Brain-protecting supplements are vital for your concentration and keeping calm. Have you ever experienced plunging levels of energy, happiness, and focus? Don’t worry, you’re not alone because this is a worldwide phenomenon that we’re about to help solve for you. You know those ‘off-days’ when you wake up feeling tired and distracted? Or the ones where you can’t face the gym or get out of bed? Yup, I know them too well. But it’s not always an option and you’ve got to push through those days sometimes. However, it can be pretty difficult when you’re struggling to focus, and on top of that stressed out.
The problem with many supplements for reducing stress levels is that they can make you really sleepy. That just defeats the purpose of helping you concentrate on getting important tasks done. With so many responsibilities, to-do lists and stresses, coffee automatically becomes the go-to pick me up. Unfortunately, in the long term, this just makes you more exhausted. Things have to keep moving forward though. Sometimes looking at our diet, catching up on sleep or over-training and under-training is just not enough. It means you need to supplement a possible deficiency!
Sadly, this is not a quick fix article but it is a step in the right direction. Fueling your body with the right nutrition is a massive factor, but it’s a lot more complicated than just calories in versus calories out. Nor is it just about getting enough sleep. If your hormones are out of alignment, it could be why you’re feeling fatigued and stressed. Too much caffeine also makes things worse. We all love a good cup now and then, but once you grow resistant to it it doesn’t work as well and can turn into an unhealthy habit.
Having said that, supplementing the right brain-protecting nutrients can be confusing too since there are so many on the shelves. All promising tons of amazing health benefits to transform your life! I want to clarify that for you so we can toss the gimmicks and enjoy the most effective supplements for a calmer, more focused you.
Brain-Protecting Supplements Are Vital To Life
Often a poor diet lacking in the important nutrients can have a profound effect on your happiness, energy and concentration levels. Besides feeling drained or distracted, you can also negatively affect your brain health. Several nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and L-theanine help you feel alert, calm, energized and happy. By supplementing correctly and following a diet rich in a few key vitamins will help promote good mental health.
Sometimes we think we’re feeling a certain way for no apparent reason. Guess again. It is your brain chemistry out of balance and telling you to act quickly. The brain uses various messenger substances (neurotransmitters) to regulate mood, behavior, and other mental functions. According to Brain and Health, when your brain transmitters are balanced. You can think more clearly, feel happier, and experience greater well-being.
The correct neurotransmitter balance is essential for living a brain-healthy life. The better your transmitters work with each other, the closer you are to having an optimal mental function, which is especially important when stress reaches an unhealthy level.
L-Theanine Is a Top Brain-Protecting Supplement
This is the number one supplement I’d recommend for helping you manage your mood, concentration and stress levels. Luckily, you can get L-theanine in supplement form and through drinking lots of natural teas. It can help with relaxation, focus, and sleep. However, it won’t make you sleepy during the day. Let’s take a closer look at L-theanine and its calming, centering, brain-protecting abilities.
L-theanine is an amino acid that is found in tea leaves and some types of mushrooms. In foods, particularly green tea, L-theanine is thought to be a source of Umami which is the savory, brothy taste. L-theanine promotes relaxation and facilitates sleep by contributing to a number of changes in the brain.
According to research, L-theanine helps boost brain-protecting levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), serotonin, and dopamine. These brain-protecting hormones function as neurotransmitters, and they work in the brain to regulate emotions, mood, concentration, alertness, and sleep. They also hugely affect appetite, energy, and other cognitive skills. Therefore, it makes sense to increase levels of these brain-protecting chemicals to help relax the body and sharpen the mind.
Get Rid Of Stress Entirely
Funny enough, the brain consists of chemicals that literally excite the brain. L-theanine helps to reduce these chemicals which might help lower stress and anxiety levels. This is the fastest way to achieve a state of calmness in the body and protect the brain cells from stress and age-related damage. I bet you’re asking whether or not this will make you sleepy. Nope. You’ll enter a state of ‘wakeful relaxation.’
