Author Archives: Patrick Ortega

The latest in Neuroplasticity: How ageing can improve your brain

NeuroplasticityA human brain consists of around 100,000,000 neurons, and for years scientists believed that the amount we are born with are the most we will ever have. In other, words it’s all downhill from birth because neurons eventually die. The old, accepted way of thinking was that our brain could not regenerate neurons and once they began to die, we would only end up with fewer nerve cells. As a consequence, our cognitive performance would not get better, but would slowly decline, without any way of preventing it. But it has now been discovered that that is not the case.  Photo by: Virtual Inbound Marketing 

Neuroplasticity refers to the plasticity of the brain – its ability to modify itself, including the creation of new cells. This is great news for anyone who wants to improve their mental faculties. For anyone who wants to sharpen their focus, concentration, improve their memory, as well as their problem solving skills and overall intelligence, the existence of neuroplasticity means that the power of our brain is not fixed but is variable; it can be changed, sculpted, regenerated. In essence, it can be improved.

Neuroplasticity works in a few ways. Intense studying and learning is a neuroplasticity technique. When we study and focus our attention on something, it eventually becomes second nature to us. Chess players who concentrate and focus on chess strategies soon find that the moves they make on the chess board are more out of a habit than the product of intense thought. We call such occurring intuition. But intuition is simply our modified brain – it has adapted itself to our learning. This is neuroplasticity; it is your brain bending to your will, reshaping itself according to your needs.

Nootropics have been speculated as being a good source to engineer neuroplasticity. Nootropics such as piracetam and and huperzine-A have been known to boost our ability to learn and absorb new information, improving our brain’s plasticity and enhancing our cognitive performance. These nootropics have been known to assist with and increase nerve growth and are popular with students who have lots of information to take in under stressful times.

 

Nootropics And Their Benefits For The Ultimate Hangover

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Photo by: Jirka Matousek

Many of us like a good party, even if we’ll admit that we dread the morning after the night before. Often, we go a little too far in our pursuit of a good time, letting our hair down wildly because we deserve it after a week of hard work. And why not? But for those of us who are serious about warding off the sinuous demons that pounce on us the next day, we need to start looking for a solution.

After all, some of us have things to do and a day wasted is more than annoying. A day curled up in bed with a comedown or a hangover is the last thing we want if we still have work to finish off, a meeting to go to later in the day, or exams to revise for. The problem is that we lose far too many days each year due to our body’s slow recovery time as it turgidly tries to get the alcohol and any other substances out of our system.

Evolution has assisted many things, but its ability to combat alcohol is still left largely wanting. Moreover, because our means of having a good time have changed – processed drugs and whatnot – our body now has to adapt to that too. So is there a cure? Is there a solution? Or do we simply have to give up the ghost and prepare ourselves for the fact that we won’t be getting anything done the day after a night on the town? Well, actually, there are a few remedies out there. Let’s take a look.

Modafinil

The effectiveness of modafinil on sleep deprived adults has been established for quite some time. It’s been variously prescribed in the past for those who suffer narcolepsy or find themselves feeling drowsy at work, and is known to improve alertness and sustain cognitive performance. And after a night of hard partying, one of the key things you lose is sleep. Combined with loss of energy, your body will feel completely drained the day after, unfit for anything besides the occasional yawn and cry of ‘help me!’ Modafinil can keep people awake for an incredible 40 hours and, best of all, it comes without the fuzziness that caffeine tends to produce. It’s safe to use, so if tiredness is your worst enemy after a night out, modafinil could be your new best friend.

Hericium Erinaceus

It sounds Greek (Hercules, geddit?) so we thought maybe this would be capable of making you stronger the next day, ready to do battle with the hangover and win. As it turns out, it does make you stronger physically, but Hericium Erinaceus is a Chinese mushroom and its effects on a person who has done too much partying are nothing short of wonderful.

