Therapeutic peptides are no longer a come-and-go “health fad”:
They are now seen as the literal fountain of youth by increasing segments of the mainstream media and will only continue to get more popular.
While they have multiple uses in the body, we ultimately use peptides for energy at the end of the day.
It’s true that peptides can help us look better, treat many diseases, and recover from injuries.
But all of these things are secondary to the end goal: FEELING better and PERFORMING better.
We want to increase focus and energy so we can have optimal performance in every facet of life.
Lifting more weight, running faster and longer, sharpening focus, working harder than the person next to us… all so we can defy aging and have as much fuel in our tanks as possible.
By using the best peptides for energy, we can be the man (or woman) we aspire to be no matter what time of the day it is.
This article will review the peptides best suited for fully optimizing our energy reserves across all domains.
Energy Systems of the Body Optimized by Peptides
Before we can talk about my hand-selected peptides for energy optimization, we need to get some background understanding of what energy is and how it works.
The only problem is that the “definition” of energy and the different types of energy vary heavily depending on which expert you ask.
If you ask performance psychologist Dr. Jim Loehr, author of the popular self-improvement book The Power of Full Engagement, you’ll learn that energy is comprised of four highly inter-connected dimensions:
“Physical (the quantity of our energy), Emotional (the quality of our energy), Mental (the focus of our energy), Spiritual (the force of our energy)
If any of these dimensions is under-stressed or over-stressed our performance suffers. For example, if we don’t get enough sleep or eat poorly, our energy store is depleted. If our energy is constantly precipitated by perception of threat, fear or survival, we’ll quickly burn out. And if we are constantly distracted or feel that our work lacks purpose, well, we know how that turns out… half-a-head or half-a-heart never produces our best work.
The most fundamental source of energy is physical; the most significant is spiritual.”
But if you ask a personal trainer who got his Bachelor’s degree in Human Kinetics, you’ll learn that there are 3 distinct energy systems the human body uses to perform “work”:
“Energy systems refer to the specific mechanisms in which energy is produced and used by your body. Like most mammals, you generate energy via three systems:
Phosphagen (ATP-PC), Glycolytic [i.e. anaerobic lactic], and Oxidative [i.e. aerobic].
All three energy systems are engaged during all forms of physical activity.
However, the extent to which each one is involved varies depending on the duration and intensity of the activity”
And to describe those three stages briefly:
“PHOSPHAGEN: ATP, short for adenosine triphosphate, is a molecule that provides energy for all movement. Your body breaks down ATP to fuel your every move, from standing up to climbing a race wall. The phosphagen energy system harnesses ATP for highly intense activities that last 10 to 30 seconds… Since your body stores a limited amount of ATP, activities lasting more than 30 seconds must also tap into energy generated by the glycolytic system.”
GLYCOLYTIC: “…uses carbohydrate to produce ATP. Activities lasting 30 seconds to 3 minutes are primarily fueled by energy produced by this system… After a few minutes of sustained activity, your body starts to rely on the oxidative system to help meet your energy needs.”
OXIDATIVE: “…Unlike the phosphagen and glycolytic system, the oxidative system is aerobic and uses oxygen to help with energy production. While the glycolytic system uses carbohydrate to generate energy, the oxidative system dips into other macronutrients as well: fat and protein… The oxidative system is heavily engaged in low- to moderate-intensity activities. You’ll harness a lot of energy via the oxidative system for your longer training sessions, including distance running.”
This is obviously an oversimplified overview, which is why I recommend these links (here and here) if you want to dive deeper into this school of thought.
But even within these two models, we see some common elements:
- Every domain of energy operates independently to regulate how your body absorbs and expends energy, yet is highly connected to all other domains, i.e. your weakest link will hold back everything else
- Therefore, every domain of energy can be individually enhanced to (in turn) enhance the other domains of energy, creating an optimized balance of overall energy
- Understanding the domains of energy helps us to identify the root causes of why we experience fatigue and exhaustion, whether in the mind or the body
Moreover, the end goal is the same: Increase our maximal energetic output while inhibiting or eliminating anything that interferes with said output.
That output looks different for every person… the athlete wants cardiovascular endurance, explosive power, and increased strength. The entrepreneur wants mental alertness, concentration, and increased productivity via efficient and effective work output.
So how do we peptides for energy to reconcile the needs of our mind and our body?
I personally like to view the energy systems of the body with respect to three primary domains…
“Mental energy” is something that we intuitively get but is difficult to define precisely.
Which is why I’m going to provide a series of definitions to help you better understand what I’m getting at:
Wikipedia: “Mental energy may be understood as the ability or willingness to engage in cognitive work. It is distinct from physical energy, and has mood, cognition, and motivation domains. Concepts closely related to mental energy include vigor and fatigue. Mental energy is not well-defined, and the scientific literature on mental energy is quite limited. A variety of measures for assessing aspects of mental energy exist.”
