No matter what field you’re in––whether corporate, startup, wellness, parenting, or the arts––you need focus and creativity to succeed at what you do. If you feel like your brain could use a boost (especially during that delirious afternoon slump), there are options for improving your mental capacity that aren’t sugar, caffeine, or sugary, caffeinated energy drinks.
To help you stay innovative and energized throughout your busy day, we asked the experts what all-natural supplements could help. So the next time you have to brainstorm new ideas––whether for spreadsheets, kids lunches, or the next great American novel––skip the cup of joe, and reach for one of these:
1. Lion's Mane Mushroom
Lion's Mane Mushroom is an adaptogen that can help you focus and be more productive by boosting the health of your brain cells. It's packed with antioxidant properties and stimulating compounds that help reduce oxidative stress, while improving brain function and plasticity. Several studies, both animal and human, show promising results on its potential ability to stimulate the creation of new neurons, while protecting existing ones. This is good news for your brain and brain function at large.
Dr. Mandy Davila, Founder Good Skin Club
You don’t have to forage through the woods for mushrooms in order to enjoy the brain-boosting effects of lion’s mane mushroom. For a daily dose of this mind-massaging adaptogen, KOR Shot’s Focus Fuel does the trick. Paired with organic prickly pear and pineapple juices, this invigorating shot can lift you up while zoning you in.
In addition to supporting immunity and circulation, rosemary can help improve your mind and cognition. Studies show that it can boost memory, increase focus, accelerate speed of learning, and improve mood. Maximize the benefits of rosemary by brewing it into a tea, incorporating in your cooking, or enjoying it as an essential oil.
Nichole Dandrea-Russert, MS, RDN, Purely Planted
3. Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D not only helps in bone growth and regulation of calcium homeostasis but also plays a significant role against the neurodegenerative processes associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Dr. Rashmi Byakodi, Best for Nutrition
If you’ve got a long day of emails ahead, Vitamin D can propel you through your inbox. Our Intense Defense is loaded with 235% of your daily recommended Vitamin D Dose. Not only will this sweet and spicy shot keep your immunity strong, but it can also boost your bone growth and brain function. A win-win-win!
Blueberries, and other berries rich in antioxidants, increase short and long-term cognition. Their antioxidant abilities enable them to fight free radical damage, especially in the brain. Consider having a fruit smoothie on work days to boost creativity and focus.
Lisa Richards, Nutritionist, The Candida Diet
One benefit of probiotics that is rarely highlighted is the link between the gut and brain, which is improved through probiotic use.
The gut contains beneficial bacteria known as the microbiota, which plays a key role in maintaining health in both the body and mind. These health benefits include mental health as well.
Researchers have found that a direct line of communication exists between the brain and your enteric nervous system: this is what they call the gut-brain axis. This line of communication works both ways, linking the emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal function.
Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, Balance One Supplements
Ready to align your gut with your mind? KOR’s Gut Check is the most delicious way to enjoy 1 billion CFU probiotics in one quick shot.
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid found in the diet (in meat, milk, tofu, beans, pumpkin seeds, and wild rice) and in supplement form (capsules and powder) that is metabolized to produce catecholamines in the brain, such as dopamine and adrenaline. It allows the body to produce neurotransmitters that help nerve cells communicate, increasing focus and boosting mood.
Sean Barker,C.P.T., The Easy Eating Diet
7. Thyme, either as an herb or essential oil.
Thyme has long been sought after for its powerful brain-boosting benefits. In fact, the origin of the name "thyme" stems from the Greek "thymus," which means "mind" and "courage."
Tim Lommerse, Co-Owner, DigiBach
8. Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a great place to start when it comes to brain supplements for boosting focus and creativity, because your body doesn’t produce them on its own.
Omega-3s are common in fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, and herring, but if you don't like/can’t have fish, omega-3 can be found in flaxseed, soybeans, nuts, and supplements. Boosting your diet with this fatty acid can help accelerate your brain capacity, memory, and response times
Ben Rose, Co-founder of Trainer Academy
9. Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba is a tree native to China that is most commonly sought after for the extract of its leaves. It’s typically packaged as capsules, tablets, liquid extracts, and dried leaves that can be brewed into teas.
Packed with flavonoids and terpenoids, ginkgo biloba is known for its antioxidant effects, including fighting inflammation and improving circulation, in addition to several brain health benefits. Supplementing with ginkgo has shown to increase attention span, focus, and retention of information, when taken regularly. There are also studies linking this supplement to the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
Rex Freiberger, CEO of Discuss Diets
Ready to get creative and focused? These KOR shots can stimulate your brain in a big way:
- Focus Fuel: for brain-boosting adaptogens, like bacopa and rhodiola
- Intense Defense: for 235% of your daily recommended dose of memory-enhancing Vitamin D
- Gut Check: for aligning and optimizing your belly and mind
There are big things you want to accomplish, and you need to stay sharp to get them done. Accomplish your goals with all natural supplements for boosting your brain and body, like KOR shots!