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4 Natural Nootropics to Help You Perform at Your Cognitive Peak

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If you’re into health and wellness, chances are you’ve recently come across the term “nootropic.” More than just the latest buzzword, nootropics are supplements or substances that can help improve cognitive function, memory and – in some cases – creativity.

But several experts caution that you should go the natural route with nootropics. While synthetic nootropic chemicals exist, scientists haven’t conducted enough research to attest to their safety (let alone their efficacy). It’s better to stick with what nature provides.

Luckily, several natural nootropic options exist. Whether you’re looking for a cognitive boost to help you climb the ladder at work or a last-mile lift to help you study for an upcoming college exam, try one of these four natural nootropics.

The Obvious Choice: Caffeine

Everyone’s favorite morning beverages – coffee and tea – are widely recognized as nootropics, and that’s because they contain caffeine. Because caffeine has both a stimulant effect and a well-noted ability to boost natural levels of your body’s dopamine (a neurochemical responsible for concentration maintenance), experts tend to agree that it can help you focus.

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But there’s a caveat: it can help you focus when taken in moderation. Taking too much caffeine (over 400 milligrams per day) can have adverse effects. For this reason, most experts dissuade people from caffeine pills and supplements. Just stick with the classics: a morning cup of tea or coffee, and perhaps one or two more throughout the day.

The Superfood Choice: Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Lion’s mane mushrooms have long been revered in traditional Eastern medicine, and, recently, they’ve caught on here in the West too.

This “functional mushroom” is chock full of good stuff: antioxidants, micronutrients, vitamins and minerals. Moreover, some studies show that it may help improve your cognitive performance, memory retention and focus.

If you’re worried about munching on a mushroom first thing in the morning, don’t worry. Most lion’s mane mushrooms come in powdered form, which you can stir into your morning smoothie, coffee, tea or hot water. Just make sure to get quality lion’s mane mushrooms from a supplier offering organic products.

The Bodybuilder’s Choice: Creatine

Most people associate creatine with bodybuilding. After all, you see large tubs of it at your local fitness supplement store. But creatine (a substance naturally found in muscle cells) is for more than just bulking.

Studies cited by WebMD found that creatine monohydrate might improve memory and reasoning skills. Moreover, it’s generally considered among doctors and health professionals to be safe for regular use.

The Herbal Choice: Brahmi

Brahmi goes by many names: water hyssop, Indian pennywort, bacopa monnieri and more. It has been used in Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine) for centuries.

Early research into Brahmi finds that the herb may help boost cognitive performance after several weeks of use. It might not help you with that immediate work deadline, but it may aid in the long term!

As with any regular supplement – natural or otherwise – it’s always best practice to check with your doctor.