Learning how to enhance your overall IQ has been extensively researched. When focusing on intelligence, it is influenced by many factors. Genetics most certainly play a role, but so do the countless experiences you have in your life.
Although your environment and genetics play a large role, your brain chemistry also determines your level of intelligence. In order to enhance your IQ, you need to make adjustments to your lifestyle and challenge your brain, while consuming supplements that enhance brain function. Follow the steps below in order to improve your intelligence.
Step One: Increase Social Interaction
When you enter a social setting, you can naturally stimulate your intelligence. This is due to our ability to collect, organize, and then recall information. These basic skills are at the core of our IQ. When trying to improve your ability to reason, remember information, and effectively communicate that information; a social setting allows you to nurture these skills.
When you go out with friends or family, you essentially cause chemical reactions to occur. When you are walking through the park with your friends, you may start talking about nature and how complex it is. This allows you to reinforce the beliefs that you have about the world. It may also challenge what you believe.
When you take part in regular conversations like this, you help to build neural pathways. When you look at someone’s face or say someone’s name, you are firing your memory formation. Since we tend to feel many emotions around others, such as love and happiness, it helps to stimulate mental energy and improves cognition.
Try to incorporate as many mentally stimulating activities into your social gatherings. Psychologists have suggested regular games of scrabble. Activities such as scrabble, encourage social interaction, while improving a range of skills. The benefits of gaming are discussed below, but anytime that you can incorporate social interaction into your gaming experience, it is recommended that you do so.
Step Two: Exercise More Often and Change Your Diet
We all know that exercise is good for our heart, but what about our brain? When focusing on brain activity, blood and oxygen play a large role. When you increase blood flow to the brain, higher levels of oxygen reach your brain cells. This improves signaling, metabolism, and the prevention of age-related brain decay.
When you take part in daily exercise, you help improve cerebral circulation. The actual activity isn’t of importance, as long as you’re exercising for a minimum of 30-45 minutes and your heart rate is elevated. Although exercise is an important area to target, you can also change your eating habits.
A nutritious diet can help boost brain power, by keeping your brain tissue healthy. Some healthy brain foods are fish, nuts, and seeds, as these contain omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help maintain your brain heath. Pumpkin seeds are a great choice, as they contain both omega-fatty acids and zinc. Consuming just one handful of these delicious seeds daily, can enhance your overall thinking skills and enhance your memory.
Just like exercise and your diet, supplementation can boost your brain power. Anytime you’re deciding on a supplement, focus on stacks that enhance brain circulation. The amount of circulation is a key factor when choosing a supplement to add to your stack. There are many natural supplements to choose from that have been shown to boost IQ.
One study focused on children, supplementation, and their IQ. Children were either given vitamin and mineral supplements or a placebo. This triple-blind study lasted for ten weeks, showing the difference proper nutrition can make. When focusing on non-verbal IQ scores, there was a significant difference between the supplement group and the placebo group. This showed that supplementation can benefit your IQ. Some of the most popular options are discussed below.
Step Three: Challenge Your Mind
Athletes and bodybuilders workout to make their muscles larger and stronger. If they do not continually train, their fitness level begins to suffer. The same is true for your brain. You need to continually workout your brain, because if you don’t use it, you lose it.
There are so many games that test a wide variety of mental functions. You can find games that test your memory, mental reflexes, level of concentration, brain speed, and much more. Not only are games stimulating, but they’re fun.
When focusing on the growth of healthy neural structures, you need to stimulate your brain through new tasks and ideas. When focusing on intelligence, problem solving helps to challenge your brain. By focusing on raw information, your brain is able to make patterns, allowing your brain to make connections.
Playing video games or participating in puzzles, can help keep the brain limber. We spend far too much time in front of the television. This is a mindless activity, which does not require mental stimulation. Do a crossword each morning with your coffee, solve word problems, or play video games that keep your mind active.
Step Four: Create An Effective Supplementation Plan
Nootropics are synthetic drugs, vitamins, and nutrients, which are used to boost cognitive functioning. This supplements naturally work with your brain chemicals, while promoting circulation and the maintenance of neural tissue. Some supplements also inhibit reactions, which are linked to stress.
Racetams are the original family of nootropics compounds. These include Piracetam, Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, and Phenylpiracetam. They work by targeting receptors in the hippocampus and cortex, increasing concentration and memory formation.
Whenever taking a racetam, it’s recommended that you take a choline supplement as well. When a choline supplement is taken in a racetam stack, it helps prevent headaches that are associated with this family of compounds. Choline helps to elevate acetylcholine levels, improving communication and functionality.
You can also take a number of GABAergics and anxiolytics, which help decrease levels of anxiety and stress. When you have a calmer mind, you can think more clearly. You should also incorporate more vitamins into your routine, as they promote brain health and cognitive functioning.
If you are unsure of which supplements to take, speak with your healthcare professional. You can also take a complete stack such as Alpha Brain. This supplement brings the benefits of various options, together in one convenient dose. When you combine social interaction, a healthy lifestyle, mental challenges, and nootropics, you can improve your IQ.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a natural supplement, which is known for a wide variety of benefits. It influences cognitive functioning, life extension, as well as athletic performance. Although L-Carnitine is popular amongst bodybuilders, many individuals are looking for pre-training supplements.
What is Acetyl-L-Carnitine?
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR), is an acetylated version of L-Carnitine (an amino acid). Due to this change, a new set of benefits are exhibited. This is due to a shift in its mechanism of action. If you’re already familiar with L-Carnitine, you may be interested in its acetylated form.
When focusing on its key roles, ALCAR transports lipids, as well as fatty acids into the mitochondria. This encourages fat to breakdown inside your cells. Due to this effect, ALCAR is recommended to those that are trying to lose weight.
