Just as bodybuilders take sports nutrients to boost body training and muscle growth, brain-builders can take nootropic nutrients to boost brain training and neural growth. This guide discusses how nootropics for brain training might help to max out your brainpower gains. We also cover the best individual nootropics for brain training, and how one nootropic stack may deliver the best brain-building results.
How Nootropics Help with Brain-Building
Have you ever tried training your brain with puzzles, new language learning, and other mental exercises? If so, then you've already discovered one of the best natural strategies for improving mental performance. But what if you could make those mental training gains even better?
Some nootropics optimize the brain's healthy responses to cognitive training.
A brain in training is a brain that’s changing. Brain training alters the brain on a structural level. New brain cells form, grow, connect and rearrange in response to brain training. Synapses shift to acquire and store new learning. Neurotransmitters fire and expire as you challenge your brain with diverse mental exercises.
Nootropics may help to support healthy training-induced brain changes in several ways, but mostly by:
Supplying Brain Building Blocks
Nootropics feed the brain with raw materials it needs to build, connect, repair and rejuvenate brain cells in response to brain training. Phospholipids and choline sources are examples of building block nootropics that help with the formation of new brain cells.
Powering Brain Regeneration
Neurogenesis and plasticity triggered by brain training are power-intensive bioactivities; nootropics help optimize the brain cell energy that powers healthy brain growth and development.
Supporting Signaling for Brain Growth
Nootropics support nerve growth factors and neurotransmitters that signal the brain to expand and “fertilize” it for growth.
Enhancing Cognitive Performance
Enhancing cognition during "mental training" can create positive feedback, encouraging further cognitive challenges that help to enhance brain-building efforts.
These nootropic bioactivities appear well-suited to nourish the brain for healthy neurogenesis, regeneration, plasticity and performance -- which may help you max-out brain training gains.
Mind Lab Pro® Brain-Building Nootropics
An organic raw material for brain cell membranes, Citicoline has important neuroregenerative properties and versatile nootropic activity for mental performance. Research demonstrates its benefits for concentration, working memory, attention and verbal ability. <1-3>
Brain Building Benefits: Research shows the Cognizin® form of Citicoline boosts brain energy by 13.6% and brain cell membrane formation by 26% <4>. This appears to be an especially significant combination because healthy brain regeneration requires a lot of power and neural membranes.
This phospholipid makes up 15% of the brain’s fats, helping to form supple, fluid brain cell membranes. PS declines with age, so many studies focus on its potential to help with age-related brain issues. PS may be the most research-backed nootropic for memory.<5-6>
Brain Building Benefits: PS is a phospholipid that is used to create brain cell membranes.<7> It may also help brain regeneration by supporting brain energy and production of neurotransmitters that are involved in healthy brain growth.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom
Lion’s Mane is the only mushroom with nootropic activity, which seems neuroregenerative in nature. Research ties Lion’s Mane to mental performance improvements in adults aged 50-80 with mild cognitive impairment <8>.
Brain Building Benefits: Lion's Mane Mushroom boosts nerve growth factor (NGF), which in turn stimulates and supports neurogenesis, plasticity, and neural repair. <9-10>
Maritime Pine Bark Extract
This species of pine bark has evolved to contain a powerful complex of natural antioxidants that help to protect against salty, windy and harsh seaside climates.
In addition to protecting the brain from aging and boosting blood flow to the brain, polyphenol antioxidants like those found in Maritime Pine Bark Extract may have more direct neuroplasticity benefits:
Brain Building Benefits: Polyphenol antioxidants may help to promote natural growth factors needed for neuroplasticity, including Brain Derived Neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) <11>.
This green tea compound boosts Alpha brainwaves to foster “wakeful relaxation,” good for calm, focus and creativity <12>. Research has shown L-Theanine helps with stress, mental performance, and seems to affect the brain’s attention circuitry <13>.
Brain Building Benefits: Research has linked Alpha brainwaves to activation of neuroplasticity <14>. L-Theanine is the best nootropic for Alpha brainwaves.
Mind Lab Pro® Brain Training Performance-Enhancers
All of the above nootropics help to nourish healthy brain growth while also supporting overall cognition.
Additional nootropics in Mind Lab Pro® help with brain training by acting as flat-out cognitive performance enhancers.
What happens when your mental performance is so sharp, you dominate brain games?
You feel more confident. You perform better under stress. Self-belief drives you to even greater brainpower. In theory, you may form and reinforce neural connections with your repeated success, creating a literal winner’s mindset.
As a bodybuilder pushes his body past his limits to achieve superior results, you may reap greater brain gains from peak performance during brain training.
Nootropics are most famous for boosting brainpower. In the context of Brain Training performance enhancement, they help with:
- Cognition. Nootropics enhance many aspects of cognition that sharpen brain training performance, including focus, memory, creativity, attention and strategy.
- Mindset. Nootropics can modulate brain chemistry and brain waves to promote the motivation and mood-states that help with any training program
Nootropics’ cognition-enhancing benefits have great untapped potential for optimizing brain gains -- both in terms of performance and results.
Cognitive performance-enhancers in Mind Lab Pro® that help to supercharge performance in puzzles, games, new learning and other brain-training activities include:
This traditional Russian adaptogen modulates neurotransmitters and hormones for anti-stress benefits. It has been suggested in research to help with mental fatigue, mental work capacity, learning and processing, especially while performing under stress.<15>
Brain Training Benefits: Rhodiola may boost cognitive function fast, taking effect within 30 minutes and lasting up to 6 hours. <16> In the context of brain training, Rhodiola is a great “Pre-Workout” nootropic taken before mental exercise.
