better and remember it in your mind, ready to use for tasks.
When you take nootropics, it can motivate you to be productive even on your lazy days, helping you to maintain a positive outlook.
“The principal doping in our profession is the desire to play, to struggle at the chessboard. It gives me strength, because when you don’t feel like playing but have to, you cannot do everything you could. As for food and beverages… in case of a professional approach it can be very promising. I think some stimulating agents could be suitable for chess. Any doping agent should be applied with care because in the event that you use it on a long-term basis, it can result in severe consequences.” – GM Alexander Grischuk
More comments here.
Taking nootropics can assist you in playing games for extended periods, even beyond 6 hours.
As you play multiple games, you’ll identify and remember your errors, allowing you to adjust your moves if similar situations arise again.
Chess and doping
Have you ever heard about the Chess WADA Anti-Doping Policy?
Not all nootropics are legal in the field of chess. They do increase your cognitive functions, but they also destroy the beauty of the game.
The most relevant banned substances for chess are:
- Amphetamines– e.g. Adderall, Ritalin
- Ephedrine and Methylephedrine– Prohibited by WADA when its concentration in urine is greater than 10 micrograms per milliliter
- Pseudoephedrine– Prohibited when its concentration in urine is greater than 150 micrograms per milliliter
Substances not present on the Prohibited List but represented in the Monitoring Program:
- Caffeine– Included in the WADA Monitoring Program and relevant for in-competition testing only. Any urine test reading of fewer than 12 micrograms per milliliter poses no problem.
- Codeine– A common ingredient in, for example, preparations used to treat coughs and stomach upsets. Any dosage is highly unlikely to be significant when taken in normal therapeutic quantities.
The 2018 WADA Prohibited List and Monitoring Program can be found here.
FIDE believes that cognitive enhancements will destroy the reputation of the game.
It’s core and creativity through direct calculation and imagination of two players on opposite sides of the board.
This is the beauty of chess. A battle of wits and preparation, not a battle of who has taken more supplements.
This game is from the 1500s and should remain unchanged to honor the work of those who came before.
History of Nootropics
Now that we established the rules of the game about doping policy, other nootropics are available and legalized.
As seen before in the article, caffeine or codeine is legal as long as taken in medium dosage.
But, even coffee has its disadvantages.
Heartburn, poor mineral absorption, and addiction are the drawbacks of using too much coffee.
Caffeine tolerance develops very quickly in which the effects of alertness will decrease as consumption increases.
Coffee also causes your kidney’s ability to absorb and store the minerals you intake.
In the past, people commonly used nicotine, which is also considered a nootropic.
It is very rare to find an expert chess player smoking and overweight. Smoking today can cause a distraction to the players and might loss of the opposing player’s focus.
Smoking can help with anxiety or nervousness, which is why it’s considered a nootropic.
However, it’s not without downsides.
Long-term use can lead to health issues like lung cancer, breathing problems, dry lips, and more.
When to use Nootropics?
You can use nootropics for studying or enjoying games during your free time.
They can also help on days when you lack motivation.
Nootropics are beneficial for coping with stress and anxiety when playing with your long-time rival or disrespecting an opponent online.
They will be beneficial for playing long continuous hours just to meet your quota in your daily puzzles and classical games.
They can also help to increase your mental and physical endurance to remain focused.
By using these, you’ll be ready to play for longer and use more complicated moves once you have more experience.
Remember to use them in moderation and use them in a proper dosage.
Be cautious about using different nootropics and consult a physician when experiencing complications.
Best Nootropics for Chess Players
Mind Lab Pro
Mind Lab Pro targets a wide range of the human brain’s cognitive abilities that you’ll desire as a chess player.
It is mixed with ingredients that are natural and legal from the Anti-Doping Policy.
It enhances focus, increases learning capacity, reduces stress, promotes neurogenesis, and protects the brain from oxidative stress.
The picture below displays the ingredients of Mind Lab Pro.
This supplement not only helps your brain activities but also helps maintain your brain’s health.
The supplement’s ingredients are tested in UK labs approved by the FDA.
As shown in the image, these ingredients aren’t considered illegal according to the Chess WADA Anti-Doping Policy.
“Taking Mind Lab Pro® during competition, I’ve noticed that my concentration has improved. I’m able to concentrate for longer periods of time. Mind Lab Pro®…is a godsend. I will be recommending it to some of my friends and colleagues, but I will not be recommending it to my closest competitors.” – GM Nigel Short
Mind Lab Pro enhances a lot of cognitive abilities. That’s why it is the best supplement for chess players, amateur and grandmaster alike.
This helps a lot with memory, long-term focus, mental and physical stamina, and mood.
Maybe it will not guarantee a win but it sure does give you an advantage.
