Dietary supplements can be versatile tools for the people who take them. In their most basic form, they can help to round out a person’s diet so that they don’t suffer from any deficiencies due to how they eat. A great example of this is when someone takes an iron supplement.
However, there is more potential in the use of supplements other than to just keep you functioning at a bare minimum. In fact, if you use the right supplements properly, you might even see a boost in certain areas of your life. For example, there are certain supplements that work wonders for helping people build muscle and increase their endurance when they work out.
In this article, though, we are going to look at something that will help you in your everyday life. We are going to look at the best supplements to use if you want to improve focus and concentration. These supplements may not work miracles but they will definitely give you the mental edge you need to get through your tasks for the day.
Ginkgo Biloba – Oxygenates Your Brain
To start our list off, we have a natural supplement called ginkgo biloba. This supplement originates from the ginkgo tree. A ginkgo tree is a large tree with fan-shaped leaves that is native to Asia – specifically China, Japan, and Korea. The gingko tree can also be found in parts of Europe and the United States since it was introduced to these regions in the 1700s.
The way that ginkgo biloba works to improve focus and concentration is by improving oxygen flow in the brain. Much like the rest of your body, your brain needs oxygen to operate properly. So, by increasing the amount of oxygen in your brain, your brain works more efficiently and you are able to think more clearly.
What is perhaps the most notable about ginkgo biloba and the mental weight it carries, though, is its potential to treat Alzheimer’s Disease. In fact, it is often employed for use by people with other memory disorders as well. This is because individuals who suffer memory disorders do so because of decreased blood flow in the brain.
Much like oxygen, the proper amount of blood is needed to ensure the brain functions as it should. Without enough blood flow, not only will memory become a problem but so will concentration and mood as well as uncomfortable physical symptoms such as dizziness and headaches.
There is also evidence that ginkgo biloba can help improve focus and concentration in individuals with ADHD. However, even a perfectly healthy individual should see an increase in mental processing speed and memory recall when taking gingko biloba.
The exact dosage of ginkgo biloba depends on the person but for improving mental function most people suggest between 240 mg and 600 mg. Your best bet is to start with a lower dose and move up from there until you find a dose that works for you.
L-Theanine – Gives a Calm Clarity
L-theanine might sound like a mysterious, scientific name but it’s just an amino acid. In fact, it’s one of the components that makes green tea so good for you!
L-theanine isn’t an amino acid that occurs naturally in the brain. However, it is closely related to a chemical that does occur naturally in your brain; this chemical is called glutamate. Glutamate is what is known as an excitatory neurotransmitter.
When l-theanine is present it binds to the same receptors that glutamate would. By doing this, it inhibits the effects of glutamate. This has an anxiety-relieving and calming effect on the person. This, along with the fact that l-theanine stimulates the production of the neurotransmitter GABA, which also plays a role in calming anxiety.
With less anxiety, you will be able to think more clearly and focus on what you are doing. This is even better because l-theanine doesn’t cause the sleepiness or impaired motor function that some prescription anxiety medications do.
The dosing for l-theanine is a little different from other supplements on this list. This is because it doesn’t depend on a range of doses that are unique to each person taking the supplement. Instead, the recommended dose is 100 mg before the activity that you want to improve your mental performance for, say before studying for an exam or getting that business proposal finished. If you are interested in an extra boost, though, l-theanine is also sometimes taken with a caffeine supplement ranging from 30 mg to 100 mg of caffeine paired with 12 mg to 100 mg of l-theanine.
Dimethylethanolamine (DMAE) – Aids Learning
Dimethylethanolamine, also known as DMAE, is a supplement that has been studied heavily – especially when it comes to its ability to improve focus and treat ADHD. DMAE is found naturally in the brain but in very small amounts. It can also be found in certain foods like anchovies and sardines. To get a substantial amount in your system, though, you will need to implement a DMAE supplement.
The basis of the idea behind DMAE is that it is thought to increase the levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain. To put it simply, this neurotransmitter is one of many in the brain that helps to support cognitive function. Specifically, it is thought to aid in learning and memory.
The potential of this supplement goes beyond just enhancing your everyday cognitive function, though. Certain studies show signs that DMAE might have the potential to treat conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease. In addition, though, DMAE is thought to improve focus and concentration – hence its place on our list.
In some studies, it was noted that even daily doses up to 1600 mg, there were no major side effects in users. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Those with high blood pressure, for example, might experience some negative side effects. If you have bipolar disorder, you should also be wary of DMAE because it has been shown to affect mood in the form of depressive episode and hypomania in those susceptible to it.
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) – Essential for Brain Function
Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, is one of the most important omega-3 fatty acids in your brain. DHA plays a key role in the development of the brain over our lifespans. This is because DHA is one of the key components in the brain that works as a building block for cell membranes and nerve cells. This makes DHA crucial for cell communication.
Even further, though, DHA is crucial to the cerebral cortex. This part of the brain is vastly important as it plays a huge role in memory, language, creativity, attention, and emotion. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that a DHA supplement would go a long way.
What exactly do you get out of a DHA supplement, though? Well, it can do a lot. From aiding in brain development to helping depression, there is a lot to gain from using this supplement. As far as focus and concentration go, a DHA supplement can help with ADHD – especially in children. For adults, though, DHA can help to retain brain volume which means that you can use it to combat the diminishing brain power that age can sometimes bring. In addition, it can help fight against age by increasing neuroplasticity.
These four supplements are a great start to get you more focused. If you would like to read more about what you can do to support your concentration, learning and memory read The Best Supplements to Improve Brain Function and 10 Foods That Keep Your Brain Young.
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