When you drink to excess, your body prevents zinc absorption. Alcohol can also cause a depletion of iron, and we all know by now the long-term effects it can have on your liver. Hericium Erinaceus, which has been used as a Chinese medicine for centuries, is a veritable well of Zinc and Iron, and it also comes with excellent benefits for your liver (not to mention all your other vital organs). Although it has been used in the treatment of ulcers, its benefits for a partygoer who simply needs to get up and go the next day are there to see; it works at restoring huge quantities of energy, as well as boosting your overall physical condition. In short, it gives your whole body the oomph that it needs.

This widely-recognised nootropic comes in capsule form, or you can eat it in its original state. The only off-putting thing for some is that it looks like a beard (its nickname is the Bearded Hedgehog). Oh well.

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Photo by: Sheldon Shaw

Pyritinol

Alcohol is a depressant. Moreover, it causes us to lose our focus and concentration the next day, owing to both a mental and physical tiredness setting in. Pyritinol is known to be a particularly potent mental performance booster, and it works at increasing dopamine levels in our brain that, in short, give us that little oomph that we need when working.

But how does this help a hangover? Taken in large doses, Pyritinol has been proven to cure hangovers. When we drink alcohol, our body slows down the process of absorbing B vitamins, which are incredibly important for optimal brain functioning – or indeed, any kind of brain functioning! Pyritinol works to improve absorption of B vitamins. It improves concentration, speed of thought and it has even been clinically tested to help cut out depression. So if you’re feeling jaded the day after a night of partying, with your reasoning and ability to work out even simple sums or string a few paragraphs together significantly reduced, Pyritinol may be the one for you.

Caffeine + Painkiller

It’s a simplistic nootropics stack, but it’s incredibly effective and, even better, can probably be found in your kitchen without much effort. Such accessibility is exactly what you need when you’re dying of a hangover.

Study has shown that acetate – a negative ion found in liquid solutions, such as alcohol – is a chief culprit when it comes to those pesky hangover headaches. Caffeine and painkillers combined have subsequently been shown to block acetate, and thus cure one of a hangover headache.

Moreover, caffeine is well-known for its ability to wake us up and increase alertness. If you have something you really need to get done the day after a night on the tiles, a stimulant as potent as a cup of black coffee could be the perfect pick-me-up. The key is to not drink too much because, like alcohol, caffeine can also cause dehydration.

As an added afterthought, caffeine coupled with L-Theanine is also a great way to improve focus and concentration. L-Theanine is found in tea leaves and has been proven to significantly focus our mental faculties, thereby helping us to concentrate on our tasks and ward off a nasty hangover.

 

 

What Are Functional Foods?

To explain functional foods away by saying that they’re functional doesn’t really tell the whole story. All food is functional in the sense that they perform a function.

Milch-Jogurt-FrüchteWhether you eat to fill yourself up, to improve your health, or whether you eat purely for comfort, the food you choose is always performing a function.

But functional foods come with added health bonuses that go above and beyond the basic nutrition provided by most types of food. In essence, they have extra function, extra pizzazz and purpose, hence the name.

Photo by: en.wikepedia.org

The additional function is most often related to a modification in the food that assists and enhances our health. They often contain added nutrients and substances. For example, an optimized health benefit of cereal would be its increased supply of fiber.

Because functional foods are known to significantly reduce debilitating diseases, such as cancer or diabetes, they also provide long term benefits as well as short term ones.

Owing to the modifications in the food, functional foods are often categorized as processed foods, such as cereal or certain types of bread.

First marketed in Japan in the early eighties, functional foods are growing in popularity all the time, their evolution a reflection of society’s ever growing concern for their health and wellbeing, as well as the popularity of mass-marketed diets.

Research in the field is still ongoing, as marketers continue to refine and tweak their products in a bid to maximize their potential and thus further boost our health.

Indeed, the market is important not just for our health but also for the economy – it is an industry worth around 50 billion dollars at present.

