5 Science-Backed Nootropics For Better Focus & Productivity
So much of our day relies on us having the focus and productivity to power through and get things done. Unfortunately, many people find themselves losing focus or being unable to concentrate for long periods of time. This can be due to a multitude of factors — not enough sleep, dehydration, or, most commonly, a deficiency in specific vitamins and nutrients.
This deficiency can lead to feeling fatigued, lethargic, and apathetic. To give yourself a boost in energy, focus, and productivity, many people are relying on supplements called “nootropics”. These supplements help encourage mental clarity and reduce inflammation (which helps negate such things as brain fog).
Today we’re going to go over the top five scientifically-backed nootropics for better focus and productivity…
L-Theanine & Caffeine
While technically two different supplements, when combined I have found that both of these ingredients can make for a powerful nootropic and the research agrees. In a study by Unilever Research and Development, they tested 50 mg caffeine, with and without 100 mg L-theanine. They measured the participant's word recognition, rapid visual information processing, critical flicker fusion threshold, attention switching and mood. The results were pretty interesting. The researchers found that while caffeine improved subjective alertness, the L-theanine and caffeine combination improved both speed and accuracy of performance of attention-switching and reduced susceptibility to distracting information in the memory task
As one of the most popular ingredients found in today’s top nootropic blends, Bacopa Monnieri is also one of the best nootropics around. It has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat an array of different illnesses. Recently though, it has gained a following for how it is able to help increase the cognitive state of those who take it. One double-blind placebo-controlled study found that it can help improve both learning and memory.
The human brain requires choline for a variety of important neurological processes such as cell membrane stability and the production of Acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter linked to memory, mental clarity, and reasoning). In order to stimulate the production of Acetylcholine, many people take a Choline supplement as a nootropic. However, even if you don’t take it as a supplement, you may be getting Choline in other ways, such as your regular diet. Choline is found in foods such as eggs, beef liver, and even broccoli. In a study of 1,391 subjects, researchers found that higher concurrent choline intake was related to better cognitive performance.
Like Choline, you may find Ginseng in your regular diet too. That is because Ginseng is a key component in many popular teas, such as green tea. Ginseng is one of the most popular and widely researched herbs around. It had been used for hundreds of years as a traditional Chinese herb. Recent studies have found that among it being used for a variety of different things, it can help enhance your cognitive abilities. One study found that it helped improve the memory of stroke patients. Another study found that it helped improve short-term memory and minimize symptoms of ADHD.
Remember this, there are no “limitless” brain pills out there. These supplements will not replace a healthy diet or good night’s sleep. However, when combined with diet, exercise routine, and sleep patterns, they can possibly give an extra cognitive boost.
About the Author: Dan Scalco
Dan Scalco is the owner of BrainWiz.org, a website dedicated to reviewing and exploring the world of nootropics. When not working Brain Wiz, he also runs a digital marketing company and writes for Inc, Entrepreneur, the Huffington Post, and Business.com. If you want to connect with him, feel free to tweet him @DanScalco.