Healthline: “Some experts describe mental energy as a mood state where you feel productive, motivated, and prepared to get things done. A lack of mental energy, then, might mean you don’t feel capable of much at all. Even when you aren’t physically tired, your thoughts might drift along like a snail in slow motion.”
TheFreeDictionary: “An actuating force or factor… the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action towards a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior”
Here’s a description of what it means to “use” mental energy on a task:
“Prior to engaging in a task, people assess the amount of cognitive effort (i.e., costs) needed to complete the task and the benefits that can be accrued from task completion. If the anticipated benefits exceed the anticipated costs, people allocate cognitive resources into working memory (henceforth, mental energy) and engage in the task. During task engagement, mental energy is expended to enhance mental focus (i.e., task performance) and facilitate mental intensity (i.e., task persistence)”
I highly recommend reading the paper I just linked, along with this one, if you want a more complicated overview of mental energy and how it is distinct from physical energy.
But it’s crystal clear what mental energy helps us do: Solve problems, make decisions, plan ahead, focus our attention to one thing, memorize and recall information, ignore distractions, and keep our emotions in check.
The last point is important because people will go as far as to argue that this “emotional” energy comprises 70% of our total energy reserves.
By extension, a lack of mental energy (i.e. lack of optimal brain function) has obvious telltale signs: Brain fog, poor memory, inability to concentrate, subpar cognitive performance, anxiousness, and a lack of mental clarity.
In this context, we can use nootropic peptides to address the underlying mechanisms of mental energy:
- Neuron regeneration and repair
- Restore the balance of neurotransmitter production and sensitivity
- Improve blood flow to the brain
This would be on top of well-established strategies for improving mental energy such as fixing dietary intake and improving blood flow to the brain via cardiovascular exercise.
I would define hormonal energy as “the energy available to your body as a result of optimally balancing your body’s hormones”.
To quickly recap what hormones are and their importance in the human body:
“Hormones are chemicals that coordinate different functions in your body by carrying messages through your blood to your organs, skin, muscles and other tissues. These signals tell your body what to do and when to do it. Hormones are essential for life and your health.
Scientists have identified over 50 hormones in the human body so far. Hormones and most of the tissues (mainly glands) that create and release them make up your endocrine system. Hormones control many different bodily processes, including: Metabolism, homeostasis, growth and development, sleep-wake cycle, mood, etc.”
Not only are the interactions of a hormone between other hormones and biological compounds extremely complex, but it only takes a small hormonal imbalance – in excess or lack – to completely throw your body out of whack.
While testosterone and estrogen are the two big ones I talk about, one group of hormones that is almost synonymous with “lack of energy” are your thyroid hormones.
To give a brief overview of why your thyroid hormones should not be ignored:
“The thyroid gland is the most important gland involved in controlling the basal metabolic rate (BMR) of the body. It is a butterfly-shaped structure located at the base of the neck, stimulated by the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), released from the pituitary gland. It secretes thyroxine hormone (T4), which performs the following functions:
Thyroxine acts on almost all cells of the body, increases their metabolic activities, and generates lots of ATPs, which translates to ample energy supply. It acts on the heart to increase both the heart rate and the contractility; subsequently, cardiac output increases. As the cardiac output rises, more blood is available to supply oxygen to different body organs and enhance their functioning.
The major effect of thyroxine is on growth. It is essential for bone development, brain health, and muscle control. It modulates the hepatic function, which in turn facilitates other systemic endocrine effects.”
In other words, your thyroid gland is literally connected to everything.
And going back to the link I just cited, it’s interesting to see how having too many or too few thyroid hormones can be harmful to the body.
When you have hypothyroidism (lack of thyroid hormones), the major 3 symptoms are fatigue, weight gain despite not wanting to eat, and intolerance to cold temperatures.
When you have hyperthyroidism (excess of thyroid hormones), the major 3 symptoms are fatigue, weight loss despite wanting to eat, and intolerance to hot temperatures.
Notice how fatigue is the common symptom amongst either imbalance? There are NO coincidences when it comes to the human body.
Fortunately, the best peptides for energy can help us treat these hormonal imbalances and restore bodily function back to normal.
We can even go a step beyond and use these peptides for health optimization, like when biohackers use peptides to increase muscle growth by targeting IGF-1 production.
This is arguably the foundation of all human energy and so it cannot be ignored.