You can purchase functional foods from your local grocery store as single item – such as a piece of fruit – or you can buy them as a shake. Although the effect of a single item may not be as strong as one derived from a shake that combines a few ingredients together, they still contain increased amount of vitamins, fiber and minerals that are essential to the promotion of our health. Here are a few functional goods you can buy:

  • Tomatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Soy
  • Omega-3 eggs
  • Flaxseed

Seeking Health’s Optimal Detox Functional Food Powder

Seeking_HealthThis product contains a powder that you add to water to turn into a shake. The recommended daily amount is 2 50g scoops for one drink in the morning (most usually at breakfast), and then another 2 50g for another drink later in the day (perhaps after an evening workout).

A lot of people baulk at the idea of drinking a nutrient enhanced shake, usually because they tend to taste so bad. Fortunately, Seeking Health have come up with something that actually tastes great – it tastes of chocolate – coming as it does with a flavour that is entirely natural, devoid of any MSG.

Although it’s a little expensive, you get what you pay for, and with 21 grams of optimal protein that aids your gastrointestinal health and ability to detoxify, this is a product that offers both short term and long term health effects. Fructose-free, it is advisable to use it in combination with a ‘modified elimination diet.’

Vega Sports Performance Protein

Vega_SportsThis deliciously tasty shake is packed with 25 grams of protein that is suitable for vegans. The protein contained here is derived from plant-based food ingredients which aids with muscle repair after workout.

Used by athletes and sportsmen all over the world, it’s a popular choice for many who recognise its ability to encourage protein synthesis in the body.

It isn’t easy choosing a functional food shake; some taste pretty dire, and the ones that actually taste nice can often end up conflicting with your existing diet (a soy-based shake, for example, might lead to soy overload if you already consumer a lot of soy).

This shake from Vega Sports has the perfect balance between great taste and great health benefits. With no added sugar or artificial colours, it contains 5g of glutamine, BCAAS, as well as the aforementioned 25 g of protein.

When you consider its price – $50 – and how long it will last you, paying for this shake will be much more beneficial than constantly buy single pieces of fruit and veg that can only aspire to giving you the same benefits. This is one heck of a functional food shake – it’s like a genie in a bottle.

Nootropic Families

The word nootropics has been around since 1972, when Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea used it to describe a collection of experimental chemicals that were soon to be marketed as drugs and supplements that enhanced memory, improved alertness and wakefulness, guarded against long term, debilitating brain disease, as well as improved various other facets of our mental functioning.

The first of the nootropic families that was fully developed and marketed was piracetam, a member of the Racetam family of nootropics. Since then, more potent and effective racetams have been developed and continue to be developed as we as a human race look to improve our well-being and overall happiness. Alongside Racetam, there are various other kinds of ‘smart drugs’ that are now popular the world over. These include stimulants, nutraceuticals and various others, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Let’s take a brief look at a few of them.

Stimulants

prolab caffeineThe clue may be in the name with this one. Stimulants are engineered to arouse your central nervous system – in other words, they stimulate you into action by motivating brain activity. Caffeine is the most well-known stimulant, and estimates suggest that Americans alone drink up to 400 million cups of coffee each day, which roughly totals 146 billion a year. Some drink it for taste, but its potency as a nootropic lies in its ability to give us a mental jolt – in other words, it makes us more alert and keeps us awake. It does this by blocking important chemical signals in our brains that would otherwise make us feel drowsy.

 Types of stimulants:

  • Caffeine
  • Nicotine
  • Amphetamine
  • Ephedrine

Nutraceuticals

They’re nicknamed , which should immediately drop the hint that nutraceuticals are food-derived supplements that give us a boost of energy. Whilst they are described as a food, or food product or ingredient, they are often actually marketed and sold in medicinal form. The word is a combination of nutrition and pharmaceutical, which aptly describes their function – they are medicinal nutritional supplements.

Essentially, nutraceuticals are dietary supplements, processed foods and isolated nutrients that are used for their health benefits, which range from rebuilding damaged cells, producing new ones, lowering cholesterol, as well as improving the quality of our skin and hair. Their popularity is increasing, as more and more people look for nutritional supplements that are cost-effective, safe to use and which have reputable medical benefits.

