Slow thinking, low motivation, blue mood, spotty memory and poor focus. When brain fog strikes, it can impair virtually all aspects of cognitive performance. The best supplements for brain fog can help.
With natural healthy support for mental energy, brain chemicals, stress resistance and more, the right brain supplements can help clear away burnout and revitalize your brain power.
In this article, we will discuss the some of the best individual supplements -- including herbs, vitamins, minerals and "good fats" -- for restoring your mental clarity when fog has rolled in.
We'll then highlight Mind Lab Pro: a stack supplement that combines several of the top brain fog nutrients into one powerful nootropic ("brain-booster") formula.
What is Brain Fog?
Brain fog is a temporary state of diminished cognitive function typically signified by mild impairment to memory, attention, processing speed and other executive functions.
Also called mental fatigue, burnout, or clouding of consciousness, brain fog often manifests as sudden mental confusion marked by inability to focus, poor memory and confusion.
If you suffer from the fog, you know it when you feel it. It can range from mild to severe; from frustrating to truly incapacitating. It can significantly hamper your clarity, productivity, mood, energy and many other key contributors to peak quality of life.
You could experience just one or two isolated incidents related to lifestyle choices. But if the fuzziness begins to occur more frequently, you might consider making some changes -- including taking supplements that support brain health and ease brain fog symptoms.
Brain Fog Symptoms
Some of the symptoms of are similar to other cognitive disorders, like ADD or ADHD. The main difference between brain fog and psychological or cognitive disorders is that fog is usually temporary, while disorders are generally recurring or persistent.
Mental fog symptoms vary, but often include:
- Poor focus; difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems, especially with short-term (working) memory
- Diminished mental energy and physical vitality
- Difficulty with multitasking; less productivity
- Reduced learning capacity
- Confusion and other signs of cognitive impairment
- Mood problems (depression, anxiety, irritability)
- General cognitive decline
In addition, some people report feeling light-headed, dizzy, and generally “cloudy.” Like other conditions, the symptoms of brain fog are only signs of an underlying cause that could further deteriorate cognition if left unaddressed.
What Causes Brain Fog?
To understand how the best brain health supplements may clear the fog, we first must look at its root causes and associations.
Stress is strongly associated with feelings of mental burnout. Researchers have reported that psychological stress can impair both short-term and long-range cognitive function. In the short term, stressors consume mental processing power, diverting it away from tasks at hand. Over the long haul, chronic stress has been shown to diminish cognitive function and accelerate cognitive decline.
Working too much? You may experience brain fog. Researchers have linked long working hours to a decline in reasoning skills, mental fatigue, mood imbalance and reduced cognitive performance. In one study of 248 automotive workers, researchers reported that overtime hours resulted in impaired cognitive performance in attention, executive function and mood.
Fibromyalgia (FMS) and Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)
Fibro fog is one of the most common cognitive complaints among people with fibromyalgia (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).
The type of brain fog that accompanies these conditions can be severe and persistent and is often coupled with pain or fatigue. Some sufferers claim that fibro fog is more disabling than other more physical symptoms. Fatigue, anxiety, stress, and sensory overload can make fibro fog worse.
One study showed that people who have both FMS and ME/CFS also had more cognitive impairment than those with just ME/CFS. Study subjects who reported more pain also had more difficulty remembering verbal content. Research has also linked FMS to word recall difficulties.
Overactive immune function (Inflammation)
Researchers suggest the immune system and inflammatory responses are increasingly linked to problems with brain function, and that brain inflammation specifically may contribute to brain fog.
COVID brain fog
Some people report brain fog after COVID. It may last from days to multiple weeks. Researchers have attributed this flu-fog to the brain inflammation that accompanies even mild cases of COVID-19, reaching inflammatory levels associated with cognitive impairment.
Menopause and related estrogen decline are associated with foggy thinking. Age-related testosterone decline may also cause mental fog in men.
Suboptimal intake of B vitamins including folic acid and vitamin B12 have been linked to cognitive decline and fatigue. As have vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, magnesium and zinc. But we'll talk about that more in our upcoming brain health supplement section.
The above causes and associations are just the beginning.
The above causes and associations are just the beginning. Mental fog has also been linked to nutritional deficiencies, unhealthy sleep patterns, candida overgrowth, allergies, drug use, medicine side effects and more.
Most Effective Supplements for Brain Fog
Now, let's talk about some of the top herbs, vitamins, good fats and other ingredients found in brain supplements for mental fog.