This isn’t only used by chess players but also in other top-performing areas like programming, esports, Olympic athletes, officials, and CEOs.
The only thing that will hinder you from buying this is its price and results will vary with people. I recommend consulting a physician before taking the said nootropic.
You can use this during your low-performing days or your unmotivated episodes in your life. There are a lot of ways you can use the supplement.
This supplement can help when stress, distractions, procrastination, and pressure from your boss, fans, or colleagues make it hard to function effectively on certain days.
- FDA approved facilities
- Data-driven and statistically analyzed
- Formula free from illegal ingredients categorized by Chess WADA Ant-Doping Policy
- Allergic reactions depending on your body
Only buy directly from their website to make sure that you get the real thing.
Click here for an in-depth Mind Lab Pro review.
Performance Lab® Organic MCT Oil
Performance Lab supplement is comprised of non-illegal ingredients as categorized by the WADA Anti-doping policy.
This also affects some of the mentioned benefits we want.
The ingredients help you to alleviate your mood, and increase alertness, energy, and memory.
The image below shows you the ingredients and their nutrition facts.
MCT oil is a type of fat found in coconut oil.
It’s easier to digest and goes to your liver, where it’s turned into ketones.
Ketones are used in the citric acid cycle to produce ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). Just like after exercise, it will alleviate your mood and increase alertness.
MCT oil could also help weight loss because of its satiating properties compared to coconut oil.
MCTs are fats that are used in your liver as a source of energy.
These fats then are converted to ketones which are used as a source of energy for your brain. This is healthy for daily use and the MCT is triple-filtered and calibrated to 60% C8 and 40% C10.
Performance Lab is a blend of coconut oil and MCTs, which is superior to using coconut oil or MCTs alone.
This is also suitable for vegans because it contains no soy, egg, etc.
- Organic ingredients are derived from non-GMO organic coconuts.
- Suitable for vegans
- Healthy for daily use
- Affects mood, alertness, energy, and memory
- Maintains the health of your brain
- Not standardized for all individual
Still, MCT has its downside because of its process that might harm the individual’s body.
MCT may foster ketogenesis or metabolic acidosis, people with diabetes or liver problems should avoid MCT (Berger P. Axona, 2012)
Performance Lab® Omega-3
Omega-3 is different from the 2nd supplement because of its ingredients. This supplement consists of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s benefits are mainly from ELA and DHA.
These can also be found in fatty fish.
This fish oil supplement is helpful not only to a chess player but also to a normal living being.
It helps prevent cardiovascular diseases, protects against bad cholesterol, boosts brain activity, alleviates your mood, and improves eye health.
Omega-3 is also used for people with ADHD and those who are feeling depressed.
Warning: DO NOT use if pregnant, nursing, or under the age of 18.
Consult with your doctor before taking this or any supplement if you have or suspect a medical condition and are taking any medication.
If you experience any adverse reactions from taking this product discontinue immediately and contact your doctor.
Similar to the 2nd supplement, this is also suitable for vegans.
Omega-3 has a lot of research support from the past until now and is still used for its benefits.
As mentioned earlier, you can also get omega-3s from fatty fish.
The drawbacks of eating fish are its price and polluted environment the fish is growing.
The good news is, that you can also get omega-3s from algae, similar to the supplement.
Algae is a great source because it’s controlled, clean, safe, sustainable, and eco-friendly.
The supplement is made in the USA with advanced facilities using special fermentation methods.
This is supplied in NurtiGels®, 100% natural, and made from tapioca.
- Derived from 100% natural ingredients
- Backed with scientific evidence that can benefit all individuals
- Targets all the desired effects for the chess players
- Proven and tested with good reviews
Not suitable for every individual such as pregnant people.
What are the best nootropics for chess players?
From nicotine, coffee, and teas to scientifically researched pills or supplements. Taking nootropics or a good night’s sleep does not guarantee a win just as elite players said.
All they want is to play chess consistently and motivate themselves from stressful or distractive days.
This doesn’t mean we’ll overlook the advantages of using nootropics, but we should be cautious about their potential side effects and the Anti-doping policy.
You can use these during your study sessions or competitions.
There is nothing that beats preparation, study, and be optimistic if win or lose.
Remember to consult a physician before taking a nootropic.
Good luck with your chess career.
Click here for an in-depth NooCube review.
- Frati P, Kyriakou C, Del Rio A, Marinelli E, Vergallo GM, Zaami S, Busardò FP (January 2015). “Smart drugs and synthetic androgens for cognitive and physical enhancement: revolving doors of cosmetic neurology”
- The 2018 WADA Prohibited List and Monitoring Program can be found at: http://list.wada-ama.org/
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