Because nutraceuticals are found in food, scientists have now developed ways to maximize their potential and effectiveness. Essentially, processed food such as cereal and soup comes with added nutritional value, including omega-3 fatty acids and GLA, which means that you could be tucking into enhanced nutraceuticals daily without realizing it – but don’t worry, it’s a good thing!

Racetams

true_focusRacetams are a large family of drugs, a lot of which are known to be effective nootropics. First marketed in 1971 as nootropics, some are stimulants and mostly all are constructive modulators of our central neurotransmitters, thus positively effecting our mood, as well as our physical and mental state. Because there are numerous different kinds of racetams with varying levels of potency, we’ll take a quick look at a few of them.

Pramiracetam: This nootropic is known to be a great memory consolidator and is more potent than a lot of the other racetams. Rather than effect our happy hormones in a bid to inject us with enthusiasm, energy and optimism, pramiracetam helps us to focus and concentrate, as well as cementing our reasoning ability. It is not a social drug, but is one that can leave the user feeling slightly withdrawn.

Oxiracetam: Oxiracetam is a stimulant that acutely sharpens our focus, making it the nootropic of choice for students. It works quickly and comes without the usual fuzziness and symptoms of withdrawal that other stimulants, such as coffee, bring with them.

Coluracetam: This nootropic is fairly new, and it only really came to the attention of the medical world in 2005, where its usefulness as a remedy for depression was tried successfully in 2010. Another noticeable benefit of coluracetam was its effectiveness in improving learning ability.

Aniracetam: Aniracetam is similar to pramiracetam in that it’s been widely recognized as being one of the most potent members of the Racetam family. Although some have referred to it as a stimulant, others have played such a comparison down due to its effects being fairly dissimilar. Instead, it has been found to instigate creativity and is also marketed as an antidepressant.

Miscellaneous

 Omega3_Omega-3 fatty acids: Found in food sources such as fish oil, egg oil and krill oil, omega-3’s are crucial to how well your body functions. They also help to reduce depression, asthma and ADHD.

 Valporic acid: Valporic acid is a particularly volatile nootropic that comes with a few warnings, owing to its links to long term liver damage. But when prescribed for people who really need it, it is known to treat epilepsy and mania.

 Tianeptine: Tianeptine is known to boost the production of serotonin, an important chemical that acts as a mood enhancer, improving our well-being and optimism.

What is Alpha-GPC?

Alpha-GPC is a form of choline that improves our overall cognitive faculties, giving us a mental boost, improving our memory, and increasing our alertness and attentiveness. It has also been proven to slow down cognitive decline, thereby effectively reducing the chances of Alzheimer’s developing.

Choline is an essential part of our diet; without it, we would not remain healthy. A chronic lack of choline can lead to a fatty liver, as well as kidney necrosis. A diet rich in choline will lead to a healthier mind and body; taken as a supplement – such as the nootropic, Alpha-GPC – its role is to act as a catalyst for acetylcholine production, which, once activated – or metabolized – will improve the power and effectiveness of our memory and overall intelligence. Moreover, Alpha-GPC has been proven to have a positive effect on our mood.

Its cognitive-enhancing elements are important when it comes to its classification as a nootropic. Indeed, people who regularly use Alpha-GPC as a supplement attest that it improves their concentration, attention and focus, even if they don’t understand the science behind it. It is now a popular smart drug, with the general comments being that it works quickly and effectively, and it is particularly suitable for students who have exams looming.

Study and research is still being conducted into Alpha-GPC. A particular source of interest is how it can assist and improve the performance of an athlete. There has been evidence to suggest that it aids growth hormone – in particular the reparation and reproduction of cells – but results have largely been sporadic and subjective. Some athletes have testified as to its consistency, whilst others say that results tend to vary. Let’s take a quick look at what supplements are out there.

