Boost your brainpower with a natural nootropic energy booster

Which is better for brainpower: natural energy enhancement or stimulated cognitive performance?

Even though we typically (and rightfully) distinguish natural nootropics from synthetic stimulants, many people do combine the two to great success.

Yet, the question still remains: which is better for boosting brainpower?

  • When it comes to actual brainpower, natural nootropic energy boosters are the way to go.

Why? Because natural nootropics actually improve the brain’s natural energy producing pathways. 

Whereas stimulants simply flush the brain with a temporarily overwhelming amount of synthetic neurochemical activity.

Even so, there is a natural and healthy way to boost brainpower with stimulants too. 

And in this guide on the Best Energy Supplements for Brainpower in 2020, we show how to do this with the use of both a stim-free energy supplement and a caffeine-powered stim stack.

The Beginner’s Guide to Brain Energy Supplements

Brain energy is an elaborately complex concept that actually tires us out just thinking about it.

But, fortunately for you, we’ve done all the thinking and answered all the pertinent questions on brain energy...

Starting with:

How Much Energy Does the Brain Need?

The short answer: the brain needs a lot of energy.

To get the point, take a look at the stats below:

As the most energy-hungry of the body’s organs, the brain sucks up roughly 20% of the body’s total energy reserves, despite only comprising 2% of the body’s total mass.1

This makes sense. As captain and commander of the body, the brain is constantly managing and maintaining a complex network of bio-processes.

In fact, much of the brain’s activities could neatly divide into these two categories:

  • Management: at all times, the brain is monitoring and regulating various combinations of neurotransmissions, brainwaves, sensory input, and so on. Even while the body is asleep, the brain continues chugging along.
  • Maintenance: during adolescent growth and development, the brain undergoes a relatively rapid state of neurogenesis, or new cell creation. However, even in adulthood, the brain’s neuroregenerative pathways remain intact, and the brain expends a significant amount of energy to maintain, repair, and regeneration neuronal tissue.
Did you know... Maintaining high levels of brain energy is so important to the body that we have natural energy conservation and back-up plans in place in case of famine.

With glucose as the primary energy fuel for brain and body performance, under conditions of excess glucose intake the body stores the excess as jiggly fat around the body.

Under low-glucose conditions, the body redirects to fat-sourced ketone energy to maintain brain energy.

However, while low fuel is an obvious contributor to poor brain performance, there are several pathways that can lead to a malfunction in the body’s overall energy metabolism schematics.

The Importance of Energy Homeostasis

Let’s face it: many of us are chunky.

Yet, mysteriously, despite having so much excess energy fuel (i.e., fat) cushioning our bodies, many of us still feel unusually tired and lethargic, almost on a daily basis.

Much of this comes down to energy homeostasis: the body’s tendency to maintain an equilibrium within and between multiple, complex mechanisms involving energy metabolism.2

More specifically, energy homeostasis means maintaining an equilibrium between: 

  • energy intake and energy expenditure
  • macronutrient intake (consuming food) and macronutrient oxidation (converting food into energy fuel).

Roughly speaking, energy homeostasis is disrupted when there’s an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure.

In other words, being well-fed isn’t always sufficient to achieve healthy brain energy levels.

In fact, being too well-fed (eating too much) may contribute to an imbalance in energy homeostasis, resulting in poor energy metabolism and, thus, poor brain performance.

So what's the solution?

Though metabolic performance inherently varies from person to person, maintaining a healthy balance between consuming energy (eating) and expending energy (exercising) is one of the best ways to maintain energy homeostasis.

Likewise, sleep and relaxation are also incredibly important to maintaining optimal energy levels.

Otherwise, your risk of metabolic imbalance and poor cognitive function, both short-term and long-term, greatly increases.

Symptoms of Low Brain Energy

Everyone knows what it feels like to be tired.

