Nootropics promise to enhance cognitive function by making it easier to concentrate and to remember things. However, nootropics are a broad category, and it can sometimes be a challenge to parse out which nootropic will have the desired effect. We’re going to take a close look at some of the best supplements for concentration and memory.

Brain Nootropics for Memory & Cognitive Health

Nootropics have grown extremely popular as of late due to their reported ability to help enhance brain function. They have been used by both students and professionals to improve their performance in their respective environments and they may even have some medical benefits, according to recent research.

Certain supplements have been shown to improve our mental performance when we use them in specific ways, such as using nootropics for memory. Some of the best nootropics provide various brain health benefits, including enhancing healthy brain function, cognitive abilities, memory retention, and mental processing speed.

5 Nootropic Ingredients for Memory Support and Improvement

Improving memory and recall has long been one of mankind’s most treasured goals, for what are we if not the sum of our experiences? 

Of course, having a better memory can help with more than just remembering every day that we’ve been through. Memory can also help you improve your performance at school or at your job. 

Improving memory is a complicated process, and it depends on whether you’re trying to improve your base memory or if you’re trying to make up for the damage that you’ve experienced through ageing. As you grow older, it becomes more difficult to remember things because of oxidative stress.

Our metabolism is naturally responsible for causing oxidative stress over the course of our lives, which reduces our mental capability. While oxidative stress over the course of a day won’t dramatically impact your memory, it will cause damage over the course of a longer period of time.

Many nootropics are responsible for either decreasing oxidative stress or reducing its effects, helping repair our memory. Some prescription nootropics are even stronger, though these are limited to people who are suffering from conditions like Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.

However, even dietary supplement nootropics are showing that they’re capable of helping us deal with memory loss over the course of our lives far more effectively than earlier research would suggest. The issue is figuring out which ones are the best nootropics for memory.

Due to the relatively sparse research on the topic, it can often be difficult to determine which nootropics do what. While the placebo effect may help no matter what nootropic you’re taking, you want to be sure that the one you’re using will also concretely affect your memory and recall.

We’re going to take a look at five of the best memory boosting foods and supplements, regardless of whether you’re trying to enhance your memory at a young age or make up for the effects of long-term oxidative stress.


What is L-Theanine?

L-Theanine is an amino acid, and you’ll primarily find it occurring naturally in certain teas as well as specific mushroom species. While Theanine can occur in two forms: L-Theanine and D-Theanine, L-Theanine is the much more common of the two, which makes it a more popular nootropic.

L-Theanine tends to act similarly to glutamate, which is an amino acid that is produced naturally by the body. Glutamate is an amino acid that is responsible for regulating and aiding in the transmission of the brain’s nerve impulses, and L-Theanine sometimes acts similarly to it when consumed.

One thing to consider about L-Theanine is that it may sometimes block glutamate’s effects. Other chemicals that are present in the brain and may be affected by Theanine include serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. Due to its similarity to glutamate, L-Theanine is thought to help improve the brain’s higher functions.

Why Does It Help Enhance Memory and Cognitive Health?

As we already mentioned, L-Theanine is similar to glutamate, and under the right conditions, it will improve the brain’s cognitive functions. This is because it facilitates the interactions between our brain cells, allowing us to improve our cognitive functions like our memory and recall.

While L-Theanine is theorised to also help us with stress, anxiety, and mental impairment, there is no scientific evidence that backs these claims. There is some anecdotal evidence to support the theory that L-Theanine can be well-paired with coffee because it helps counteract effects like the caffeine jitters.

It is also possible that L-Theanine’s effects are improved by the consumption of caffeine, but there isn’t enough solid evidence to suggest that this is the case.

Cognitive function and memory can be improved by taking L-Theanine orally, though it is best used by younger people who have not had to deal with the adverse effects of long-term oxidative stress. 

Potential side effects of using L-Theanine include sleepiness and headaches, and there haven’t been any studies on its long-term effects.


What is Ashwagandha?

Another one of the best nootropic ingredients for memory is ashwagandha, which is a naturally occurring supplement that is harvested from a shrub that can be found in Africa and Asia. Ashwagandha has traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicine, meaning that there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to support it but not much in the scientific realm.

In spite of that, several studies have been conducted to determine whether or not ashwagandha is an adaptogen (a substance that helps reduce stress). Most of these studies have come up inconclusive, and a lot of the evidence to support ashwagandha is relatively recent as more and more scientists start to take it seriously.

While it has not shown much evidence of being helpful in terms of mental health with tests on mice, it has shown to help with certain bodily illnesses. For example, it has helped reduce the prevalence of CHO (Chinese Hamster Ovary) cell carcinoma as well as lung-adenoma caused by urethane in mice.

However, some studies have even concluded that Ashwagandha can help improve cognitive function, including memory. Let’s take a look at the specifics.

Why Does It Help Enhance Memory and Cognitive Health?

Most of this evidence is sourced from a review of several clinical studies that have gone over Ashwagandha to determine what it can and can’t do. Some of the evidence points to Ashwagandha being able to help treat mice that suffer from cognitive impairment, meaning that it may be useful when used to improve cognitive health in humans, as well.

There were a range of cognitive functions that scientists saw some improvement in when test subjects were treated with Ashwagandha, including attention, reaction time, cognitive performance, and executive reasoning. However other studies showed even further benefits for users of the supplement.

These studies demonstrated that consumption of Ashwagandha helped improve immediate memory as well as short-term memory in the test subjects. Along with that, the subjects saw improved attention spans as well as a higher speed of processing information, all of which can help improve cognitive function and memory on their own.

A further benefit to Ashwagandha is that it has antioxidant effects, helping cut down on the influence of brain oxidation as an individual ages.