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How Can Acetyl-L-Carnitine Enhance My Life?
Before you take a supplement, you’ll generally focus on the benefits in which it provides. Ask yourself, do you think that you would personally benefit from taking it? There are numerous areas that ALCAR can improve. Whether you’re looking to enhance mental functions or increase bodybuilding productivity, this supplement is a great choice.
Due to ALCAR’s effects on energy production, its believed to enhance overall mental and physical energy. Since ALCAR can improve one’s memory, it’s being studied as a possible treatment for individuals that suffer from Alzheimer’s.
When taking this supplement daily, it’s believed to protect your heart health, as well as your central nervous system. It’s a useful treatment for various conditions and diseases, such as Parkinson’s, stroke victims, and individuals with Down Syndrome (as it enhances visual memory and attention).
If you or your loved one suffer from diabetes, then ALCAR could help. When suffering from diabetes, nerves are often impaired. Doctors have recognized that ALCAR is a beneficial candidate when attempting to repair damage. Research is still be conducted on this subject, as increased triglycerides in the blood, could potentially harm diabetics.
The same is true for individuals that suffer from HIV or AIDS. Since it’s not uncommon for AIDS patients to lose muscle mass and experience impairments within their nervous system, ALCAR could help restore functioning. Impaired nerve functioning from alcoholism, may also be restored through ALCAR.
ALCAR, Sports, and Nutrition
When focusing on athletic performance, both L-Carnitine and ALCAR create positive benefits. There are athletes across various sports who agree that ALCAR does in fact enhance overall athletic performance. This leads to boosted energy levels and increased fat metabolism.
Athletes may start taking this supplement for different reasons. Due to the effects of strenuous exercise, ALCAR can aid in exercise-related damage. When taking this supplement, it’s believed to decreased various biomarkers, that contribute to damaged tissue.
When you workout, you often experience increased levels of fatigue and decreased muscle contraction. When trying to improve these areas, ALCAR can have a positive effect. One key area that ALCAR helps is recovery time. When taking ALCAR, athletes have experienced increased recovery time, due to enhanced oxygen uptake within the muscles.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Bodybuilding
For those individuals interested in bodybuilding, ALCAR can enhance positive effects. The reasons that this supplement is so effective for bodybuilding, is due to its ability to burn fat. It also encourages fatty acids and other fats to enter the mitochondria. This increases the amount of fat that’s available for energy.
It’s a great addition to your training routine, as well as before competitions. Often before a competition begins, contestants will need to cut weight. This supplement helps burn fat, making this process easier. By burning fat, energy levels are increased. This is ideal if you’ve been dieting or training hard, as your energy levels will be low.
When supplementing with enough ALCAR, your muscles utilize the burning of fat for energy instead of only glucose. This could help stabilize your blood sugar, which is essential for overall functioning and health. When other sources of energy are available, it helps delay muscle fatigue.
When glucose is metabolized, its byproduct is lactic acid. When taking ALCAR, it helps to reduce the accumulation of this acid. It also works to boost testosterone levels, which aids in bone and muscle mass.
Cognitive Benefits of Acetyl-L-Carnitine
When taking ALCAR, cognitive benefits are also commonly experienced. Improved areas include one’s memory, ability to learn, and thought processing. Some users have experienced heightened levels of attention and focus.
There have been positive results when focusing on sensory perception as well. This is mainly seen when focusing on the senses of sound and sight. Reflexes and reaction times are said to improve when taking this supplement. Users also commonly experience enhanced energy levels, alertness, and motivation.
Are There Any Side-Effects?
Since ALCAR is a natural supplement, the risk of negative effects are low. It’s considered to be highly safe and well-tolerated by healthy individuals. L-Carnitine itself, is naturally present in a number of foods that we consume on a daily basis.
If you take ALCAR as recommended, you should not experience any side-effects. However, when the recommended limits are exceeded, that’s when negative effects may surface. These effects are still fairly mild in nature. They include potential issues with one’s stomach, headaches, and intestinal discomfort.
ALCAR is often viewed solely as a nootropic, but as you can see it offers benefits within the bodybuilding and athletic community. If you’re trying to lose weight, this supplement is also recommended for you. Due to its life extension properties, this supplement is recommended for anyone, as some researchers believe it should be taken on a regular basis.
What’s the Recommended Dosage?
The recommended range for dosing is between 500 and 1500 mg. You can take this supplement with or without food, but it tends to be more effective when taken with a meal. Your dose can be split throughout the day into several administrations if you’d prefer.
If you’re looking to take ALCAR to enhance your bodybuilding efforts, consume one dose pre-workout and then one dose post-workout. Not only can this enhance the overall effectiveness of your workout routine, but it’s known to boost recovery times.
After the movie Inception was released, there was a lot of talk about potential ‘smart drugs.’ Although the supplements and drugs currently on the market do increase cognitive ability, they do not work in the same way as the Hollywood portrays.
Although smart pills have become more popular in recent years, the concept is nothing new. Technically, people have been taking supplements to boost brain power for thousands of years. Many of the more traditional, herbal supplements are still being used today.
Since we now have a more thorough understanding of the brain, we are able to target specific processes in terms of cognition. Smart pills will not make you a genius overnight, but they will help elevate your potential. Your natural cognitive abilities will be amplified, which leads to significant improvements.
How Does a Smart Pill Work?
The brain is a highly complex organ, with many components. Chemical reactions are responsible for a wide variety of actions and behaviors. Chemical signals influence anything from stress responses; to mood control; to memory formation; and even muscle movement.
Many of these chemicals are reliant on hormones that are either found in our body or are consumed through our diet. The supplements known as ‘smart pills’ tend to enhance these processes. They work by either producing, inhibiting, or regulating chemicals to yield a desired effect.
