Which are the best supplements for brain health and activity? Tap that question into your Google and you will be presented with a vast array of conflicting answers.
However, we have saved you time and effort by assessing the most reliable sources to come up with definitive details about the best supplements for brain health and activity. Let’s get started!
The internet is awash with marketing blurb from supplement manufacturers claiming their products can improve your brain’s health.
Much of the scientific evidence is sketchy at best, but here are some of the supplements that many of the leading researchers in the world think are beneficial for your brain.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fat that has a brain-protecting anti-inflammatory effect and helps build cell membranes in the brain.
They have also been linked to lower levels of beta-amyloid, a type of protein often found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Vitamin E also has anti-inflammatory properties, which help to keep DNA functioning correctly while maintaining healthy brain cell membrane structure.
A trio of B Vitamins – B6, B9 and B12 – are all necessary for normal brain functioning and help to boost the production of neurotransmitters that deliver messages from the brain to the body.
Vitamin C is useful for tackling brain inflammation, while L-Theanine is an amino acid which helps to calm neurotransmitters and thus reduce stress.
L-Carnitine also improves neurotransmitter function, Ginkgo Biloba boosts memory and Bacopa encourages attention and focus.
Focus & Clarity
One of the key things we discovered while researching this guide is that some supplements offer benefits in more than one of the categories we assessed.
From a focus and clarity perspective, the common consensus amongst the scientific community suggests these supplements are the most effective.
Fish oil is part of the Omega-3 fatty acids family, and supplementary products containing it have been proven to boost thinking skills, memory and focus.
In addition to its memory-enhancing properties, Ginkgo Biloba can improve focus and clarity as it increases blood flow to the brain.
L-Theanine also has crossover benefits, improving overall brain health and significantly improving clarity of thinking.
Neutein is a bit of a slow-burner, with its all-natural plant-based ingredients taking around two hours to deliver improvements in focus and clarity.
Vitamin D3 is vital for healthy nerve function and overall body functioning and maintenance, while B vitamins are known for improving focus.
Caffeine and Panax Ginseng are both great for improving focus and clarity, although sticking to the recommended dosage is especially important when taking either as a supplement.
Cognition & Memory
Cognition and memory function naturally deteriorate as people age, but several supplements can help delay this process.
Many of them are proven to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, particularly if used alongside brain-training exercises such as crosswords or Sudoku. The top supplements are as follows.
- B Vitamins
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin E
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Huperzine A
- Panax Ginseng
Research by Oxford University’s Department of Clinical Neurosciences found that B-vitamins can slow the atrophy of specific brain regions associated with cognitive decline.
Another study conducted at the same institution found that having higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in the brain boosted the benefits of B vitamins in improving cognitive function.
Vitamin E and multi-vitamins also provide cognitive and memory benefits, while Ginkgo Biloba has shown promise in tackling dementia symptoms.
Huperzine A works in a similar way as several other Alzheimer’s drugs, while L-Carnitine has been proven to help dementia patients with memory problems.
Panax Ginseng, which is often used with Ginkgo Biloba, has also shown promise as a cognitive and memory-booster.
However, most of the scientific research into its effects in this area has been conducted on a small number of study participants.
Nootropics are natural or synthetic substances that can be taken to improve mental performance in healthy people.
They are generally used to boost memory, focus, creativity, intelligence and motivation. Here’s a look at some of the best nootropics.
As the most widely consumed psychoactive substance globally, Caffeine provides several benefits for brain health.
It makes you feel less tired by blocking adenosine receptors in your brain, increases alertness and decreases reaction times.
L-Theanine is more effective when taken with caffeine. It can increase feelings of calmness and is linked to increased creativity.
Creatine is an amino acid that improves short-term memory and reasoning skills, while Bacopa Monnieri enhances overall brain function.
Noopept speeds up how quickly the brain forms and retrieves memories by boosting levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a compound that promotes the growth of brain cells.
Rhodiola Rosea and Piracetam have also been proven to have a significant impact on brain health.
Benefits of Physical Activity
There is an important point to make before understanding which are the best supplements for brain health and activity – supplementation alone is not enough.
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do as it improves brain health, helps manage weight and reduces the risk of disease.
It can also strengthen bones and muscles and improves your ability to do everyday activities.
More than 100,000 deaths per year could be prevented in the United States if adults aged 40 and older increased their physical activity by a small amount.
With supplementation added into the mix, the health benefits they provide could have a major impact on the health and wellbeing of millions of people.