If only studying stopped in high school. But the reality is that once we start school, we never really quit studying whether it’s college, grad school or preparing for a presentation at work.
If you have an intense study session coming up for school or work, you might be tempted to make yourself a big pot of coffee. The amount of caffeine in it does make the drink a stimulant; therefore, it can definitely help you to stay awake. The flip side of the coin is coffee also has side effects (especially if you drink more than a couple of cups a day) including irritability, jitteriness and the inability to concentrate—none of the things that you need when you’re trying to learn and retain information.
The better alternative would be to take a few all-natural supplements—ones that are proven to help you to focus without the side of effects of caffeine. Below are five of our absolute favorite ones along with why they top the list.
Bacopa: Basically, Bacopa is a plant that is found in tropical and subtropical regions everywhere. What makes this supplement so special is it has a way of helping the body easily adapt to new or surprising stressful situations. It does this by helping to regenerate brain tissue as it also stabilizes your blood pressure and fights off free radicals. When your brain and immune system are strong, that’s the foundation for focusing easier and better
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GABA: This is an acronym for Gamma-Aminobutyric acid which is a long word for a type of neurotransmitter that sends messages to your brain. People with a low amount of GABA in their system sometimes have mood disorders and even chronic pain. Adding GABA to your diet can improve your moods, relieve anxiety and, if you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD, it can help to treat that too (it also improves your quality of sleep). Foods that have GABA in them include almonds, bananas, broccoli and brown rice, so eat up!
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L-Tyrosine: Word on the street (and by that we mean medical journals) is that if you take this particular amino acid on an empty stomach, it will increase the norepinephrine and dopamine levels in your brain so that you’ll be able to get into a great mood and have more energy. L-Tyrosine also helps your working memory to increase while lowering your body’s stress levels.
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Huperzine-A: This is an alkaloid extracted from club moss; it is used in Chinese medicine to treat ailments like bodily inflammation and even schizophrenia. It inhibits an enzyme called acetylcholine esterase (ACHE). That’s a fancy way of saying that it supports the brain. So much in fact, that some Alzheimer’s patients are given it because the effects are potent minus the side effects of many prescription drugs. Some patients who’ve had a brain or spinal injury (or even individuals who battle with addiction) use it too. Huperzine-A can take your study sessions to another level because it improves the levels of acetylcholine in your brain. That’s great because that is literally where your “learning transmitter” is located. It also can keep your brain healthy and strong in the process.
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Citicoline (CDP Choline): If it’s been years since you’ve been in a classroom and you can’t even remember the last time you stayed up all night cramming for a test only to stay up all day in order to take it (ah, the college life!), no worries. Try some Citicoline. This supplement (one that has very few side effects, by the way) can boost your memory levels while increasing your mental energy, making it so much easier to learn more. Some physicians attribute it to speeding up memory recall. Sounds like a winner to us!
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Where can I get these all in one place???
I'm glad you asked. There are a variety of these nootropic supplements on the market, but to buy all of these, let alone consume them would be enough to deter anyone. One supplement I can personally recommend is Ajna Wellbeing'[s FOCUS. Like the name implies, it gives you all the benefits of the aforementioned ingredients and then some! You'll notice better concentration and memory, as well as being in better mood. I enjoy taking this just as much on non-study days for a bit of extra spark!
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