Despite changing your diet, improving your sleep hygiene, and avoiding stressful situations over the last year, you still feel run down, anxious, and depressed. Since you’re awake most of the night anyway, you’ve been reading about nootropics, and how they might be able to help you feel like your old self again.
But the barrage of blogs and slew of scientific studies are overwhelming, and they’ve left you feeling a touch confused. Since it’s important to do our research before taking a new supplement, we’ve done the research for you, so you can decide which nootropic may work the best for your overall health and lifestyle.
The benefits of nootropics
What are nootropics?
Depending on where you live or who you read, the definition of nootropics can vary widely. At their core, however, a nootropic is any natural, synthetic, or prescription-only supplement that can improve cognitive functioning and overall well-being.
Most natural nootropics, such as vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts, and adaptogens like Ashwagandha, etc. are available over the counter, without a prescription. These nootropics often come with the “dietary supplement” label, which essentially indicates a government regulatory body, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for example, isn't regulating its contents or controlling its distribution to the population.
How can they help me?
According to experts, here is a combined list of some of the most common symptoms and conditions that nootropics may improve:
- Low energy
- Symptoms of anxiety or panic attacks
- Lack of motivation
- Inability to focus on concentrate
- Lack of endurance
- High blood pressure
- Memory loss
Do experts think they’re safe?
Generally speaking, most natural nootropics like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbal supplements, and adaptogens are safe for consumption for most healthy adults. One study asserts, however, “that nootropics are not free of adverse effects.”
Of course, with the advent of synthetic nootropics and prescription-controlled and regulated stimulants like Adderall, the term “safe” isn’t as clear. For example, the Australian Department of Health reports that some synthetic nootropics, like racetams, can cause an array of adverse effects like dysphoria, memory loss, psychomotor excitability, headaches, stomach pain, and dizziness.
Nootropics for Sleep
Quality sleep is essential for our physical and mental health. As we sleep, our body repairs and restores itself. As a result, we may wake up feeling rested and in a positive mood. On the other hand, when we can’t fall asleep, much less stay asleep, taking a nootropic like tart Montmorency cherries (Tart cherry juice) could help recalibrate our sleep cycle because it contains tryptophan, which can produce or help increase melatonin, a natural hormone in our brain that controls our sleep cycle.
What do the experts say?
Many nootropics that are also adaptogens, such as Ashwagandha, can affect our sleep by lowering our cortisol levels and helping our bodies fight fatigue and become more resilient to stress.
Psychology Today reports that out of 527 studies, here are the four most science-backed nootropics shown to support sleep health: Turmeric, Lion’s Mane, Tulsi, and Ashwagandha. Let’s take a closer look to see what the experts say about Turmeric.
Popular for sleepTurmeric
You may have enjoyed turmeric without knowing it in a takeaway curry, chutney, or detoxifying Haldi tea. Its vibrant yellow colour and earthy aroma do more than just flavour our cuisine.
Sourced from the curcumin longa root, grown in tropical and subtropical climates in India, Asia, and parts of Africa, turmeric boasts numerous benefits, which include, promoting relaxation, longer and deeper sleep, reducing anxiety and symptoms of depression, and improving our overall mental outlook.
Because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, it can also aid with symptoms of anxiety and muscle soreness. Its primary antioxidant, curcumin, reduces energy-induced inflammation and boosts our energy levels.
The experts weigh in: Research shows that turmeric products are “probably safe” for individuals who apply it to the skin, topically, or as a supplement, orally. But, in general, other studies indicate that turmeric and curcumin are “generally well tolerated.”
Another important point to consider is the bioavailability of turmeric. In other words, the amount/proportion of turmeric (curcumin) that enters the bloodstream. The more bioavailability your supplement has, the higher concentration of it will circulate through your body. As a result, you could feel its effects sooner.
A prime example, Hydrocurc – found in Earths Secret’s all-natural Thrive complex – is a coldwater Turmeric extract that has the highest bioavailability in today’s market, meaning it can deliver a higher concentration of turmeric/curcuminoids in “aqueous environments” like your stomach, for ideal absorption into your bloodstream.