Now Foods – Alpha GPC Cognitive Support 300 mg

Now Foods alpha gpcIt’s been well-documented that Alpha GPC has both short and long term benefits for our health. Its potency is often confined to our brains, with this supplement from Now Foods particularly adept at ‘bringing us to life’ fairly quickly after intake. Its effects are sharp and acute; rapid and brilliant. In the short term, you feel awake, alert, responsive, focused, positive, motivated – ready to seize the moment and get things done.

A lot of users tend to purchase this kind of product for such instantaneous effects. It’s often recommended to students who need to focus and study hard. And there’s no doubt that it has a great effect on improving our memory. But frequent use can also have great long term benefits. For example, your memory will consistently get better and stay strong; the risk of developing debilitating brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, will be reduced; cognitive decline in general will be lessened and the plasticity of your brain will be assisted and maintained. With sixty caps, Now Foods’ Alpha GPC is a cost-effective winner.

Relentless Improvement’s Alpha GPC 60-Vegi-Capsule

Relentless Alpha GPCWith sixty 600 mg caps and a recommended daily intake of between 1 and 4, Relentless Improvement’s Alpha GPC supplement is enough to last you a month, or a little longer. Used on its own, it’s a great source of choline – one of the best, in fact – and works immediately to jolt you into mental and physical action. But when used as part of a stack with other nootropics, its effects are even more noticeable. It’s a powerful supplement that contains 300 mg of choline and is moreover suitable for vegetarians.

Although choline is also found in food products, scientists have argued that it is more effective when taken in high doses, such as is found in the product here. Alpha GPC is, indeed, known to be more efficient than any other choline prodrug at activating and stimulating acetylcholine production, which then unleashes our brain power, making us more active and motivated. If you wish to attain mental clarity, as well as improve your overall physical prowess, you could do little worse than give this supplement a try, which comes with a certificate of analysis (COA), thereby confirming its reputability.

Enhance your Physical Performance with MuscleForm Creatine

Creatine is probably already known to most budding athletes; indeed, it’s most likely already a firm part of most athletes’ supplementary diet. But for anyone looking to enhance their physical performance who is not in the know about this organic acid energy-giving gem, there are worse things you could do than inject a regular amount of it into your diet. Creatine is an excellent source of energy for our muscles, and reaches them via blood from its origins in our kidneys and liver. The supplement version, as found here, is known to be almost three times more effective at producing muscle mass than protein derived from food. So far, so good.

muscleform creatineThere are no need to worry about adverse health effects when it comes to MuscleForm’s creatine. As a naturally occurring compound, it is produced by our own bodies and gives a boost to our muscles without nasty side effects. For anyone who is looking to strengthen their physical prowess and unleash the full potential of their body, creatine simply assists your goals as opposed to artificially manufacturing them. More creatine levels in your body means more energy, more muscle – more success.

But there’s more. If you think creatine can boost your physical performance by optimising your muscles, think what it can do to your brain. There is so only so much energy in our body and if we push it to its limits, we will thus use up all our energy. When you consider that your brain takes up 20% of all energy available at any one time, you could use that up in no time if you’re studying for a big exam. And once it’s gone, it’s gone for a while. Creatine saves the day by injecting more energy into our body, which thus means more energy for our brain. Indeed, such a claim is backed up by a recent study conducted by the Journal of Ageing, Neuropsychology and Cognition, which concluded that creatine significantly enhances our cognitive ability. Winner.

What is Lion’s Mane? The Bearded Mushroom

Yamabushitake, otherwise known as hericium erinaceus, otherwise known as Lion’s Mane or Hedgehog Mushroom (we’ll get there eventually), is an edible mushroom that is also marketed in capsule form. It’s essentially a dietary supplement that is known for both its cognitive and physical benefits. These include preservation and development of neurons, restoration of nerve sheaths, reduction of inflammation, strengthening of memory, as well as reparation of nerve damage. It is also used in the treatment of ulcers and is recognized for its long term health effects on the brain.

