Meant to combat brain fog and help your brain process and react properly to stress, nootropics have been taking over the Silicon Valley set and they’re primed to be one of the most popular health and wellness trends of 2018.
The biohacking companies — think Nootroo, Beekeeper’s Naturals, Nootrobox, and truBrain, among many others — have been on the trend for the past couple years, developing drugs that are activating the mental benefits of concentrated supplements.
Even Dave Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof, admits to having using nootropics for more than 20 years. They boost focus, allegedly help with concentration, and executives, scientists, and even students are in on the trend that helps to biohack their brain. Students at Oxford University even admitted that they find themselves reaching toward these “mind-bending” drugs to help with studies, work, and exams. In fact, 15 percent of participants in one study admitted that they take a “study drug” in order to help their productivity.
And for many others, the solution is mixing these nootropics with a combination of other readily-available natural supplements, which you can find at grocery stores or health food stores. But the nootropics, which remain unregulated by the United States government and don’t have an official FDA-like organization, can be purchased online from international retailers.
If you’re looking for a cognitive improvement or a way to help boost your productivity like the pros, check out these most popular nootropic options:
You likely recognize L-Theanine from its presence in green tea, and especially matcha, and this non-essential amino acid promotes memory and works to enhance your focus during distraction-prone moments. Used commonly with caffeine — which also helps to stimulate focus and reaction time — L-Theanine can also work to help improve your nighttime sleep, helping you reach deep sleep sooner and generally having better sleep hygiene.
When it comes to reducing stress and anxiety and helping to increase your focus, Ashwagandha has become a favorite among those who opt for adaptogenics and nootropics in their regular diet. This potent root can also improve your sex drive (hello, bonus!), can help you with sleep, and is one of the best options for beginners who haven’t started on this journey just yet.
It takes its name from its shape. The fringe-y mushroom resembles the mane of a lion, which naturally leads to its moniker, and this nootropic has anti-cancerous benefits and has additional antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to improve menopausal symptoms and physical discomfort can help with falling and staying asleep and has been used to fight depression and promote more positive thoughts.
Often coming in its most common form — Adderall — this focus-promoting drug has been prescribed to and used by children and adults alike to boost concentration. Commonly used by college students, and other users who look for a solution to distraction and the inability to focus, amphetamine boosts short-term memory. However, it’s often not recommended by nootropics users, as it has a very high addictive component and can lead to dependence.
No matter the nootropic you choose, make sure you consult with a professional to find out exactly which one is best for you to ensure it doesn’t conflict with any other prescriptions you’re taking.