When most people hear the term “nootropics”, their first thought is “new what?”  In a nutshell, nootropics are supplements for your brain.  These are a family of compounds that reportedly are able to improve cognition, brain function, attention, creativity, memory, and executive function.  Basically the movie Limitless but in real life.

As a whole, nootropics contain a huge list of different compounds and include the world's favorite drug; we’re talking about caffeine of course.  When taken properly, caffeine can actually improve mental function and cognitive performance.  In fact, caffeine has been found to actually improve brain function in scientific research.  However, it should be noted that more is not necessarily better and that lower doses (100-200mg) seem to produce better cognition results than high doses (>300mg).

L-theanine is another very popular nootropic that is often consumed alongside caffeine.  It can be consumed by itself but most people will get theirs from drinking green tea as it’s the active ingredient.  The reason L-theanine is often consumed with caffeine is that it’s actually not a stimulant but rather enhances brain function by increasing the number of alpha waves.  These are responsible for sustaining clarity and focus making it a great choice to get some work done without the jitters.  However, if you do want that little “pick me up”, caffeine is the compound of choice.  Still, this combination allows an individual to decide what levels of each they want.

Perhaps the most popular supplement on the market for improving performance is creatine.  Most people are aware of its effects in the gym but new research is showing that creatine can also improve performance in the workplace or classroom.  The reason being is that while the vast majority of creatine is used by your muscles (around 95%), the remaining is required to actually fuel proper function of your brain!  Studies have shown that with supplementation, creatine can actually improve reasoning and cognition!  To be clear, your response creatine will depend on two variables;

  1. Vegans and vegetarians tend to see greater improvements due to their natural creatine stores being naturally lower due to their diet (creatine is primarily found in red meat or fish).
  2. Stress levels.  Again, studies have shown that individuals who are highly stressed tend to see greater improvements in cognition.

Various mushrooms, such as lion’s mane and cordyceps, are reported to enhance various facets of brain function.  For example, a lion's mane may be able to not only improve brain function but also act as a neuroprotector.  In other words, it can help prevent any sort of mental decline as we age.

Alpha GPC, also known as L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine, is known as a cholinergic nootropic as it helps to deliver a surplus of choline to the brain.  The multiple benefits of Alpha GPC are reported by thousands of user reports, as well as actual research studies.  For example, it has shown to reverse memory loss in patients with Alzheimer's and other cerebral diseases.  Still, many healthy users report a plethora of benefits including:

Numerous B-Vitamins are also essential for proper brain function and can also directly improve cognitive function.  Benefits include:

This is a non-exhaustive list of the numerous nootropics that can help your brain function better.  More importantly, these are a safer and more natural form of energy than what is usually found in “energy drinks”.  Energy drinks will often produce a short-lived boost in “energy” which is followed by a crash or even health risks.  If you are serious about health and optimizing your brain health and cognitive function, nootropics are definitely the path to explore.  These ingredients are natural and work to improve brain function organically, the way the brain is supposed to work.