Everyone wants to beat the mid-afternoon mental slump, but some people would rather do it without the crash that comes with coffee or energy drinks. So are there supplements for mental focus that don't contain stimulants?
Yes! While caffeine and other stimulants may get the job done quickly, the side effects and drawbacks of these ingredients are too unfavorable for many to sign up for. So, trying different supplements that don't come with some of these setbacks is the way to go.
Here, we'll discuss five stimulant-free supplements for mental focus and how best to use them to your advantage. But first:
What are stimulants?
Generally speaking, stimulants (also known as "uppers") are drugs that increase the activity of the body's central nervous system. These can be anything from amphetamines prescribed to treat conditions like ADHD all the way to caffeine, one of the most widely used substances in the world that most people get in their morning coffee.
In most people, these substances elevate alertness, energy, sociability and can even enhance mood. While the effects of uppers can be pleasant and invigorating, this class of drug also comes with a long list of pretty unpleasant side effects.
These can include:
- Stomach Cramps
- Increased Heart Rate
- Chest Pains
Focus Without Stimulants
Taking this intimidating list into consideration, it's easy to see why some might want to avoid stimulants just to get a little mid-afternoon burst of energy or focus.
There are, however, supplements that exist to help maintain focus but aren't classified as stimulants. They work by balancing neurotransmitters in the brain to maximize functionality.
These compounds, called nootropics, encompass a range of substances known to enhance cognitive function. While some stimulants like caffeine are also considered nootropics, there are many that are not.
Here are 5 stimulant-free supplements for mental focus:
L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine, better known as Alpha- GPC is a compound found naturally in the brain. This supplement is popular because it helps to increase choline levels both in the brain and the rest of the body.
Choline is an essential nutrient your body needs to perform numerous functions, but is particularly helpful for cellular messaging and the creation of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that aids memory and concentration.
Bacopa monnieri is a staple in ayurvedic (traditional Indian) medicine. It is a strong antioxidant and compounds within the plant called bacosides, have been shown to help improve memory and cognition.
This is one of the most popular non-stimulant nootropics and there are numerous studies that back claims of improved mental function.
L-Theanine is an amino acid that elevates certain neurotransmitter levels in the brain including GABA, dopamine, and serotonin. These help to regulate concentration, alertness, emotions, sleep, etc. making the compound beneficial to mental focus.
Having adequate sleep can be a major component of your ability to concentrate and remain focused on tasks during the day. L-theanine can also help counteract the effects of caffeine and other stimulants. Jitters and anxiousness are reduced with its use, which is why drinking teas (often naturally high in the supplement) don’t generally produce the same negative effects as a cup of coffee even with teas high in caffeine.
Creatine is a compound found in the muscle cells of your body and is produced by certain amino acids. While it’s widely used for workouts to help increase muscle mass, studies show it may be helpful in preventing the effects of degenerative brain diseases.
Because creatine works by increasing ATP (the body’s main energy source) production and storage, it can help keep you focused and alert.
This amino acid plays a significant role in energy production, and increases activity of neurons in the central nervous system.
A key component of focus is energy, which is why stimulants are often beneficial for concentration. L-carnitine has been shown to curb fatigue and increase alertness in Multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferers.
An additional study comparing caffeine pre-workouts and a stimulant-free version which included L-carnitine showed that the stimulant-free supplement was equally as effective in measured participants.
How To Use
You can purchase these supplements individually and add them to your routine, or look for convenient products that contain a mix of some or all of them.
Just be sure you're following recommended dosages and consulting your healthcare provider whenever you add new supplements to your diet.
Nutriair Focus products contain many of these stimulant-free ingredients as well as some additional for a mega-boost of focus and concentration when you need it most. Try below:
The side effects of caffeine and other stimulants can be a major deterrent to regular use for mental focus. That's why it's important to be able to rely on supplements that don't contain stimulants and work effectively.
The supplements discussed in this post are great options for those hoping to achieve better focus and clarity throughout the day without suffering a caffeine crash. Just be sure to consult your doctor before taking additional supplements, as they can interact with current medication or cause allergic reactions in some.