Did you know that there are more than 15 million Americans who live with social anxiety? So, if you’ve been struggling with past experiences, isolation or any maladaptive behavior, just know that you’re not alone.
Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it. And today, we’d like to talk to you about the best nootropics for social anxiety. As you might be aware, nootropics are smart-drugs that are generally recommended for supporting healthy brain function.
With that said, not all noots are suitable for managing social anxiety symptoms. Your best bet, therefore, is to go for products that have the following features (at least one of them).
- The ability to solve chemical imbalances in the brain
- Anti-anxiety properties
- Adaptogen properties (can improve your ability to cope with situations)
- Improve dopamine production (needed for extra confidence)
- The ability to promote mental clarity
Fortunately, if you’re reading this, you don’t have to make wild guesses to find the best smart drugs for social anxiety. Here’s our detailed review of some of the top ones we came across during our research.
Top Nootropics For Social Anxiety in 2021
The first one on our list is none other than this green tea amino acid. L-Theanine is believed to be the most effective choice for managing anxiety due to its ability to improve the production of GABA, serotonin, and dopamine.
GABA is quite important in providing calming effects. When you have high concentrations of this neurotransmitter in your brain, you’re likely to have an easier time establishing social connections.
Serotonin promotes a sense of satiety while dopamine enhances your self-esteem. When you have lower-than-normal concentrations of any of these three, you’re likely to feel agitated and insecure.
Fortunately, L-theanine promotes the production of all three.
Its name reminds us of the legendary Mahatma Gandhi – a man who taught the world a lot about peace and tolerance. Coincidentally, ashwagandha and Gandhi are both from India – and that explains why their names are somehow related.
One thing we’d like you to note about ashwagandha is that it’s an adaptogen. Simply put, it’s a substance that improves your body’s ability to tolerate challenges and difficulties.
If taken in the recommended dosages of 300mg to 500mg per day, it can help reduce stress and anxiety. And by doing so, it stops any negative thoughts that might be sucking your brain energy. As such, it can indirectly increase your energy levels.
3. Phosphatidylserine (PS)
In most cases, social anxiety comes from bad memories and trauma. The moment your mind replays those traumatic events, it leads to an increase in the production of a hormone called cortisol.
That’s why psychologists recommend that you should keep your mind occupied with positive things always. Excessive production of cortisol can even lead to depression.
What has all that got to do with Phosphatidylserine (PS)? You might be wondering. Put simply, PS is probably the most effective smart drug for lowering cortisol levels out there.
Lower cortisol levels mean reduced stress levels. Most importantly, when stress reduces, you’re better placed to focus on the things that make you happy.
And as a bonus, PS lowers your blood pressure levels. That’s definitely something good for your long-term health as well.
4. Rhodiola Rosea
Just like Ashwagandha, the Rhodiola Rosea root extract is known as an adaptogen. It’s a go-to supplement for consistent performance under stressful conditions.
So, if you have a speech to make or an interview to attend, Rhodiola might just be the secret weapon for you.
In one study, participants were given 400mg of Rhodiola every day for four weeks. The researchers wanted to find out how it’d affect some 101 subjects in regards to life and work-related stress.
In just 3 days of the study, the scientists recorded significant levels of improvement in the ability to cope with anxiety, exhaustion, and fatigue among the subjects. What’s more? These improvements continued to be witnessed throughout the 28 day period of the study.
To this end, we’d confidently say that Rhodiola is a good alternative for anyone who would like to experience a “calm after the storm” moment.
5. Bacopa Monnieri
This is the third adaptogenic herb to make it onto our list of the most popular social anxiety supplements. What we know so far is that this herb, also known as Brahmi, may help in the management of anxiety.
That said, human studies done using this product so far have yielded mixed results. This particular study showed that Bacopa had no effects on anxiety. But yet another peer-reviewed study observed that taking 300mg of the herb daily helped reduce anxiety symptoms over a period of 12 weeks.