So, What is Lion’s Mane? Yamabushitake contains a wealth of bioactive substances, including potassium, zinc and iron. For this reason, it is seen as a nootropic that works at restoring energy (particularly vital after a hard nights partying where your body will suffer from iron and zinc deficiency, or if you have an exam ahead of you) and improving your physical condition, getting you back into tip top shape. There has also been the odd speculation that it prevents cancerous tumors from developing, though such probing as to its potency in this area is still in its infancy. Let’s take a look at the best supplements out there which contain this particular nootropic.

Fungi Perfecti by MyCommunity: 120 Vegetarian Capsules

Fungi Perfecti by MyCommunityLion’s Mane is an increasingly popular nootropic, but a number of people tend to be put off by its ungainly, beard-like appearance that has given rise to a number of detractors. Buying the supplement in capsule form means you get the same boost of energy but without having to eat the mushroom itself. Host Defense have here put together a package that contains 17 individual mushroom species. Each capsule is packed with 525mg fruit bodies that promise to enhance our cognitive functions and suppress inflammation.

If you’re looking for a medicinal mushroom supplement that stands out from the rest, it’s hard to go wrong with Fungi Perfecti from MyCommunity. Either used by itself or in a nootropic stack (combined with vitamin C it’s particularly powerful) the potency of this supplement is such that it gets to work on your body literally within minutes. Energy is boosted, anxiety and weakness is reduced, and even better is that it comes without side effects.

Swanson’s Full Spectrum Lion’s Mane

Swanson’s Full Spectrum Lion’s ManeThe Chinese and Japanese have for centuries known all about Lion’s Manes ability to enhance our mental performance. Although they have been using it in medicine for hundreds of years, it was only in the last decade that western scientists confirmed its antioxidant effects, thereby justifying the Orients long-held fascination and use of the mushrooms. Nowadays, it is available in pills on the internet and here Swansong have created a supplement rich in natural constituents which preserve and strengthen the health of our brains.

Although Lion’s Mane certainly has noticeable short-term benefits, such as increasing alertness and giving our body an overall boost, it is also a nootropic that provides for us in the long term. Frequent use of Swansong’s Full Spectrum may stem cognitive decline in older people, reduce symptoms of depression in the long term, as well as inhibit cancer. Moreover, there are claims that Lion’s Mane reduces the chances of Alzheimer’s developing.

Aloha Medicinals Inc. Pure Hericium 90 Capsules 500 mg

Aloha Medicinals Inc. Pure HericiumThe great thing about Lion’s Mane is that it is readily available on the internet for a very low price, as evidenced with this supplement by Aloha Medicinals Inc. The advice is to take 3 capsules a day, which means that one bottle priced at under $15 will last you a month, whilst significantly boosting your mental faculties.

For anyone who wants to engage their brain and is a little curious about Lion’s Mane and what effect it has, they could do worse than look further than what Aloha Medicinals Inc. are providing here. Lion’s Mane promotes the longevity of neurons, and has been clinically proven to improve cognitive decline, particularly in patients suffering from dementia. Its power at boosting our mental faculties and strengthening memory is incredible, and moreover it is able to assist neuronal regrowth after minor or major injury. It has also been shown to have a positive effect on blood pressure.

The supplement is advertised as being 100% organic and 100% hericium.

What is Phenylalanine and why is it essential?

 Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid, meaning that our bodies don’t produce it and we thus have to look to other sources – including food – in order to acquire it. Amino acids are an integral part of the development and maintenance of our bodies; along with water, they form the bedrock of our muscles, cells and tissues. Without regular intake of essential amino acids, we will lose crucial muscle and our proteins will break down.

Phenylalanine is also recognised for its effectiveness as an antidepressant, or ‘mood stabiliser’, which influences hormones and neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine works by sending ‘happy’ signals to nerve cells, engineering optimism and motivation in the human brain. Because dopamine neurons are in relatively short supply in our bodies, getting the best out of them is the key, and a mood enhancer such as Phenylalanine has been scientifically proven to instigate a right amount of secretion of dopamine which is then propelled into action, positively effecting our mood.