After that, we'll give some details on Mind Lab Pro -- the best all-in-one nootropic stack for brain fog that includes the most effective ingredients for restoring mental clarity.
Best All-In-One Nootropics Stack for Brain Fog:
Mind Lab Pro®
Mind Lab Pro® is the world's first Universal Nootropic™. Containing proven nootropic ingredients to help clear brain fog.
Learn more about Mind Lab Pro's Ingredients Below...
Nootropics are a class of performance-driven brain supplements that can enhance attention, focus, concentration, working memory and many other cognitive functions that are diminished by mental fog.
These brain supplements can target some of the causes of mental fog, too. For example, they can boost brain cell energy, fight the negative effects of stress, lift mood, modulate inflammation in the brain and more.
Rhodiola rosea is a root herb in the Adaptogen class, meaning that it helps to strengthen the body's resistance to stress.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 60 adult men and women who reported symptoms of mental fatigue, Rhodiola rosea increased attention, reduced fatigue, and improved cognitive function. Researchers concluded that, "Rhodiola, acting as an adaptogen, increases attention and endurance in situations of decreased performance cause by fatigue.
Rhodiola is best known for its mood-boosting, stress-busting properties. For mental fatigue and brain fog caused by burnout, Rhodiola's mechanisms work to protect the brain from the effects of stress and repair damaged cells.
Citicoline is one of the best all-around brain boosters. Backed by numerous clinical studies, citicoline boosts mental energy by improving cerebral blood flow and protecting brain cells from free radical damage.
Citicoline also boosts acetylcholine levels, a neurotransmitter closely involved in learning and memory. Plus it contains CDP choline, an active component of phosphatidylcholine, a phospholipid that preserves brain cell membranes, protects memory, and facilitates neural communication.
Brain fog typically happens after too much stress has been put on the brain by any number of the factors we have discussed. Stress can deplete catecholamines like dopamine and norepinephrine that your brain needs to stay sharp and quick.
So when you're under pressure and need to meet a deadline or do some serious multitasking, chemical depletion and stress can feed into each other, creating a downward cognitive spiral that results in crippling brain fog.
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT) combats brain fog by boosting catecholamine levels, helping you meet the demands of stress and protecting cognitive functions.
Tyrosine has been shown in research to help with a number of symptoms associated with brain fog. It appears to help with memory, mental performance, and mood under stressful conditions including loud noises, cold temperatures and multitasking.
B9, also called folate or folic acid, works with B12 as part of the B complex family of vitamins. Together, they are responsible for healthy brain cell function and protection from free radical damage and other damaging factors that can affect brain cells and neural communication.
Studies show that when partnered, the B vitamins B12 and B9 can improve memory and protect cognition by lowering levels of homocysteine – a naturally-occurring sulfuric amino acid that is believed to contribute to chronic mental fatigue and permanent loss of related cognitive functions.<11>
Did you know? Some research has suggested that higher intakes of Vitamin A and Vitamin C appear to improve cognitive function in patients with brain fog, possibly due to these vitamins' antioxidant activity. Vitamin D and Vitamin E have also been suggested to help.
Vitamin D, in particular, has been linked to symptoms of brain fog. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked with some degenerative brain issues, including Alzheimer's disease.
For additional basic nutritional support for clearing away brain fog, consider stacking Mind Lab Pro® with a quality, high-absorption multivitamin supplement that supplies ample Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) helps clear away brain fog by boosting short-term and long-term memory functions like learning, recall, and attention. It is one of the best brain-boosting nootropics for memory overall, and can directly help with the memory problems associated with brain fog.
PS works by protecting the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve pathways and cell membranes. Studies show that its protective mechanisms can safely slow, stop, and even reverse nerve cell deterioration. Better nerve cell integrity and communication improves concentration, problem-solving, communication, and language skills.<12>
Human studies show that phosphatidylserine is effective for preserving cognitive activity, protecting against cognitive aging, and retaining optimal cognitive functioning abilities.
Mind Lab Pro® supplies some of the best nootropics for brain fog in one clean and healthy universal stack.
Mind Lab Pro®‘s unique Universal Nootropic™ design transcends ordinary smart drugs, vitamins, and memory pills to boost cognitive function throughout the entire brain.
This sophisticated formula's ingredients include nootropics for brain fog specifically chosen for their ability to preserve mental performance under pressure and defend the brain from stress-related burnout.
Supplementing with Mind Lab Pro® helps improve the many negative symptoms associated with brain fog -- all while nourishing brain wellness for stronger overall cognitive performance.