But there’s a wide spectrum of tiredness that spans from feeling a little groggy after a poor night of sleep to, say, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).3

In order of severity, from harsh to mild, here are the different class of symptoms of low brain energy:

  • Brain Fatigue: triggered by prolonged mental activity and/or sleep deprivation, full-blown fatigue may detrimentally impact not only brain performance but long-term brain health, potentially contributing to extreme exhaustion and/or adrenal fatigue;
  • Brain Fog: commonly associated with stress, brain fog feels like the mind is almost literally entrapped in fog; noted by a dip in focus, concentration, cognitive clarity, and multi-tasking capability;
  • Brain Farts: these are brief, general lapses in thinking or judgment, typically brought on by a night of bad sleep, sensory overload (i.e., a highly distracting environment), or just the natural process of aging.

The occasional brain fart is natural and normal, and increasingly so as we age.

However, here's what isn't normal:

  • if you feel like you have to push through thick, cerebral fog to mentally clarify a thought
  • or if you feel like no matter what you do, you can’t help but feel mentally drained and physically exhausted
If you tick the above boxes, then there’s a greater chance that these symptoms of low brain energy might also be symptomatic of an even deeper metabolic disorder.

A picture of a digital brain inside a lightbulb depicting brain energy

How to Boost Brainpower with Energy Supplements

Once you have your energy intake, energy expenditure, and sleep quality checked and balanced, an effective energy supplement may help keep all your metabolic cogs in proper working order.

Likewise, they may also help you get on the path towards better energy homeostasis, and they can even do this without resorting to stimulants, such as caffeine or synephrine.

Not that there’s no health benefits to taking a healthy stim stack, one of which we’ll cover below...

However, a natural energy supplement can naturally improve your natural brainpower levels by focusing on the following bio-pathways:

Mitochondrial Energy Enhancement

Mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell, are tiny, bean-shaped organelles that serve as the sites for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy production.[4]

As the body’s basic energy unit, ATP is typically converted from glucose, the body’s primary energy fuel source. However, mitochondria may also synthesize ATP from ketones and protein as a sort of glucose-deficient back-up plan.

  • Natural energy boosters, including several nootropics, can help improve mitochondrial energy efficiency by helping with the fuel to ATP conversion rates, promoting the creation of new mitochondria, and protecting mitochondria against harmful free radicals.

Catecholamine Optimization

Dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine—these are the most well-known of the catecholamine class of neurotransmitters.

Known as the “fight or flight” chemicals, catecholamines help spark thermogenic fat-burning and excitatory cognitive processes related to focus, attention, alertness, awareness, and motivation.[5]

Synthetic stimulants, for example, are effective focus boosters primarily for their ability to promote catecholamine activity; although this type of catecholamine activation often comes at a cost to the natural production and efficiency of catecholamine activity.

  • Through both stimulatory and non-stimulatory pathways, natural energy boosters may help optimize catecholamine activity, typically through promoting catecholamine synthesis or providing raw precursor material to replenish catecholamine levels lost to stress, sleep deprivation, and other energy-sapping conditions.

Cerebral Circulation

Though we eat and breathe via the mouth, an entrance into the body very near to the brain, oxygen and nutrients must travel a significant distance before cross the blood-brain barrier to nourish the brain.

This is why cerebral circulation, or brain blood flow, is so important: when circulation is impaired, oxygen and nutrients fail to adequately reach and nourish the brain, resulting in poor cognitive energy levels and performance.

  • By promoting cerebral circulation via boosting nitric oxide (N.O.) activity or other vasodilation measures, nootropics and other performance aids may indirectly improve brain energy and cognitive clarity through their bio-actions’ secondary boost on oxygen and nutrient delivery to the brain.

Stress Resistance

Stress is a body and brain killer.

Granted, we need some stress to keep our minds and bodies in check; however, chronically engaging the body’s stress response system, the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, may significantly throw the body into severe metabolic disorder.

After all, stress is a state of heightened energy expenditure, as the secretion of stress hormone cortisol influences the release and mobilization of various fight-or-flight chemicals, hormones, and processes.

  • Certain adaptogens, a class of substances that help the body adapt to stress,[6] may directly and indirectly promote energy homeostasis by modulating the release and impact of stress hormone cortisol, restoring the stress response to a healthy level of activity.

