Why Some Scientists Consider Music A Performance-Enhancing Drug

Looking for a caffeine-free workout boost? Listening to your favorite music might work better than you think.

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • A legal performance enhancer

  • Trending up

  • Recipe of the week

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If you want the ultimate natural workout boost, grab your headphones and turn up your favorite playlist. 

Research suggests that music is one of the most effective ways to improve your workout. Studies have found that it can increase motivation, boost endurance and strength, reduce perceived effort, and even help fight off fatigue. 

Part of the reason music works so well is that it’s the ultimate distraction. When you exercise, your body signals to your brain that you’re tired or fatigued. However, listening to music distracts your brain, reduces your perception of fatigue, and can help you train harder. 

Research also suggests that training to a beat makes you more efficient with your movements, meaning you expend less energy and don’t feel as exhausted, which is why you feel like you can train longer. And music elevates your mood and makes your workouts more enjoyable, which helps fight off fatigue. 

It works so well that one scientist (Dr. Costas Karageorghis) suggests music could be considered “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug.”

While research suggests you can optimize your playlist based on the tempo, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Studies suggest you can design the ultimate workout playlist by picking songs you love that trigger a strong positive emotional response. 

If you have a friend or family member who doesn’t lift weights, this is the item to forward them. 

Research suggests that any amount of weight training reduces your mortality risk. 

Scientists analyzed the behaviors of 216,000 adults over 15 years. Compared to those who performed no weight training whatsoever, any amount of pumping iron was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, as well as less risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. 

This adds to prior research that found resistance training for 60 minutes per week was associated with a 33 percent reduction in mortality risk, and another study found a 31 percent reduction in cancer mortality. 

But the craziest number of all? Despite the undeniable benefits, 75 percent of the 216,000 people in the cohort did not resistance train at all. 

Remember, it doesn’t matter how old you are or your starting strength; any amount of resistance training will benefit your health and longevity. Spread the word.​​

Recipe of the Week

Many breakfast favorites clock in at thousands of calories. But a few ingredient swaps can help you enjoy pancakes and fuel your body. 

These peanut butter banana protein pancakes are loaded with flavor but have a macronutrient profile that is high in protein and has a nice balance of carbs and fat. 

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Pancakes


  • 1 scoop protein powder (This unflavored powder works great. Use “Pumpclub” for 20% off)

  • 2 tablespoons almond flour

  • 2 tablespoons non-fat Greek yogurt

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter 

  • 4 egg whites

  • 1 ripe banana (medium-sized)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixer and blend until thick and creamy consistency.

  2. Set a burner on medium-high heat and coat the pan with butter or low-calorie spray.

  3. Pour pancake batter into palm size onto a skillet or pan. 

  4. Flip pancakes when they bubble, then lower the heat to medium-low.

  5. Plate and serve

Macros (for the full recipe)

  • 430 calories

  • 45 grams protein

  • 30 grams carbs 

  • 13 grams fat

Give the recipe a try, and let us know what you think!

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell