We’ve all been there: it’s time to settle at your desk and focus on a task at work, but your thoughts simply aren’t present. This inability to concentrate prevents you from being fully in the moment. It’s an understandably frustrating experience, and unfortunately one that’s all too common.
But is there anything you can do about it?
A category of supplements called nootropics may offer the support you need for mental clarity and optimal brain health.* These formulations are designed to have a “pro-cognitive” effect, whether that’s to enhance memory or improve concentration.* Our guide will take you through what exactly is meant by mental clarity and which plant-based herbs and extracts may help.
What do we mean by mental clarity?
The feeling is often described as brain fog: a lack of mental clarity, struggling to focus on a single concept, or feeling like you’re fumbling “zombie-like” through the day, even after a full night of sleep. Brain fog can be caused by mental fatigue due to stress, a nutrient deficiency, a lack of quality sleep, or hormonal changes. When you’re not distracted by stress, you’ll experience mental clarity: an uninhibited ability to stay on top of tasks, stay hyper-focused on your to-do list, and to think thoroughly without feeling like you’re fighting your brain to do so.
Mental clarity supplements 101
Nootropics, which you may have heard called cognitive enhancers, are like vitamins for the brain.* They are formulated to care for a healthy organ, including herbs for brain health made to enhance mental performance and support cognitive functioning.* Many of these nootropics support an improved memory, increase alertness, or support laser-sharp focus.
8 popular mental clarity supplements
Whether a standalone supplement or a specialized blend of complementary plant-based herbs and extracts, each cognitive enhancer is formulated to support mental clarity in its own way. Some focus on overall brain health, while others support specific cognitive wellness goals. Here are nine well-known cognitive enhancers which you can incorporate into your regular routine:
- 1. Fish oils: Omega-3 fatty acids, and in particular eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are vital for maintaining proper brain function.* These polyunsaturated fats are the brain’s best food and can even slow down brain aging.* Taking EPA and DHA as a supplement ensures you’re getting the brain-healthy fats you need that may not be supplied in your diet, as your body does not efficiently convert the fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) into the EPA and DHA your brain needs.* Vegetarian? Consider hemp seed oil, a plant-based source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
As with any new wellness regimen, talk to your doctor before increasing the amount of omega-3 in your diet or through supplementation. Too much omega-3 may have a blood-thinning effect.
- 2. Resveratrol: This polyphenol, found in abundance in grapes, wine, and cocoa, is believed to support the hippocampus, the area of your brain essential to converting short-term memories into long-term memories.*
- 3. Ashwagandha: This powerful adaptogen helps your mind and body be more resilient to stressors, one of the major forces which prevent clear thinking.* This ancient herb can impact your cortisol levels, which spike if you are stressed.*
- 4. Caffeine: You know this one. You might be drinking this in your tea or coffee right now. Caffeine is possibly the most well-known brain-boosting supplement in the right amounts.* Caffeine stimulates the brain and the central nervous system, which helps you feel more alert and able to focus on the task at hand.*
- 5. Phosphatidylserine: This supplement, which can be derived from vegetarian sources such as soy and cabbage, is believed to play a vital role in keeping your mind and memory in tip-top shape.*
- 6. Ginkgo biloba: This ancient tree has been used in herbal supplements in civilizations around the globe for centuries. The tree contains flavonoids and circulation-boosting terpenoids.* (Flavonoids can also be found in whole plant hemp extract.)
- 7. Cannabidiol: The famous phytocannabinoid’s calming effects come into play when it comes to supporting healthy cognitive function.* If stress throws your thinking off-kilter, CBD can play a role in bringing you back into balance.* Its role in bringing balance to your body and mind can also affect your energy levels and sleep cycles, both of which influence mental clarity.* CBD may be especially powerful when paired with another nootropic, such as our No Worries adaptogen blend with organic hemp CBD, Shoden® Ashwagandha, and SaffSerene™ Saffron Extract, or The Daily CBD capsule blended with hemp seed oil and flaxseed oil.
- 8. Rhodiola rosea: This Chinese medicine mainstay has been used to promote allover well-being for centuries.* It has been the subject of many studies in recent years, as researchers examine how and why rhodiola may reduce occasional fatigue*, which in turns can lead to enhanced mental clarity*.
Making brain-boosting nootropics a part of your routine
Life’s everyday stressors can throw mental clarity into disarray. Thankfully, there is no shortage of natural tools you can use to snap back into focus. These nootropics are varied, each with a different end goal. Some, like fish oil and creatine, supply the food and fuel your brain needs for peak performance each day. Others like CBD and ashwagandha can help support a healthy, focused brain by quelling the circumstances, such as stress.* Which product you choose is up to you, but Prima offers an array of options to support your cognitive wellness goals, from a daily capsule made with a balanced blend of whole-plant hemp extract and other nutrients. With the support of the right nootropics and guidance from your physician, mental clarity may be just within reach.