In the fast-paced world of competitive schooling and work environments, many people are searching for ways to get ahead of the game. And, for desperate college students and those whose jobs depend on sharp cognitive ability, prescription drugs like Ritalin and Adderall can seem like the best way to keep on the front edge. That’s because these drugs, when prescribed appropriately, can help somebody who suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder or another learning disability to focus normally. If these drugs can help someone who has a learning disability function on the same cognitive level as the other parts of the population, then surely they can help a healthy person sharpen their mind even further.
However, taking medication that was prescribed to someone else is not only risky, but illegal. As an alternative to breaking the law—and causing themselves potential harm—many people are now turning to natural “brain supplements” in the hopes that these pills can help them get extra focus and energy to complete projects. But, do these brain supplements really make you smarter? Well, they certainly won’t put information into your brain. However, they may help you achieve better focus and memory, both of which can help you learn faster. Let’s take a look at how brain supplements might help you improve your cognitive function without stealing from the medicine cabinet.
Not Just A Red Bull
Substances that can help improve brain function are called nootropics. One of the most common nootropics is one that is found in copious amounts in kitchens across the world: caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and can quickly act on the central nervous system, including the brain. Millions of people rely on caffeine every morning to help them wake up and focus. It can also help relieve the symptoms of migraines. But, too much caffeine can make you jittery and can cause a “crash” after withdrawal. Some nootropic supplements use caffeine, but most breakthroughs in psychopharmaceutical science have to do with ingredients that could actually regrow brain cells and stimulate new neural connections. One of these, which was recently involved in studies on prenatal cognitive development, is phosphatidylcholine (PC). This is a component of cell membranes, commonly found in eggs and soybeans. So, the benefits of brain supplements can go far beyond simply being alert. You may actually experience real mental improvement.
While there are still tests being done on potential future cognitive medications, there are certainly plenty of success stories from real people who have already tried supplements. In fact, brain supplements are a favorite aid for big-business CEOs and entrepreneurs. Some say that nootropics are already commonplace in the higher tiers of major companies. There may even be a correlation between how much money you earn and whether or not you take cognitive supplements. In a work world which sometimes puts productivity over the value of the worker, the push for supplements in the workplace is exploding. And, it may be the key to more lucrative businesses and more creativity on the job.
While you should ideally check in with your doctor before taking any supplements, so far studies have shown that taking natural, non-prescription nootropics has few side effects. And, while these supplements don’t make you smarter per se, they might give you the focus and creativity you need to get ahead in your field.