Cellular energy, in effect, revolves around mitochondrial health since this organelle is what produces the ATP that our cells then use for energy:
“In most animal cells, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a compound with high potential energy, works as the main carrier of chemical energy. In general, the energy to synthesize ATP molecules must be obtained from rather complex fuel molecules. The human body uses three types of molecules to yield the necessary energy to drive ATP synthesis: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
…Mitochondria are the main site for ATP synthesis in mammals, although some ATP is also synthesized in the cytoplasm. Lipids are broken down into fatty acids, proteins into amino acids, and carbohydrates into glucose.”
Not only does the type of cell affect whether the mitochondria will use glucose or fatty acids to produce ATP, but being in a fasted or fed state will also affect this “decision” as well.
This paper, along with the one I just linked, dives deeper into the science of how cells use food for energy and all the intricate complexities of mitochondrial function.
But since cellular energy is so foundational, you can only imagine the large laundry list of metabolic diseases linked to mitochondrial dysfunction:
“Mitochondrial dysfunction, characterized by a loss of efficiency in the electron transport chain and reductions in the synthesis of high-energy molecules, such as adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP), is a characteristic of aging, and essentially, of all chronic diseases.
These diseases include neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Friedreich’s ataxia; cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis and other heart and vascular conditions; diabetes and metabolic syndrome; autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and type 1 diabetes; neurobehavioral and psychiatric diseases, such as autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and bipolar and mood disorders; gastrointestinal disorders; fatiguing illnesses, such as chronic fatigue syndrome and Gulf War illnesses; musculoskeletal diseases, such as fibromyalgia and skeletal muscle hypertrophy/atrophy; cancer; and chronic infections.”
Fix the mitochondria and you can fix virtually any health problem you have.
How Do Peptides Increase Energy Levels?
Based on the 3 energy systems of the body I just described, it is immediately apparent how we can use peptides for energy restoration and optimization:
- Increase overall blood flow to select parts of the body via angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation)
- Restore the production of a naturally-produced peptide/hormone that is gradually fading due to aging and/or disease
- Temporarily elevate/inhibit the production of a natural peptide/hormone to accelerate the speed and effectiveness of a certain bodily process
- Repair a damaged organelle, cell type, tissue, or organ
All of this is largely thanks to the specificity of peptides, which only act on specific receptors in the membranes of specific cells.
However, keep in mind that peptides are NOT a magic bullet.
They will not help you if you don’t have a fully optimized lifestyle dialed in!
You may get tired of all the list articles from sites like Healthline and Harvard about how to boost energy naturally, but you need those foundational elements in place first before you start using peptides.
5 Peptides to Boost Energy Levels
When anybody uses the best peptides for energy, they are seeking out one or more of the following outcomes:
- Higher quality of deep restorative sleep
- Increasing physical endurance/stamina
- Greater strength/power in the gym
- Improved mental performance (i.e. clarity, focus, memory, mood)
- Faster recovery from workouts
- Lower incidence of fatigue
No one peptide will address all of the above, but they will cover at least one of these bases and possibly more depending on your biochemical individuality and current state of health.
CJC-1295 & Ipamorelin
While I’ve mentioned both of these compounds as phenomenal peptides for anti-aging and peptides for weight loss, I have yet to talk about CJC-1295 and Ipamorelin in the context of energy levels.
You’re not going to see many studies about growth hormone (GH) use in healthy adults for optimization, but we need to look at this from a lens of NOT having enough GH production:
“In adults, it causes a reduced sense of wellbeing, increased fat, increased risk of heart disease and weak heart, muscles and bones… Additionally, growth hormone has been linked to a sensation of wellbeing, specifically energy levels. There is evidence that 30-50% of adults with growth hormone deficiency feel tired to a level that impairs their wellbeing.”
I’ll put it this way: There’s a reason why I recommend Ipamorelin before bed in order to enhance deep sleep.
So if you’re lacking in GH, take a guess what happens next:
“…growth hormone (GH) release is strongly associated with slow-wave sleep (SWS). Abnormalities in the somatotropic axis, such as GH deficiency of hypothalamic or pituitary origin, result in an alteration of normal sleep patterns which may explain the fatigue reported in these individuals.
Sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, in which individuals abnormally enter rapid eye movement (REM) sleep at sleep onset are also associated with an altered GHRH [growth hormone releasing hormone] circadian rhythm and abnormal GH secretion”
It’s no wonder why people with growth hormone deficiency suffer from poor mental health and find it difficult to get through the day:
“The hormone can give you energy by mobilizing fat from the adipose tissues around your belly. The energy released into your bloodstream can be used for physical activity, muscle growth, and tissue repair.
Furthermore, HGH supports the normal oxygen consumption of your tissues. This way it helps your body maintain optimal levels of energy and productivity during daily physical tasks. HGH also improves your mood which further increases motivation and work capacity.”
