Boost Your Brain With These Proven Nootropics
Who doesn’t want to feel more alert, productive, and focused? In order to achieve that mental clarity each day, most people reach for a cup or two of coffee, and ride a caffeine high that inevitably leads back to the same mental sluggishness. Thanks to the breakthroughs of supplement research, people are switching up their morning Joe for brain boosting supplements called nootropics.
WHAT ARE NOOTROPICS?
Commonly referred to as “smart drugs”, nootropics are scientifically proven nutrient extracts that have a direct and positive impact on your cognitive ability. From supporting the learning process to helping with focus, they can be a useful tool for everyone from students to the elderly.
These aren’t magic pills that will allow you to learn a new language in a week. Rather, they support specific processes in the brain that might offer a variety of benefits. Here are the most common and scientifically validated nootropic ingredients to consider.
The veteran nootropic, Huperzine-A is extracted from the Huperzia serrata firmoss. Once broken down, Huperzine-A exhibits pro-acetylcholine activities, helping to create more neurotransmitters in the brain. Acetylcholine has been shown in scientific research to play a key role in memory formation, information recall, and speed of recall.
For students and the workforce, Huperzine-A might be a great way to increase working memory and learning ability. A study published in China demonstrated that students who took Huperzine-A during class and testing performed significantly better than those who did not. For the aging population, Huperzine-A is considered an excellent natural treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
Often associated with the world of weight lifting and athletic performance, L-Glutamine is a surprisingly powerful nootropic that gets little attention in the brain-boosting community.
L-Glutamine functions as a precursor to amino acid-based neurotransmitters, similar to acetylcholine. One animal-based study found that L-Glutamine supplementation effectively increased the memory and learning ability of rats. Another human-focused study showed that L-Glutamine, when combined with Vitamin B3, can increase insulin-like growth factor 1. This, in turn, is suggested to support memory and brain function.
L-Glutamine has also been shown to protect your DNA and cells from oxidative stress damage, which suggests it can be a natural way to fight back against risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.
Dimethylaminoethanol, more commonly known as DMAE, has a synergistic relationship with choline. DMAE is required for the production and utilization of choline. This is essential, because choline is a key precursor to acetylcholine.
As discussed above, acetylcholine supports neurotransmitter production and has been suggested to increase working memory and information recall. When supplementing with DMAE, you are supporting choline production and therefore, the development of acetylcholine.
NOOTROPIC BLENDS VS. SINGLE INGREDIENTS
The 3 nootropic ingredients listed above are considered some of the most popular and they have the scientific literature to back up their benefits. However, there are a variety of other ingredients available.
If you’ve never used a nootropic supplement before, we recommend starting with a blend. With lower dosages of a variety of ingredients, you’ll be able to judge if nootropics are right for you, without the risk of taking too much.
DO YOU USE NOOTROPIC SUPPLEMENTS?
Written by David Sautter
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.