What does zen feel like and what are the best nootropics to help you achieve this state of mind? Mentally, a zen state of mind can make you feel clear, happy and free - a state that seems harder and harder to experience, especially during the stressful times that we live in. Although nootropics aren’t a magic bullet to achieve a sense of mental balance, the right nootropic stack is able to bring you closer to it. Today we will take a look at natural nootropic compounds that will help you feel relaxed yet energized and ready to take on the world.
What exactly are nootropics?
Before we jump into our recommended nootropics, let’s go over the basics of what a nootropic actually is. Nootropics, also known as “smart drugs” are brain-boosting aids that productivity geeks and creatives are turning towards, especially with the go-go, fast paced lifestyle. In a broad definition, nootropics are anything that can enhance your cognitive capacity and performance. This goes for anything from memory to creativity, motivation and concentration.
Nootropics have been around since the 70’s, but they have gained a new wave of popularity in modern times thanks to some anecdotal evidence and online testimonials that they can decrease stress and increase mental stamina. Nootropics might be just what you are looking for to help you get through your work day, giving you a micro-brain boost to make it past those Friday afternoons.
L-theanine is an amino acid that is largely found in black and green tea, but L-theanine on its own is shown to promote relaxation. A small study conducted in 2007 showed that L-theanine consumption resulted in the reduction of stress responses and yet another study found that consuming L-theanine could lead to an increase in mental focus.
If you want to try L-theanine in its natural form, opt for green, black and white teas. Green tea contains the most L-theanine at 25 to 60 mg. In a supplement form, there is a recommended dosage of L-theanine at 200 mg taken twice a day in a pill or a powder. L-theanine is one of the best nootropics for focus out on the market today.
Getting the right levels of B vitamins is important. There are certain B vitamins out there that can also be considered as nootropics, such as Vitamin B6 and B12. vitamin B6 is important in regulating your sleep and cardiovascular functions. The brain needs a high level of B6 in order to create and release brain chemicals making B6 a crucial element for all cognitive functions.
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a basic vitamin that your body needs to function, but one that it cannot produce. B12 is known to help boost energy levels as well as help with memory. But, B12 is also one of the most essential vitamins for healthy brain function.
Some signs you aren’t getting enough B12 can include:
- Poor memory
- Anxiety or depression
- Vision problems such as blurred vision, double vision, or light sensitivity
B12 can be found naturally in animal products, and it can sometimes be added to processed foods but if you are vegetarian or vegan you are more at risk for a B12 deficiency.
Ashwagandha is known as one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing, and one of the major benefits it has is that it has major stress-relieving properties. Ashwagandha also helps to protect your central nervous system and can act as a promising alternative treatment for a myriad of degenerative brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s.
Ashwagandha is also a powerful antioxidant that seeks out and destroys the free radicals in your body. But, it also helps benefit important brain functions like:
- Aids in neuronal regeneration: This means that ashwagandha helps reconstruct important components in your brain’s nerve cells, restoring neural networks and boosting memory performance.
- Reduces stress: Ashwagandha helps reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. It naturally lowers the hormone cortisol which is responsible for our body’s stress response. It can also lower your blood pressure, sugar levels and it improves your lipid profiles.
Ashwagandha is a great option for nootropics for depression.
Rhodiola rosea is known as an adaptogenic nootropic that can improve cognitive functions, enhance memory and learning, and help protect the brain against harmful substances. It can also help calm you and protect you against any emotional stress. In some studies, rhodiola was found to help alleviate brain fog. If you’re looking for nootropics for energy, then rhodiola rosea has got your back.
You can consume rhodiola in tea form, but this is not typically recommended since taking it in this form makes accurate dosing harder. Instead, you can find rhodiola in supplement form as pills, tinctures or powders.
Bacopa Monnieri is known to enhance memorization as well as cognition. It is an adaptogen that helps prevent both the physical and chemical effects of stress, instead of suppressing them like many modern antidepressants.
Bacopa monnieri helps your neurotransmitters by affecting levels of acetylcholine, an important substance for memory and cognition. It also has antioxidant effects which enhance cognitive functions. Plus, bacopa has strong anti-anxiety effects on the brain, and is shown to play a role in mood regulation making it one of the best options as far as nootropics for anxiety go.
So there you have it! These are some of the best nootropics for the health of your brain and body. The great news is that here at Aila, our natural best nootropic stack Superfood Blend contains some of these naturally enhancing “smart drugs” as well as a healthy level of natural caffeine so you can power through your work day like a champ.