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August 15, 2020 8 min read

Did you know that there are dietary supplements on the market that can support your brain’s health? “Nootropics” is a term that refers to substances, natural or synthetic, that have an impact on mental skills and abilities.

Nootropics could be:

  • Cognitive support dietary supplements
  • Synthetic compounds
  • Prescription drugs

Brain Health Matters

The understatement of the year. Your brain is a very significant part of you. Your brain controls every part of your body, from breathing to your heartbeat, movements you make, and everything in between. A healthy brain is a part of a healthy life and a body that feels good.

When we talk about cognitive support, we’re typically talking about:

  • Brain function
  • Your ability to focus
  • Your short- and long-term memory
  • Moods

Ideally, the healthiest brain allows you to think and remember clearly, focus on the task at hand, and feel energized and content. In your quest for a healthier lifestyle, you’re probably exercising regularly and trying to eat a full, balanced diet, but a vital part of the equation is your brain health. 

What Factors Impact Brain Health?

Researchers continue to make progress on how they research the human brain, and the current research shows that most factors that affect brain health fall into these categories:

  • Genetics
  • Chemical reactions to stress
  • Changes to the brain structure and function
  • Environment
  • Lifestyle
  • Brain training or intentional thinking

Unfortunately, several factors that go into your brain’s health can’t be changed. We can’t change our genetic makeup, just like we can’t stop the aging process from occurring. We have some control over our reactions to stress, but not the biochemicals the brain releases in response to stressors.

There are, however, influenceable factors of brain health. You can change your environment, you can live a healthy lifestyle, you can train your brain, and you can take cognitive support supplements.

Lifestyle Choices for Cognitive Support

Health experts agree that the most critical factors in your control for your brain health and cognitive support are:

  1. Sleep
  2. Diet
  3. Stress
  4. Exercise

Sleep for Cognitive Support

Everyone knows sleep is essential. You can’t live without sleep; however, many people live on the bare minimum. Sleep affects every tissue in your body, and research shows that being chronically sleep-deprived increases your risk factors for high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and depression. You also feel awful when you’re not well-rested. It’s challenging to perform your best mentally or physically. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, but there is no one size fits all answer. Some adults can feel completely well-rested on as little as five hours of sleep a night. On your mission for better brain health and cognitive support, start here.

If you have a difficult time sleeping, consider adding a sleep aid supplement.

  • Allmax Lights Out Sleep includes ingredients like vitamin B6, GABA, and melatonin to encourage better, more restful sleep.

A Healthy Diet for Cognitive Support

Lots of people think of food as fuel for your body, but it’s also fuel for your brain. Your brain works every minute of the day, continuing when your body rests while in a deep sleep. Therefore, your brain requires constant fuel from the foods you consume.

Your brain, much like an expensive car, thrives on premium fuel - a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Your brain can also be altered and damaged when you consume less than premium food, just like an expensive car. Studies show that diets high in refined foods and sugar can cause physical damage to your brain’s structure.

Consider working with a registered dietician to determine what will work best for you as an individual but in general for cognitive support, consume 45-65 percent of calories from carbohydrates, 25-35 percent of calories from fats, and 10-30 percent of calories from protein. Eat approximately five servings of vegetables and fruits each day, and work on limiting red meat, processed foods, refined sugars, trans fats, and saturated fats.

Consider adding these foundational supplements to support your healthy diet:

Supplement Superstores multivitamin recommendation:

Allmax VitaStack - a complete multivitamin to supplement your diet for crucial vitamins and minerals.

Supplement Superstores antioxidant supplement recommendation:

Allmax R+ALA - protect your brain and body from damaging free-radicals with ALA, a potent antioxidant known as the “universal antioxidant.”

Supplement Superstores greens supplement recommendation:

Allmax CytoGreens - twenty-one times the nutrients of dark leafy greens from spirulina, spinach, barley grass, and more.

Reduce Your Stress for Cognitive Support

Stress isn’t fun, and most people understand that it’s harmful. However, few realize that cortisol, the stress hormone, is toxic to your brain and body. Too much cortisol can cause a wide array of symptoms in the body, but it physically shrinks the prefrontal cortex in the brain and enlarges the amygdala.

The prefrontal cortex is responsible for memory and learning, and the amygdala makes the brain more receptive to stress. For cognitive support, protect your brain from the damaging effects of stress by:

  1. Controlling the factors you can control by having a routine
  2. Adopting healthy sleep habits like going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, and striving for seven to nine hours of sleep per night
  3. Organizing daily tasks and setting reasonable daily expectations
  4. Seeking support for better stress management with a trained counselor, and begin meditating
  5. Realizing that some stress is unavoidable and helpful for personal growth

Exercising for Cognitive Support

You know that physical exercise is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle, and you know how good it is for your body. Exercise also positively impacts the brain in many ways. Increased blood flow feeds your brain more oxygen, and hormones released upon working out encourage an excellent environment for new brain cell simulation. New connections also form in areas of the brain during exercise, which promotes brain plasticity. For cognitive support, experts suggest a moderate aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity.

What are Cognitive Support Supplements?

There are hundreds of nootropic ingredients in the supplement market available for purchase. Many of the ingredients in cognitive support supplements can increase your memory, motivation, energy, and general brain function.

Can Cognitive Support Supplements Increase Brain Health?