Other Supplements for Brain and Body Fuel

Aside from functioning as the body’s primary energy fuel source, glucose is strongly linked to self-control, or willpower.[7]

This is why cutting carbs is such a difficult health: the means of maintaining self-control against glucose-heavy carbs is diminished by avoiding glucose-heavy carbs.

With that in mind, there are two types of energy fuel supplements that are particularly useful to help mitigate the cravings and low-energy side effects that come with, say, intermittent fasting, fasted training, or the keto diet.

Those supplements are:

  • Intra-workout carbs: a smart carbohydrate supplement strategically delivers a necessary amount of glucose to help sustain high levels of activity and cognitive performance during and after exercise (SEE: Performance Lab® Carb);
  • MCT oil: when glucose isn’t immediately available, yet you still need your brain to operate at a high level, an MCT oil supplement helps by converting to ketones, an alternative energy fuel source to promotes brain energy in the absence of glucose (SEE: Performance Lab® MCT).

Delivering macronutrient energy fuel, these two supplements are key to the success of any healthy low-carb eating strategy, especially for athletes and exercisers.

Mind Lab Pro® Nootropics for Energy

Inherently stim-free, nootropics offer a variety of natural, healthy approaches to boosting brainpower that are devoid of the usual side effects that tend to come with risky synthetics.

A few Mind Lab Pro® nootropics that are great for boosting cognitive energy include:

Citicoline

The best nootropic cholinergic for brain energy enhancement and cognitive fitness.

By combining two nootropic compounds—choline and cytidine—citicoline delivers the usual benefits of a raw choline donor. Including the promotion of memory-facilitating acetylcholine, in addition to the unique energy promoting benefits of cytidine, a precursor compound that converts to the ATP-boosting uridine.

  • In a clinical study on Cognizin® citicoline, researchers observed a significant increase in ATP presence in brain cells by 13.6% with citicoline supplementation.[8]

More on Mind Lab Pro® Citicoline here.

Rhodiola Rosea Extract

A powerful, fast-acting herbal adaptogen that directly combats stress by modulating the HPA axis’ secretion of stress hormone cortisol.

Often quoted as an “energy booster,” Rhodiola rosea is more accurately described as a fatigue reducer, thanks to this herb’s noticeable, reliable effects against the feelings of lethargy and brain fog that tend to come with an overworked, stressed out mind.

  • In a review on Rhodiola rosea, researchers analyzes multiple literature on the clinical viability of Rhodiola as an effective strategy to reduce the symptoms of chronic stress and burnout. The researchers approved of Rhodiola’s stress relieving potential, finding that it “is the main adaptogen approved by the HMPC/EMA for the indication ‘stress’ and influences the release of stress hormones while boosting energy metabolism as revealed in animal literature.”[9]

More on Mind Lab Pro® Rhodiola Rosea here.

L-Tyrosine

Focus-sharpening amino acid that promotes catecholamine activity through non-stimulatory neurochemical pathways.

When the brain is stressed or sleep deprived, the brain burns through L-tyrosine to synthesize catecholamine neurotransmitters, the brain chemicals required for cognition to stay afloat and focused.

When L-tyrosine levels deplete, so does cognition, which may be restored under such conditions by L-tyrosine supplementation.

  • Though there are plenty of clinical studies that demonstrate the stress-relieving, attention-promoting potential of this nootropic amino, one study in particular stands out in how it observed the cognitive benefits of supplementing L-tyrosine during extended wakefulness (or sleep deprivation). The researchers found that “L-tyrosine may prove useful in counteracting performance decrements during episodes of sustained work coupled with sleep loss.”[10]

More on Mind Lab Pro® L-Tyrosine here.

Maritime Pine Bark Extract

Possessing a rich complex of antioxidant proanthocyanidins, maritime pine bark extract may help combat oxidative stress while promoting N.O.-boosted vasodilation.

An interesting herbal extract with promising nootropic potential, maritime pine bark extract supplies a naturally rich mix of compounds called proanthocyanidins.

