Stay Focused Naturally for Cleaner, Clearer Thinking
Are you seeking a natural way to sharpen your mental focus? Brain supplements called nootropics may help.
In this article we're going to reveal the best nootropics for focus, along with the one dietary supplement that delivers them for maximum effect. Let's get to it!
Quick summary: Some top nootropics for focus include citicoline, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, pine bark extract, and L-theanine. Mind Lab Pro is the #1-ranked nootropic supplement for focus that boosts many other aspects of cognitive function, too.
What is focus?
In the context of cognition, focus refers to the concentration of one's attention to a specific task or topic.
Many consider focus to be the key to mental performance and cognitive wellbeing.
A sharply focused mind may better distinguish audio and visual cues, distinguishing important sensory information from unnecessary distractions.
For example, the focused student absorbs the professor's lecture while mentally shunning the sounds of outside play.
Exceptionally focused thinkers may even compartmentalize sensory input to successfully multitask several assignments at once.
Conversely, a "blurry" (or unfocused) mind struggles to discern potentially important information from everything else.
Many turn to synthetic stimulants, cognitive enhancers and energy boosters in an attempt to enhance focus...but many of these substances actually diminish cognition in the long-run.
Which is why natural nootropics for focus are now taking over the game.
Nootropics may provide a healthier, safer and more refreshing path to better focus and, thus, sharper mental performance overall.
What causes poor focus and concentration?
There are many potential causes of foggy focus.
Stress, insufficient sleep, physical and mental fatigue, for example, are all notorious for dulling cognitive performance and slowing mental processing speed.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is, of course, strongly associated with focus and concentration problems. It is often addressed with a prescription drug approach that alters brain chemistry to improve cognitive function.
**For more on sharpening your focus with the best nootropics for ADHD, check out our article on the topic here.
How Natural Nootropics Can Boost Focus
Rather than flushing the brain with caffeine stimulation, natural nootropics truly enhance focus and cognitive function by optimizing the brain's natural mental performance pathways.
The nootropic approach helps cognitive performance while maintaining healthy brain function.
In contrast to boosters that deplete brain health, nootropics boost focus and other cognitive benefits while supporting brain health.
Nootropic dietary supplements are generally safer and potentially more effective than their stimulant alternatives, potentially even reducing the harmful effects of stimulants in the long-run.
Altogether, nootropic supplements are suggested to boost focus and overall cognitive performance by:
Optimizing Brain Chemicals
Catecholamine neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) play an important function in heightening focus, attention, and awareness. Some nootropic supplements can help to support the neurotransmitters associated with robust mental performance.
Stimulants ramp up catecholamine activity via chemical substitution, while natural nootropics do so by:
Supplying raw catecholamine precursors
Enhancing catecholamine conversion processes
Sharpening catecholamine receptor sensitivity
Certain natural nootropics may be described as "stimulating", even though they don't follow the same stimulatory pathways as synthetic stimulants.
For example, as we'll get into in a moment, the nootropic L-Theanine helps promote "wakeful relaxation" which calms the mind while sharpening your cognitive ability.
Nootropics that operate primarily on the catecholaminergic system may work best conditionally upon the state of the user's catecholamine levels.
Boosting Brain Energy
The brain makes up 10% of the body's weight, but consumes 20% of the body's energy.
When brain energy falters, focus blurs. As the most energy-demanding organ of the body, the brain is exceptionally sensitive to changes in bodily energy levels.
Thus, nootropics that enhance the brain and body's natural ATP energy production pathways may assist with any number of direct and indirect metabolic cognitive processes, including mental focus and concentration.
The higher the concentration demands are required of a given task or assignment, the greater the threat of brain burnout. Optimizing the brain's energy capacity may increase your mental work stamina.
Now, stimulants like caffeine are commonly used to "enhance focus" by boosting energy.
But the reality is, stimulated focus -- if it is clumsily dosed -- will almost certainly end in a crash that cancels out any temporary boost that the caffeine delivered.
For this reason, when we consider top nootropics for focus, we will emphasize nutrients that work via non-stimulatory pathways -- such as:
Optimizing brain cells powerhouse mitochondria, which generate cell energy
Encouraging blood flow to the brain, which feeds it with energizing oxygen and neuronutrients
Supporting the brain and central nervous system neurotransmitters that are associated with energized and focused activity
Strengthening Resistance to Stress and Anxiety
Aside from high-intensity thinking, stress and anxiety may have a significantly negative impact on brain energy and cognitive performance, providing a significant challenge to staying focused and energized.