Now Foods L-Phenylalanine 500mg

Now Foods L-PhenylalanineTyrosine is an amino acid. Because it’s a non-essential amino acid, it’s already found in our bodies and its job is to create new proteins and keep their general flow of existence going. Now Foods L-Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that converts into tyrosine, thereby contributing to the strengthening of cells and the reparation of proteins, as well as their constant production. Tyrosine is found in protein-based food such as turkey, fish, chicken, cottage cheese and milk, and this product assists with appetite reduction.

Aside from this, tyrosine plays an important role in effecting our mood, and this particular supplement works as a very effective antidepressant. When it comes to our happiness, optimism, motivation and sense of reward, tyrosine can often be the instigator. When converted to I-dopa, it becomes involved in the production of dopamine, which then converts into catecholamines, including adrenaline. So in this way, tyrosine is often the catalyst for influencing our ‘happy hormones.’

This supplement comes with 120 500mg tablets. Its effectiveness is dependent on the user.

Doctor’s Best D-phenylalanine

Doctor’s Best D-phenylalaninePain is bad for our bodies for obvious reasons: it hurts a heck of a lot, and it often absorbs all our thoughts so that we can’t concentrate on the things we really need to get done. But pain also affects us in ways we might not even be aware of, working silently in ways we believe we can’t effect. For example, chronic pain can cause serotonin, endorphin and gamma-amino-butyric acid deficiency that not only help to reduce pain, but which also keep depression in check. A deficiency of these chemicals can lead to increased pain and a poor mental state.

D-phenylalanine, an amino acid, works at reducing pain by slowing down enzymes such as endorphinase. Their degradation can be rapid with just a 500mg tablet of Doctor’s Best D-phenylalanine, and the pain relief can occur within just a matter of minutes. The kind of pain it works to reduce includes anything from headaches, shoulder pain, back ache, and it can even work at lowering levels of fatigue. It is also a potent antidepressant, as it boosts the natural endorphins in your brain. What you essentially have here is a supplement that is more powerful painkiller which can subdue your mind and boost your optimism.

As a bonus, this supplement is non-protein based and is suitable for vegetarians.

DL-Phenylalanine 500mg 100 Caps by Swanson Premium

DL-Phenylalanine Caps by Swanson PremiumDL-Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid, meaning that our bodies don’t produce it. Its importance can be demonstrated in the fact that it multiplies the amount of dopamine chemicals in our brains (which are normally sparse), thus positively effecting our mood. For sufferers of minor depression, this supplement comes highly recommended for its mood enhancing qualities as a standalone supplement, or its increased potency when used in a nootropic stack – for example with caffeine. In this way, it can increase alertness, wakefulness, vibrancy and overall optimism. Because of its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier with ease, it works quickly and effectively,

This supplement comes with 100 500mg capsules, and the recommended daily amount is 2 (though usage and results will vary). Taken on an empty stomach, the results are felt more sharply, with many users preferring to take them first thing in the morning.

And the most popular drug in the world is…… Caffeine

What Is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a stimulant that most of us associate with coffee. But it is also found in tea, fruit (such as guarana berries), energy drinks and pills – nootropics. It is most commonly extracted for human consumption from coffee beans, which is actually the seed of the coffee plant. Unknown to a lot of people, caffeine is referred to as a nootropic because of its stimulating effects on our brains. It is known to:

  • Improve alertness
  • Increase wakefulness
  • Improve attentiveness
  • Improve focus
  • Enhance concentration

Most people are generally unaware of its classification as a nootropic because of the social value it has. Coffee in particular been increasingly seen as the drink of choice for friends who want to meet up for a chat; the phrase ‘want to go for a coffee?’ has by now embroidered itself into our way of life, so much so that we take for granted the effects on our health that a cup of Joe can have. Instead, we make our choice based on taste and presentation, and we, rather negligibly, assume that our ‘addiction’ is based on these factors. But caffeine has health benefits and is an important source of study for health experts.