Apparently, brain-protecting supplements can help create this happy state without making you sleepy. We can only really get there on our own by being creative, meditating or allowing the mind to daydream. This happens because L-theanine boosts your levels of alpha brain waves which help increase relaxation, focus, and creativity.
Therefore, this is a suitable and appealing supplement to start taking because it doesn’t make you tired. It’s a fantastic choice for people who want to calm their bodies without worrying about falling asleep at work. Not only is L-theanine an amazing brain-protecting supplement but it also helps promote restful sleep, reduce stress and anxiety as well as reduce hunger and cravings.
Brain-Protecting Pantothenic Acid Does Wonders
According to doctors, this is an incredible choice to add to your diet because it helps you feel more alert and full of energy. It also helps your body produce more melatonin which is a hormone that your brain needs to regulate your natural sleep-and-wake cycle.
This is very important because when we have an interrupted sleep pattern our stress levels tend to increase, our energy levels sink, attention spans fade and our mental health takes a knock.
The changes in your melatonin levels induce sleep when it’s dark outside and promote alertness when it’s light. This is what helps you stay awake during the day. Pantothenic acid also helps you make acetylcholine, a brain chemical needed for healthy sleep.
It’s not always a common deficiency but it might be worthwhile investigating especially if you’re struggling with fatigue or restless sleep. Avocados, milk, and broccoli all provide beneficial pantothenic acid.
Don’t Skimp On Vitamin B
Whilst any vitamin B supplement is beneficial to our health and improving levels of focus, calm and happiness. The kind of vitamin B that will really make a difference is vitamin B6. This contributes significantly to good mental health, helping you feel more energized, happy and relaxed.
Experts explain that a dose a day helps you synthesize dopamine, which is a brain-protecting chemical that helps promote the communication of signaling pleasure or happiness. This is where your brain receives rewards. However, it requires dopamine to function. Therefore, with low amounts of brain-protecting dopamine, your emotional well-being will take a hit and might increase levels of anxiety or depression.
Therefore, if you’re deficient in vitamin B6 you will notice a drop in happiness levels and might even be feeling slightly or severely depressed and irritable. Poultry, potatoes, and bananas all increase your vitamin B-6 level.
Curcumin Is ‘Golden’ Brain-Protecting Ingredient
Never skimp on this one. What’s great about curcumin is that you can get through your diet by spicing your food with lots of turmeric seasoning. Curcumin is the main bioactive compound in the Indian spice turmeric (Curcuma longa). Therefore it is why turmeric has such a great reputation in the health world and is what gives the amazing golden color. According to researchers, brain-protecting curcumin also impressively increases levels of dopamine and serotonin. Your ‘happy hormones.’ Better yet, curcumin is as effective for depression as the popular antidepressant Prozac.
Interestingly, experts have discovered that the brain-protecting nature of curcumin significantly improves both memory and attention of healthy seniors within an hour after taking a single dose. In fact, it also increases blood flow to the brain just as effectively, if not more than physical exercise. These study participants additionally showed significant improvements in working memory, energy, mood, and stress after taking curcumin for one month.
An amazing natural way to improve a state of alert calmness. Due to curcumin’s potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, its brain-protecting qualities are super strong and can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
American Ginseng Is a Brain-Protecting Powerhouse
According to research, American ginseng is now recognized as the best in the world. It even ranks higher than the classic Asian ginseng herb. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) belongs to the same genus as Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) but is a unique species.
Ironically, even the Chinese now prefer to use American ginseng because of its superior health properties and brain-protecting functions. Cereboost is a patent-pending extract derived from American ginseng with clinical studies to support its effectiveness as a cognitive enhancer. Apparently, people who participated in the study were given a mental aptitude test straight after taking Cereboost. Guess what? They performed significantly better. That’s quite something I must say!