Shown in animal research to raise acetylcholine levels while boosting cerebral blood flow by 29% <17-18>, Ayurvedic herb Bacopa Monnieri is a straight-up mental performance enhancer with targeted benefits for brain training exercises.
Brain Training Benefits: Shown to help learning, memory, reaction times, and to slow down the rate at which we forget new learning <19>.
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT)
A “Master Precursor” nootropic for neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine, NALT restores brain chemicals depleted by stress, which in turn benefits multitasking, memory and mind-body performance <20>.
Brain Training Benefits: NALT supports Dopamine; Dopamine signals for neuroplasticity <21>. Its evidence-backed benefits for memory and multitasking under stressful conditions sync well with brain training <22>.
Vitamins B6 and B12
The remaining Mind Lab Pro® nootropics support brain health and mental performance from more angles, and may supply mild complementary brain-building activity as well:
- Vitamin B6 as BioGenesis™: Needed to convert L-DOPA into dopamine that signals for plasticity.<23>
- Vitamin B12 as BioGenesis™: Helps form myelin sheaths that surround nerves.<24>
These basic foundation essentials for healthy brain regeneration should be considered must-have nootropics for any well-designed stack supplement.
Mind Lab Pro® supplies the best nootropics for peak cognition and healthy plasticity that supports superior brain training results.
Nootropics encourage the structural neuroplasticity changes and cell-to-cell signaling that occurs in the brain in response to brain training. Nootropics also help optimize brain gains by promoting brain chemistry and brainwave-states of motivation, focus and clarity - adding diverse support for brain training results.
- The World's First Universal Nootropic™, Mind Lab Pro® is a whole-brain optimizer -- the premier superior quality nootropic stack for maxing out both your mental performance during cognitive challenges and your ultimate brain training results.
- McGlade E. et al., Improved Attentional Performance Following Citicoline Administration in Healthy Adult Women Food and Nutrition Sciences. 2012;3:769-773.
- Alvarez XA, et al. Citicoline Improves Memory Performance in Elderly Subjects. Methods & Findings in Experimental & Clinical Pharmacology. 19(3):201-10,1997.
- Spiers PA, et al. Citicoline Improves Verbal Memory in Aging. Archives of Neurology. 53(5):441-8, 1996 May.
- Silveri MM et al. Citicoline enhances frontal lobe bioenergetics as measured by phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy. NMR Biomed. 2008; 21(10):1066-75.
- Crook TH, et al. Effects of phosphatidylserine in age-associated memory impairment. Neurology. 1991 May;41(5):644-9.
- Kato-Kataoka A., et al. Soybean-Derived Phosphatidylserine Improves Memory Function of the Elderly Japanese Subjects with Memory Complaints. J. Clin. Biochem. Nutr., 47, 246–255, November 2010
- Uchiyama Y.; Maxson M. M.; Sawada T.; Nakano A.; Ewing A. G. (2007) Phospholipid mediated plasticity in exocytosis observed in PC12 cells. Brain Res. 1151, 46–54.
- Mori K, et al. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2009 Mar;23(3):367-72. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2634.
- Ma BJ, et al. TMYC Hericenones and erinacines: stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF) biosynthesis in Hericium erinaceus. Mycology, Vol. 1, No. 2, June 2010, 92–98.
- Conner JM, et al. NGF is essential for hippocampal plasticity and learning. J Neurosci. 2009 Sep 2;29(35):10883-9.
- De Nicoló S, et al. Effects of olive polyphenols administration on nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the mouse brain. Nutrition. 2013 Apr;29(4):681-7.
- Nobre AC, et al. L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 01/2008; 17 Suppl 1:167-8.
- Gomez-Ramirez M, et al. The deployment of intersensory selective attention: a high-density electrical mapping study of the effects of theanine. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2007 Jan-Feb;30(1):25-38.
- Tomas Ros, Moniek AM Munneke, Diane Ruge, John H Gruzelier, and John C. Rothwell. Endogenous control of waking brain rhythms induces neuroplasticity in humans. European Journal of Neuroscience, 2010; 31 (4): 770
- Shevtsov VA, et al. A randomized trial of two different doses of a SHR-5 Rhodiola rosea extract versus placebo and control of capacity for mental work. Phytomedicine. 2003 Mar;10(2-3):95-105.
- Panossian A, Wagner H. Stimulating effect of adaptogens: an overview with particular reference to their efficacy following single dose administration. Phytother Res. 2005;19(10):819–38.
- Kamkaew N. Scholfield N. Ingkaninan K. Taepavarapruk N. Chootip K. Bacopa monnieri increases cerebral blood flow in rat independent of blood pressure. Phytother Res. 2013;27:135–138.
- Kishore K, Singh M. Effect of bacosides, alcoholic extract of Bacopa monniera Linn. (brahmi), on experimental amnesia in mice. Indian J Exp Biol. 2005 Jul;43(7):640-5.
- Roodenrys S, et al. Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2002 Aug;27(2):279-81
- Banderet LE, Lieberman HR. Tyrosine, a neurotransmitter precursor, reduces environmental stress in humans. Brain Res Bull. 1989 Apr;22(4):759-62.
- Ishikawa, Masago et al. “Dopamine Triggers Heterosynaptic Plasticity.” The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience33.16 (2013): 6759–6765. PMC. Web. 21 Aug. 2016.
- Thomas JR, et al. Tyrosine improves working memory in a multitasking environment. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1999 Nov;64(3):495-500.
- Nishimoto S, Tanaka H, Okamoto M, Okada K, Murase T and Yoshikawa H (2015) Methylcobalamin promotes the differentiation of Schwann cells and remyelination in lysophosphatidylcholine-induced demyelination of the rat sciatic nerve. Front. Cell. Neurosci. 9:298.