Proanthocyanidins are a class of antioxidants that seem to benefit cognitive performance by combating harmful free radicals and boosting cerebral circulation via boosting N.O. activity.

This latter benefit in particular may help improve oxygen and nutrient delivery to brain tissue.

  • The bio-benefits of maritime pine bark extract are diverse and many, with one clinical review on the herbal extract observing improvements in antioxidant status, resistance to the vasoconstrictive effects of catecholamines, and a long-lasting improvement in attentional performance among ADHD patients taking maritime pine bark extract.[11]

More on Mind Lab Pro® Maritime Pine Bark Extract here.

Best Energy Supplements for Brainpower in 2020

Performance Lab® offers two of the best energy boosting supplements. 

One stim-free (Performance Lab Energy) and one stim-powered (Performance Lab Stim), that can be stacked with Mind Lab Pro® for total brainpower enhancement.

But one supplement stack wasn’t enough for Performance Lab® to be fully satisfied with their brainpower boosting potential...

No, the Performance Lab® product line actually has several formulas dedicated towards the enhancement of cognitive performance.

Yet, the two best stacks for boosting brain energy are : 

  • Performance Lab® Energy, a natural, stim-free energy boosting supplement.

A bottle of Performance Lab Energy

To get the best deal for Performance Lab Energy, click here
  • Performance Lab® Stim, a natural, caffeine-powered stim stack that works as an optional add-on supply of caffeine to take with your other health and fitness supplements.
A bottle of Performance Lab Stim
To get the best deal for Performance Lab Stim,
click here

Though fundamentally different in their approach to boosting brain energy, both Energy and Stim are exactly the same in their commitment to supplying eco-friendly, vegan-friendly formulas encased in clean, green, bio-enhanced NutriCaps® capsules. No synthetic ingredients or artificial additives.

However, to better understand why these two energy boosters are the Best Energy Supplements for Brainpower in 2020, we’ll need to take a closer look at their formulas, starting with:

Performance Lab® Energy Formula Analysis

As one of the most unique energy boosting stacks, Performance Lab® Energy eschews all stimulants, instead supplying a rich mix of antioxidant mitochondrial energy enhancers. Check out the ingredients:

  • Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR), 750mg
  • Microencapsulated Bio-Enhanced® R-Lipoic Acid, 150mg
  • MicroActive® Q10 (Coenzyme Q10), 100mg
  • BioPQQ® (Pyrroloquinoline quinone [PQQ]), 10mg
  • BioPerine® Black Pepper Extract,5mg

With exception to BioPerine®, which enhances the nutrient absorption rates of the other ingredients, all of these antioxidants take a unique approach to promoting and protecting mitochondria performance across the brain and body.

ALCAR increases fatty acid transport to mitochondria for fat-burning energy, R-lipoic acid assists with carbohydrate metabolism, CoQ10 shuttles electrons and protons across mitochondrial membranes, and PQQ stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis.

Combined, these antioxidants reduce the oxidative stress load on mitochondria, ensuring that your natural energy producing faculties don’t burn themselves out by their own energy producing processes.

To learn more about Performance Lab® Energy, click here.

Performance Lab® Stim Formula Analysis

Performance Lab® Stim is more than a caffeine pill. Altogether, this stim-powered energy booster supplies the following ingredients:

  • NutriGenesis® Caffeine Balance B-Complex
    • Riboflavin+ (Vitamin B2), 500mcg
    • Vitamin B6+, 750mcg
    • Folate+ (Vitamin B9), 167 mcg
    • Vitamin B12+, 2mcg
  • Natural Caffeine (from Coffea robusta seeds), 50mg
  • Suntheanine® L-Theanine, 100mg
  • Ajipure® L-Tyrosine, 250mg

With a modest amount of caffeine, allowing for greater pill-on-pill stackability, Performance Lab® Stim is one of the more manageable caffeine pill stacks, unlike many other stim supplements that actually impair cognitive performance by delivering a jittery excess of caffeine per serving.