Reduction of Long Term Illness

Whilst it’s true that for those who only drink coffee once a day, three or four cups more tend to create an unappealing ‘fuzzy’ feeling. But regular caffeine usage serves to reduce the risk of developing a debilitating illness, such as dementia or liver cancer. The trick is to not drink too little or too much. Too much, for example, can lead to an unwanted tolerance whereby the caffeine’s short term effects – such as alertness and wakefulness – are no longer felt.

It’s A Natural Stimulant That Works quickly and effectively

The University of Michigan recently concluded that the effects of caffeine on our bodies are felt almost immediately – often within just 15 minutes. Moreover, they can continue to be felt for up to around an incredible six hours. Because caffeine is a natural stimulant, as opposed to being synthetically derived and enhanced, people tend to view it with less skepticism. It exerts an incredibly potent effect on our central nervous system, and it only takes sensibly small doses for its effects to be felt. It can wake us up quickly, make us alert and ready to tackle any tasks that are awaiting us.

Caffeine as a Nootropic:

To get the best out of caffeine, it is sometimes useful to combine it with other nootropics to create a potent and powerful stack. It’s advisable to go down this route if you really need waking up. More than that, a caffeine-based stack can act as a performance enhancer, as well as a fat-burner. Here are a few combinations you could try:

Caffeine + Curcumin – helps to reduce chances of developing dementia, colon cancer and psoriasis

Caffeine + Quercetin - increases energy and inhibits production of fat cells

Caffeine + L-Theanine – Helps to improve our focus

Caffeine combined with L-Theanine in particular has been well-documented for its synergistic benefits. L-theanine suppresses the more sinuous nature of caffeine, thereby reducing the risk of side effects, such as hyperactivity and aching muscles. Instead, this simple stack is ideal for athletes in particular, as it allows for greater muscle activity and dexterity, enhanced alertness and greater visual acumen. Moreover, it is known to effectively amplify our mental faculties, improving our focus and tightening together our memory.

Allmax Nutrition Caffeine 200mg

Allmax Nutrition CaffeineAllmax Nutrition’s caffeine comes with 100 200mg tablets that help to increase energy, reduce fatigue and improve alertness and wakefulness. For anyone who doesn’t like the taste of coffee, or who reacts badly to it in the sense that it creates feelings of anxiety and ‘fuzziness’, Allmax’s tablets are the perfect antidote. They work in a similar way to a shot of espresso, giving you a rapid jolt of energy that puts you in the right physical and mental frame of mind for a workout or even a study session. It comes at a reasonable price and if you stick to the recommended dosage, there is a very limited chance that you will experience side effects. Effective and fast working.

Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil – How it can Help your Brain

Coconut oil contains a fat known as Medium Chain Triglycerides, which has been shown to help burn calories and has subsequently been used by consumers who are looking to lose weight. Athletes and bodybuilders have also been known to include it in their diet, as research has shown that MCT boosts energy levels, increasing performance and endurance. Organic Raw Virgin Coconut oil is therefore a fantastic addition to any diet; not only has excellent health benefits, but it also can be mixed with pretty much any type of food.

Organic Raw Coconut OilOrganic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil is extremely versatile and its benefits are not purely physical. For example, it has been used in the treatment of dry skin, eczema and psoriasis, though success stories tend to fluctuate between success and failure. It is also classified as a nootropic, where its cognitive-enhancing properties are much more consistent in terms of their success rates. Studies have indeed found that the MCT found in coconut oil can significantly improve the mental situation of adults with Alzheimer’s, boosting their cognitive faculties with just a solitary dose.

MCT’s produce energy in our brain, and because they are relatively small fats they are easy to absorb. Thus they spring into action much quicker than larger fats. Maximum Supplement recognise the benefit of MCT’s, and they also know full well the benefits provided by food nutrition. So here you have the perfect combination, with their Org Raw coconut oil being an ideal provider of MCT’s that you can easily fit into your diet. It tastes great, which essentially means it can compliment your salads, soup or bread, and it gives you the mental jolt you need, as well as boosting your physical energy. It is moreover non-greasy and can also be taken with coffee, tea, protein shakes and the like. You have a supplement rich in flavour, nutritional benefits, and it is dairy free.