Most of us understand that a following a healthy lifestyle with a nutritious diet, a consistent sleep schedule, and getting enough exercise are all important to maintaining a healthy brain. The bad news is that while eating right, sleeping enough, and exercising is important, all of that work doesn’t really work to help improve test scores.
That’s why so many of us depend on products that deliver quick boosts of mental energy to help push us through the day. Energy drinks, caffeine pills, espresso shots- anything to give us a quick boost of intellectual stamina. Some students even turn to using prescription drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall to help improve their overall studying sessions.
While these brain-boosting products may give a quick boost in focus, concentration levels, and memory, the CDC has suggested long-term side effects are potentially dangerous to our overall health.
That’s where brain-healthy nootropics come in to save the day (and your brain).
Top 7 Best Nootropics For Studying
What Are Nootropics?
Nootropics are supplements that give cognitive benefits to the brain. But, not any drug can be released on the market and automatically qualify as a nootropic. In order to qualify as a nootropic, the supplement has to meet five pieces of criteria. These five pieces of criteria were set by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea’s, who is considered to be the father of nootropics.
According to Dr. Corneliu, in order to be considered a nootropic, a substance must:
- Help the brain function while experiencing disruptive conditions
- Enhance the ability to learn and the memory
- Increase the efficacy of neuronal firing control mechanisms
- Protect the brain from both physical and chemical attacks
- Contain minimal or no side effects, while also being non-toxic
How Exactly Do Nootropics Work?
Several scientific studies have shown several different ways that nootropics impact the brain and body, including:
- Boosting brain energy
- Altering neurotransmitter concentrations
- Improving neural support
- Reducing inflammation in the brain
- Encouraging blood flow to the brain
Okay, that’s great and all, but how exactly does that benefit me?
A nootropic works by utilizing one (or several) of the above mechanisms to create effects in the brain. In turn, you may notice:
- Magnified retention
- Eased comprehension
- Increased attention span
- Enhanced focused
- Refined brain energy
- Boosted mood
- Improved stress management
Still not exactly sure what nootropics could bring to your life? This video by Improvement Pill does an amazing job of explaining what nootropics are, how they can boost your brain function and a few of the best nootropics on the market.
What Are the Best Nootropics For Crushing Study Sessions?
As nootropics are becoming increasingly popular in today’s highly competitive society, it can be hard to sort through the thousands of options on the market to try to find a formula that works best for you.
Today, I’ve come up with a list of the seven best nootropics to help you crush your study sessions and work towards unlocking the true potential of your brain.
L-Theanine is an amino acid that is naturally found in tea but can also be taken in the form of a supplement. The US National Library of Medicine has shown that taking 200 mg of L-Theanine produces a calming feeling without causing a feeling of tiredness. What’s even more exciting about L-Theanine is that research has shown that this amino acid also helps to increase the alpha-waves in your brain, which actually have been linked to increased creativity!
So, if you’re looking to keep your cool while you’re working through a difficult exam, L-Theanine can help to keep you feeling calm and collected. Plus, the creativity-boosting properties of L-Theanine can even help you think outside of the box and aid in complex problem-solving!
This amino acid is used by your body in the production of protein. While Creatine is especially popular in the bodybuilding world, not many people know that your brain binds Creatine with phosphate to create molecules that your brain quickly eats up to fuel its cells! Studies have proven that providing your body with quick and easy to use fuel for your brain cells has been proven to increase short-term memory, especially in people who are experiencing high stress levels.
Having a strong memory is important when you’re not worried about your education, but being able to depend on your memory while you’re in the middle of an exam is absolutely essential if you’re looking to excel in school. Creatine is a great studying tool that you can depend on if you’re looking to improve your memory without depending on prescription drugs!
3. Bacopa Monnieri
More commonly known as Bacopa, this aquatic herb first become popular in southeastern Asian countries. Bacopa has antioxidant properties that help to improve cognitive function, while also providing your brain with an anti-anxiety effect by increasing the levels of serotonin on your brain. So, not only does this nootropic boost your brain’s learning capabilities, but it even helps to calm your anxiety!
Serotonin in the happy hormone, so if you’re having a hard time dealing with mood swings caused by excessive stress levels thanks to studying, Bacopa may greatly impact your life. Not only will you notice a difference in the ease of understanding subjects, but you may even feel happier while you’re studying!
4. Panax Ginseng
Panax Ginseng has been used for thousands of years to improve the overall functioning of the brain. Panax Ginseng has powerful inflammation fighting effects, which not only helps to reduce brain fatigue but also helps to protect your brain from oxidative stress that helps to improve your overall brain function.
Excessive stress levels can cause fatigue, so if you’re interested in finding a way to work on fighting against the effects that stress has on your brain and body a Panax Ginseng nootropic is the way for you to go.
When you’re studying for your exams, sometimes having an improved memory just isn’t going to cut it. Finding a way to naturally de-stress can help to ease the burden of an upcoming test or exam. The Department of Pharmacology has shown that Ashwagandha powder helps to reduce the level of the cortisol hormone in your body, which helps to fight against inflammation in the brain.
The inflammation and stress-fighting properties of Ashwagandha powder is great to use as a studying tool to help relax before an upcoming test, but would also make a great nootropic to incorporate in your daily lifestyle if you struggle with stress management.
Did you know that your brain is actually made up of 60% fat, meaning that it’s made up more of fat than anything else? While you can find Omega-3s in fatty fish and nuts, the Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are essential fatty acids for proper brain development. Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation in the brain, which may help to boost your overall mood and even balance out your emotions!
Excess levels of inflammation in the brain and body have been linked to an increased likelihood of developing anxiety or struggling to regulate stress levels. So, if you’re really like your psyching yourself out before an exam and you’re looking to find a way to regulate your stress levels without feeling drowsy, an Omega-3 nootropic should be your first choice.
7. Lion’s Mane Mushroom
The lion’s mane mushroom has long been used a medicinal mushroom to boost the immune system. Recently, the brain-boosting benefits of the lion’s mane mushroom have come to light and are now one of the best nootropics on today’s market.
Lion’s mane mushroom encourages the production of nerve growth factor, which plays a huge role in the creation and survival of neurons. Plus, lion’s mane mushroom also helps to boost neurotransmitters, which help to improve memory retention, memory recalling, learning capabilities, and mood!
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Wrapping It Up
Don’t forget that a healthy diet and lifestyle still hold a lot of when it comes to the overall health of your brain. However, adding in a safe and legal cognitive enhancement to help boost your brain’s natural capabilities can be that extra push you’re looking for when you need to buckle down and focus.
Remember that at the end of the day, no drug is going to actually make you smarter. However, by picking one of the listed nootropics above, you have the potential to unlock brain power. Knock one of these selections off of your list. It’s up to