Somewhat related to the catecholamine hypothesis of attention, stress reducing nootropics (or adaptogens) may not only help replenish the chemical and metabolic pathways underlying focus. But increase resistance against the catecholamine-depleting effects of stress and anxiety.
Improving Task-Related Cognitive Functions
While memory is a loosely thrown around term for any cognitive process involving "learning" and "remembering" information, working memory specifically involves the brain's ability to process information directed towards an ongoing task or goal.
As such, working memory is a subset of short-term memory, as it's capacity and duration are limited. In a way, working memory is somewhat synonymous with focus, as it involves concentrating the mind's efforts on only important, task-related sensory information.
Nootropics that assist with such task-related cognitive functions may improve the mind's ability to focus on a given task.
Top Brain Health Nutrients that Help with Focus
As a precursor to a naturally occurring amino acid that acts directly within the catecholamine conversion process, L-Tyrosine is one of the smart drugs that plays a big role in sustaining cognitive function, especially focus.
Under conditions of high stress and activity, the brain "burns" its natural L-tyrosine reserves to synthesize catecholamine neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine -- i.e., focus-related brain chemicals.
Stress-induced catecholamine depletion may lead to brain burnout, significantly impacting mental performance and concentration. L-tyrosine supplementation may help.
Multitasking demands, external distractions, poor sleep -- several stressors may diminish focus and mental performance. However, research suggests that L-tyrosine administration improves:
Task-related cognitive function during high-demand multitasking activities.
Mental performance affected by loud "distracting" noise exposure.
Brain function and mood during sleep deprivation.
L-tyrosine's brain boosting benefits become more pronounced and noticeable during high-demanding cognitive tasks as opposed to calm, easy tasks.
This makes L-tyrosine -- or, better yet, N-acetyl L-tyrosine (NALT) -- great for clutch performance boosts on focus. It's effective in nootropic supplements for high-pressure brain activity, favored by competitive people with rough daily schedules.
Due to B vitamins' co-factor roles in catecholamine conversion pathways, stacking N-acetyl L-tyrosine with B vitamins may further enhance the focus boosting benefits of NALT.
It might just be the smartest of the smart drugs. Unlike other sources of choline, Citicoline (also called Cytidine 5'-diphosphocholine or CDP-choline) not only assists with the brain's cholinergic functions but also improves brain energy production, a massive benefit to overall brain health and cognitive function.
This duality is due to citicoline's two-part component structure, which divides into:
Cytidine - a precursor compound to uridine, a nucleotide base associated with an increase in cellular membranes and synaptic plasticity.
Choline - a building block unit used for the synthesis of neurotransmitter acetylcholine and phosphatidylcholine, a cell membrane phospholipid.
Animal research suggests that the combination of choline and uridine may significantly improve selective attention and spatial learning under conditions of cognitive impairment.
What's more, clinical human research has found the Cognizin® brand of citicoline to improve attention, motor speed, and other focus-related performance measures under healthy cognitive conditions.
As such, citicoline seems to improve focus -- not to mention memory, learning, mental energy and other aspects of cognitive function -- while also sharpening the mind against age-related cognitive impairment.
As the natural relaxing agent in green tea (and other Camellia sinensis products), L-Theanine is a hugely popular nootropic amino acid, especially for stimulant users -- e.g., coffee drinkers.
However, while green tea is a great source of L-theanine, simply brewing and drinking green tea leaves won't achieve the nootropic focus-enhancing benefits associated with L-theanine. (Unless you drank in the neighborhood of 10 cups of green tea!)
Rather the ingredient must be supplemented in an isolated, concentrated form, and, ideally, stacked with other brain boosting cognitive enhancers.
Individually, L-theanine seems to work by promoting alpha brainwave frequencies (8-14 Hz), the cognitive state associated with calm, creative thinking; a mental state akin to meditative free-flow thinking.
It's a unique among smart drugs, as it calms without sedation and boosts focus without stimulation.
L-Theanine promotes a mental state best described as "wakeful relaxation" for its simultaneous boost on focus and relaxation.
In terms of focus enhancement, human research suggests L-theanine may:
Sustain attention over difficult, time-consuming cognitive assignments.
Improve attention and sleep disorders, which may exacerbate focus disorders.
What's particularly unique about L-theanine is how you can beneficially supplement the nootropic amino anytime from the morning to the late-night evening.
L-theanine's calming boosts on focus not only prime the mind for a relaxed, productive workday but ease the mind to sleep during the nighttime for a more rested alert brain function tomorrow.
Supplementing L-theanine on its own may deliver its associative focus benefits.
However, many top nootropic supplements stack this compound with caffeine, due to L-theanine's ability to sustain caffeine's focus enhancing benefits while minimizing the stimulant's jittery side effects.
