Looking for an easy way to boost focus?
Want to support your memory?
Need a way to improve overall cognitive functioning and health?
While a healthy diet, exercise program, and low-stress lifestyle are the foundations of good brain health, supplements may also be able to help. Despite the rise in popularity for “nootropics,” not all brain boosting supplements are what they seem.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 supplements to use to boost brain power that have been proven by science.
We’ll start the list with a brain booster that you may already be ingesting on a daily basis: Caffeine has been shown time and time again to offer a variety of cognitive benefits. Studies suggest that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.
What’s more, caffeine is able to amplify focus, alertness, and mental energy levels. Best of all, it’s incredibly inexpensive. (1-3)
A popular pre-workout ingredient, Guarana Extract is a powerful way to boost brain power. It is an herbal extract that is from the jungle of the Amazon that is consumed for overall wellbeing. It also happens to pack quite the punch when it comes to mental energy.
Guarana Extract has been shown to ignite energy levels to the same level as caffeine. It’s also a great way to enhance your cognitive performance and mental alertness. (4-5)
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An amino acid found in many pre-workout supplements, L-Tyrosine is understandably popular due to the potential benefits it can provide in the area of cognitive performance.
Not only has L-Tyrosine shown great promise for improving memory but it is also great for the wellbeing of your brain. L-Tyrosine has been shown to alleviate stress and even calm depression. While it’s not a replacement for anti-depressants, it has been suggested to be ideal for a healthy mood and mental wellbeing. (6-8)
Matcha Green Tea
Just like Guarana, Matcha Green Tea has a very long history of being used as a way to improve brain power and overall health.
This traditional Japanese tea is commonly used in fat burners and pre-workouts but it’s also packed with antioxidants, which can help protect your brain. What’s more, green tea has been shown to enhance focus, alertness, and cognitive performance. (9)
Another popular amino acid found in supplements and common energy drinks, Taurine has several fitness-related benefits including supporting endurance levels and protecting muscle tissue. With that said, it’s also a brain booster with a lot of promise.
Taurine is the most abundant amino acid in the brain and when you supplement with Taurine, you may be able to boost more than your focus and cognitive performance. Taurine has also been suggested to promote brain cell growth! (10-12)
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- Eskelinen MH, Kivipelto M. Caffeine as a protective factor in dementia and Alzheimer's disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20 Suppl 1:S167-74. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-1404.
- Gatlin, Latarsha. “Caffeine Has Positive Effect on Memory, Johns Hopkins Researchers Say.” The Hub, 12 Jan. 2014, hub.jhu.edu/2014/01/12/caffeine-enhances-memory/.
- Daniel Borota, Elizabeth Murray, Gizem Keceli, Allen Chang, Joseph M Watabe, Maria Ly, John P Toscano, & Michael A Yassa. Post-study caffeine administration enhances memory consolidation in humans. Nature Neuroscience 17, 201–203 (2014) doi:10.1038/nn.3623.
- Kennedy DO, Haskell CF, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB. Improved cognitive performance in human volunteers following administration of guarana (Paullinia cupana) extract: comparison and interaction with Panax ginseng. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Nov;79(3):401-11.
- Moustakas D, Mezzio M, Rodriguez BR, Constable MA, Mulligan ME, Voura EB. Guarana Provides Additional Stimulation over Caffeine Alone in the Planarian Model. Holscher C, ed. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(4):e0123310. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123310.
- Colzato LS, Jongkees BJ, Sellaro R, Hommel B. Working Memory Reloaded: Tyrosine Repletes Updating in the N-Back Task. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 2013;7:200. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00200.
- Reinstein DK, Lehnert H, Scott NA, Wurtman RJ. Tyrosine prevents behavioral and neurochemical correlates of an acute stress in rats. Life Sci. 1984 Jun 4;34(23):2225-31.
- Alan J. Gelenberg, M.D., Candace J. Gibson, Ph.D. Tyrosine for the Treatment of Depression. Nutrition and Health. 3:3, 163-173. July 1, 1984.
- Chacko SM, Thambi PT, Kuttan R, Nishigaki I. Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review. Chinese Medicine. 2010;5:13. doi:10.1186/1749-8546-5-13.
- Yatabe Y, Miyakawa S, Ohmori H, Mishima H, Adachi T. Effects of taurine administration on exercise. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009;643:245-52.
- Xu Y-J, Arneja AS, Tappia PS, Dhalla NS. The potential health benefits of taurine in cardiovascular disease. Experimental & Clinical Cardiology. 2008;13(2):57-65.
- Ripps H, Shen W. Review: Taurine: A “very essential” amino acid. Molecular Vision. 2012;18:2673-2686.