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 ranging from 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 themselves 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).
WHAT EXACTLY ARE NOOTROPICS AND THEIR BENEFITS?
Defined as “a substance that enhances cognition and memory and facilitates learning” by Merriam-Webster, nootropics are essentially “smart drugs.”
Have you ever seen the movie “Limitless'' where Bradley Cooper takes a brain-enhancing drug to boost his mental ability? What he takes in that movie to boost his brainpower is very similar to what a nootropic is. In all reality, nootropics aren't “limitless pills'' that allow you to tap into unused brain power and become a superhuman, but they can absolutely boost your ability to focus and enhance productivity.
NOOTROPICS BENEFITS INCLUDE:
● Boosted memory
Nootropics have a long history of use for improving memory. Today, memory enhancers are known to be far more versatile – optimizing performance-oriented memory functions in addition to helping with age-related memory concerns. Memory functions that may benefit from nootropic supplements include: short term, long term, and free recall
● Increased energy
Nootropics are appealing energy boosters because they work without the use of stimulants, eliminating any unpleasant stim-related side effects. Nootropics are instead suggested to boost brain energy because they support healthy blood flow to the brain, which supplies oxygen and glucose that are burned for energy. Healthy brain energy metabolism is important because the brain consumes 20% of the body's energy. Further, brain cell maintenance, repair, and regeneration all add to the brain's significant power demands.
● Better Motivation
Motivation and drive are important contributors to cognitive function and overall life performance. Without motivation and drive, not much can be accomplished. Despite motivation's importance, many people have difficulty finding their inner drive to reach their full potential. Nootropics may help, potentially by regulating the brain chemical dopamine.
● Increased concentration
Nootropics may help with several different aspects of attention, including: Focused attention - the ability to maintain focus on specific sensory stimuli. Selective attention - maintaining focus on one stimulus against the background of distraction. Alternating attention - cognitive flexibility; the ability to switch seamlessly from task to task. Divided attention - classic multitasking, the ability to manage multiple cognitive tasks at once.
● Creativity Booster
Even the most artistic of individuals can struggle with creativity sometimes. Natural nootropics may help by gently steering the mind in a more relaxed, free-flowing direction.
● Reduced stress and anxiety
Stress can not only diminish mental performance in the short term but also lead to more ongoing issues with mental fatigue and burnout. Nootropics for stress may help in a few different ways – including strengthening the body’s resistance to stress, replenishing brain chemicals that are depleted by stress, and naturally promoting feelings of relaxation.
● Promotes relaxation and sleep
People are increasingly aware of the link between healthy sleep patterns and peak brain performance. Nootropics for sleep have the potential for significant performance benefits because they work on two levels. Nootropics for sleep can help to promote a calm and relaxed mind state, helping to accelerate the onset of sleep itself and a well-rested mind simply performs better than a sleep-deprived mind.
There are all types of nootropics on the market. Some are synthetic pills such as modafinil or Adderall, which have been used by students as study drugs, but some of these chemically engineered nootropics come with substantial risks such as mood swings, headaches, and potential for addiction.
Luckily, more recently, natural, plant-derived nootropics are much more promising. They provide cognitive boosts and natural mood enhancement, and they don’t come with negative side effects.
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