The world we currently live in is fast-paced and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down at all. The retirement age has been raised, the wages and retirement plans are not keeping up either and thus people are having to work harder for longer.
What people need is to be able to work smarter and have a higher performance rate.
Nootropics is an umbrella term for a class of chemicals — some naturally-occurring, some manmade — that give cognitive benefits to the human brain. To get really technical, in order to be a nootropic, a substance must meet five criteria set by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, the man who coined the term “nootropic.”
Many of these can boost memory, motivation, creativity, alertness and general cognitive function. Nootropics may also reduce age-related declines in brain function.
Here are the 10 best naturally occurring nootropic supplements to boost your brain function.
1. Fish Oils
Fish oil supplements are a rich source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), two types of omega-3 fatty acids.
These fatty acids have been linked with many health benefits, including improved brain health
DHA plays a vital role in maintaining the structure and function of your brain. In fact, it accounts for around 25% of the total fat, and 90% of the omega-3 fat, found in your brain cells
The other omega-3 fatty acid in fish oil, EPA, has anti-inflammatory effects that may protect the brain against damage and aging
Taking DHA supplements has been linked with improved thinking skills, memory and reaction times in healthy people who have low DHA intakes. It has also benefitted people experiencing a mild decline in brain function
Resveratrol is an antioxidant that occurs naturally in the skin of purple and red fruits like grapes, raspberries and blueberries. It’s also found in red wine, chocolate and peanuts.
It’s been suggested that taking resveratrol supplements could prevent the deterioration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain associated with memory
Additionally, one study on a small group of healthy older adults found that taking 200 mg of resveratrol per day for 26 weeks improved memory
Caffeine is a natural stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee and dark chocolate.
Although it’s possible to take it as a supplement, there isn’t really any need when you can get it from these sources.
It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system, making you feel less tired and more alert
In fact, studies have shown that caffeine can make you feel more energized and improve your memory, reaction times and general brain function
Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid produced naturally in your body. It plays an important role in your metabolism, particularly in energy production.
Taking acetyl-L-carnitine supplements has been claimed to make you feel more alert, improve memory and slow down age-related memory loss
L-Theanine, which naturally occurs in green tea and oolong tea, is an
amino acid. L-Theanine is used as a nootropic for anxiety, learning, mood, and focus.
Since it easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, L-Theanine works quickly to
increase dopamine and serotonin. The “feel good” neurotransmitters in your brain.
Experienced nootropic users often stack L-Theanine with caffeine for a synergistic effect to promote cognition, motivation, and attention. As a bonus, the caffeine jitters are reduced when combined with L-Theanine.
Dosing L-Theanine as a nootropic is 250 – 500 mg and it is water
Magnesium deficiency is nearly epidemic in our society because it is
sorely lacking in our food supply. It helps improve memory and cognition while reducing anxiety, brain fog, and depression. Magnesium can also help maintain healthy blood pressure, and help prevent sudden heart attack and stroke.
Most forms of Magnesium don’t work well as a nootropic supplement because they can’t easily cross the blood-brain barrier. A new form of magnesium called Magnesium-L-threonate is recommended for nootropic use which is a great addition to any nootropic stack.
Creatine is a supplement I have been taking for years but for bodybuilding and it was only until recently which I started researching nootropics that I found out what the extra benefits of creatine are.
Creatine is a natural substance that plays an important role in energy metabolism. It’s found naturally in the body, mostly in muscles and in smaller amounts in the brain. Creatine
Although it’s a popular supplement, you can find it in some foods, namely animal products like meat, fish, and eggs.
Interestingly, creatine supplements can improve memory and thinking skills in people who don’t eat meat.
8. Bacopa Monnieri
Bacopa monnieri is a medicine made from the herb Bacopa monnieri. It’s used in traditional medicine practices like Ayurveda for improving brain function.
It’s been shown to improve thinking skills and memory, both in healthy people and in elderly people suffering from a decline in brain function
However, it’s worth noting that only repeated use of Bacopa monnieri has been shown to have this effect. People generally take about 300 mg per day and it may take around four to six weeks for you to notice any results.
9. Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola rosea is a supplement derived from the herb Rhodiola rosea, which is often used in Chinese medicine to promote well-being and healthy brain function. It’s thought to help improve mental processing by reducing fatigue
People taking Rhodiola rosea have been shown to benefit from a decrease in fatigue and improvement in their brain function
10. S-Adenosyl Methionine
S-Adenosyl methionine (SAMe) is a substance that occurs naturally in your body. It’s used in chemical reactions to make and break down important compounds like proteins, fats, and hormones.
SAM-e helps alleviate depression. SAME-e is one of the main building blocks your brain needs to produce the neurotransmitters acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and melatonin. By raising the levels of dopamine in your brain, SAM-e helps enhance memory, motivation, and learning.
Anyone trying to get ahead in life, school or business needs the optimal nutrition to perform better for longer and you should certainly look at adding some of these supplements into their diet.