Smart drugs, or nootropics, are a varied powerful class of legal chemicals that can bring the best out of your brain. But which are the best supplements and vitamins for memory and focus?
Does your brain need a coffee break? Do you suffer from chronic brain fog? Do you have a hard time focusing and remembering even the simplest things?
If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above, you may have a deficiency in the common vitamins and nutrients that combat brain weakness and boost brain function.
But there is hope.
Mental clarity and sharpness of mind are never out of reach. The supplement industry recognizes the need for vitamins and nutrients that improve mental deficiencies due to the typical SAD diet.
Check out the following list of the top 7 vitamins and supplements on the market today to help you regain laser sharp focus and amazing mental prowess.
The Healing Herb Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is a powerful ayurvedic herb. It has grown for centuries throughout India and been the subject of hundreds of scientific studies cataloging its miraculous effects.
Ashwagandha is known throughout India for treating a multitude of conditions from weak immune function to stress.
Here, we focus on the miraculous brain-boosting properties of this amazing herb.
Ashwaganda is a miraculous herb because of its adaptogenic effects. When taken internally, it adapts to your body’s natural biochemical environment.
Ashwagandha works to sharpen focus by:
- Reducing anxiety and stress
- Enhancing learning functions
- Improving memory
- Improving mental response time
- Reducing degeneration in brain cells
This herb is commonly available in capsule form in all of the recommended doses. Ashwagandha is safe (and highly recommended) for use in children. Please see a professional for dosing instructions and medical advice.
Ginkgo Biloba: The King of Memory Improvement
Ginkgo Biloba is a superstar of the herbal medicine field. Renowned worldwide for its ability to improve learning and brain function – even in those impaired by conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Science has discovered over 40 active compounds in Ginkgo that contribute to its effectiveness. Of the 40, the most widely known active ingredients are terpenes and flavonoids. Flavonoids are powerful anti-oxidants. Terpenes help to improve the flow of blood in the body.
Ginkgo Biloba works to improve memory by:
- Relieving brain short term memory deficits
- Relieving Depression Symptoms
- Enhancing the ability to concentrate
- Improving the flow of blood to the brain
There are numerous forms of Ginkgo available on the market today. Ginkgo Biloba is most commonly available in capsule form, although it can also be used in liquid extract or powder form.
Note: It can take up to 6 weeks before the effects of Ginkgo Biloba are seen in healthy adults.
Asian Ginseng: The Magic Herb
Asian Ginseng has been praised and called magical for its folkloric ability to promote long life. Like American Ginseng, it contains ingredients to improve focus and concentration in healthy adults. Ginseng helps users to feel more alert and in consistent use, people who take it have reported improved thinking and memory.
5 Ways Asian Ginseng Works:
- Improves concentration
- Improves memory
- Improves work efficiency
- Improves mental ability
- Reduces mental stress
Asian Ginseng is commonly taken with other supplements like Ginkgo Biloba to yield more effective and lasting results. It is generally taken in capsule form, but there are a variety forms available, such as: of liquid extracts, powder and dried roots.
It can take up to 3 weeks before the results of taking this supplement are shown. The effects of the herb can be boosted with the addition of vitamin B12 or Zinc.
Green Tea: The Little Known Wonder
Green tea has been hailed for decades for its success in improving all types of health conditions. Most recently, it has been used widely as a weight loss wonder drug. Its effects on working memory and brain function have largely gone unrecognized. But they remain so no longer.
A European research team conducted a study to demonstrate the effects of Green Tea on working memory. The researchers discovered that Green Tea was so effective because it increased communication between the different hemispheres of the brain.
Enjoy green tea liberally throughout the day. It is available in a variety of forms:
- Bottled with sweeteners
- In single tea bags
- As loose leaf tea
- Powder form
- Capsule form
You can even boost the flavor and performance of green tea with antioxidant rich fruits like blueberries, Acai, Noni or Goji berries.
Gotu Kola: Energizer Bunny of the Brain
Gotu Kola has been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It has made its debut here in the states largely as a result of its renowned ability to energize and revitalize the brain. Gotu Kola is a member of the parsley family. It is a green flowering herb that looks like a cross between parsley and cilantro.
One of the primary active ingredients in Gotu Kola is called Triterpenoids. These work in the brain by easing anxiety and improving mood, memory and cognitive function and even increasing intelligence.
Gotu Kola is widely available in all of the following forms:
- Dried Herb
- Liquid extract
The performance of Gotu Kola can be boosted with the inclusion of other vitamins and supplements, namely: Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12.
Citicoline: Food for the Brain
Citicoline is a nutrient that is naturally occurring in the body. It was synthesized as a supplement in Japan, for the treatment of stroke patients. Since its initial application, its popularity has grown especially among individuals who wish to boost their brain power and thinking skills.
Hailed by practitioners and patients alike as food for the brain, Citicoline works by increasing the various levels of brain cell function to:
- Promote brain metabolism
- Enhance the production of neurotransmitters
- Improve memory
- Improve cognition
- Improve memory recall
Just as food goes into the body to power the body’s many functions, Citicoline is food for the brain to power its various functions.
Because Citicoline is naturally occurring in the body, there are no interactions to be aware of as of this writing. Its most commonly available form is capsule form and it can be taken safely with other supplements to further enhance memory and brain function.
L-Glutamine: The Protein Powerhouse
L-Glutamine is a protein building block, also known as an amino acid. L-Glutamine is naturally occurring and is the 3rd most abundant amino acid in the body. It is responsible for hundreds of functions of the body—especially those involving stress. L Glutamine is unique in that it often requires other vitamins and supplements in order to be effective in areas of memory and focus.
Taking L-Glutamine with Ginkgo Biloba and vitamin B6 has proven beneficial in improving mental impairments and learning difficulty. It works by inducing a calming effect, which can promote sleep.
L-Glutamine has many other functions, including:
- Resisting stress
- Improving mood
- Increases concentration
- Improving long term memory
- Improving short term memory
All of these effects combined make L-Glutamine a powerhouse, capable of improving overall brain function, even in healthy individuals, with the right supplements to enhance its effectiveness.
You can be free from brain fog and memory loss with a bit of creativity in supplementation. For teens and young adults just remember supplements aren’t always the only answer.
Make sure you are getting adequate sleep at night – at least 8 hours. In addition, be sure to eat a healthy diet that includes plenty to nutrient dense fruits and vegetables.
Lastly, stay hydrated. It is vital that you consume an adequate amount of water and other fluids each day. It has been well documented that dehydration can cause confusion, memory loss, and impaired brain function.
Hopefully you’ve picked up a few helpful tips and tricks. It is literally as easy as a magic pill to regain focus and concentration. When using the therapies mentioned above, remember– patience. Many of the supplements will take a minimum of 2-3 weeks to demonstrate their effectiveness.
Don’t give up! Be consistent and you too can boost your brain power and improve your focus and memory by leaps and bounds.