With all supplements, you have to be especially careful because there are no regulations, and the claims don’t have to be proven. Cognitive support supplements fall under the same category, so they’re not regulated by the government. For that reason, we always talk about finding supplement brands you can trust, and that’s true for cognitive support supplements as well.

If you can trust the supplement brand, next, you just need to know the most effective ingredients for cognitive support. These are the six best ingredients to look for in cognitive support supplements.

Caffeine

If you’re one of the two-thirds of Canadians who enjoy at least one coffee a day, you're probably already familiar with caffeine’s effects on your body. Caffeine works by waking up the brain and central nervous system to make you feel more energized and alert. Studies show that consuming caffeine can also improve your memory, reaction time, and overall brain function.

For most people, 200-400 milligrams of caffeine per day is safe, and enough to offer cognitive support. The caffeine content in a single cup of coffee can vary but is generally around 100 mg.

If you don’t consume caffeine in your beverages, you can try caffeine supplements for cognitive support. Be careful not to consume too much caffeine, and if you begin to experience trouble sleeping or anxiety, you may want to ditch the caffeine supplements altogether.

Supplement Superstore’s caffeine cognitive support supplement recommendation:

AllmaxCaffeine - one hundred capsules with 200 mg of caffeine to energize your workout and restore your mental sharpness.

L-Theanine

L-Theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid in tea leaves, which has several health benefits, including lowered risk for obesity, increasing your metabolism, and dulling hunger cues. Besides these beneficial factors to your body, L-Theanine is also a cognitive support supplement.

L-Theanine contributes to several beneficial changes in the brain, including increasing levels of GABA and other calming chemicals, lowering the excitatory brain chemicals, and enhancing alpha brain waves. All of these changes help improve sleep, reduce stress, sharpen your focus, and maintain a healthy weight.

L-Theanine is safe for most healthy adults in 100-400 mg per day dosage. If used in conjunction with caffeine, experts recommend 12-100 mg L-Theanine and 30-100 mg caffeine.

Supplement Superstore’s L-Theanine cognitive support supplement recommendation:

Organika L-Theanine - Ninety capsules with 225 mg L-Theanine per serving. 

5-Hydroxytryptophan

5-Hydroxytryptophan or 5-HTP is a by-product of L-Tryptophan, an amino acid. This cognitive support supplement works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing serotonin and melatonin. More research is needed, but using 5-HTP as a cognitive support supplement shows promise for improving anxiety and depression, insomnia, migraines, and more.

Healthy adults can take 150-800 mg daily for two to six weeks at a time.

Supplement Superstore’s 5-HTP cognitive support supplement recommendation:

Alora Naturals 5-HTP - 60 capsules of 100 mg per serving to support cognitive function and emotional well-being. 

L-Tyrosine

Another amino acid naturally occurring through the production of phenylalanine in the body is L-Tyrosine. It is a popular cognitive support supplement because it increases the neurotransmitters dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. This increased level of neurotransmitters in the brain may improve memory, depression, performance when under stress, and overall brain function.

L-Tyrosine is safe for healthy adults at a dosage of 150 mg per kilogram of body weight per day for up to three months at a time.

Supplement Superstore’s L-Tyrosine cognitive support supplement recommendation:

CanPrev L-Tyrosine Powder - Five grams of L-Tyrosine per scoop of this 220-gram container improves cognitive fatigue and function.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is a foundational supplement that everyone should consider taking. Not only are the omega-3 fatty acids good for your heart and skin, but they’re also incredibly impactful in your brain. The polyunsaturated fats in fish oil are responsible for these benefits as they are vital to preserve cell membranes and facilitate communication between cells.

Some research indicates that fish oil can benefit mild memory loss and improve depression. Start by taking 1000-2000 mg of fish oil per day.

Supplement Superstore’s fish oil cognitive support supplement recommendation:

Allmax Omega-3 - One hundred eighty soft gels with 1000 mg of fish oil per serving. You can have all the benefits of fish oil without the smell or the dreaded fishy burps.

Creatine

Creatine is already the most common supplement in the fitness world because of its ability to increase strength and sports performance. Still, scientists now know that increased creatine intake improves brain function, improves recognition memory, and reduces mental fatigue.

When using creatine for cognitive support, dosing requires a little math, as you should use a loading protocol. Take 0.3 grams of creatine per kilogram of body weight per day for five to seven days. Then take at least 0.03 grams of creatine per kilogram of body weight per day for three weeks or indefinitely.

Supplement Superstore’s fish oil cognitive support supplement recommendation:

Allmax Creatine Monohydrate - five grams of creatine per scoop in this 1000 gram container.

A Healthy Life Starts with a Healthy Brain

Your brain is the control center of your whole body. If you care about your health and well-being, you have to care about your brain’s health. You can make lifestyle changes to improve your brain’s health, like eating a more balanced diet, controlling your stress, and getting adequate sleep. If you struggle to manipulate any of these factors, using effective cognitive support supplements can help your brain reach and maintain its healthiest, most functional state, and improve your overall well-being.

Supplement Superstore stocks the most trusted supplement brands to provide you with a wide selection of supplements without worrying whether you’re actually getting the real ingredients or if they’re making false claims. We are proudly Canadian and have been around since 2014. Stay brainy and be well!



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