Our days are jam-packed with meetings, assignments, and deadlines. In order to maintain high levels of productivity, many are reaching out to the supplement and nootropics community. Since there are literally hundreds of options, it can be overwhelming to find solutions that fit your needs.
If you consume a nutrient-rich diet, then you’re already improving your mental focus each and every day. Although it is important to maintain a balanced diet, it is not typically enough to notice dramatic cognitive enhancements. When you take supplements however, you can help boost concentration levels, focus, and productivity.
The Top Supplements for Focus
Whether you’d like to enhance your focus within the workplace, school, or home; the following supplements can help you improve your level of focus, allowing you to be more productive:
The first option is no surprise, as we consume millions of cups of coffee daily. Coffee is associated with the morning, giving you that extra boost to start your day. Caffeine is most certainly one of the most utilized focus supplements in the world.
Caffeine increases dopamine levels, boosting one’s mental energy, mood, and focus. Depending on your dosage, these effects can be short-lived. When you source caffeine from supplements, some are more effective than others.
Many current caffeine supplements, will be stacked with L-theanine. This helps to minimize any negative side-effects or withdrawals. Some experience ‘jittery’ effects from caffeine. Since L-theanine is known to relax users, it is the perfect combination. You are able to elevate your level of focus, without these unwanted excitatory effects. You can naturally find this stack within green tea, however, supplements provide a more dramatic effect.
Think about when you’re extremely tired, are you able to focus? Our ability to concentrate is closely linked to your sleep-cycle and wakefulness. Eugeroics are supplements which promote wakefulness, aiding in one’s ability to concentrate.
When taking these supplements, you stimulate various neurotransmitters. Dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, all support mental energy. These neurotransmitters respond to light, creating a sense of mental energy after you have slept well.
Eugeroics are more tightly controlled than other options, as many require a prescription. The only legal option, that does not require a prescription, is Adrafinil. You may have heard of the prescription brand known as Provigil, which is more commonly known as Modafinil.
When you take Adrafinil, you’re consuming a precursor to Modafinil, which is known for its effects on focus and concentration levels. If you require long lasting attention, then this may be a great option for you. Many use Adrafinil to study, as it has few side-effects and does not interfere with regular sleeping patterns (while taking recommended doses).
Within the nootropic community, racetams are the most well-known family of supplements. They were the original focus supplements, stimulating the production of acetylcholine. When taking this class of nootropics, they create the perfect mental effects regarding concentration.
Both nerve function and signalling are boosted, which leads to numerous benefits, including faster reaction times. Although racetams are classed together, each racetam is unique. One racetam will be more potent than the next, creating stronger effects and higher levels of focus.
The most well-known and most highly used, are Piracetam. Not only does it heighten one’s focus, but it also promotes healthy neural growth. You can also access Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, Pramiracetam, and Phenylpiracetam. It is important to note, that these options are more potent than Piracetam. Depending on the racetam you choose, you could also experience improved memory, as well as anti-anxiety effects.
Enhancing Nerve Cell Metabolism
Our ability to focus and concentrate, is closely related to nerve cell metabolism. When single cells exhibit healthy metabolic rates, they are able to intake nutrients, while expelling waste effectively. When metabolism is enhanced, users can experience higher levels of both physical and mental energy.
If you’re looking to boost your nerve cell metabolism, there are supplements that can assist you. For instance, L-tyrosine is an amino acid which promotes nerve transmission. Another option is Acetyl-l-Carnitine, as it binds with choline, increasing levels of acetylcholine.
Since acetylcholine is associated with higher mental acuity, improved memory, and increased communication within the brain, it is a highly beneficial chemical in terms of productivity and focus. These effects on cellular metabolism, are also being discussed within the athletic and bodybuilding community.
Supplements That Increase Dopamine Levels
Individuals that suffer from ADHD, are often prescribed medications such as Ritalin or Adderall. These medications work by stimulating the production of dopamine. With that being said, these medications are technically amphetamine stimulants, creating a list of potentially serious side-effects.
Although these options create a boost in dopamine and mental energy, these effects are generally followed by crashes. Some users experience depression, emotional imbalance, and withdrawals. Due to these effects, addition and dependence are a concern (especially when treating children).
The nootropic community offers alternatives to these drugs. The class of supplements that promote dopamine levels, are known as Dopaminergics. Although they activate dopamine receptors, they do not cause hormonal spikes (as prescription drugs do). Some of the option currently on the market, include Sulbutiamine, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, and Phenylethylamine.
What’s the Best Choice?
When choosing any nootropic, it is important to focus on your personal situation and needs. Remember, each individual is unique in terms of their goals, environment, and brain chemistry. It is often recommended that you experiment with low doses, stacking as you become more experienced.
When you become more thoughtful regarding your supplementation, you can most certainly achieve higher levels of motivation, focus, clarity, and concentration. Stacking various supplements, can help you achieve greater results, as the effects are amplified. Although a trial and error approach is common, speak with your healthcare professional, regarding any questions or concerns you may have.