Omega 3

What is Omega 3?

You’ve likely heard Omega 3 benefits touted on countless commercials for products that feature them. Omega 3 fatty acids are nutrients that can be found in supplements and foods that allow you to maintain your body’s health and ensure the smooth functioning of various organs and systems.

One of the most common sources of Omega 3 fatty acids is from fish. The specific Omega 3 fatty acids that you’ll find in fish include DHA and EPA. Yet another Omega 3 fatty acid, ALA, can be found in seeds and nuts, so the source of this healthy nutrient isn’t exclusive to seafood. Puresport uses a vegan Omega 3.

Keep in mind that Omega 3s are necessary for the body’s general wellbeing but they can also provide you with some very specific health benefits. For example, Omega 3s can cut down on the amount of fat in your blood, reducing your risk of stroke and heart disease.

Some Omega 3s, such as the ones that are sourced from seafood, can also help you deal with the symptoms of arthritis, such as joint pain and stiffness. 

Why Does It Help Enhance Memory and Cognitive Health?

These fatty acids help with a wide range of cognitive issues, along with maintaining your cognitive abilities. Omega 3 brain fog treatments have been attempted to help sharpen people’s minds. Omega 3 cognitive function improvements include better memory as well as resistance to certain degenerative diseases.

Specifically, the Omega 3 fatty acids that are found in fish oil are the ones that have been shown to help with cognitive impairment. While studies haven’t demonstrated that Omega 3 fatty acids can help with Alzheimer’s disease, they have been shown to help with less severe cases of mental impairment.

For example, some studies have shown that Omega 3s can help people who are dealing with cognitive decline related to old age or mild cognitive impairment. Older people who take DHA have been shown to suffer from less memory decline than those who don’t regularly take this Omega 3 fatty acid.

According to the research, it seems like Omega 3 fatty acids can help people slow down their mental decline once they reach old age. On the other hand, if the supplements are taken too late, they may not be able to stop Alzheimer’s from developing.

Vitamin B Complex

What is Vitamin B Complex?

Vitamin B complex is one of the best vitamins for memory because it combines a wide range of B vitamins into one capsule or supplement that’s easy to consume. Instead of having to take one of each B vitamin every day, you can just take a vitamin B complex to make things easier on yourself.

Vitamin B complex consists of the following B vitamins:

  • B-1 (thiamine)
  • B-2 (riboflavin)
  • B-3 (niacin)
  • B-5 (pantothenic acid)
  • B-6 (pyridoxine)
  • B-7 (biotin)
  • B-9 (folic acid)
  • B-12 (cobalamin)

All of the B vitamins contribute to a healthy body and a healthy mind, but many of them do so in different ways. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways you can expect a vitamin B complex supplement to help you improve your cognitive health and your memory.

Why Does It Help Enhance Memory and Cognitive Health?

Different types of Vitamin B can improve brain function in different ways. Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine is a water soluble vitamin that works in the brain to improve memory and cognitive function by creating new neurons. 

It can also protect existing neurons from damage. Studies have shown that Vitamin B1 can improve the cognitive function of people who suffer from Alzheimer's disease.

One of the many B vitamins, vitamin B-12, has been shown to potentially lower the risk of dementia in older people. This is because B-12 deficiency has been linked as one of the causes of dementia, but unfortunately, the vitamin doesn’t seem to help patients that have developed Alzheimer’s, like with many supplements.

Along with vitamin B-12, the study also goes on to suggest that folic acid and vitamin B-6 can also help you maintain your memory well into your old age. When testing individuals with high levels of homocysteine, large amounts of a vitamin B complex can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.

While this doesn’t mean that vitamin B complex will reduce the risk of dementia for everyone, it’s particularly good at curbing the development of memory-related issues in people with high levels of homocysteine.

Vitamin E

What is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a vitamin that is soluble in fat and it can be used by the human body, though we can only use one of its variants: alpha-tocopherol. One of the main benefits of vitamin E is that it acts as an antioxidant, meaning that it stops free radicals from doing damage to the body’s cells.

Vitamin E has been highly recommended in our diets since the late 20th century, when medical advances discovered that free radicals were responsible for a wide range of diseases. These are unstable molecules that can damage cells and cause diseases like Alzheimer's, heart disease and cancer. The first major disease to be linked to free radicals was atherosclerosis, though other diseases like cancer have also been linked to them.

Further study has yielded conflicting results, unfortunately, slowing progress when it comes to using large-dose vitamin E treatments to help cure people of their diseases.

Why Does It Help Enhance Memory and Cognitive Health?

One study found that Vitamin E can potentially help people deal with Alzheimer’s, though more advanced cases are relatively untreatable. Using large amounts of vitamin E can help reduce the effects of the disease in patients who are dealing with either minor or mild cases of Alzheimer’s, however.

In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin E may also help protect the brain from damage by reducing inflammation. Inflammation is a reaction to injury or disease that can cause pain, swelling and tissue destruction. This may explain why vitamin E has been shown to help improve symptoms of diseases like multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

In addition to antioxidants, vitamin E may also help protect your brain by helping maintain the myelin sheath that protects nerve fibres in the brain. Vitamin E may also help prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps transmit signals between nerve cells.

Keep in mind that the large doses used in this study may be unhealthy for certain individuals, especially those with a risk of heart disease or who are currently on heart medication. However, ensuring that you have a healthy amount of vitamin E in your diet should be enough to ensure that your risk of cognitive diseases is reduced.

To Wrap Things Up

The best and most effective way to find what works best for improving your memory is to experiment gradually with what stack or combination of foods and supplements works best. Using one can have beneficial effects, but in combination or by using a product that combines a few options, you can measure your success more easily and find the best solution for improving your memory.

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