What Are Smart Pills Used For?
When taking smart pills, you may experience a number of benefits. Each supplement is unique in the way it interacts with your brain, as well as the results it creates. There are a number of ways in which smart pills benefit users.
Smart pills are commonly taken to improve one’s focus, energy levels, and mental clarity. They can help regulate mental energy, allowing the user to focus more effectively. For example, Modafinil increases dopamine, allowing for increased levels of concentration. Due to these effects, Modafinil and it’s equivalent Adrafinil, are recommended for ADHD patients.
Mood disorders also affect mental performance, because they’re associated with poor energy. Smart pills help boost energy levels, combating symptoms of depression and anxiety. In order to perform to the best of your ability, it’s important to maintain steady energy levels, while improving mental focus and clarity.
Memory enhancement is a common benefit experienced amongst smart pill users. This is especially true for individuals who are trying to study and retain information. Piracetam was the first nootropic supplement to be released, and is known to enhance one’s memory. Users experience increased reasoning and memory skills, without experiencing any serious side-effects.
Since Piracetam was developed, there have been many derivatives released. As we learn more about the brain, we’re able to adjust these smart pills. Oxiracetam for instance, belongs to the same family as Piracetam. It is commonly used amongst students, as it boosts working memory and aids in calculations.
Reduce Feelings of Stress
High levels of stress can severely hinder one’s cognitive abilities. When we feel stressed, we actually inhibit our abilities to respond, learn, and adapt to the challenges we experience in life. Think about when you’re stressed out and focused on a single problem. How does this affect your intellectual abilities?
When smart pills lower stress levels, they indirectly improve one’s intelligence. Users are able to think more clearly and focus on the task at hand. Anti-anxiety supplements target GABA, allowing the user to feel more relaxed. Taking supplements such as L-Theanine will create a calming effect. This benefits both your mental and physical health.
Long-Term Effects of Smart Pills
Although the short-term effects are experienced quickly, they’re short-lived. By taking smart pills, you can also experience various long-term effects. You can take smart pills for long-term neural health. As we age, our cognitive health declines. It’s important to be aware of the ways in which you can protect your neural health.
Many smart pills are choline-based, which stimulates the production of an essential neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is not only responsible for cognitive benefits, but it also encourages long-term growth regarding brain connections.
The way our brain grows and adapts over time, is known as neuroplasticity. Taking supplements such as Alpha GPC and CDP Choline help improve these conditions. In some cases, they may even help prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
What Side-Effects Can I Expect From Smart Pills?
There are hundreds of smart pills on the market, so it’s hard to generalize. Since they are unique in terms of their benefits, their also unique in terms of their side-effects. With that being said, majority of smart pills create very few, minor side-effects. Smart pills work with the brain’s natural mechanisms, so they’re not harsh on one’s body or mind.
Before you begin taking any smart pills, consult with your doctor. There will be recommended doses, so stay inside these recommendations. Start with the minimum dose and she how it affects you. Many smart pills require experimentation.
If you begin experiencing any symptoms that include pain, nausea, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, or sleeping issues; stop using that pill. There are also many natural supplements available, which is the preferred route by many.
It is normal to feel some level of stress and anxiety. It’s hard-wired into our brains, allowing us to utilize our ‘fight-or-flight’ response. However, some individuals suffer from extreme anxiety. A panic attack is when someone experiences a sudden overwhelming level of anxiety.
If panic attacks are left untreated, they can evolve into panic disorders. Some individuals become withdrawn, as they’re fearful of various scenarios. Luckily, there are steps you can take to decrease the number of panic attacks, as well as the intensity.
What Is A Panic Attack? Am I Experiencing Panic Attacks?
Panic attacks are generally sudden, unexpected, often disabling episodes. They’re typically a symptom of an anxiety disorder, affecting approximately 20% of the American population at some point in their lives. As mentioned, it’s normal to feel anxious about certain situations.
However, if you feel as though you are experiencing a higher level of anxiety than normal, you may need to focus on treating your symptoms. The following symptoms are common regarding panic attacks; dizziness, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, feeling detached from the situation, trembling, and chest pain.
These attacks can be random and unexpected; or brought on by a specific trigger. There’s a genetic component to these attacks. There’s also a link to one’s environment regarding major life changes. For instance, entering the workplace, having a baby, getting married, or losing a loved one.
What’s happening in your brain when you experience panic attacks? Is there a way to control these attacks? When you experience a panic attack, it’s believed that there’s a higher level of excitatory neurotransmitters in comparison to inhibitory.
If you balance your neurotransmitters, you can obtain the correct ratio of both inhibitory and excitatory. When the brain is not balanced, our central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and body; cannot communicate effectively. This can lead to the symptoms which were listed above.
When you are chronically stressed, you can actually deplete neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters usually prevent heightened anxiety, but when they’re low, panic attacks are more likely to occur. Two of the key neurotransmitters that are linked to this occurrence are GABA and serotonin.
How Can Nootropics Help with Anxiety and Panic Attacks?
Nootropics are typically taken to enhance cognitive functioning. However, nootropics can also benefit individuals regarding their mood and stress levels. When you take nootropics for anxiety and panic attacks, you can address issues with your neurotransmitters.
Although anxiety can be brought on by a number of factors, a deficiency in GABA is common. This neurotransmitter plays a role in anti-anxiety effects. GABA has inhibitory effects on one’s central nervous system. When levels are low, your nerves can become overactive. When cases are mild, individuals generally experience nervousness. It can also progress into panic attacks in more severe instances.