Therefore, a simple dose of ginseng might be the solution to quickly improving memory, mental clarity, and sharpness in minutes. There is also research that shows the effectiveness of brain-protecting American ginseng and how it can significantly reduce anxiety. Therefore promoting the ideal environment for a state of calm.
Moreover, American ginseng acts as an adaptogen. This promotes physical strength and mental energy while reducing the damaging effects of stress. It also reduces postprandial hypoglycemia, which is a common underlying cause of anxiety.
Support brain-health with more of these natural dietary aids
You have probably read about the need to ensure good levels of dopamine in your body. Dopamine is naturally produced by the brain and produces a general sense of euphoria and self-confidence. This is what is called the dopamine effect. You get a rush of dopamine in response to pleasurable activities. It functions both as a hormone and a neurotransmitter and plays several important roles in the brain and body. Dopamine is important for many of our daily behaviors. It affects how we move, as well as what we eat, how we learn and even whether we become addicted to drugs.
What happens when you don’t have enough dopamine?
Some causes of dopamine depletion are stress, anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, obesity, poor nutrition, certain foodstuffs, and drugs.
But dopamine also has a darker side. Drugs such as cocaine, nicotine, and heroin have caused huge boosts in dopamine. The “high” people feel when they use drugs comes partly from that dopamine spike. And that prompts people to seek out those drugs again and again — even though they are harmful. Indeed, the brain “reward” associated with that high can lead to drug abuse and eventually to addiction.
How to boost your dopamine and reduce anxiety
Without enough dopamine, you may feel sluggish, anxious, depressed and uninterested in life. You can eat micro nutrient-rich foods high in L-tyrosine.
Eat L-tyrosine rich foods to address anxiety
- Fava beans
- Ricotta cheese
- Mustard greens
- Dark chocolate
- Wheat germ
You should make one of these foods the basis of every meal throughout your day to boost your dopamine levels.
Why We Need Serotonin
Serotonin “the feel-good hormone” or 5-hydroxytryptamine is an amino neurotransmitter. Serotonin is mostly found in the gastrointestinal tract, blood platelets, and the central nervous system.
The lack of daylight can also adversely disrupt serotonin levels leading to depression, irritability, low self-esteem, panic attacks, poor sleep, and obsessiveness.
Serotonin is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan. Serotonin cannot be found in food, whereas tryptophan can be found in high protein, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin B6 food sources.
These are Tryptophan Rich foods:
- Nuts and seeds
The Case for Calm
Some drugs that increase the level of GABA in the brain are used to treat epilepsy and to calm the trembling of people suffering from Huntington’s disease.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) “The calming one” is a neurotransmitter, which has been noted to reduce blood pressure, anxiety, muscle stiffness and raised amounts of HGH (Human Growth Hormones). Poor diet, coffee, alcohol, and lack of sleep all contribute to the depletion of GABA levels. Foods rich in glutamate and glutamic acid produce glutamine; the raw material the body requires to synthesize GABA.
GABA enriched foods you should eat:
- Oolong tea
- Fermented foods
- Whole wheat
- Whole grain
- Cherry tomatoes
GABA neurotransmitter levels can also be restored if the above foods are coupled with vitamin B6, exercise and yoga.
Calming Brain-Protecting Supplements That Don’t Make You Sleepy
There are many more supplements and nutrients you should consider taking to help improve levels of concentration, focus, and calmness. However, I believe that these work the most effectively. Another one to never forget is magnesium. To be honest, you can never get enough, especially if you’re very active.
Today we live in a very fast-paced world and you need to be resilient to stress. Just watch out for the many relaxation supplements that might make you sleepy. You want to find yourself awake, calm and focused. Don’t go nodding off at your desk or be heavily reliant on a certain pill.
The norms of modern living teach us that we should just push through the worst and go on with our day. But that might not be the best thing to do. That said, getting in a good napping session may help.