In an increasingly fast-paced world, the demands of day to day life can be hard to bear. Many people look to alleviate the symptoms of work stress and sleep deprivation – commonly manifesting as fatigue, low mood and energy, low sex drive, and lack of motivation.
As such, people often seek to restore their physicality and energy levels. One way to do this is through the strategic use of nootropics and supplements to restore the body and mind to peak performance. While no substance is going to work as a cure-all remedy to every problem, there are some which can be useful tools that provide a real solution to the stresses of the modern world.
For this post, I will be covering what I consider to be some of the best nootropics for improving your vitality by way of reducing fatigue/stress and restoring mood and energy levels.
Ashwagandha is a herb used in Ayurvedic medicine for a wide range of conditions. It is most commonly used to alleviate stress and anxiety and has legitimate therapeutic potential that has quite a lot of promising research to back up its claims.
There are two standardized extracts of ashwagandha, KSM-66, and Sensoril, which have been developed with more specific effects in mind. The Sensoril extract is typically used to promote relaxation by reducing stress and anxiety, while the KSM-66 extract is intended to reduce fatigue and increase motivation and energy.
There is some evidence that ashwagandha is effective for increasing testosterone in men as well, and the KSM-66 extract may be the best option for this. Ashwagandha is also available in leaf and root extracts, however, these are not standardized and may vary wildly depending on the source, so using one of the two proprietary formulations is generally advised.
2. Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola is an adaptogen that has a somewhat similar profile to ashwagandha. Rhodiola is most commonly used to reduce fatigue and improve mood. It provides a mild boost to physical and mental activity and can even be effective for enhancing exercise performance. It’s common as both an exercise enhancer and antidepressant.
Rhodiola Rosea works by subtly boosting dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin – which it does by inhibiting the enzyme monoamine oxidase from breaking down in these neurochemicals in the brain. It’s useful as a mild stimulant that can provide benefits to both the mind with very few side effects. Rhodiola can be used daily without a build-up of tolerance or dependence, however, after several weeks it may begin to lose effectiveness.
CoQ10 is a supplement that benefits the cardiovascular system, especially the blood flow and heart health. It plays an important role in producing energy for the body and provides support to the mitochondria in the cells.
CoQ10 is produced in our own bodies but can provide additional benefits when supplemented. It works by supporting ATP synthesis in the body, which is the “energy currency” of the cells. It has been shown to greatly improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure. Additionally, it can even increase VO2 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen that someone can utilize during exercise.
CoQ10 is especially useful for people suffering from fatigue, and even shows promise for treating chronic fatigue. While it is technically categorized as a pseudovitamin due to the fact that it is produced in our own bodies, it remains an effective supplement for ensuring optimal circulatory health in the long-term.
Creatine is a supplement that is commonly used to enhance exercise. It can be difficult for some people to acquire it from the diet since it is most prevalent in red meats. Creatine has many proven benefits and a sufficient body of research to demonstrate its usefulness as a bodybuilding supplement.
Supplementation of creatine provides the cells with ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is used by all cells in the body for energy. As such, the benefits of creatine supplementation can extend to the brain, and creatine may even provide benefit to mental health by can reducing lethargy and brain fog.
Creatine is extremely effective for increasing power output and anaerobic activity in particular. However, for people who are on vegan or vegetarian diets, it may also provide very noticeable benefits beyond increased exercise performance since it is very hard to acquire from non-meat sources.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is very popular for augmenting physical performance. Along with creatine, it’s one of the most common pre-workout supplements on the market today. Beta-alanine is and is extremely well researched, virtually free of side effects, and pairs excellently with creatine.
Beta-alanine can increase lean mass, overall strength, and provide anti-fatigue effects. It’s a must-have supplement for increasing energy levels and vitality. Interestingly, it also increases levels of GABA, which can promote feelings of relaxation and calmness. It can be taken daily without a decrease in effectiveness and is virtually free of side effects, the only known one being a harmless tingling sensation in the muscles.
For more information on nootropics, supplements, and brain health, please visit out my nootropics information website.