Just as low levels create anxious feelings, normal or higher levels help create relaxation. GABA receptors are stimulated when individuals take sedatives. Alcohol is a classic example of a substance that helps decrease anxiety. Since alcohol is associated with a number of negative side-effects, it cannot be considered a nootropic.
Although you need to increase GABA, it’s important that you realize GABA supplements will not help reduce your anxiety. GABA is not effective when crossing the blood-brain barrier, meaning you need to consume a GABA precursor that can cross over into the brain.
The Best Nootropics to Target Anxiety and Panic Attacks
There are some nootropics that would not be a beneficial choice when targeting your panic attacks. It’s important to understand which supplements to choose. The following nootropics are your best options in terms of panic attacks and overall anxiety.
Aniracetam is part of the racetam family, being the best racetam option for treating anxiety. Glutamate is responsible for synthesizing GABA and Aniracetam stimulates the AMPA receptors (producing Glutamate). Therefore, this supplement has an indirect effect on GABA, improving levels of anxiety.
Many individuals who suffer from social anxiety are shy and introverted. This supplement helps to decrease social inhibitions. It is also known to improve one’s communication skills, increase focus, energy, and motivation.
Overall, Phenibut is generally recommended as the best nootropic for anxiety. However, it’s not recommended that you take this supplement daily. Phenibut is so effective because it is a derivative of GABA, but it can cross the blood-brain barrier. Once this occurs, Phenibut causes a sedative effect. Since there are some potential negative side-effects, it is not recommended for extended use.
This supplement is similar to Phenibut, because it is also a GABA derivative that can cross the blood-brain barrier. However, Picamilon is considered to be much safer in comparison to Phenibut. It is typically taken in a stack so that users can increase their levels of motivation and energy.
There are mixed reviews regarding Noopept, as some people swear by it and others do not experience results. Just like Aniracetam, Noopept stimulates Glutamate uptake. There is also a link between Noopept and increased levels of dopamine and serotonin. Since this supplement is up to 1000 times stronger than Piracetam, you need to be conscious of your dosage. It also has a fairly long half-life, meaning one dose will provide you with anti-anxiety effects for hours.
Majority of us go to sleep at night, not giving it a second thought. However, many people are not so lucky. There are various sleep disorders that inhibit people from getting enough sleep. These disorders also hinder the quality of sleep.
Getting enough sleep is essential for your health; both physical and mental. If you do not sleep well, you have probably been looking for solutions. Luckily, there are nootropics that help promote sleep. Although nootropics are generally sought after for their positive cognitive effects. They also improve sleep.
Why Is Sleep So Important?
Although you may not be active while you sleep, your brain sure is. As you sleep, your brain is highly active in terms of brain function and development. There are four stages of sleep. When we’re in a deep state of sleep, this is known as REM sleep (rapid eye movement). This is the fourth stage of sleep, which is when we dream.
Deep sleep tends to decline as we age. As we sleep and approach REM, information is consolidated. This is why sleep is so essential, as it plays a major role in how well we process and remember information.
If we do not reach REM and deep sleep, we become lethargic, lack focus, and our mood worsens. There are over 35 million Americans who have trouble sleeping. When focusing on brain health, sleep is one of the most important lifestyle factors.
We now know that sleep if vital for learning, performance, and memory. When we do not get enough sleep, our brain becomes over-stressed and tired. Sleep is so important, as it influences daily brain functions. When we lack sleep, our brain power may actually be short-circuited.
Nootropics and Sleep
As we now know, sleep is essential for our brain. Not only can lack of sleep make us lethargic, but it can actually negatively affect your cognitive health. If you do not sleep enough, you can harm your neurons and memory systems.
Yes, nootropics are taken to improve cognitive functioning, yet they’re also used to improve sleeping patterns. Improvements are seen when trying to fall asleep, improving the quality of sleep, while promoting a more restful sleep.
There are many factors that may be interfering with your sleeping patterns. It’s important to figure out what these factors are and address them. Stress is a common factor, as people are not able to reach relaxation. This can make it hard when trying to ‘turn off’ your brain for the night. Others fall asleep, yet they do not spend enough time in a deep sleep.
Factors That Affect Sleep and How Nootropics Can Help
Each individual differs in terms of their sleeping habits. Some individuals are able to fall asleep, but then wake up often. Others fall asleep quickly, but can’t seem to reach REM for long enough periods of time. There are nootropics that target various issues.
When You Need to Fall Asleep Quickly
Not being able to fall asleep is more common than we’d like to believe. If you’re someone that tosses and turns, you may be experiencing cognitive over-excitement. When this occurs, you need to boost neurotransmitters that have an inhibitory effect.
Phenibut is one the strongest nootropics that you can take in terms of relaxation. Taking a dose before bed, allows this supplement to cross the blood-brain barrier, affecting brain chemicals. This allows the brain to be less active, as GABA and dopamine are affected. These both help counteract feelings of anxiety.
Picamilon is another supplement that increases relaxation, allowing you to sleep better. This supplement is made from Niacin and GABA (which is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter). This supplement inhibits your neurons from becoming overly excited.
Basically, GABA has the ability to turn off excitatory neurons, creating feelings of relaxation, well-being, and calmness. When this neurotransmitter is boosted, one’s ability to fall asleep increases. If your excitatory neurotransmitters are high and unbalanced, you can struggle to fall asleep.
When You Struggle to Stay Asleep
Many individuals struggle to stay asleep. If you wake up frequently, this is hard on your sleep cycle. You brain will not get the rest it needs in order to function properly. Once again, Phenibut is a good choice. Since its relaxation effects are not short-lived, it can help individuals wake up less often.
