There is no such thing as a “magic pill” that will make you more productive. There are, however, a good number of natural vitamins and supplements that promote brain health and function, as well as general mental development.
Here are six supplements for better productivity that will jumpstart your brain and help keep you focused.
Docosahexaenoic acid, more easily referred to as DHA, is a fatty acid found in cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna and herring. Its mental development properties are so strong that DHA is often included as a baby formula supplement for premature babies.
There is a long list of positive benefits of DHA. It helps improve vision, prevents and treats depression and also helps tone down aggressive behavior during stressful situations. That alone makes it one of the top supplements for better productivity, since stress is known as a major productivity killer.
Phosphatidylserine, referred to as PS for short, is a lipid found throughout the body, with a particularly high concentration in the brain.
Among its benefits are reduced risk of dementia and cognitive dysfunction, particularly for older people. That’s said, PS is beneficial to brains of all ages.
It’s also helpful for those who exercise regularly — it’s been known to decrease muscle damage for those who take part in activities including weight training, endurance running and cycling.
Citicoline is a naturally occurring compound known to increase the brain chemical phosphatidylcholine, which is important for brain function. Put simply, citicoline boosts blood flow to the brain, which in turn makes brain cell membranes healthier and increases your brain’s overall energy.
An energized brain will help your focus and productivity, but citicoline has a bonus property: It helps decrease damage to brain tissue when injured, which can be useful for those who take part in contact sports.
Acetyl-L-carnitine is a popular supplement among athletes and bodybuilders, but it can be considered among the list of supplements for better productivity as well.
The supplement is known to improve memory, which is no doubt helpful in improving your overall productivity. It’s been so effective with memory improvement that it’s being studied as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to memory improvement, acetyl-L-carnitine boosts thought processing and the overall ability to learn things. Some have even said it has led to increased levels of focus and attention. It has also helped some people increase general alertness, motivation and overall energy levels.
5. Bacopa Monnieri
Using Bacopa monnieri as a supplement helps improve mental cognition by reducing anxiety levels, which is always welcome among those looking to become more productive. It makes sense — the less you’re worried about this or that, the more you can concentrate on the task at hand.
In basic science terms, Bacopa monnieri promotes the growth of nerve endings, which then increases the ability of the nervous system to communicate with the rest of your body. Like many supplements, it’s best to take this with a meal, as ingesting it on an empty stomach can lead to nausea or cramping.
L-theanine is a chemical found in green tea leaves known to combat anxiety and high blood pressure. When combined with caffeine, which is already found in most teas, L-theanine is at its most effective.
The reason is it essentially cancels out the negative “jittery” effects of caffeine without affecting the positive properties, such as fat burning and energizing the mind. Put another way, the supplement has a way of relaxing the body and mind without causing drowsiness. That in the end will lead to higher productivity.
Finally, L-theanine has been known to improve sleep, not by making you sleep longer, but by helping you sleep better. As we all know, a good night’s sleep can go a long way toward a productive day.
Not All Supplements (Or Users) Are Equal
Like anything you ingest, the effects of supplements for better productivity can vary from person to person. Some may work for you while others may not.
A best practice is to take a trial-and-error approach to see which supplements are most effective at boosting productivity while also limiting potential negative effects. Once you find something you’re comfortable with, you can then add the supplements to your daily routine to maximize productivity.
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