Unlock Your Peak Athletic Performance: 5 Benefits of tDCS for Athletes
Alexis GH Jun 07, 2024

Public interest regarding tDCS has recently surged, piquing the attention of athletes and researchers alike hoping to find relief in everyday activities (Schmerling, 2023). Originally used to treat brain injuries in medical environments, this brain stimulation therapy has many communities curious about the potential benefits it has to offer. Many studies show us promising results that can increase reaction times, strengthen your attention span, diminish feelings of fatigue, and more. Take a look behind the research to learn how tDCS could help improve your athletic performance!

The Basics of tDCS

tDCS is a non-invasive form of neurostimulation that delivers a constant, low electrical current through electrodes placed on various parts of the scalp to stimulate the brain. It helps to positively alter the relationship between your brain and certain behaviors.

The two main types of tDCS stimulation used are anodal and cathodal. Anodal stimulation refers to the use of a positive electrode, typically increasing the excitability of neurons in the cerebral cortex. Cathodal introduces a negative electrical current that slows neuronal excitability, providing a calming effect. The specific placement of these electrodes are known as montages (Thair et al., 2017). Learning how tDCS functions is an essential first step to using devices like TheBrainDriver. 

1. May Affect Attention Span

Early research has been conducted to learn more about the effects of tDCS on average attention span. In a study conducted by Amouzadeh et al. (2022), student-athletes with ADHD were tested on their ability to focus on a long-term activity, also known as visual sustained attention. Anodal stimulation was placed above the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and their findings supported tDCS providing a significant impact on their sports performance.

Additional research performed by Nelson et al. (2016) has focused on how tDCS affects multitasking behaviors, finding that “anodal tDCS significantly improves the participants' information processing capability resulting in improved performance...” For athletes interested in boosting their ability to focus under pressure and improve their overall performance, these studies encourage tDCS as a valuable tool. 

2. May Accelerate Your Athletic Performance

Numerous scientists have discovered an improvement in athletic performance thanks to tDCS technology. In an experiment focused on bodybuilders, tDCS was found to increase participants’ short-term endurance and muscular strength (Kamali et al., 2019). Another involving the effects of tDCS on cyclists suggested anodal electrical currents increase the participants’ peak power and their exercise tolerance. In both instances, researchers found their respective montages excited the motor cortex, leading to better athletic performance and longer cycling times (Vitor-Costa et al., 2015).  These findings continue to support the validity of tDCS and provide athletes with a promising, non-invasive technology to boost their training.

3. May Affect Reaction and Speed Times

Regular sessions of tDCS may even reduce reaction times in sports performers. In research conducted by Kamali et al. (2021), researchers tested the effects of tDCS on the brachial plexus (a network of nerves in the shoulders) specifically with experienced male boxers. They found many positive effects came from the stimulation, including reaction speed and selective attention. This improvement in motor functions was attributed to the anodal stimulation spontaneous neural activity.

A study published by the Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology with soccer players as their subjects found decision-making response time was reduced when anodal tDCS stimulation was placed on the DLPFC (Fortes et al., 2022). Though more research is required before tDCS becomes a mainstream therapy, experimentations, such as those by Kamali and Fortes, put this technology on the path toward public understanding and trust.

4. May Reduce Pain Symptoms

Experiencing chronic pain as an athlete can negatively affect confidence in day-to-day training. Frontiers in Neuroscience published research by Wen et al. (2022) supporting tDCS as a potential short-term treatment for decreasing pain intensity and the associated anxiety. It additionally held a sustained effect lasting past the initial time period. 

Research focusing specifically on tDCS and fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition that affects millions, found similar results. Active tDCS stimulation to the left primary motor cortex was found to significantly reduce pain perception and decrease fatigue, with minor side effects (Moshfeghinia et al., 2023). Whether as a result of injury or illness, many athletes understand the struggle of living with long-term pain. tDCS offers a potential relief from these symptoms to help maintain peak performance. 

5. May Reduce Fatigue

Fatigue during athletic training or performance can impair one’s ability to focus and use the kind of energy they know they can achieve. A connection between mental fatigue and tDCS has also been found over the years, using this technology to prolong this feeling and improve performance. In a study published by the Journal of Motor Behavior, researchers focused on the effects of anodal stimulation of the DLPFC in professional swimmers (Salehi et al., 2021). Researchers found “[reduced] adverse effects of mental fatigue in 50-meter swimming performance” (Salehi et al., 2021). The swimmers’ overall physical performance was found to improve as a result.