Aniracetam is another nootropic suggested for sleeping difficulties. Since Aniracetam utilizes serotonin and dopamine; mood, relaxation, and sleep are improved. It is also used for combating anxiety and depression, which are often linked to sleeping difficulties.
When You Need a More Restful Sleep
Some individuals can sleep straight through the night. They wake up feeling as though they only feel asleep a few minutes ago. When you’re woken up by an alarm clock for instance, it’s common to feel foggy and confused. This is because you’re awakening yourself from your REM cycle.
If you’re trying to achieve deeper sleep, L-Theanine is a great solution. This compound is found in green tea, targeting your alpha brain waves. In turn, this creates deep relaxation. When your body is relaxed and your brain is calm, you can potentially sleep much deeper.
When individuals have taken Huperzine A, they have increased their deep sleep by up to 30%. Since this supplement can potentially create a tolerance, it’s recommended that you only use Huperzine A a couple times a week.
We all know that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain health. However, majority of the population is not receiving enough within their diet. Red krill oil is offered as a supplement, providing a wide variety of benefits. This is due to its rich omega-3 fatty acid content.
When you consume enough of these essential compounds, you can improve your immune system, heart health, joints, and bone health. Most importantly, you can protect your brain, while improving brain function. The fatty acids protect brain cells, as they’re powerful antioxidants.
What Is Red Krill Oil? How Does It Get Its Color?
When you’re looking through supplements, trying to find the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, you may come across ‘red krill oil.’ This does not mean that a certain species of krill is used. In fact, all krill are red in colour. This is due to the foods that they consume.
Krill are tiny creatures that lives in cold oceans throughout the world. It is believed that the krill population is extremely vast, yielding as much as 500 million tons. This is more than any other creature currently living on earth.
Since krill feeds on astaxanthin (a type of algae that’s red in color), this is what produces the red pigment associated with ‘red krill.’ Lobsters eat this same type of algae, hence their red pigmentation. The colour and type of algae don’t actually impact the quality of krill oil. This is commonly used as a marketing tool, claiming that higher levels of astaxanthin, create a higher antioxidant value.
Red krill capsules are considered one of the best sources for omega-3 fatty acids. Our bodies cannot produce omega-3, which is why it needs to be consumed through our diet. Since these fats are essential for our overall health, many individuals are turning to supplementation.
The two main types of omega-3 acids are present in krill oil. These acids are known as DHA and EPA. They can also both cross the blood-brain barrier, making them highly effective. When you take a krill oil capsule, the supplement will travel directly to the brain. This will create a number of positive effects.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and the Brain
Within our brain, omega-3 fatty acids improve cell and cell membrane functions. When cells are able to effectively transport nutrients and waste, they’re able to communicate more effectively. Omega-3 has a large impact on this communication.
Phospholipids create a high quantity of antioxidants, essentially fighting off any damage produced by free radicals. As we age, we experience cognitive decline. Many cognitive diseases and disorders are associated with free radical damage. It’s important to intervene, protecting your brain health.
When you continually consume krill oil, you can help prevent these conditions. As well, you’ll enhance your cognitive functioning. This protection is also delivered to other vital organs and tissues throughout the body. While you’re improving brain health, you’ll be maintaining your joint and bone health, improving liver function, and supporting your cardiovascular health.
What are the Core Benefits Associated with Red Krill Oil?
As mentioned, red krill oil is an excellent supplement for overall health and wellness. More recently, this supplement has become popular for cognitive enhancement. It has been found that red krill oil improves both long and short-term benefits, regarding mental health and mood.
After taking red krill oil for a few weeks, one’s memory can improve. Also, reasoning skills have been known to improve. Stress, depression, and anxiety are more common than we’d like to see. However, red krill oil can help you manage these symptoms easier. This helps boost one’s mood naturally.
Due to the strong neuroprotective properties of omega-3 supplements, various diseases and conditions are being researched. Patients suffering from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, may improve their symptoms when supplementing with a source like red krill oil.
What’s the Difference Between Red Krill and Fish Oil?
Fish oil is most certainly a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Just like red krill oil, it contains both fatty acids (DHA and EPA). There are many benefits regarding fish oil, however it is lower in antioxidant content, when compared to red krill oil.
Individuals who consume fish oil have also reported a strong, fish-like breathe, sweat that has a strong fish odor, and it also tends to be perishable. Red krill oil on the other hand, tends to have a longer shelf-life. In fact, fish oil can actually degrade into destructive free radicals (once past its date). Red krill on the other hand, stays efficient and safe longer. Some capsules will be safe up to two years.
What Is the Recommended Dosage?
In order to produce cognitive effects, red krill oil should be consumed in doses of 1000 to 2000 mg daily. These can be split up into various doses if you please. Some individuals experience stomach sensitivities, so it’s important to build up to a dosage of 2000 mg.
The most important results tend to develop over a matter of weeks, months, and even years. When you regularly consume these omega-3 fatty acids, you’re investing in your brain health. You’re essentially protecting your brain against further decay.
When you do not consume enough nutrients, your brain will not perform optimally. A nutrient-rich diet is important for cognitive functioning, as well as optimal brain health. You can make simple changes to your diet, improving brain health.
Nutrition and Memory
It has been found that various nutrients improve memory. When you consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, you’re consuming vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. All of these help improve memory. It is believed that the more produce you consume, the better your memory will be.
Folic acid (which is a B vitamin), is found in a wide range of produce items. Some of these items include spinach, broccoli, beets, peas, and more. It is known to play a significant role in memory and brain health.
Additionally, it’s important to consume high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fatty fishes, flax seeds, and more. These have been directly linked to improved memory as an individual ages. When individuals eat fish or take supplements often, they’re more likely to experience slower cognitive decline.
