Image : Michelle Norée
Whether you’re a student hoping to nail your exams, a driven professional striving for a promotion, or an adult concerned about cognitive health, the idea of taking a pill or tincture that boosts your brainpower might seem pretty appealing. So, it’s not a surprise that nootropics, aka cognitive enhancers, are getting a good deal of attention. But do they work and are all nootropics created equally?
WHAT ARE NOOTROPICS?
Nootropics is an umbrella term for anything from herbs and micronutrients to supplement blends and prescription drugs that are touted as smart drugs, used to optimize your mental performance, reduce stress, and decrease your risk of cognitive decline. Some popular ones that might ring a bell include Turmeric, Ginseng, Green Tea and Caffeine.
HOW DO THEY WORK
The key thing to remember is that nootropics are enhancers rather than fixers. They work to support cognitive function, not fix it. And different nootropics work their magic in different ways. Some work to bring calm and clarity due to their influence on cortisol (our stress hormone) whilst others help promote focus and mental performance through their impact on neurotransmitters. However, don’t expect a quick fix overnight! Natural nootropics work their best when built up over time. Work by starting low and slow, which will allow you to intuitively feel if they work for you or not.
Here at MEDA, we are a fan of incorporating botanical nootropics to our beverages for the very reasons above! A few of our favourites include:
- L-Theanine, found in MEDA CALM, works as a relaxant that can reduce heart rate and blood pressure, improve concentration and promote alpha brainwaves (associated with relaxation).
- Caffeine, found in MEDA FOCUS, can work on the brain by blocking the action of adenosine, a chemical that promotes sleep. When you consume caffeine, you reduce fatigue which in turn can make you feel more energised and alert. This can lead to an increased sense of focus and… ta-da!
- Turmeric, found in MEDA Recover, has an active component called curcumin which has been suggested to potentially act as a neuroprotective antioxidant, reducing inflammation and boosting mood, especially in cognitive decline or other mood disorders.
- Panax Ginseng, found in MEDA FOCUS, has been used for centuries as natural performance enhancer. Studies have suggested that Ginsenosides found in Ginseng can potentially help with memory, calmness and learning. Check out our spotlight on Panax Ginseg for a deeper read. https://medahuman.com/spotlight-panax-ginseng
If you are considering supplementing with nootropics, do talk to a health professional
before guzzling down your brain-boosting pills with your hot water and lemon.