We’d all like to be a little more focused from time to time. That might be for an important work meeting, or to feel a bit more awake when spending time with the kids. However, dealing with tiredness, fatigue, stress, anxiety, and other issues can lead us to feel mentally sluggish and not clear of thought.
Some supplements can help with these symptoms. These are the nootropics, a range of supplements or compounds that specifically target the brain.
What Are Nootropics
Nootropic is a general term for what can also be called smart drugs- supplements specifically designed to enhance our mental faculties. But what are nootropics? Nootropics cover a wide range of chemicals. You may even be already taking some of them.
Popular supplements such as magnesium, omega-3, and St. John’s Wort are all nootropics. They work to affect aspects of the brain, improving mood or brain function. This is usually due to the nootropic helping to regulate or boost the production of certain chemicals in your brain. For example, omega-3 may help increase the levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is vital for brain function and may be linked to preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
How Do Nootropics Help the Brain
Each nootropic affects the brain differently. Much research is still underway to fully understand the mechanisms behind nootropics. Here are a few different ways nootropics can work:
- Inhibiting receptors in the brain that slow brain activity
- Supporting healthy brain structure
- Providing energy for the maintenance and management of healthy neurons
- Transporting necessary fatty acids to the brain
- Increased flow of oxygen to the brain
- Rebalancing neurotransmitters such as serotonin or adrenaline
Benefits of Nootropics
So, why would someone want to take nootropics? Nootropics may be taken by those with chronic illnesses to help them improve and regulate their brain function. They may also be taken by those who are otherwise healthy but simply need to sharpen their focus. Here are just a few of the benefits of nootropics that we are currently aware of.
Some nootropics can have a very positive impact on memory. This includes both short term and long term memory, making nootropics a viable subject for study in the ongoing battle against Alzheimer’s disease.
Memory allows us to learn and to understand the world around us. It’s also a huge part of our social interactions, and when we start to forget things, it can become very distressing. By supporting oxygen flow to the brain and cellular repair, nootropics can be a very useful tool in preventing memory loss.
Stress and Anxiety
Some nootropics help regulate the amount of dopamine in the brain. This can increase mood levels and reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. Nootropics can also rebalance your brain’s pleasure vs. reward system- the feelings of delight you should get for a job well done, or after something great has happened to you. When dopamine levels are low, you take less pleasure in the things you love. Nootropics can help bring this back.
Focus and Alertness
Attention is all about the right balance of chemicals in the brain. These can be unbalanced due to fatigue, stress, or a long-term health condition. Nootropics can be useful in targeting the relevant chemicals and increasing your capacity to focus for longer.
Best Nootropics for Cognitive Performance
Natural nootropics and brain enhancers are becoming more and more widely available. Here’s our nootropics list to help you sort through what is currently available.
This Indian plant has been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years. It is still used today to combat stress, improve the mood, and may even increase the libido, which often suffers during periods of anxiety or depression.
Widely available and taken regularly in every cup of coffee, caffeine is a natural stimulant that directly affects the brain. It provides focus, alertness, and studies have shown it may have a preventative effect on dementia.
An amino acid, creatine is used as a supplement to increase energy and is often taken by athletes and bodybuilders. It’s also a nootropic and can be used to reduce or prevent mental fatigue.
Another plant-based supplement, kava (Piper methysticum) is used to elevate the mood and for relaxation.
Memoral has been called one of the best nootropics by current users. Memoral Brain Power Complex is a supplement that helps deal with those “senior moments” when you just cannot recall something, and may even help with the impact of stress, anxiety, and depression. Loss of memory can be particularly worrying, especially when it starts to interfere with your day-to-day life. These vegetarian capsules contain a blend of natural ingredients designed to sharpen your memory recall and help prevent further memory loss by protecting the brain’s function.
Memoral contains NADH, a naturally occurring chemical that is a form of vitamin B3, or niacin. Every cell in your body needs this chemical, and studies have shown that taking it as a supplement can significantly reduce negative symptoms in those suffering from the “brain fog” associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Side Effects of Nootropics
Are nootropics safe? Dr. Corneliu Giurgea, who first conceptualized nootropics, gave these five rules about nootropics:
- They must enhance learning and memory.
- They must increase information transfer in the brain.
- They cannot be a stimulant or a sedative.
- They must strengthen subcortical processes.
- They must enhance cerebral resistance.
If nootropics stick to these five rules, then realistically there should be no side effects. However, the modern definition of nootropics doesn’t adhere to these limitations as strictly. Caffeine, for example, is a nootropic as it increases brain function and focus. However, it is also a stimulant. Too much caffeine may increase anxiety levels, or cause physical jitters.
With this in mind, every nootropic has to be looked at individually. Prevent side effects by always taking the recommended dosage, and if you’re ever unsure, seek advice from a medical professional.
Nootropics help support brain function in a variety of ways. They range from natural nootropics to semi-synthetic and synthetic compounds. Some nootropics decrease fatigue; others increase focus while others prevent the slowing of brain activity. Memoral is an all-natural nootropic designed in order to avoid memory loss and sharpen memory, thus enhancing the quality of life.