In order to stay alert and focused, your brain needs energy. A steady supply of glucose is needed in order to stay alert, while improving concentration levels. Not only do you need to maintain a supply of glucose, but you need certain minerals to metabolize glucose. Some of these minerals include iron, manganese, and magnesium.
When you’re deficient in iron, you can actually prevent enough oxygen from reaching your brain. This creates fatigue and low levels of mental focus. You can find iron in both animal and plant-based products, however animal-based iron is best utilized by the body. You can find iron in chicken, oysters, beef liver, and more.
Although these are great sources of iron, you need to limit the amount of red-meat you’re consuming. Eat a balance, consuming plant-based sources that are rich in iron, as well as other nutrients. Spinach is a great example, providing your body and brain with numerous benefits.
Strokes can create numerous negative effects. Not only can individuals lose cognitive functioning, they can lose mobility or even their life. When you eat properly, you ensure that a proper supply of blood is reaching the brain. This helps lower the risk of stroke.
If your arteries are blocked for example, oxygen and nutrients may not reach your brain. This is due to a blockage within the bloodstream. When this occurs, brain cells can be severely damaged. This is why you should consume a heart-healthy diet, reducing your risk of stroke.
Heart health and brain health are not independent of one another. You need to care for both, ensuring the proper consumption of nutrients. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fish. You should also limit your consumption of red meat.
What Does Your Brain Need?
Our brains are composed of approximately 100 billion brain cells, which are called ‘neurons,’ Neurons drive our ability to think, learn, feel, and so much more. They need good fats, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water. When neurons have access to these nutrients, one’s ability to learn is increased.
Our brain is approximately 60% fat, this fat helps maintain flexible membranes. When our brain membranes are more flexible, they’re able to transmit information more effectively. Fat also provides the brain with energy, as B-vitamins are transformed into ATP. The best fats to consume are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
You need to stay away from saturated and trans fat. This is for both your heart and brain health (remember, they’re related). These types of fats actually displace good fats. When this occurs, membranes become more stiff. This negatively affects communication throughout the brain.
Protein is essential regarding amino acids, which are essentially the building blocks of life. The amino acid tryptophan for example, is used to synthesize serotonin. This is found in many food items, especially turkey. Tyrosine is another amino acid, which can be found in bananas, avocados, almonds, meat, and more. This amino acid is linked to dopamine production.
You need to choose the best options. Take nuts for example. They’re an excellent source of protein and fat, however they can be healthy or unhealthy. Raw walnuts are a great source of nutrients and protein, whereas roasted, salted peanuts are not.
Carbs are a direct energy source for the brain, as glucose is the main source. When you consume too much sugar, you can experience headaches, lack of energy, and lack of concentration. This is due to your blood sugar fluctuating, as insulin levels increase in the bloodstream.
You need to consume more complex carbohydrates. This includes whole grains, rather than refined, processed sugars. When you consume whole grains, you experience a stable source of energy. You also gain fiber, B-vitamins, and other nutrients.
Micronutrients are essential for brain health. Some of the key nutrients are found within the B-vitamin family. They help manufacture neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA. Zinc is a mineral which is also linked to GABA and serotonin production. It is essential regarding learning, as it’s used for the growth of dendrites. It is also essential for memory, both short and long-term. Zinc can be found in seeds, nut, and red meat.
Drinking enough water is crucial for optimal brain function and health. It not only enhances circulation, but helps remove both toxins and waste. If your brain overheats, this can create a decline in cognitive functioning. Water helps regulate this potential issue.
Once you experience thirst, you’re already dehydrated. Once you become dehydrated and feel thirsty, you have already experienced a 10% decline regarding cognition. This will lead to dizziness, poor concentration, fatigue, and reduced cognitive abilities.
Make sure you’re consuming at least eight glasses of water a day. If you’re physically active, this amount should be increased to compensate for sweat and water loss.
Addiction is a highly complex process within the brain. It involves craving, loss of control, changes within the brain, withdrawal, and much more. There are many drugs on the market that are legal with a prescription, that end in addictive behavior.
Nootropics are considered a safer alternative to many drugs that are currently on the market. Before we examine certain nootropics, we need to focus on addiction. What is it? How Does it Relate to the Brain?
Regardless of the pleasurable experience, our brain processes pleasure in the same way. Within the brain, a satisfying meal will create the same effects as drug administration. The amount of pleasure we experience is based on the neurotransmitter dopamine.
It is believed that the nucleus accumbens is the brain’s pleasure center, since dopamine release is consistently tied to pleasure when released from this area. When you take a drug, your brain releases a powerful surge of dopamine.
There are many factors regarding addiction. We’re still learning new aspects everyday. Whether or not addiction will occur is directly linked to how fast dopamine is released, the intensity, and the reliability that the release will occur. The method is also considered a factor. When one smokes or injects a drug, it is said to produce a stronger dopamine effect in comparison to swallowing a pill.
It was once believed that the pleasurable effects associated with drug use, were enough to create addictive behavior. However, it is more complex than this. Dopamine not only creates pleasurable effects, it is associated with learning and memory.
Addictive substances overload the reward circuit, which is involved in motivation and memory. Repeated exposure produces a connection within your brain. Your brain associates liking something with wanting it. This increases motivation, driving us to seek it out. When we actively seek out this pleasure, we begin to exhibit addictive behavior.
Once you take more and more of that desired substance, you build a tolerance. This means that you no longer experience the same effects, increasing the dosage. Once dosage is increased, individuals often become dependent. This means that when you try to stop taking the drug, you experience withdrawal effects. Since these effects can be uncomfortable, even painful, many continue using.
Withdrawal Effects and Nootropics
If you would like to begin using nootropics, you are probably wondering if you’ll experience addictive behaviors or withdrawal effects. There is no easy answer, as there are so many nootropics available on the market. However, there are some common experiences.
