- 1 The Best Nootropics for Focus – An Introduction
- 2 Alpha GPC
- 3 Noopept
- 4 Huperzine A
- 5 L-Theanine
- 6 Pramiracetam
- 7 Modafinil
- 8 Adrafinil
- 9 Acetyl L – Carnitine (ALCAR)
- 10 CDP Choline
- 11 Noocube
- 12 OptiMind
- 13 Other Ways to Improve Focus
This post was originally published on Dec 10, 2018, and updated on May 14, 2019
The Best Nootropics for Focus – An Introduction
You have to get a report in by end of the day and you have so much on your mind. Did you forget to turn the stove off, the construction outside your window is a distraction. Maybe you are tired andevery sound at work distracts you making you frustrated and even less able to concentrate. Even worse is that you start to get so anxious as well with seemingly no way out. Today in this post it will all be about nootropics for focus.
We’ve all been there, but we can take control and give ourselves the ability to focus and concentrate without being bothered by distractions that we have no control of.
When we talk about what is responsible for our ability to focus generally we find 2 chemicals at the top of the list, dopamine and adrenaline. Dopamine is one chemical focused on when considering the use of nootropics for ADHD. Both dopamine and adrenaline are very powerful chemicals in our brain, but when acting together they are that much more powerful. Below you will hear more about them.
Often focus and concentration are talked about together when they are two different abilities. I have written an article called nootropics for concentration if you feel this is more you.
Alpha GPC Choline is a choline source that increases acetylcholine which is a learning neurotransmitter in our brain. IT is necessary for efficient neurotransmission. If you are deficient in choline by way of food you risk learning and memory issues layer in your life.
If you are a fish lover or have fish regularly in your diet chances are you won’t be choline deficient. The reason being is Fish (brain food) is rich in choline which in turn acetylcholine in our brain.
If you take Alpha GPC regularly you keep your acetylcholine levels high resulting in better neuroprotection, better mood, better memory formation and mental endurance.
There are many hundreds of nootropics on the market these days and it can get a little daunting and require research into what is best for you. There is one nootropic out there that is one of the most effective and strongest at improving memory, focus, concentration and your learning capacity. It is called Noopept and It is perhaps the most powerful synthetic brain-boosting nootropic that has been discovered by neuroscientists.
Noopept (which is a peptide chemical compound) travels to specific Glutamate receptor sites within the brain. It binds with these sites and helps to inhibit the breakdown of Glutamate which is one of the most powerful neurotransmitters relative to cognitive function.
Noopept being a very high-performance nootropic gives you an improved learning ability, the ability to process quicker, and a better concentration span.
Dosages are much smaller with noopept so you aren’t taking as much into your body like many others that achieve the same things.
Much like Alpha GPC, it promotes the increase in acetylcholine in our brains. Huperzine A is a highly purified extract taken from the popular Chinese plant called the club moss plant. This plant has been used in herbal medicine for many years and Huperzine A, the main compound is very good at enhancing our learning ability and our memory.
Studies are finding that Huperzine A may improve cognitive function of those suffering a brain injury and significantly improving the cognitive function and overall symptoms in Alzheimer’s patients.
Huperzine A is not a choline source. Instead, it is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI). Whew, that’s a mouthful! So what is that? It is the primary enzyme that is responsible for breaking down acetylcholine in our brain. When you inhibit acetylcholinesterase you increase acetylcholine in your brain. This increase in acetylcholine increases focus and concentration, improves your memory and promotes the growth of nervous tissue.
Read More About Huperzine A in My in Depth review
Dopamine and serotonin are chemicals in our blood that help us maintain our mood/motivation balance. What L-Theanine can do is reduce stress by increasing the levels of these two. Once this is achieved stress levels drop.
Many people mix L-Theanine with caffeine because it lowers what we don’t like from caffeine such as the jitters, nervousness, sleeplessness and anxiety. Caffeine gives you the energy and L-Theanine gets rid of those side effects from the caffeine.
Children who suffer from ADHD often have poor sleep quality and L-Theanine can be a great solution to this. One study showed children using L-Theanine did not sleep any longer, but had far better quality, which significantly improves their ability to focus during the day.
For beginners with nootropics, L-Theanine can be one of the safest nootropics to start with.
Pramiracetam increases the abilities of an individual’s long-term memory and allows knowledge to be recalled with greater ease. The drug presents with high-affinity choline uptake, or HACU, which encourages the synthesis and release of Acetylcholine to the Hippocampus of the brain. It won’t increase your IQ but will improve your memory and concentration.
General cognitive function is improved. Reading, writing, and holding conversations become almost begin to flow with ease. Faster memory recall is another benefit as well as finding reading and writing much easier with less effort and energy.
