Stimulants: Why You Feel The Way You Do

Stimulants are a class of psychoactive compounds that increase activity in relation to the brain and central nervous system. These compounds can temporarily boost alertness, mood, and energy. However, stimulants share many commonalities, but each one has unique properties and mechanisms of action within the body.

Different Types of Stimulants

The following are some common stimulants you can find in preworkouts and in general:

  • Caffeine
  • TeaCrine
  • Dynamine
  • DMHA
  • Eria Jarensis
  • Ephedrine
  • PEAs (Phenylethamines)
  • Nicotine

How Stimulants Work

When you take a dose of stimulants, you will more than likely feel euphoric, energetic, chatty and mentally focused. Your body temperature will likely rise, your heart pumps faster and you can almost feel the blood in your veins. If you’ve taken a larger dose of stimulants, then you may start acting bizarre, erratic and being a bit violent too.

How They Affect The Brain and Nervous System

Stimulants can easily change the way the brain functions by changing the way our nerve cells communicate and interact with one another. Stimulants cause an accumulation of dopamine in the brain, which can make you feel strong pleasure and increased energy. They can also make you feel anxious and paranoid if taken in excess. Furthermore, stimulants also interfere with serotonin and can block nerve impulse.

How Fast Do Stimulants Work

Most stimulants are absorbed into the blood relatively quickly. However, the faster the absorption of stimulants in the system, the more intense and rapid the high, but the shorter the duration of action or half-life. For example, injecting stimulants (pharmaceutical grade) produces an effect within 15-30 seconds. Whilst stimulants in relation to pre-workouts can take anywhere between 10-25 minutes. In addition to this, it all depends on the individual too.

How Long Do Stimulants Last?

Stimulants have very varied half-lives. However, general effects of most stimulants will last for at least 1 to 2 hours, depending on the dose and type of stimulant used. However, binging on stimulants can make the effects last much longer.

Are Stimulants For Everyone?

Stimulants can provide very powerful psycho-active effects. However, stimulants can also become addictive which can result in people abusing them. So when you start to notice initial tolerance to a euphoric high, this is a good time to stop and take a break.

With this being said, stimulants effect everyone differently so it is all about finding what works best for you.

Mechanism of Action

The following is a diagram displaying how stimulants (in this case amphetamine) work in the body:


The diagram shows the amphetamine acting by releasing intracellular stores of catecholamines (norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine) or hormones produced in the adrenal gland into the synaptic spaces.

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