Whether you’re 35 or 55, it’s wise to do all you can to keep your mind and body functioning at their best. For most of us, that means trying to exercise, eat healthy foods, get a good night’s sleep, and practice mindfulness throughout the day. But the truth is, we live in a fast-paced world, and it’s easy to get swept up in the stress of everyday life. Sometimes we need a little help, and that’s where nootropics come in.
Nootropic is the name given to a category of substances that enhance cognitive function. Nootropics include “smart drugs” like Adderall that kick in very quickly. But, high-quality brands like Awakened Alchemy offer healthier forms of nootropics. They provide supplements that use compounds already found in the body to support the brain’s existing chemistry. These supplements build up in your body over time, creating long-lasting (and much safer) change.
Here are five of the top ways that nootropic supplements can help you reach your peak performance, whether you’re training for a 5K or preparing for an important meeting at work.
1. Improve Memory
Things like stress, pollution, poor diet, drugs, alcohol, and caffeine all contribute to lower levels of the neural transmitter acetylcholine, which is essential for learning and memory. Acetylcholine is part of the cholinergic system. This collection of nerve cells transmits information and creates new neural pathways.
The best way to boost acetylcholine is to take a supplement that includes a form of choline that your body can absorb easily. One such supplement is Awaken. It’s made with a special form of choline than is easily absorbed by the body and can pass through the body’s blood-brain barrier (a filtering system that can block many substances, including many common forms of choline, such as choline bitartrate). The two best forms of choline for boosting acetylcholine are Alpha GPC and CDP Choline (Citicoline). Citicoline is the better choice of the two because it is twice as potent and also increases uridine, which is another natural nootropic that improves neuroplasticity, memory and attention.
2. Enhance Focus
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to consume caffeine or other stimulants to get more energy, focus, or creativity. Instead, support your brain with a healthy brain nutrition supplement containing noopept, one of the best nootropics for reducing stress and anxiety while increasing focus and concentration. Pair it with a quality source of choline, such as CDP Choline (Citicoline) and amino acids such as the naturally occurring L-theanine and L-tyrosine, and you’ll be able to kick that afternoon coffee habit in no time.
3. Slow Down the Aging Process
Everyone gets older; that’s just a fact of life. But that doesn’t mean you cannot take nutritional steps to significantly reduce your rate of physiological aging. Studies show that accumulated damage to mitochondria leads to aging. Mitochondria live in every cell, and it’s their job to break down nutrients and convert them to energy. The energy is then used by the cell to carry out its specific function. But, a by-product of the mitochondrial energy generation process is the creation of free radicals—highly reactive oxygen molecules that damage cells and lead to physical aging.
Improving mitochondrial health and function is key to slowing down the aging process. Reducing the damage caused by free radicals is another vital component of a high-quality anti-aging supplement. Supplements like L-Ergothioneine and S-Acetyl Glutathione are powerful antioxidants that effectively help combat free radicals.
In addition to improving the health and function of your mitochondria and combatting free radicals, there are now nutritional supplements that can boost your levels of a key molecule called NAD+. NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) is a coenzyme that is found in all living cells and is essential for many fundamental biological processes. NAD+ functions as a biological clock for age-associated gene expression. NAD+ levels naturally decline as you age, and low levels of NAD+ are associated with accelerated aging, fatigue, weight gain and other metabolic issues, cardiovascular disease, impaired brain function, impaired immune function and increased inflammation. Fortunately, the latest anti-aging supplements, such as Awakened Alchemy’s Thrive Gold, include Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN), which is the best way to increase your NAD+ levels.
4. Boost Your Mood
It’s difficult to get motivated to work on that project or go for a bike ride when you’re in a bad mood, or you just feel “meh” in general. Boost your mood with a supplement that contains 5-HTP, the precursor to Serotonin. Serotonin is primarily responsible for maintaining a positive mood and emotional balance. Serotonin also plays a key role in cognitive functions, including memory and learning, and in the homeostasis of neural tissue.
5. Get Better Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your body and mind to perform well. While you’re asleep, your brain and body heal, repair and develop. Sleep balances your hormones and recharges your immune system. The ideal supplement will help you naturally experience a more restful and restorative night’s sleep, without using habit-forming substances, and while supporting memory, mood and brain and nerve health.
Bacopa monnieri (also called Brahmi) is one of the best natural brain health supplements available. It supports improved memory and naturally improves the quality of your sleep, so you wake up feeling refreshed. Magnesium L-threonate is a special form of magnesium that was developed to cross the blood-brain barrier very effectively, where it improves sleep quality, enhances learning abilities, improves memory and reduces cognitive decline.
How to Choose the Best Supplements
Whenever you’re considering putting something in your body, it’s important to do your research ahead of time. You should choose a brand that uses high-quality ingredients and research-backed formulas. The company should comply with CGMP-certified manufacturing processes to ensure the quality of the products.
Last but not least, find a supplement brand that aligns with your values. If principles like integrity and transparency are important to you, visit the company’s website. Look for things like a complete and transparent ingredient list (not just a “proprietary blend” disclaimer), and links to studies if you want to learn more.
Written by Abbie Mood for Matcha in partnership with Awakened Alchemy.