Nootropics are considered to be safe and non-addictive. In some cases, nootropics can create long-term benefits for your brain (even after you terminate usage). Although this is the case for nootropics, this is not necessarily true for ‘smart drugs,’ especially those that act as central nervous system stimulants.
Some have experienced ‘brain fog’ when discontinuing nootropic use. This is due to your brain adjusting to perceptual differences. With that being said, there are no known physical symptoms of withdrawal caused by nootropics.
What Happens to Cognition When Nootropic Use Is Discontinued?
Many people are concerned that they’ll experience a decline in their cognitive abilities once they stop taking their doses. This is understandable, as you do not want to become reliant on any substance (even if it is non-toxic).
This is not the case with nootropics, especially those within the racetam family. When you take Piracetam for instance, you will improve within a variety of cognitive tasks. You’ll experience increased levels of energy, have higher levels of clarity, and experience less ‘brain strain.’
Once you stop using Piracetam, you may revert back to feelings of mental strain. This makes individuals concerned, wondering if this experience is caused by the discontinuation of Piracetam. However, this is because you are no longer experiencing the short-terms effects associated with Piracetam.
It can take a few days to feel ‘normal’ once again. However, you will not regress backwards. You will not decline in terms of cognitive functioning. You will be no different than you were before you began using nootropics such as Aniracetam or Oxiracetam.
Tolerance and Withdrawal Concerns of Sulbutiamine
Sulbutiamine is known to have a positive effect on mood and one’s ability to focus. This vitamin B derivative, is low risk when taken appropriately, however, there are some concerns. Before you begin using this supplement, it’s important to understand its overall effects.
There has been some speculation that Sulbutiamine is addictive for some users. There isn’t any concrete evidence, but this supplement does affect dopamine levels (which is generally associated with addiction).
Although it affects dopamine, it does not have the same effects as most mood enhancers. Sulbutiamine actually decreases the amount of dopamine which is released by neurons. This results in more dopamine receptors within certain areas of the brain. This is one reason that some experts believe that dopamine is not the cause of addiction.
Possible addiction and withdrawal concerns are more likely to occur when doses are extremely high. This may also be magnified when Sulbutiamine is taken with anti-psychotic medications. If users take this supplement 10 days in a row, it’s possible to experience withdrawal for 2 to 5 days. This is why it’s important to moderate the regularity and quantity of doses.
Choline Supplements, Dopamine, and Addiction
When you consume choline, you not only help synthesize acetylcholine, but you increase dopamine receptor density. Due to choline’s effects on dopamine receptors, some have actually used choline to help remove their addiction.
When your dopamine receptor density increases, you’re able to feel much better (as your brain is able to utilize higher levels of dopamine). Cocaine dependence for instance, is directly linked to depleted dopamine levels. A supplement such as Citicoline, increases dopamine levels. This helps reduce cravings, helping eliminate one’s addiction.
Although research is still fairly limited, the existing literature is fairly profound. It has been found that natural choline supplements, help fight addiction, aiding the recovery process. Of course, the recovery process is unique for each individual. However, those that have used choline, recognize its benefits.
The B vitamins complex, includes a class of water-soluble vitamins, in which have multiple roles (especially in terms of cell metabolism). Each vitamin shares a similar name, however, each vitamin is chemically distinct from the next.
When a supplement contains all eight vitamins, it is referred to as a vitamin B complex. When each vitamin is consumed on its own, it’s simply referred to by its specific name. The following are all eight B vitamins:
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- Vitamins B2 (riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (niacin)
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, or pyridoxal)
- Vitamin B7 (biotin)
- Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
- Vitamin B12 (various cobalamins)
B Vitamins and the Brain
B vitamins are related to the formation of brain chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, and epinephrine. Each B vitamin has its own role regarding brain function. These vitamins work to preserve both brain function and mental performance.
Vitamin B9, which is better known folic acid, is essential for early development. There have also been studies conducted, showing the link between memory decline and low levels of folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.
B Vitamins and Preventing Brain Shrinkage
A study reported, that when individuals are taking daily tablets of certain B vitamins, it has been shown to halve the rate of brain shrinkage. This study focused on elderly individuals, who were suffering from mild memory issues. Since this study lasted two years, it is the largest of its kind (regarding vitamin B research, as it related to mild cognitive impairment).
The three vitamins mentioned above; folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, are known to control homocysteine levels. This is an amino acid found in the blood, which is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s when levels are too high.
The study looked at 168 participants, all over the age of 70, who were experiencing mild memory issues. Half of these individuals took high dose B vitamin tablets for two years, while the other half took a placebo. Through MRI scans, disease progression was examined across the two year period.
Those that took B vitamins, were found to have an average shrink rate of 0.76% per year. While those that took the placebo, experienced a brain shrinkage rate of 1.08%. Individuals that had the highest levels of homocysteine were shown to benefit the most. Also, those with a lower shrinkage rate, scored better in terms of cognition tests. This is encouraging, as it may slow down the progression and development of Alzheimer’s and other memory diseases.
A Closer Look at These Three B Vitamins: Folic Acid, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12
Since these three vitamins have been studied extensively, let’s take a closer look at the benefits they bring.
It has been found that when you consume enough folic acid, you are more alert, more focused, and experience improved memory. As we know from the study above, folic acid also reduces homocysteine levels, which are known to damage brain cells.
Folic acid is found within various fruits, leafy greens, beans, lentils, and whole-grain cereals. The foods with the highest levels are; pinto beans, lentils, chickpeas, asparagus, spinach, and broccoli. You should be consuming around 400 micrograms daily. There are also folic acid supplements, so that you ensure your needs are met.
