In an increasingly high-pressure world, everyone's looking for a way to get more done each day. You're probably familiar with many productivity hacks -- tricks to help you stay on-task and get ahead of your workload. For these life hacks to work, though, you need energy, drive, and mental acuity. This last one is perhaps the most important. While lifestyle changes can certainly help, nootropic supplements may give you the advantage you've been missing.
Nootropics, also known as smart drugs, already have a significant following. Although they've come to prominence reasonably recently, the term nootropic isn't a new one. It was coined in the 1970s by researcher Corneliu Giurgea. It comes from the Greek words noos (mind) and tropos (turn). Giurgea found that this class of compounds could enhance learning and improve memory in test subjects. They have other benefits, too, improving muscle control and also protecting the brain from injury.
Nootropics were initially developed to treat diseases that affect cognition, such as Alzheimer's disease. However, it was discovered that people who don't have these disorders could also benefit from this product class. They can provide better concentration, improved focus, and enhanced productivity.
Nootropics can't work miracles, of course. A simple supplement can't turn you into a superhuman genius. What they can do is provide a boost to your natural cognitive abilities, helping you to harness them when you need them.
Nootropics have long been particularly popular with college students, who often turn to these supplements to power through long classes and study sessions. Nootropics are used in these contexts to improve attention and memory and the motivation required to study effectively. Nootropics aren't just for students, though -- they can be helpful for people in all walks of life. In any field where top performers need to be at their peak, nootropics can have a valuable role to play.
Nootropic supplements range from naturally occurring herbs like the lion's mane fungus to compounds like L-Theanine. They all have different effects, and what works for one person may not work for another. It's best to experiment carefully with different nootropics until you find the one that's right for you. You may find it more beneficial to "stack" different nootropics, taking them in combination until you get the results you're looking for.
Brain Hack Supplements
Bacopa Monnieri is one of the most popular herbal nootropic supplements on the market. Also known as water hyssop or Brahmi, it's been used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Bacopa Monnieri is especially good if you need something to sharpen your memory. It promotes learning ability by encouraging your neurons to communicate more effectively.
As well as being a memory booster, Bacopa Monnieri also increases your serotonin and improves your mood. It lowers anxiety and stress, helping you to be less anxious and more productive. It doesn't show results right away -- you have to take the supplement consistently for around four weeks to see the benefits.
A popular supplement for those looking to improve brain function, L-Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea. It gives you a mental boost and more clarity, without making you jittery in how caffeine does. It's also been shown to regulate the heart rate and make it less variable.
Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus) is another big-name supplement. It's hugely popular in the nootropic community and is turning up in all sorts of places, from supplements to foods and even coffee.
The reason for Lion's Mane's popularity is its ability to increase the amount of NGF (nerve growth factor) present in subjects' brains. Studies conducted on adults with mild cognitive disorders found that Lion's Mane had a significant positive effect, and it's been used by healthy adults as a nootropic. NGF promotes neural growth, protecting your brain from damage due to stress, chemicals like alcohol, or other factors. It's also been shown to improve cognitive function.
Bear in mind that benefits from Lion's Mane do disappear once you stop taking it regularly. Consistency is key here.
If your problems with concentration are related to fatigue and overall mental tiredness, supplements such as Xeed FOCUS could be an excellent choice. The formula combines multiple nootropics with important carotenoids such as Lutein and Zeaxanthin. It’s also important to highlight that it does not rely on stimulants such as caffeine. These type of nutrient combination is ideal if you’re looking for something that will enhance your overall mental-sharpness.
Of course, you should check in with your doctor or another medical professional before you start any new supplements. This is especially important if you're already taking medication, as there can be interactions between supplements and the medicines you're using. If you're having major problems with memory and cognition, seeking medical advice rather than trying to treat the issue yourself is important.