Out of all the growth hormone peptides being used, CJC-1295 and Ipamorelin always come out as the best combination for people who want to elevate growth hormone production without disrupting their body’s natural production.
Honorable mentions: Human growth hormone (my personal preference over Ipamorelin and CJC-1295 if you can get your hands on it)
Coming straight from motherland Russia, Semax is one of the most widely-used peptides for brain function.
Decades of research have gone into investigating this peptide’s effects on treating strokes, eye disorders, and neurodegeneration due to traumatic brain injury.
But what’s most fascinating is how despite its nootropic properties being the least researched in humans, there are an abundance of reports from people who have used Semax for a cognitive boost.
Consistently, Semax leads to the following outcomes:
- Better socialization and ability to empathize with other people
- Puts you in a stimulated, euphoric state that is akin to the effect of Modafinil
- Improved memory and recall of complex information
- Stronger resistance against distractions
- Mental clarity is much sharper than before
Is it Semax’s actual nootropic effects taking place, or is it Semax’s neuroprotective and neurorestorative properties healing the damage in people who were previously damaged?
Can’t say for sure but we have multiple mechanisms supporting these findings: increased production of nerve growth factor and BDNF, inhibition of the degradation of enkephalin for lower anxiety, and regulation of serotonin and dopamine.
A must-try if you’re looking for a cognitive boost, especially if you can get your hands on the stronger N-acetyl variants.
Honorable mentions: Orexin-A, Selank
If you’re wondering why Tirzepatide, a supremely effective fat-loss peptide, is on a list of peptides for energy, then read closely.
Tirzepatide is a dual receptor agonist for two naturally produced peptides: glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP).
You can read my article to better understand the exact mechanisms through which Tirzepatide melts fat away and the clinical evidence supporting it, but the picture below paints a thousand words:
I mention this peptide because it helps you become energetic in two different ways…
First, there is more than a decade of evidence showing that targeting GLP-1 can be a useful therapeutic route for treating depression through numerous mechanisms:
You have brain inflammation reduction, more neurogenesis, and better neuron survival… all critical for mental energy.
Second, many people underestimate how body fat is directly linked to cognitive decline.
For every one super-productive fat person you can point out to me, I will point out 99,999 more who are the exact opposite:
“The association between body mass index and sleepiness was independent of sleep duration, meaning obese people may be tired during the day no matter how much they sleep at night.
Obesity is also associated with sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing pauses occur during sleep. A hallmark of sleep apnea is daytime sleepiness. Although it may seem logical to assume that sleep apnea causes fatigue in obese people, the study refutes this.
…The primary underlying mechanism that makes obese people feel overly tired is likely low-grade chronic inflammation. Fat cells, particularly from abdominal fat, produce immune compounds called cytokines that promote sleepiness, among other effects.”
Literally, not metaphorically, being fat makes you DUMB!
That’s why I’m putting Tirzepatide on this list — remove the muffin top and you will remove a lot of what’s holding you back from reaching your full cognitive potential.
Honorable mentions: Semaglutide, Tesofensine
An article about the best peptides for energy wouldn’t be complete without a peptide that directly targets every single facet of mitochondrial health.
Out of all the ones currently available, I would say Humanin is the best one with regard to the volume of clinical data back its efficacy combined with testimonials from anonymous biohackers.
This peptide is directly derived from mitochondrial DNA and has the unique ability of increasing ATP production without the body being in a state where it lacks ATP molecules.
Moreover, it is located in numerous parts of the body and therefore can protect multiple types of cells from apoptosis and necrosis (i.e. forms of cell death).
Even more interesting is the many ways in which Humanin protects and enhances your cell’s mitochondria:
- Elevates metabolism within the mitochondria
- Lowers the production of reactive oxygen species produced by aging senescent cells
- Addresses malfunctions within the mitochondria related to subpar ATP production
- Increases mitochondrial biogenesis so that new mitochondria are produced and more ATP is produced
Humanin can also increase your lifespan, possibly treat Type 2 Diabetes, and address the underlying problems of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Try using a daily dose of Humanin during a rigorous workout program and tell me your results don’t get better!
Honorable mentions: MOTS-C, SS-31
Conclusion: Stay Energetic With Peptides!
Using the best peptides for energy will only be fruitful if you start off with a specific intention – do you want to optimize yourself or heal yourself?
However, don’t be too deterred from picking one peptide at the expense of another… all of the peptides in this article work synergistically together, or at the very least do not negatively cancel each other’s effects out.
Nobody deserves to live a life of constant fatigue, misery, and immobility.
These revolutionary peptides are nowhere near a miracle cure but they can get you started on the right path towards living fully optimized.
But before you even start looking for where to buy these peptides, be sure to read the Top 10 Mistakes People Make When Starting Therapeutic Peptides FREE PDF!
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