Nootropic: L-theanineL-theanine is an amino acid that comes from green tea and is considered more of a “helper” nootropic in that it doesn’t do a whole lot by itself, but when combined with caffeine, the compound helps to mitigate any negative side effects and let you use that oh-so-sweet caffeine energy boost to its fullest potential. The combination of caffeine and l-theanine is what powers our 1-2-Go energy/focus booster. This powerful combination of caffeine and l-theanine in a 1:2 ratio respectively has been studied and shown to reduce susceptibility to distraction and increase alertness.
- Jitters: L-theanine helps to control the jittery feeling that you get when you either have a low caffeine tolerance or have a tolerance but take a lot at once (multiple cups of coffee or tea within a few hours).
- Poor sleep: some have trouble sleeping after taking caffeine, even if consumed hours before bedtime. L-theanine helps to get rid of this mild and chemically induced insomnia.
Nootropic: St. John’s WortBreaking out of depression can be quite challenging. An option is going to the doctor’s office and being prescribed medication… but many people don’t want to go down that path, or already have and have had less than favorable results. They want to break out all by themselves with natural, non-addicting remedies.If this sounds like you or someone you know and care for, take a look at St. John’s Wort. The compound doesn’t help your cognitive abilities in any way, but it does inhibit the uptake of serotonin, dopamine, and GABA (increasing the amount of the vital chemicals in the brain). These are the chemicals that make you feel good. Researchers speculate that this is accomplished through Hyperforin (a phytochemical), but as with most nootropics, nothing has been proven definite.Technically, St. John’s Wort is an SSRI, but it’s not a prescription that you’d get at the doctor’s office. In case you aren’t aware, SSRIs work by reducing the amount of serotonin that your brain can absorb from what’s produced in your body. This results in your body producing more serotonin than usual, which helps those who suffer from depression (and the lack of serotonin). Please note that SSRIs can have adverse reactions with other enhancers, so taking St. John's Wort should be discussed with doctor especially if you are taking other medications.Dosage with St. John’s Wort has to be consistent, and you have to evenly space your doses throughout the day so that you’re always signaling to your body that it needs to produce more serotonin. The standard dose is 300mg 3x daily, and the easy part about St. John’s Wort is that you can find it in capsules on Amazon or at your local convenience store for an incredibly low price. (Most are $10 - $15 for a full month.)
Nootropic: CreatineBelieve it or not, your favorite bodybuilding supplement can also help your cognitive functions… but not in the ways that you might, at first glance, think.When you take creatine, it’s converted into phosphocreatine, which helps your body to produce more adenosine triphosphate "ATP." This supplemental ATP isn’t useful to your body until you have an actual, urgent need for it. For example, if you take creatine and go do “leg day” at the gym, your body will rapidly drain the phosphocreatine as you do squats and deadlifts to keep your ATP levels consistent.This also works with mental tasks. Oral supplementation of creatine can increase the brain’s phosphocreatine levels by 3% to 13%.That seems like a small increase, but it does have a noticeable effect.
- This increase has been shown to increase executive function (the management of cognitive processes) in sleep-deprived individuals.
- This increase enhances your performance on demanding tasks such as long hours of studying, trying to solve complicated math problems, figuring out a solution to a complete disaster at work, etc.
Beginner Nootropics: ConclusionIf you’re a beginner, the nootropics above are the ones that you should be considering right now depending on what you’re hoping to get out of your nootropic usage. We'll talk about nootropic stacks a little later. Taking a nootropic stack means taking several different nootropics every day so that their effects play off of each other. We’re going to give you five killer ones to try in a follow up post. With stacking, you can go above and beyond the already pretty amazing effects of the best beginner nootropics listed above.