Do you struggle with brain fog? How about finding it hard to concentrate? Forgetful much?
If so, you are a normal human being who is living in an age where stimulation and distractions are everywhere and constantly vying for your attention.
So what can you do to try and boost your brain power, preserve your attention, and actually be able to think clearly again?
Say hello to nootropics - a class of substances that improve cognition, focus and memory.
And while there are a bunch of dodgy “nootropic” pills and powders out there being pushed by unscrupulous online marketers, there’s also a number of completely natural nootropics that can aid your thinking without the risks of unwanted side effects.
This article will look at the 5 best all-natural nootropics and how they work. But first…
What is a nootropic?
A nootropic is a type of substance that is known for its ability to enhance cognitive functions such as memory, focus, and mental clarity.
These substances, often referred to as "smart drugs" or "cognitive enhancers," are designed to support and optimise brain performance.
They can include natural compounds, synthetic chemicals, or a combination of both. Nootropics work by influencing various neurotransmitters, enzymes, and receptors in the brain, promoting increased neuronal activity, improved synaptic plasticity, and enhanced overall cognitive abilities.
Their potential benefits make them popular among students, professionals, and individuals seeking to improve their mental performance.
Natural nootropic vs synthetic nootropics
Natural nootropics are derived from natural sources like plants, mushrooms and herbs, while synthetic nootropics are created in laboratories.
Synthetic nootropics - like Piracetam, Adderall, Ritalin, Modafinil - are designed and manufactured to mimic or enhance specific cognitive functions.
Both natural and synthetic nootropics can have similar effects on cognition, but their specific mechanisms and side effects may differ. Natural nootropics are generally considered safer and have a lower risk of side effects since they are derived from natural sources.
However, they may also have milder effects compared to their synthetic counterparts.
Synthetic nootropics can be more potent and targeted in their effects, but they may carry a higher risk of side effects. These side effects can include headaches, digestive issues, insomnia, increased heart rate, or nervousness.
It is important to research and consult with a healthcare professional before using any nootropic to understand the potential side effects and make an informed decision based on your specific circumstances.
6 best natural nootropics
Caffeine, found in various sources like coffee and tea, is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world.
It blocks adenosine receptors in the brain, reducing tiredness and making you feel more awake.
A moderate intake of caffeine also enhances alertness, attention, and reaction time, making it particularly beneficial for fatigue.
Although it improves reaction time, studies suggest it doesn't typically impact learning and memory performance.
Caffeine is one of the main cognitive enhancers in our Super Nootropic Mushroom Coffee, which you can check out here.
Not many people realise, but nicotine, found in tobacco and consumed through cigarettes or alternative forms like gum and patches, has potent nootropic properties.
It has been shown in numerous studies to improve alertness, attention, and motor function, particularly in individuals with poor attention spans.
One study even shows that chewing nicotine gum is associated with enhanced handwriting speed and fluidity.
However, nicotine is addictive and can be lethal in high doses, so caution is necessary. Side effects like nausea and headaches are also common in those new to nicotine.
Lion’s mane mushroom
Lion’s mane a pretty unique-looking mushroom, with long, white spines that give it a shaggy appearance that's reminiscent of a lion's mane (hence the name!).
Compounds in lion's mane, known as hericenones, stimulate the production of neurotrophic factors in the brain, which are essentially proteins that support the growth and survival of neurons. This can lead to improved cognitive function and overall brain health.
Consuming lion's mane has also been linked to improvements in memory and concentration. In fact, some studies have suggested that it may even help prevent or alleviate symptoms of cognitive decline in ageing populations.
Finally, lion's mane may offer some mood and emotional benefits as well, with research suggesting that it can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
We have included lion’s mane extract in our Super Nootropic Mushroom Coffee, which you can check out here.
L-theanine, an amino acid present in tea and available as a supplement, is a powerful nootropic compound.
A dose of 200 mg of L-theanine promotes a calming effect without inducing drowsiness.
Even a smaller dose of 50 mg, equivalent to two cups of brewed tea, enhances alpha-waves in the brain, associated with increased creativity.
L-theanine works synergistically with caffeine, often combined in performance-enhancing supplements, as they both naturally occur in tea.
We have included both L-theanine and caffeine in our Super Nootropic Mushroom Coffee, which you can check out here.
Bacopa monnieri is an ancient herb used in Ayurvedic medicine, and is well-known for its cognition-enhancing properties.
The herb contains bacosides, active compounds that protect the brain from oxidative stress and improve signalling in the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory processing.
We have included Bacopa monnieri in our Super Nootropic Mushroom Coffee, which you can check out here.
Creatine is an essential amino acid involved in protein synthesis. However, it offers benefits beyond its well-known use in bodybuilding.
When consumed, creatine enters the brain and combines with phosphate to create a molecule that provides quick fuel to brain cells.
Research supports the safety of a daily intake of 5 grams of creatine, showing no adverse effects. While larger doses are also effective, long-term safety data is currently lacking.
Super Nootropic Mushroom Coffee
Our fan-favourite Super Nootropic Mushroom Coffee features a variety of unique ingredients, each chosen for their remarkable nootropic properties. They include:
- Arabica instant coffee powder (60%)
- Gelatinised red maca powder (15%)
- Cordyceps mushroom extract powder (14%)
- Lion's mane mushroom extract powder (8%)
- Chaga mushroom extract powder (2%)
- L-Theanine powder (0.7%)
- Micronised resveratrol powder (0.2%)
- Bacopa Monnieri powder (0.1%)
We developed it specially to provide natural energy and focus thanks to compounds proven to support concentration, memory, learning, mental energy.
Learn more here.
In conclusion, if you find yourself struggling with brain fog, difficulty concentrating, or memory issues, natural nootropics can be a valuable tool to boost your brain power and enhance cognitive function.
While there are various synthetic options available, natural nootropics offer a safer alternative with fewer potential side effects.
While natural nootropics can offer cognitive benefits, it is important to consult with an expert to consider your individual circumstances.
By incorporating these natural nootropics into your routine, you can support your mental performance and regain clarity of thought in our fast-paced, distraction-filled world.
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