Nootropic supplements have taken the health industry by a storm. And for good reason! These are supplements that can work wonders for brain health. From protecting the brain to increasing concentration, memory, and getting those problem-solving skills sharpened.
Here are the best of nootropic supplements you need in your life.
1. Fish Oil
Fish oil is extremely beneficial for the brain. Thanks to its omega 3 fatty acid content. It contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), both omega 3 fatty acids. These compounds have been found to protect the brain from damage and improve cognitive skills. Research claims omega 3 fatty acid in fish oil (especially DHA) can boost memory, problem-solving skills, and reduce reaction time. It also suggests people who consume a lot of EPA and DHA are less likely to have mood swings.1
Phosphatidylserine (a type of fat) is a great addition for brain health, especially if you have it before a workout. One study revealed phosphatidylserine helped people become more alert and focused during exercise. It also suggests that it can keep brain cells intact and reduce cognitive decline associated with old age. Other studies reveal it can improve cognitive functions like problem-solving and even doing maths.
If you aren’t the type of person to grab a cup of coffee to start your day, here’s news for you. Your brain loves caffeine. A decent amount of literature will tell you caffeine stimulates your brain, relaxes your mind, and increases your attention span. You feel more energized and alert. But, make sure to stick to a healthy amount of caffeine. It could disrupt your sleep.
Resveratrol is a compound present in red wine. It has been found to have immense benefits for the brain. A study proved that resveratrol slows down cognitive decline related to age. It also suggests taking resveratrol could improve memory.2
Some of us think of creatine as something that boosts performance and enhances muscle growth. It turns out creatine is also great for the brain as well. Though the compound is found in traces in our muscles and the brain, taking a creatine supplement can improve memory and sharpen cognitive skills. One study found creatine pushed people to score 20% higher in an intelligence test, along with improving reasoning skills and short-term memory.3
Acetyl-l-Carnitine (ALCAR) has been found to improve memory, boost your concentration, and uplift your mood. One study also revealed ALCAR increases serotonin (a deficiency in serotonin can give way to mood swings and depression).4 There also studies that suggest ALCAR supplements can reduce cognitive decline in people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s.
7. Rhodiola Rosea
You might know rhodiola rosea as something you take for altitude sickness, but this yellow flower comes with a lot of benefits. Research claims that people who have been taking rhodiola rosea for years have maintained brain health. It increases serotonin, improves mood, and reduces mental fatigue.
8. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba is a popular Chinese herbal remedy used for over 4000 years. They would drink cups of ginkgo tea to kickstart their energy and improve cognitive skills. Research claims ginkgo biloba can reduce cognitive decline over the years and sharpens concentration, short-term and long-term memory, and gets in more blood to the brain. It is used by several people suffering from Alzheimer’s.
9. Bacopa Monnieri
Bacopa monniera, aka brahmi, is great for enhancing your brain power. Studies have proven that the herb helps to increase concentration, fasten learning rate, and improves the speed of visual processing.5 Experts claim taking in bacopa monnieri supplements can improve both short-term and long-term memory.
10. S-Adenosyl Methionine
One study revealed that s-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) is just as effective as any antidepressant to improve moods and reduce anxiety, without any side effects. It increases serotonin levels and reduces cognitive decline.6
11. Asian Ginseng
Most of us are aware of the healing powers of ginseng, including improving physical performance. Several studies have found ginseng to be effective for the brain as well. It has been found to improve your mood, increase memory, boost your concentration skills, and even protect the brain.7
Make sure to consult with your doctor to find out the right dosage and supplement that would work for you. Here’s to a stronger and healthier brain!
|↑1||Stonehouse, Welma, Cathryn A. Conlon, John Podd, Stephen R. Hill, Anne M. Minihane, Crystal Haskell, and David Kennedy. “DHA supplementation improved both memory and reaction time in healthy young adults: a randomized controlled trial.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 97, no. 5 (2013): 1134-1143|
|↑2||Kodali, Maheedhar, Vipan K. Parihar, Bharathi Hattiangady, Vikas Mishra, Bing Shuai, and Ashok K. Shetty. “Resveratrol prevents age-related memory and mood dysfunction with increased hippocampal neurogenesis and microvasculature, and reduced glial activation.” Scientific reports 5 (2015)|
|↑3||Rae, Caroline, Alison L. Digney, Sally R. McEwan, and Timothy C. Bates. “Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double–blind, placebo–controlled, cross–over trial.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 270, no. 1529 (2003): 2147-2150|
|↑4||Smeland, Olav B., Tore W. Meisingset, Karin Borges, and Ursula Sonnewald. “Chronic acetyl-L-carnitine alters brain energy metabolism and increases noradrenaline and serotonin content in healthy mice.” Neurochemistry international 61, no. 1 (2012): 100-107|
|↑5||Stough, Con, J. Lloyd, J. Clarke, L. Downey, C. Hutchison, T. Rodgers, and P. Nathan. “The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects.” Psychopharmacology 156, no. 4 (2001): 481-484|
|↑6||Sarris, Jerome, George I. Papakostas, Ottavio Vitolo, Maurizio Fava, and David Mischoulon. “S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) versus escitalopram and placebo in major depression RCT: efficacy and effects of histamine and carnitine as moderators of response.” Journal of affective disorders 164 (2014): 76-81|
|↑7||Oliynyk, Sergiy, and Seikwan Oh. “Actoprotective effect of ginseng: improving mental and physical performance.” J Ginseng Res 37, no. 2 (2013): 144-66|