Another experiment with basketball players as their subjects measured fatigue and sprinting time under the effects of anodal tDCS over the primary motor cortex. Chen et al. (2021) found the players had “maintain[ed] high sprint performance... and decrease[d] fatigue” thanks to the stimulation. These studies encourage further research to learn more about the effects of this incredible therapy, aiming to better understand its benefits for athletes looking to delay fatigue. 

Unlock Your Performance Potential with TheBrainDriver 

Continued studies being conducted on this groundbreaking technology further validates the benefits of tDCS for athletes to enjoy in the future. While there is still much to learn about the power of this therapy, scientists remain dedicated to understanding its full potential.

After learning more about these life-changing effects, you too can enjoy using tDCS technology through TheBrainDriver, and our team hopes you consider getting started with our devices to help improve your performance! We are always ready to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to reach out to us at askthebraindriver@gmail.com. Take the first step toward a healthier and more productive life, and order your device today!

Stay Positive!



Alex H

TheBrainDriver tDCS Devices

Power Up Your Brain 20 Minutes Per Day

[Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment or therapy.]

Copyright TheBrainDriver, LLC. © 2024. All Rights Reserved.



Amouzadeh, F., Moradio, H., Zandi, H., Rostami, R., Moghadamzadeh, A. (2022). Impact of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on the visual sustain attention of ADHD student-athletes. Journal of Sports and Motor Development and Learning, 14(2), 17-33. https://doi.org/10.22059/JMLM.2021.325671.1586 


Chen, C. H., Chen, Y. C., Jiang, R. S., Lo, L. Y., Wang, I. L., & Chiu, C. H. (2021). Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Decreases the Decline of Speed during Repeated Sprinting in Basketball Athletes. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(13), 6967. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136967


Fortes, L. S., Albuquerque, M. R., Faro, H. K., de Lima-Júnior, D., Ferreira, M. E., & Almeida, S. S. (2022). Repeated Use of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Over the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Before Training Changes Visual Search and Improves Decision-Making Response Time in Soccer Athletes. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1123/jcsp.2021-0067 

Kamali, A., Saadi, Z.K., Yahyavi, S., Zarifkar, A., Aligholi, H., & Nami, M. (2019). Transcranial direct current stimulation to enhance athletic performance outcome in experienced bodybuilders. PLoS ONE, 14https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0220363

Kamali, A., Kazemiha, M., Keshtkarhesamabadi, B. et al. (2021). Simultaneous transcranial and transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation to enhance athletic performance outcome in experienced boxers. Sci Rep, 11, 19722. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-99285-x 

Moshfeghinia, R., Shekouh, D., Mostafavi, S., Hosseinzadeh, M., Bahadori, A., Abdollahifard, S., Razmkon, A,. (2023). The effects of transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) on pain intensity of patients with fibromyalgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Neurol 23, 395. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12883-023-03445-7 

Nelson, J., McKinley, R. A., Phillips, C., McIntire, L., Goodyear, C., Kreiner, A., & Monforton, L. (2016). The Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on Multitasking Throughput Capacity. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 10, 589. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00589 

Nikooharf Salehi, E., Jaydari Fard, S., Jaberzadeh, S., Zoghi, M. (2021). Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Reduces the Negative Impact of Mental Fatigue on Swimming Performance. Journal of Motor Behavior, 54(3), 327–336. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222895.2021.1962238 

Schmerling, R. (2023, March 3). Can electrical brain stimulation boost attention, memory, and more?. Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-electrical-brain-stimulation-boost-attention-memory-and-more-202303032898#:~:text=What%20is%20transcranial%20direct%20current,known%20brain%20stimulation%20therapies%20are 

Thair, H., Holloway, A. L., Newport, R., & Smith, A. D. (2017). Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS): A Beginner's Guide for Design and Implementation. Frontiers in neuroscience, 11, 641. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2017.00641 

Vitor-Costa, M., Okuno, N.M., Bortolotti, H., Bertollo, M., Boggio, P.S., Fregni, F., & Altimari, L.R. (2015). Improving Cycling Performance: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Increases Time to Exhaustion in Cycling. PLoS ONE, 10. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0144916 

Wen, Y., Shi, J., Hu, Z., Lin, Y, Lin, Y., Jiang, X., Wang, R., Wang, X., Wang, Y. (2022). Is transcranial direct current stimulation beneficial for treating pain, depression, and anxiety symptoms in patients with chronic pain? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 15. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2022.1056966 


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