If you are looking for a boost in mental performance, check out this list of our 5 favourite supplements with cognitive enhancing properties. These supplements are natural, sold in the UK and Europe, and all have studies backing up their benefits.
Alpha GPC - Memory and Focus
Alpha GPC is a natural, highly concentrated version of Soy Lecithin. With powerful memory and learning properties, Alpha GPC works tremendously well as both a standalone mental performance supplement or in a stack. An acetylcholine precusor, Alpha GPC is 40% Choline by weight. When your body takes in Choline, it turns it into Acetylcholine, which boosts your memory, learning and concentration abilities.
- Provides the brain with high amounts of choline (used for memory recall and learning)
- Studies have highlighted Alpha GPC improves work attentiveness.
- Boosts acetylcholine levels, improving cognition (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21195433)
- Improves learning and cognition after 2 hours from ingestion (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1409797)
- PKC content improves short term and long-term memory formation (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8239301)
CDP Choline is a natural, water-soluble compound found in the body. Also a Cholinergic (like Alpha GPC), CDP Choline helps the body to produce Acetycholine, which is used for a variety of cognitive functions including memory retention and recall.
- Improves memory recall (word recall, immediate recall and delayed recall) thanks to its ability to improve brain circulation (EuroEspes Biomedical Research Center, 1997, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9203170?dopt=Abstract)
- Improves memory scores 9 months after ingestion (IDEALE Study, 2013, http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/780283)
- Improves verbal memory, visual memory and verbal learning over time (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2011, http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/94/6/1584.abstract?sid=3af7108c-0055-49f4-9dfb-52bd432c1dfd)
- Boosts brain energy by 14% (US National Library of Medicine, 2008, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18816480)
- 35% increase in brain cell membrane turnover; allowing the brain to rejuvenate - US National Library of Medicine, 2008, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18816480)
- Sharpens attention and mental performance; when tested on healthy adult women using double-blind tests (University of Utah, 2012 http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=19921#.VZrQM_lViko)
Uridine - Memory and Mood
Uridine is a natural compound which is one one of the building blocks to RNA (Ribonucleic Acid), used in the process of storing memories in the brain. By boosting your RNA levels, a higher level of protein translation at your neuronal synapses can occur, which has been studied to improve memory formation and retention.
- 12-week study found Uridine to improve spatial short term memory, recognition, recall, attention and executive functions. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12370853)
- Boosted synaptic connections in the brain and improves Neuroplasticity (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16880353)
- Works incredibly well when stacked with a Choline supplement (see our Mr. Happy's stack article for more on this)
- Helps to increase levels of Dopamine in the brain - improving your mood and motivation to study for longer.
Trans-Resveratrol - Cognition
Trans-Resveratrol is a natural, more powerful alternative to Resveratrol. Trans-Resveratrol can be found in red wine, chocolate and group fruit and has been linked to improving cognition and providing the body with a wide variety of health benefits.
- Improves Mitochondrial function and brain cognition.
- Improves cerebral blood flow (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20357044)
- Neuroprotective with Melatonin content (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21073519)
- Improves cholesterol and blood pressure levels (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22055504)
- Rich in antioxidants, required for cardiovascular health, hair and skin.
Pterostilbene - Memory and Anti-Anxiety
A molecule with a similarity to Resveratrol, found in grapes and blueberries, Pterostilbene helps to improve memory and cognition, in addition to providing other body-benefiting effects.
- Pterostilbene found to improve cognition and memory when tested on rats (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18954071)
- Pterostilbene found to reduce anxiety (useful for tests - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23677525)
- Reduces blood-pressure (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25057276)
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- 5HTP - High Strength
- Alpha GPC
- Alpha GPC + Uridine
- Alpha Lipoic Acid
- Caffeine + L-Theanine
- CDP Choline
- CDP Choline + Uridine
- Choline Bundle
- Energy Boost - Pre Workout
- Huperzine A
- Hyaluronic Acid
- LongJack Tongkat Ali
- Rhodiola Rosea
- Uridine Monophosphate