There have been many studies exploring the potential of Pramiracetam being used to treat for concussions, Alzheimer’s, as well as senile dementia. Clinical studies have shown several specific therapeutic activities affected by alterations of the cognitive functions. Long-term memory improvement has been seen as well as learning, attention span, concentration, alertness, and an increase in the rate of high-affinity choline uptake in the hippocampus.
Modafinil is ‘wakeful agent’. Modafinil is one of the most widely used nootropics and is used heavily in the high tech industry, high execs in big business, and with traders. If you are someone who needs their best performance concentration and focus on a daily basis and you feel less than your full performance self then Modafinil may be right for you. Modafinil provides us with an ability to focus on the task at hand.
Largely because Modafinil was developed for the treatment of Narcolepsy, users of the nootropic will notice a decrease in mental fatigue leading to better focus. Students or execs who find themselves sleep deprived will benefit from Modafinil. Mental performance will be heightened.
When you take modafinil you find that the effects creep up slowly on you. Because it is actually a wakeful agent it is advised to take it first thing when you get up in the morning or you just may have difficulty with your sleep. What people report after taking modafinil is that they aren’t distracted by things that they normally are and they want to get to work with more focus. Some have a feeling of euphoria leading to having more pleasure and gratification from finishing tasks.
Adrafinil is a mild stimulant for our central nervous system. That’s it in short. When it is taken as a prescription it is most often prescribed for those who suffer from ADHD or ADD with lethargy.
Adrafinil is thought to increase levels of Hypocretin. Hypocretin is a neurotransmitter responsible for controlling our body’s awake and alert state. If you have high levels of Hypocretin you then have a lot of energy to successfully get through your day and all you have to do. What it also does is increase levels of adrenalin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and histamine which all are linked to our energy levels. Now, because norepinephrine is closely related to adrenaline which is the exact same thing you will have an excessive amount of energy which you can take advantage of while you work out, play sports, run etc.
Adrafinil can help as a mood enhancer – useful for people who need to increase their level of motivation.
Acetyl L – Carnitine (ALCAR)
A powerful and effective brain booster or ‘Brain Super Fuel’ that has grown in popularity over the past decade or so, Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a very well researched amino acid that is found in a few of the most effective focus and concentration supplements. It works as a brain booster by helping maintain the health and functionality of brain cells, one recent study found that people with early signs of dementia and mild memory impairment benefited from low to medium doses of Acetyl-L-Carnitine over a relatively short period.
Anecdotal evidence backs up the clinical studies and demonstrates that Acetyl- L Carnitine does improve concentration and mental focus very quickly. It increases oxygen uptake in the brain which improves memory, focus and overall mental performance.
CDP choline can increase your ability to concentrate for long periods without the worry of distraction, it is very good for studying, learning a new skill, or completing any complex and mentally demanding task. Studies show that this is true even in the case of serious conditions including stroke, brain injury, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Now, OptiMind is being advertised as a product for entrepreneurs, students, and other high achievers, but I believe it should be mainly used by beginners who want to start experimenting with nootropics, but are too “afraid” od buying a serious nootropic stack.
OptiMind takes many nootropics and puts them together in unknown quantities (proprietary) although the ingredients seem to work and work well together.
With any of these nootropics, you can easily add an omega-3 fatty acid to them for a little added focus.
Other Ways to Improve Focus
Set Up Your Day the Night Before – It’s very empowering
I really like to do this as the first thing before any other ways of keeping focused. In the evening after my kids are in bed I decide what I am going to do tomorrow. Mostly these are the simpler things and then I move on to the bigger tasks I may have.
Taking the distractions of what you are going to have for lunch, what you will wear, etc., helps me focus on the bigger things without my mind drifting.
I consider email as something I get to when I have time. It’s email, not an emergency telegram so it can wait until I have finished more important tasks that must get done and I stick to this plan.
The idea here is to set yourself up to remove the inevitable distractions that will get in the way of focusing on your tasks.
Do the Most Difficult Tasks First
One of the best ways to remain unfocused is to put off our most difficult tasks. Doing this ensures that they will be on your mind while you are trying to focus on some other task that could have waited. Stop this habit and get on to the most difficult ones.
The research is clear that in the morning we are the freshest and so are our minds. Don’t waste this time with the easy stuff. You will thank yourself later.
Organize your breaks
If you are engaged in a task that takes more time or is taking longer than you expected, you need to take more frequent brakes to recharge your brain. These breaks can just be getting up and moving. Walk around, talk to a co-worker if there is one, or step outside. These types of breaks get your mind focusing on something easy.
Define Your Daily Goals
Why are you doing this task? It is always a lot easier to keep focused when you can define why you are doing it in the first place. This is why I mention the organizational system called GDT (Getting things done. This system among other things suggests you relate your activity to some significant goals.
Eat Healthy Foods
Besides being good for your health, eating right will help you to be more productive. When you’re hungry it’s really hard to stay focused on something (personally I can’t focus at all if I’m hungry), and if you eat too much, you’ll be overcome by sleep.