Nootropics for Energy
Stress, as a result of our busy, overstimulated lifestyles can zap our energy levels, sometimes leaving us low, unmotivated, distracted, and fatigued. When this happens, our whole mood and outlook can change–and not for the better.
What do the experts say?
There is scientific evidence to support that certain nootropics can reduce fatigue, boost our energy levels, and increase our endurance. For instance, caffeine is a natural stimulant that exists in tea leaves, coffee beans, and the cacao plant. It can improve our focus, keep us alert, and could help treat migraines.
The recommended daily dosage of caffeine is 400mg or less, and it’s important to stick to this amount since consuming too much caffeine could lead to dehydration, heart palpitations, or increased symptoms of anxiety.
Nootropics for energy may also help with your lack of concentration, stress levels (which can invite insomnia and fatigue), and “brain fog.” The campus press at Yale University invites us to welcome a “Brand noo day” with its run-down of the benefits of nootropics and how they can help clear away brain fog and help us redirect our energy towards focusing again.
Popular for boosting energyL-Theanine
If you’ve ever enjoyed a mug of green or black tea, then you are already well-acquainted with L-Theanine. This amino acid occurs naturally in tea leaves and a few varieties of mushrooms.
The experts weigh in: Dr. Michael Breus claims that L-Theanine may improve our sleep patterns. In particular, it can increase our relaxation which may help us drift off into slumber even faster than usual.
It’s important to note that L-Theanine doesn’t act like a sedative at all. Instead, it’s anxiolytic, which means it can reduce your anxiety, taking the edge off and help you rest better, which in turn, can positively affect your stress levels.
Nootropics for Mood
Remember the last time you were in a foul mood? It may have affected several aspects of your day. For instance, you may have felt unmotivated, crabby, pessimistic, and isolated. When lifestyle changes like diet and exercise or practicing yoga and meditation don’t seem to help, research indicates that nootropics could help boost and stabilize our mood.
What do the experts say?
Whilst some experts recommend moderate exercise or vitamin D supplements to help boost your mood, other nootropics, such as Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb, or Rhodiola Rosea can relax you, promoting a sense of calm by stabilizing your mood and taking the “edge off.”
Baccopa Monnieri, Gotu Kola, and Ashwagandha are a few of the most common nootropics touted for their ability to fight anxiety and depression and boost our mood. There is a growing buzz, not to mention a growing body of research surrounding Ashwagandha’s particular ability to boost and stabilize our mood by helping us cope with stress.
Effective for stabilizing moodAshwagandha
An adaptogenic herb at the heart of Ayurvedic Indian medicine, Ashwagandha hails from the roots and leaves of the Withania somnifera plant grown in parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
The experts weigh in:
Besides its prolific use in ancient Indian medicine for thousands of years, experts widely accept Ashwagandha’s adaptogenic properties. This means it can help lower our cortisol levels and combat symptoms of high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.
Ashwagandha is purer when sourced from the roots of the plant only (rather than the leaves, or a combination of the two), as in KSM-66 Ashwagandha. This is important because it has a higher bioavailability that can act as an anti-inflammatory, lower your anxiety levels, and boost your mood.
Ready for a Supplement that Could Improve Your Overall Wellness?
Now that the experts have weighed in, you still may not be able to choose just one nootropic. Since many of them could benefit us in numerous ways, maybe there isn’t a reason to choose among them. Sometimes, we can benefit from a comprehensive health regime that targets multiple areas of our body, so that we may experience an ultimate sense of wellness.
Earths Secret’s Ultimate Complex consists of a trio of all-natural, vegan-friendly supplement complexes: Thrive, Calm, and Sleep. Each complex consists of five different ingredients, including several nootropics like KSM-66 Ashwagandha, L-Theanine, Rhodiola Rosea, and more.
When we feel our best, we tend to give our best to everyone around us. And doing so starts with treating our bodies with the best, all-natural, evidence-backed ingredients on the market.