3 Supplements for Deeper Focus, Less Fatigue, and All-day Energy
Sleep and nutrition are the two major factors affecting mental focus and energy.
Yet, fighting off fatigue and keeping your concentration might feel impossible at times. Especially if it's required for prolonged periods.
That is where herbal supplements come in. Some of them contain powerful natural compounds affecting memory, attention, and energy levels.
In this article, we will break down the science of 3 supplements.
Studies have revealed these herbs as effective in reducing fatigue and improving focus. Lets' dive right into the evidence!
Take Ashwagandha for Extra Focus and Attention
Ashwagandha is a herb used since ancient times as an "adaptogen". The main active compounds that contribute to its properties are withanolides.
The herb is native to India and its name means "horse smell" in Sanskrit. That is because of the typical smell of Ashwagandha roots.
Adaptogen is a term used in herbal medicine which means it may increase the resistance to stress. Yet, it is not accepted by official medical terminology.
Still, according to modern medicine, there is scientific evidence to support its effects. They include:
- Reducing fatigue
- Faster reaction time
- Increase in motivation
- Stress and anxiety relief
- Better memory and attention
- Improved physical performance (1)
There is also a large number of randomized studies on the effects of Ashwagandha. These trials provide the highest quality of evidence. They can prove a cause and effect relationship.
Studies suggest that Ashwagandha might be beneficial for general memory and attention. An 8 weeks trial of 50 people showed a significant improvement compared to placebo (2).
According to this randomized trial, the herb enhanced both immediate and general memory. Logical memory improved with whooping 25% more than the placebo. The patients sustained their attention for longer and processed information faster.
Furthermore, a randomized study with 20 men explored the effect of the herb on reaction time (3). The participants took Ashwagandha daily for 2 weeks. There was a significant reduction in their reaction time by up to 7%.
Another randomized study revealed that Ashwagandha and psychotherapy decrease anxiety scores by 56%. Psychotherapy alone was 26% less effective (4).
In the course of 12 weeks, daily supplementation had many other benefits as well. Ashwagandha also improved the scores for fatigue, motivation, and concentration by roughly 30%.
Take Bacopa Monnieri for Better Memory
Bacopa is another herb native to India. It thrives underwater and in humid tropical climates. Bacopa is popular under many names including Brahmi and Water hyssop.
The herb is well-known for its beneficial effects on memory in both younger and older adults. The active compounds inside the plant are bacosides.
Studies show that it might need 4-6 weeks of supplementation for Bacopa to take effect. Still, a randomized trial with 48 healthy adults showed that it boosts up memory (5). The herb enhanced auditory learning and improved the concentration of the patients.
Another a 3-month trial in 46 healthy adults revealed better long-term memory (6). The subjects were able to process tasks faster and remember them quicker.
Furthermore, a recent 12-week study investigated its effects on 60 older adults. It revealed Bacopa as more effective than a placebo in boosting memory and attention (7).
Most trials involved a daily intake of 300 mg to 600 mg of Bacopa extract. Unfortunately, the herb can cause digestive issues as a side-effect at higher doses. They can include dry mouth, nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
Take Rhodiola Rhosea for Less Fatigue
Rhodiola is also often labeled as an "adaptogen" in herbal medicine.
It is native to the regions of Russia and Scandinavia. Other popular names are golden root and arctic root. The main active chemicals in the herb are rosavin and salidroside.
Besides stress, research suggests that Rhodiola might have powerful anti-fatigue properties. A randomized study investigated the effect of Rhodiola on 56 healthy physicians (8). They took 170mg daily for 2 weeks. Rhodiola group had 20% lower scores of stress-related mental fatigue compared to placebo.
Another study on 161 men investigated the effects of Rhodiola after a single dose (9). 300 mg and 500mg of Rhodiola dry extract both reduced mental fatigue compared to placebo.
Furthermore, one trial used Rhodiola on patients with chronic fatigue (10). The scientists used doses of 400 mg for 8 weeks. The symptoms improved as soon as the first week and continued improving by week 8.
Compared to baseline, 8-weeks of supplementation improved productiveness, social, and school life. The patients experienced less fatigue, irritability, overload, and tension.
The Take-Home Message Is
Herbs have been popular for centuries as natural remedies. People have used them to boost memory, focus, and energy levels.
Nowadays, modern medicine has provided the evidence for their effectiveness. According to studies, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Bacopa can reduce fatigue, stress, and anxiety.
Furthermore, they can improve your memory, concentration, attention, and focus. Even though they are natural compounds, they can have adverse effects and reactions. You should consult with your doctor before supplementation if you take any medications.