Supplements to Boost Your Brain

What does it take to be a champion? Desire, dedication, determination, concentration and the will to win.

Information technology has helped us in many ways, but it has also brought its consequences. This need for more information and more knowledge also requires more concentration, more focus, dedication and determination.  It’s these skills that will help you stand out from the crowd. But sometimes sitting in front of that book, that computer or working on that project takes a lot of mental energy. It’s here that mental focus nootropics can help.

What are Nootropics?

Nootropics are natural and synthetic compounds that, when used wisely, may improve brain functions such as focus, memory, alertness and attention.  The term“nootropics” has been around since the 70s, but the use of herbs for improved mental functions has been going on for thousands of years.

Be Wise

Nootropics are not a shortcut to mental fitness.  Just like exercise for your body, your brain needs exercise too.  No pill takes the place of study and discipline; nootropics can only enhance what is already there from proper lifestyle choices.  Keep in mind that, although short-term studies have provided evidence that support the effectiveness of nootropics, the long-term effects are basically unknown.

Here are 2 tips for the wise use of these supplements:

  • You need to track your progress and the results. And tracking the side effects you may experience is very important.  There are online resources for this, so check out one or two to see what works for you.
  • Think of these supplements like having a cup of coffee. In special situations, like when you feel tired or groggy, or you have a particularly difficult cognitive activity to perform, these supplements may boost your brain.  But just like being addicted to coffee, you can become addicted to these supplements.  So use them wisely for special situations.

Specific applications for nootropics and safe dosages

Memory Enhancement

There are special natural supplements that can help you retain information. Good substances for this purpose include piracetam with choline.  Piracetam increases acetylcholine uptake and utilization in the memory areas of the brain.  Combining it with choline provides even more memory enhancement.

  • A starting dose of 1600mg of piracetam is enough, and later you can increase the dose to up to 6 grams. But remember to track your progress so that you know the effects you are getting from this supplement.
  • Use 200-300mg of choline.

Focus Enhancement

To boost your ability to focus, use caffeine paired with L-theanine.  L-theanine is found in green tea, and it mayenhance the positive focus improvement effect of caffeine while decreasing the negative effects such as increased heartrate, blood pressure and nervousness.

  • A 1:2 ratio works best; 100mg caffeine and 200mg L-theanine. If you are just beginning, you may get positive effects with as low as 50mg of caffeine and 100mg of L-theanine.

Asian Ginseng (not American ginseng) has well-known and research-verified focus enhancement properties among other positive effects on the brain including improved memory.

  • Start with a dosage of 100mg (3-5% ginsenoside concentration)

CILTeP is a new combination nootropic.  It is a combination of artichoke extract and forskolin and other ingredients, which theoretically improve focus as well as alertness and memory.  It has never been tested in a research setting.

  • A good starting dose is 900mg artichoke extract (5% caffeoylquinic acids), 4mg forskolin, 500mg L-phenylalanine, 750mg acetyl-L-carnitine, and 5mg vitamin B-6.

Mood Enhancement and Decreased Test/Exam Anxiety

To improve your mood and decrease your anxiety, caffeine with L-theanine is effective (use dosage described above).  Bacopa monniera, an herb used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine is known to reduce test and exam anxiety, as well as increasing short and long-term memory and focus.

  • For beginners, use 300mg of bacopa monniera extract (50% bacosides A and B). It is fat soluble, so take it with a piece of meat or a meal with cooking oil.

Asian ginseng is also effective in reducing anxiety and elevating mood.


If you are groggy and tired, use rhodiola rosea, a high-altitude herb which increases serotonin levels in your brain.

  • Start with 350mg of rhodiola (3% rosavins). Don’t take this daily; it is best to use it no more than 3 days in a row, with one day off.  Remember to track your results with all nootropics.

 Customized Nootropics?

Since the customized (combination) nootropics work differently from one person to the next, be sure to track your progress if you use these.  As well, you should find out what neurotransmitters are dominant in your brain and which are deficient before you start.  In the book by Eric Braverman, The Edge Effect, you will find an assessment that will help you determine your own brain chemistry.