Brain Food makes you smarter. Really?

Take note, this year will bring the rise of Nootropics, supplements, herbs and nutrients that are classified as brain food. Brain food makes you smarter. Really? Yes, it does! These Nootropics are worth investigating for few important reasons. Some good, some not so great…Firstly, clinical evidence shows they work. Secondly, a lot of online products in this category are outrageously expensive. Thirdly, some of them make false claims or can cause side effects. What are they, and how do they work? Let’s look…


Nootropics are better known as “smart drugs” or “cognitive enhancers”. The ancient Greeks invented the word from Noos, meaning mind, and Trope, meaning turning. Nootropics’ common denominator is that they increase alertness. There are prescription-only nootropics, often classed as ADHD medication, but (mis) used as cognitive enhancer and to keep you awake. Then, there are some very common ones.

Coffee for instance. Not regarded as a drug by those who consume it, coffee does have caffeine, which help you to stay vigilant. Energy drinks or caffeine tablets are consumed for the same reasons. However, too much caffeine can leave you feel jittery and on edge, disturbs sleep and can potentially be harmful to heart health. So, there you have it…alertness (great) and the jitters (not great); two effects from a simple every day product: caffeine.

Smarts herbs

When you move past the caffeine, you’ll find other classes of nootropics that help enhance memory, creativity, and academic performance. Most often these are herbal compositions. Some herbs have well-documented cognitive-enhancing effects. Herbs such as Bacopa and Gingko, as well as the Ginsengs are helpful in individual ways. Combined they are highly effective. Tablets from pharmacies are usually a single herb only, but at the clinic, a special combination mix of these, and other herbs, can significantly brighten your day and mind. Ask at for a personalised mix for your needs.

The great thing with herbal products is their distinct and rapid action. If you have a big day coming up, you take these herbs in the morning (and at lunch if needed) and you will feel more alert, smarter and ready to tackle any big task. On days were you don’t need this extra level of brain power, you simply don’t use them. Herbs clear the system within 6-10 hours on average, so there is no “jitters”, and once it’s out of your body, there is no further effect.

Smart nutrients: phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine is a fatty substance that protects brain cells. It also carries messages across our brain pathways. As a nootropic, it has some good evidence backing it for keeping us smart and alert. Production of this naturally occurring fatty acid declines as we age. In foods it is only present in adequate amounts of meats and fish, and in soy lecithin. Cooking may destroy it. The intake of supplemental phosphatidylserine is not without risk: research recommends a maximum of 500-600 mg per day for no longer than 10 days, while doses over 300 mg may give side effects of bloating, flatulence and inability to sleep. Furthermore, products offered online may come from questionable sources, especially from overseas (where rules are far less stringent).

Conclusion: Nootropics or not?

Nootropics use is useful when needed. It is not something you want or need to use ongoing. The herbs are the best and safest, and have no side effects. Phosphatidylserine is a good product when consumed in food. However, please seek advice for use as a supplement. There are other, simpler products that help your energy, such as B 12 and folate, while fish oils keep the brain lubricated. There are many options to help you gain optimal brain function. Interested in sharpening your mind? Please contact the clinic for more info on nootropics And … the caffeine…that’s up to you!

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