6 Nootropics People Take Each Day

A short while ago we covered the History of Nootropics and Cognitive Enhancers on the Lucid Smart Pill blog. One of the interesting points that came out of my research was the widespread use of Nootropics in various cultures around the world, both in traditional eastern and more contemporary western diets.

In fact, Nootropics have been part of our diet for thousands of years. It’s no wonder either! Nootropics have the power to optimise our minds and make us feel sharper and more switched on.

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Are you one of those people that starts their day with a cup of coffee? Well I have news for you, Nootropics are a part of your daily routine! I’ve created list of 6 widely consumed Nootropics around the world, see how many are a part of your routine.

Vitamin D – The Sun’s Nootropic

We commonly think of Vitamin D as the vitamin our body produces from the sun. Studies have shown links between a lack of vitamin D and depression, but the power of Vitamin D extends further than being a super mood booster. Vitamin D has been found to provide benefits to the brain throughout life.

The sun’s Nootropic has been studied and shown to improve well-being, memory and general cognitive ability. Worryingly up to 70% of us do not get enough of it.

The office-bound, indoor nature of most jobs means many of us are short on sunshine, and subsequently, Vitamin D. If you’re feeling stuck in second gear or can’t seem to solve a problem at work, take a 30 minute break and get some sunshine and a healthy dose of Vitamin D. It might put a sun smile on your dial too.

Caffeine – The Popular Nootropic

Certainly the most popular Nootropic in the world and the most widely known. Caffeine is sourced from the leaves and fruits of certain plants, most commonly coffee beans. Caffeine rose to prominence in Europe in the 16th Century, when traders brought the beans back from their overseas endeavours.

We also know that Caffeine has been used for centuries before that, by Middle Eastern and South American civilisations. Today, Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, chocolate, workout supplements, energy drinks, isotonic drinks and more.

Acting on the the brain and central nervous system, Caffeine is a powerful stimulant. With a suitable dose for your body size and tolerance, Caffeine is an ideal Nootropic for a subtle lift in cognition and mood.

Vitamin B12 – The Bacterial Nootropic

We know that B vitamins are essential for an optimally functioning brain. But did you know that B12 has the most benefit to your brain?

Also known as Cobalamin, B12 plays a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and the formation of red blood cells. It is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body, especially affecting DNA synthesis, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism.

Interestingly, B12 cannot be produced from fungi or plants, nor by humans either.

Only bacteria and archaea living inside animals have the enzymes needed for its synthesis. Which means B12 comes a true bacterial Nootropic! Food sources of B12 are animal products including meat, fish, dairy products.

Choline – The Macro Nootropic

Choline is a nutrient essential for liver function, normal brain development, nerve function and supporting energy levels. It’s also the precursor molecule for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in many functions including memory and muscle control.

Did you know that Choline can be found naturally in foods including eggs, liver, beef, salmon, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and breast milk? That’s some list! In fact, eggs are often labelled ‘brain food’ as they are known for providing high amounts of choline.

Citicoline, a byproduct of choline, is used to treat poor working memory and improve general cognitive function. This underutilised supplement works by increasing blood flow to the brain, neuroplasticity, and the capacity to grow new brain cells. Citicoline is also one of Lucid Smart Pill’s ingredients.

Acetyl-L-carnitine – The Red Meat Nootropic

Acetyl-l-carnitine, or ALCAR, is a form of carnitine. It’s also part of the family of essential building blocks for life, amino acids.

ALCAR works largely by creating acetylcholine, the primary neurotransmitter required for learning and memory function. It can improve mental clarity, alertness, processing speed, focus, mood, and memory.

Although there are other variations of of ALCAR, Acetyl-L-carnitine has the unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier to get from your bloodstream into your brain. It has shown to be effective at alleviating the side effects of ageing, like neurological decline and chronic fatigue.

ALCAR is found almost only in red meat sources. So if you’re a herbivore (vegetarian), we’d suggest checking out ALCAR supplementation. Oh, it’s also found in Lucid Smart Pill.

Hillary Clinton drinking a popular ‘Bubble Iced Tea’ drink. The tea in it often contains L-Theanine, a popular Nootropic which relaxing benefits.

L-Theanine – The Anti-Stress Nootropic

L-theanine is quite rare in nature, in fact the only common sources you’ll find it in are black and green teas. Thankfully, these two are quite easy to find in your kitchen pantry!

Otherwise known as theanine, its an amino acid that has shown to provide relaxing, anti-stress properties. L-theanine raises levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and GABA, thus improving recall, learning, motivation, and positive mood.

It can also sharpen focus and concentration, while reducing stress and enhancing overall well-being. It’s no wonder that the Chinese have been drinking tea for its Nootropic value since the 9th century!

In case you couldn’t tell, we at Lucid are passionate about body betterment, neuro-enhancement, productivity & focus. To be kept up to date on any other blogs or infographics, add yourself to our community mailing list.
Hendrik Kruizinga

Hendrik is the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Lucid. He avidly pursues great design, experiential products and the a daily dose of betterment.