Not to mention the addition of B-vitamins as a balance component against the vitamin loss to caffeine’s diuretic effect, as well as L-tyrosine as a recovery against caffeine’s catecholamine-depleting side effect.

Altogether, this balance + recovery combo sustains the best parts of caffeine, while eliminating its worst parts, delivered in a slick, simple stack that’s easy to pair with other stim-free nootropics and energy boosters.

To learn more about Performance Lab® Stim, click here.

A bottle of Performance Lab Stim next to an Energy bottle

Who takes Performance Lab® Energy + Stim?

Taking Performance Lab® Energy vs. taking Performance Lab® Stim isn’t an either/or proposition.

Though they fundamentally differ in their stim vs. stim-free energy formula designs, the two supplements actually work very will together, delivering the best of both worlds to those who long for a more natural, daily supply of energy enhancement, yet still enjoy the occasional (maybe more than occasional) feel-good boost of caffeinated stimulation.

How to take Performance Lab® Energy + Stim

Performance Lab® Energy directions:

Take 1-2 capsules in the morning and 1-2 in the early afternoon as needed. If exercising, take one serving 45-60 minutes pre-workout. For best results, use daily and consistently.

Performance Lab® Stim directions:

Take 1 capsule for stimulation. Taken as directed, Stim’s 50 mg caffeine serving size is effective for most.

Those with greater tolerance or a higher optimal caffeine dose may take additional Stim NutriCaps® in 50 mg caffeine increments up to 250 mg (5 NutriCaps®) per day, due to the formula’s scalable design.

Where to buy Performance Lab® Energy + Stim

To buy Performance Lab® Energy, visit here.

To buy Performance Lab® Stim, visit here.

All Performance Lab® products sell exclusively through www.performancelab.com, where you can find even more energy boosting supplements, as well as many other health and fitness supplement products.

Conclusion

Mind Lab Pro® + Performance Lab® combine the most advanced nootropic formula with the best energy supplements for brainpower in 2020.

With Mind Lab Pro® taking a multi-pathway approach to energy enhancement with nootropics, Performance Lab® Energy promoting mitochondrial energy output with antioxidants, and Performance Lab® Stim stacking stimulating caffeine with caffeine-balancing vitamins and aminos, the old stigmas around boosting brain energy have officially been broken.

  • Piercing a market oversaturated with risky stimulants and unhealthy synthetics, Mind Lab Pro® and Performance Lab® are proving that boosting brainpower doesn’t have to come at the cost of your long-term brain health.

No doubt, prescription-based stimulants do have their purpose. However, there’s also no doubt that jacking up your brainpower to such a synthetically overwhelming degree doesn’t work as a long-term solution. Those skyrocket highs inevitably end with a back-to-earth crash-landing.

For long-term energy enhancement, these natural energy boosting supplements work and are safe for daily, long-term use. Only healthy, legal performance boosts here.

To get the best deal on Mind Lab Pro®, click here.

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Energy, click here.

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Stim, click here.

BONUS – Ultimate Brain and Body Energy Stack

Nootropics, mitochondrial energy boosters, and caffeine-powered stimulation—what else do you need to improve your cognitive performance?

With this stack, you’re set, as far as cognitive performance goes.

However, if you’re looking to lead an overall active lifestyle, one that demands both optimized brain and body energy performance, there are other supplements you can throw in the mix to also improve your diet, your exercise, and your sleep.

After all, diet, exercise, and sleep are truly the most important ingredients to a healthy, energized lifestyle.

And to excel at all of these factors, the following supplements may help:

Performance Lab® MCT

Fast, long-lasting fuel for brain energy and metabolic performance, powered by C8 + C10 MCTs sourced from 100% organic coconuts.

Ingredients: C8/C10 MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) Oil from 100% Organic Coconuts

  • While many MCT oil supplements solely focus on caprylic acid (C8), the best and most keto-friendly of the MCTs, Performance Lab® MCT outperforms the MCT oil competition by stacking C8 with the mitochondria-promoting, brain-energizing capric acid (C10) MCT. While both C8 and C10 convert to ketone energy, an alternative energy source from glucose that uniquely fuels the brain, C10’s promotion of brain mitochondria is particularly great for cognitive performance. Not to mention MCT oil may help with digestion and absorption of Mind Lab Pro®’s fat-soluble nootropics.

