Are you tired of feeling like you’re living in a mental haze? Do you struggle with mood swings, lack of mental focus, and a general sense of “blah”?
If so, you’re not alone! In today’s fast-paced world, it’s all too common to experience brain fog and dips in mental clarity. But here’s the good news—several natural supplements are available that can help supercharge your brain, boost your mood, and leave you feeling sharp and on top of your game.
Supplements whose action improves cognitive performance (aka thinking, learning, and memory) are called nootropics. In this article, we’ll share the top nootropic supplements on the market and dig into the science of how they work.
Ready to say goodbye to brain fog and hello to a more focused, energetic, and balanced you? Let’s take a look at the best mental clarity supplements available.
- Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba, a well-established herb with a rich history of use in traditional Eastern medicine, is renowned for its cognitive-enhancing properties.
Ginkgo biloba is believed to work by enhancing blood flow to the brain, which can bolster cognitive function and protect against age-related cognitive decline.
- Bacopa monnieri
Bacopa monnieri is a time-honored herb with a rich history in Ayurvedic medicine, revered for its ability to boost brain function.
Studies have shown that supplementing with Bacopa monnieri can give your brain a turbo boost, speeding up information processing, increasing reaction times, and sharpening memory.[*]
This powerful herb contains active compounds known as bacosides, which protect your brain against oxidative stress while also improving signaling in the hippocampus, the center of memory processing.[*][*]
The effects of Bacopa monnieri are not immediate, so consistency is key. Full benefits are said to be felt after several months.
- Rhodiola rosea
The herb Rhodiola rosea is like a superhero for your mental health and a salve to your nervous system. It’s what’s called an adaptogen, meaning it helps your body adapt to physical and mental stressors.
Another study involving college students who were preparing for stressful exams found that this herb can help reduce mental fatigue and increase feelings of well-being.[*]
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that’s best known for its ability to reduce stress, but it’s also been shown to support cognitive functioning.
The researchers noted that compounds found in ashwagandha have antioxidant effects in the brain, which may account for these cognitive benefits.
- Panax ginseng
Panax ginseng is a well-known medicinal root with a history of use for boosting brain function.
The exact mechanism behind Panax ginseng’s ability to enhance brain function is still unclear, but its potent anti-inflammatory effects may play a role. These effects can help protect the brain from oxidative stress and improve its function.[*]
Choline is a brain-boosting essential nutrient that’s often overlooked in brain health discussions. Above all else, choline is needed to properly form and maintain the integrity of brain cells.[*]
It’s also a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in several key processes in the brain, including memory, mood, and muscle control.[*]
Although the liver produces choline, it doesn’t generate enough to fulfill our daily requirements. As such, without sufficient choline intake through diet and supplements, our brain’s structure and function can deteriorate.
In terms of effects, choline supplementation appears to be particularly helpful for boosting memory. In one large study involving 1,391 healthy subjects, researchers found a strong correlation between choline intake and performance on verbal and visual memory tests.[*]
Omega-3s are brain health superstars. These essential fatty acids not only energize the brain, but also serve as a key component of the brain itself, accounting for eight percent of its total weight.[*]
Studies show that supplementing with the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can support brain health, including mental clarity, memory, attention, and mood.[*][*][*][*]
Omega-3 supplements are available from vegan or non-vegan sources. Fish oil is the most popular kind of omega-3 supplement, but flax seed oil and algae oil are excellent plant-based options.
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom
Lion’s mane mushroom has been revered in Chinese medicine for thousands of years and is widely recognized for its potential brain health benefits. This adaptogenic ‘shroom is particularly well-known for its ability to increase nerve growth factor (NGF).[*][*]
NGF plays a crucial role in promoting the growth and survival of existing neurons, generating new neurons, and reversing nerve damage caused by injury.[*]
And, unsurprisingly, healthier neurons lead to improved brain function. A study conducted in a group of men and women aged 50 to 80 showed that consuming a lion’s mane supplement for several weeks led to significantly better performance on cognitive function tests than a control group.[*]
Get Started with Mental Clarity Supplements
Mother Nature has gifted us with a plethora of brain boosters that can support us in many incredible ways.
These supplements come in various forms and can typically be found online or in health food stores. It’s always wise to check in with a healthcare professional before beginning any new supplement to ensure it’s safe for your unique health status and to determine appropriate dosages.
If you’re looking for an easy (and delicious) way to get a bunch of these nutrients at once, try IQBAR—a vegan and keto protein bar formulated around six nutrients shown to support sustained cognitive energy, performance, and health.
In every IQBAR, you can find omega-3s, lion’s mane, choline, vitamin E, flavonoids, and MCTs. Choose from many delicious flavors, such as Chocolate Sea Salt, Peanut Butter Chip, Banana Nut, Matcha Chai, and Lemon Blueberry. Not sure which flavors you’ll like? Try our 7-Bar Sampler!By combining the right brain health supplements, a balanced diet, and regular exercise, you can take the reins of your mental clarity and embark on a journey toward optimal brain health.