Vitamin B6 is essential for serotonin production, as it converts 5-HTP into this vital neurotransmitter. It also helps produce dopamine, which is another crucial neurotransmitter. Both of these play an essential role in one’s mood, as well as alertness.
You should be consuming anywhere from 2 to 10 milligrams per day if you supplement. Some of the foods richest in vitamin B6 are: tuna, kale, garlic, bell peppers, and cranberries.
Vitamin B12 plays various roles within the brain. One of it’s essential roles is the formation of myelin. This is what forms protective layers around nerve fibres, acting as insulation. Since vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal products, vegetarians and vegans are often deficient.
A deficiency can potentially lead to memory loss, poor mood, decreased mental ability, and nerve damage. You should be consuming approximately 3 to 100 micrograms per day. If you are not getting enough in your diet, supplementation is highly recommended.
Nootropics are really starting to take off, as more and more people discover their benefits. The most common group of users are students and people in the business world. This is due to the high cognitive demand and a highly competitive market.
Each individual differs in terms of their goals, needs, and brain chemistry. Therefore, finding your perfect nootropic may take some time. However, due to advances in research, there are no shortage of vitamins, supplements, and compounds to choose from.
Whether you’re looking to improve your memory, mood, or learning abilities, there are smart drugs to fit every need. With so many options available without a prescription, nootropics are showing a lot of promise. They can increase focus, without creating negative side-effects (which are commonly associated with prescription drugs like Ritalin).
What’s the Appeal of ‘Smart Drugs?’
A smart drug is any supplement that is taken to improve cognitive function. These may be in the form of a dietary supplement or pharmaceutical. Either way, they do not create a high or anything related. The sole purpose of these drugs is to increase cognitive function.
Not only are they effective regarding memory, concentration, and reasoning; they also restore sleep, improve mood, and increase the success of memory formation. The following ten nootropics are some of the best and most popular choices this year.
Pramiracetam is an enhanced version of Piracetam, as it is 15, even 30 times more potent. They both work in a highly similar manner by targeting acetylcholine receptor sites. Like all racetams, this supplement works best when taken with a choline supplement.
It has been shown to improve memory, allowing for a higher learning capacity, increased mental energy, and even treats degenerative cognitive diseases. As it is non-toxic, users can take this supplement on an ongoing basis. It is know as one of the ‘purer’ nootropics in terms of producing only cognitive effects (mood and anxiety levels are not influenced)
Noopept is one of the strongest nootropics that you can obtain, being 1000 times more potent than Piracetam. It is known to be neuroprotective, as it positively effects synaptic plasticity. It’s also known to increase memory, learning ability, mood, sensory perception, and overall cognitive performance.
Since this nootropic is so potent, only small doses need to be taken. Since it is closely related to racetams, it is beneficial to take Noopept with a choline supplement such as Alpha GPC or Citicoline.
This supplement is basically Piracetam, but is 60 times more concentrated. The key difference is the phenyl group attached to Piracetam. This additional phenyl molecule group, provides unique benefits and properties.
It is known to increase memory formation and recall speed, improve learning ability, increase mental energy, and improve one’s focus. Not only does it create numerous cognitive benefits, but Phenylpiracetam also improves the body’s reaction to stress and increased endurance. This is why athletes find this nootropic beneficial.
This is most certainly one of the strongest nootropics, which is why it should be used with caution. In order to obtain this drug, you must have a prescription. It was originally developed for treating narcolepsy and other sleep conditions.
It is ideal for individuals that experience daytime sleepiness or chronic fatigue. Not only is it a wakefulness agent, Modafinil also yields cognitive effects. This includes improved memory, mental energy, and improved focus.
Adrafinil is a common substitute for Modafinil, however you do not need a prescription. This supplement converts to Modafinil once broken down in the liver. It produces the same benefits as Modafinil, and is generally used as a wakefulness agent.
Like Modafinil, there is the risk that tolerance will occur. For this reason, you should cycle this supplement to prevent any negative effects. Typically, users should not take this supplement more than three times weekly, for more than five months.
5-HTP is a naturally occurring extract which turns into serotonin in the brain. This neurotransmitter is essential regarding sleep patterns and mood. It is naturally produced in the body, as its related to the breakdown of tryptophan.
This is commonly used as a natural substitute to a variety of prescription medications. It decreases levels of depression and anxiety, improves memory, and enhances overall cognitive function.
Aniracetam belongs to the racetams family, offering more than just cognitive enhancements. It is fairly potent in terms of combating anxiety, depression, and stress. It also increases memory, produces higher mental clarity, improves mood, and mental energy.
Just like other racetams, it targets acetylcholine receptors. This is the neurotransmitter that provides enhanced cognition. Due to increases in serotonin in dopamine, mood improves. Lastly, brain energy increases due to improved efficiency of glucose and oxygen.
Sulbutiamine is a synthetic version of thiamine or vitamin B1. Thiamine is used to produce acetylcholine and GABA. Dopamine is also increased, positively affecting mood.
This is most commonly used to increase brain energy, attention span, and focus. It is also linked to improved feelings of well-being and relaxation.
This is one of the most common supplements to take in a stack. Although choline is found in some of the foods we eat, supplementation is generally needed when experimenting with nootropics.
A choline source is essential for the production of acetylcholine (the neurotransmitter related to cognitive function). It is commonly stacked with racetams, as it counteracts potential headaches. Make sure you take a good quality source such as Alpha GPC, Citicoline, or Centrophenoxine.
This is a popular herbal nootropic, which is known to increase acetylcholine in the brain. Since this neurotransmitter is responsible for improved memory and enhanced cognitive function, it has become increasing popular.