A bottle of Performance Lab MCT

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® MCT, click here.

Performance Lab® Carb

Fast-acting, muscle-loading energy fuel powered by KarboLyn®, an advanced, hybrid simple+complex carbohydrate for stim-free performance enhancement.

Ingredients: KarboLyn® (homopolysaccharide derived from potato, rice, and corn), Organic Ceylon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) powder, Organic Coconut (Cocos nucifera) Palm Sugar, Himalayan Pink Salt

  • For those committed to intermittent fasting, fasted training, or the keto diet, the topic of carbohydrates is a difficult, anxiety-producing one. Yet, all the same, carbs are incredibly important to sustaining high levels of athletic activity and performance. Whether you’re looking to cut carbs or not, Performance Lab® Carb offers a smart, strategic supply of healthy carbs that you can take pre-, post-, or intra-workout to quickly fuel and replenish your muscle’s glycogen reserves—not your fat cells—for better mental and physical performance.

A bottle of Performance Lab Carb

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Carb, click here.

Performance Lab® Sleep

For optimal daytime energy and performance, Performance Lab® Sleep promotes faster, deeper sleep and better nighttime recovery.

Ingredients: Magnesium+ (as Magnesium Bisglycinate, Magnesium Taurate, NutriGenesis® Magnesium), CherryPURE® (Whole Montmorency Tart Cherry) (Prunus cerasus) (fruit) (50:1 concentrated ratio), TryptoPure® L-Tryptophan

  • It’s a tale as old as time: mortal humans aren’t immortal gods, so we need nightly sleep to sustain us during the daytime. By focusing on the rest and recovery aspects of energy enhancement, Performance Lab® Sleep ensures a fresh and well-rested tomorrow with natural, cherry-sourced melatonin extract, mood-boosting L-tryptophan, and muscle-relaxing magnesium. The combination is simple, yet powerful, and the perfect nightly complement to the day-focused Mind Lab Pro® and Performance Lab® energy boosters.

A bottle of Performance Lab Sleep

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Sleep, click here.

References

  1. Raichle ME, Gusnard DA. Appraising the brain’s energy budget. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2002 Aug 6; 99(16): 10237-10239.
  2. Galgani J, Ravussin E. Energy metabolism, fuel selection and body weight regulation. Int J Obes (Lond). 2008 Dec; 32(Suppl 7): S109-119.
  3. Griffith JP, Zarrouf FA. A Systematic Review of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Don’t Assume It’s Depression. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2008; 10(2): 120-128.
  4. Osellame LD et al. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial function. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Dec; 26(6): 711-723.
  5. Ushiama S et al. Catecholamines Facilitate Fuel Expenditure and Protect Against Obesity via a Novel Network of the Gut-Brain Axis in Transcription Factor Skn-1-deficient Mice. EBioMedicine. 2016 Jun; 8: 60-71.
  6. Panossian A. Understanding adaptogenic activity: specifity of the pharmacological action of adaptogens and other phytochemicals. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2017 Aug; 1401(1): 49-64.
  7. Gailliot MT, Baumeister RF. The physiology of willpower: linked blood glucose to self-control. Pers Soc Psychol Rev. 2007 Nov; 11(4): 303-27.
  8. Silveri MM et al. Citicoline enhances frontal lobe bioenergetics as measured by phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy. NMR Biomed. 2008 Nov; 21(10): 1066-75.
  9. Anghelescu IG et al. Stress management and the role of Rhodiola rosea: a review. Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2018 Nov; 22(4): 242-252.
  10. Neri DF et al. The effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance during extended wakefulness. Aviat Space Environ Med. 1995 Apr; 66(4): 313-9.
  11. Rohdewald P. A review of the French maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol), a herbal medication with diverse clinical pharmacology. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2002 Apr; 40(4): 158-68.