While more studies need to be done to confirm the potency of Bacopa in anxiety management, one thing is for sure – it’s one of the most powerful tools for fighting restlessness. Restlessness can be a big issue for anyone dealing with social anxiety and by putting that under control, you’d be in a much better position to recover.
Also known as 4-Amino-3-Phenylbutyric Acid, Phenibut is probably the best-known source for GABA. We’ve already mentioned the fact that low levels of GABA are associated with restlessness and anxiety. And, therefore, when you take Phenibut, you’re likely to become calmer.
And so far, there are tons of scientific data to confirm that. This article appearing on the WebMD website indicates that Phenibut has a similar chemical structure to the GABA that’s naturally produced in the brain. The article further confirms that this nootropic compound can help decrease anxiety.
In Russia, Phenibut is recommended for treating insomnia. So, if you’ve been having sleepless nights due to anxiety, this tranquilizer might be of great help.
Originally developed in Russia in 1983, Phenylpiracetam has over the last 4 decades proven to be a force to reckon with in anxiety management. And that’s probably because it doesn’t have sedative effects, unlike conventional medications.
One thing you need to know about it is that it increases your density of dopamine, GABA and NMDA receptors. Dopamine is particularly useful in confidence-building while GABA is a well-known calming agent.
Besides improving the production of those important neurotransmitters, it also enhances cerebral circulation. In other words, it boosts the supply of blood in the brain just like piracetam. In so doing, it reduces the constriction of blood vessels thereby promoting a better supply of important nutrients to your brain cells.
In 2014, Dr. Thomas Elston et al. embarked on a research study to ascertain the effects of Aniracetam on social anxiety symptoms. What the good doctor observed was quite interesting.
First off, the study did not find much evidence to indicate that Aniracetam can support healthy cognition in healthy brains better than placebo. So, if you have a healthy brain already, chances are that you are brain is doing okay and you might not experience any wow effects from taking it.
Social anxiety, however, points to the fact that everything is not okay in your brain. And for that, Dr. Elston’s study concluded the following:
- Aniracetam can enhance cognitive performance in impaired subjects
- There was a significant increase in serotonin & dopamine in the prefrontal cortex
Simply put, a bit of Aniracetam every day can help improve brain performance, bring harmony to your mind and most importantly, enhance your confidence.
9. Lion’s Mane Mushroom
We’d recommend trying the lion’s mane mushroom extract owing to its anti-inflammatory effects. If you’ve been living with social anxiety symptoms for as long as you remember, your CNS and brain symptoms might be degenerating due to the shock and stress you’ve been going through.
And for that reason, a bit of lion’s mane would go a long way in reducing inflammation and supporting the regeneration of brain cells.
Further, this rare mushroom extract supports the healthy development and function of the hippocampus part of your brain. This is the part of your brain that regulates your emotional responses.
A healthy hippocampus, stronger brain cells, and reduced cell mortality rates are important aspects of healthy living.
Best Pre-made Stacks for Fear, Low Self-Esteem & Anxiety
None of the 9 individual nootropic compounds reviewed above is perfect. In fact, in most cases, people prefer to stack two or three ingredients to achieve maximum effects. But unless you’re really good at measuring powders and mixing them, we wouldn’t recommend taking the DIY route.
It’s better to go for pre-made stacks. These are products that are made by professional organizations which fully understand what it takes to balance performance with safety.
In this case, our top 2 recommendations would be Qualia Mind and Mind Lab Pro.
1. Qualia Mind
Besides providing you with the ingredients needed to calm you down, it also has the building blocks for a stronger brain. The most popular version of it contains caffeine, though. So, be sure to go for the caffeine-free version of it instead.
2. Mind Lab Pro
We love the fact that about half of this pre-made stack’s ingredients appear on the list above. Plus, the manufacturer uses the most potent and bioavailable ingredients available. To top it all up, Mind Lab Pro is caffeine-free.
You don’t have to spend the rest of your life living in fear or anxiety. You simply need to take proactive steps to take control of your situation. By finding the right nootropic compounds for the job, you would have taken the first step toward recovery.
Free e-Book: 101 Nootropic
Discover the 7 important facts about nootropics for a complete beginner.