In order to access the focus-related benefits of medications like Adderall, you need to acquire a prescription. Not only is it challenging to get a prescription, but these options tend to be fairly pricey. If you are looking to improve your mental focus, there are alternatives in which you can obtain without visiting a doctor.
As the nootropic community gains further interest, more and more are looking for supplements and pills that can heighten their level of concentration and focus. This is not only the case for individuals with ADHD, but those that would like to perform better at work and/or school.
With that being said, many of the smart drugs currently on the market, are still considered to be controlled substances. Instead of sourcing medications and supplements from unreliable sources, you should explore the best legal options.
Prescription Medication for Concentration
When attempting to enhance mental focus, the most mainstream options are stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin. These medications are most often prescribed for conditions such as ADD and ADHD. Stimulants such as these, work by increasing dopamine levels, sharpening mental focus.
Although these options do enhance one’s motivation and mental clarity, they tend to create harsh side-effects. When one’s dopamine receptors are over-stimulated, it can result in further complications. Not only is dependency a concern, but when discontinuing use, mood crashes and worsened symptoms can also occur.
Due to these potential complications, you can only obtain these medications with a prescription. If you’re looking for similar effects, there are many other options. You are not restricted to amphetamines, when attempting to boost focus. When choosing from a number of nootropics, you can work with your natural brain chemistry. These supplements can turn into neurotransmitters, without disturbing your glands.
Legal Options for Alertness
Although drugs differ in terms of their method of action, pills that enhance focus, tend to cause a release of central nervous system histamines. These trigger an immune response, promoting wakefulness.
These specific drugs can be hard to come by for the general public, as they are typically prescribed for conditions such as narcolepsy. Their nootropic effects were discovered by accident, which is why it’s considered an off-label use.
When taking supplements such as Modafinil, you can increase your mental focus and alertness. However, you require a prescription for this nootropic. Instead, many are utilizing the benefits of Adrafinil, as it creates the same effects and is more readily available.
B-Complex Vitamins and Focus
If you’re looking for B-complex vitamins, you’ll be happy to know that they’re easy to acquire. In fact, you probably have some items in your house that contain B-vitamins right now. These nutrients are water-soluble, and are essential for various internal processes, including brain function.
The B-vitamins known as Thiamine and Niacin, are known to promote regular sleep cycles. They also enhance circulation to the brain and one’s cellular metabolism. Since some B-vitamins are linked to enhanced acetylcholine levels, they can contribute to improved focus.
Although you can consume B-vitamins within the foods you eat, it is not generally enough to create substantial cognitive effects. If you are looking for more powerful effects, than you may want to explore the benefits of racetams in terms of focus. Piracetam is known for its effects on mental focus, memory, and neuroplasticity.
Ampakines and Dopeminergics
Ampakines activate AMPA receptors, essentially heightening one’s level of concentration. Some of the more popular nootropics that fit this category are Oxiracetam and Sunifiram. Aniracetam is another option, which is known for its potent effects. Not only does it increase one’s ability to focus, but can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Dopaminergics interact with dopamine receptors, stimulating dopamine-related effects. These supplements also help to preserve this neurotransmitter by inhibiting re-uptake. When dopamine levels increase, so does one’s level of concentration, motivation, and mental energy.
When you take supplements that boost choline, you’re essentially increasing acetylcholine levels. This is because choline is a precursor to this neurotransmitter. Acetylcholine is involved in a number of cognitive processes, as well as the growth of new neurons.
When you consume foods, such as eggs and liver, you do ingest some choline. However, in order to enhance cognition and focus, supplementation is recommended. Some of the best sources are Acetyl L-Carnitine and Alpha GPC.
Some Natural Alternatives
Although there are many nootropics available in terms of focus, you may be looking for more natural recommendations. Although the following will not create effects that are as strong as the suggestions above, they can be beneficial in addition to supplementation.
- Meditation: Meditation allows individuals to practice their ability to focus and improve their overall attention span. It has been found that when you mediate on a regular basis, you can focus more effectively when you’re not meditating. This is because our ability to focus, can actually improve through practice.
- Get Outside: Nature can do wonderful things for your mental health. Not only is it relaxing, but it can actually boost focus. Studies have shown that when our brains ‘switch off’ it can help recover our ability to focus. An experiment found that when individuals walked on a busy street, they did not recover focus. However, when they were surrounded by greenery and nature, individuals were able to focus much better. It is believed that these effects are because nature creates less distractions, allowing you to regain focus.
- Eat More Fish: One of the key components in fish and fish oil, are omega-3 fatty acids. These help to keep brain cells healthy and well-maintained. These fatty acids boost one’s ability to focus, while improving memory. Due to its effects on memory, omega-3 fatty acid is recommended to help prevent Alzheimer’s and other related conditions.
If you are looking to boost your ability to focus, there are many options available without the need for a prescription. To get a better idea of what’s available, you can speak with your health care professional regarding any concerns you may have.