Maritime Pine Bark Extract
Often recommended for hyperactivity and attention issues, Maritime Pine Bark Extract is an exciting herbal nootropic with substantial promise within the realm of mental health and performance.
Supplying a natural, rich complex of active proanthocyanidins, maritime pine bark extract seems to possess an antioxidant capacity 20X greater than vitamin E and 50X greater than vitamin C.
Due to its exceptional antioxidant status, maritime pine bark extract is associated with many anti-aging applications and other cognitive promoting activities, most notably focus, attention, and mental processing.
In addition to reducing free radical damage, maritime pine bark extract also promotes healthy cerebral circulation, which may further explain the herb's potential to improve on focus and mental performance.
One placebo-controlled, double-blind human study suggested a 4-week administration of maritime pine bark extract may be associated with several cognitive benefits, including for:
- Attention performance
- Hyperactivity reduction
- Visual-motoric coordination
Focus affected by hyperactivity may improve with maritime pine bark extract supplementation.
By naturally supporting brain energy metabolism and regeneration, maritime pine bark extract possesses significant short- and long-term focus-sharpening potential for a wide age spectrum.
Beyond the brain, Maritime Pine Bark Extract has been used in sports nutrition applications, especially in pre-workout supplements, for its two-way benefits for focus and muscle blood flow.
As a key component to healthy brain cells, especially their dynamic membranes, Phosphatidylserine (PS) is important to improve brain function and cognitive longevity.
The phospholipid's brain support bio-benefits range anywhere from the fluidity of neuronal membranes to the efficacy of neurotransmissions to the production of neuron myelin sheaths.
Cell-to-cell communication prospers under healthy PS conditions, making PS supplements particularly useful, with nootropic benefits for memory, mental clarity, learning, recall and more.
Healthy phosphatidylserine activity withIN brain cellS membranes is fundamental to a healthy, functional brain.
However, phosphatidylserine also seems to improve cognitive performance measures related to focus, concentration, problem solving, language, and communication skills.
It is a featured ingredient in good nootropic supplements. And even though the title is often given to ginkgo biloba, the real best nootropic supplement for memory is, in fact, PS.
Despite a wealth of well-documented research on phosphatidylserine's ability to enhance brain function, researchers have yet to precisely define how PS improves focus and concentration; whether it's through direct or indirect nootropic mechanisms.
What researchers do seem to believe is this: PS is helpful for mental clarity (including focus), and may have the greatest impact in cases of mild cognitive impairment or age-related cognitive decline.
The phospholipid bilayer.
Even so, phosphatidylserine administration has been linked to better attention and focus via one placebo-controlled trial in particular:
As compared to placebo, daily PS administration for a two month trial period demonstrated significant improvements in attention performance, short-term auditory memory and working memory, and visual mental performance.
For optimal results, stacking phosphatidylserine with citicoline and fish oil supplements may significantly enhance PS' mental performance boosts.
Also, look for the Sharp-PS® Green phosphatidylserine in supplements. It ditches the common soy-derived PS for a clean, premium and eco-friendly sunflower-derived version of this nootropic phospholipid. It's also an eco-friendly supplement hence the "green" name.
This "Golden Root" is associated with the harsh climate of Siberia, where it has been used in folk herbalism for centuries. Rhodiola rosea's strength enables it to grow in harsh conditions.
Likewise, Rhodiola strengthens the person who takes It, assisting with the fight against stress and stress-related brain fog.
Traditionally, Rhodiola rosea was used by Russian farmers to maintain mental clarity and physical vitality through hard workdays in tough environments. The cognitive enhancer was later used in high profile contexts, including by Russian Olympians and Cosmonauts.
Today, researchers believe the herb works by modulating how the body responds to both short-term and long-term stressors. This may be especially significant to anyone seeking help with focus, since stress can be so devastating to attentional performance.
Mind Lab Pro® supplies Rhodiola Rosea standardized to 3% rosavins and 1% salidrosides.
A traditional herbal supplement used in Ayurvedic practices, Bacopa monnieri is considered a nootropic and an adaptogen. That means that it has both brain-boosting and stress response regulating effects -- a potent combination for anyone struggling with attention issues.
Bacopa Monnieri is also among the leading nootropics for memory. Specifically it appears to be a memory multitasker, helping with working memory performance (also called short-term memory, which can be problematic in those with ADHD), new learning, and delayed recall memory.
In one clinical study, researchers said that taking Bacopa supplements every day for 12 weeks helped brain function in many ways, including benefits for memory, recall and learning.
Standardized Bacopa monnieri extract has been suggested to help with focus problems.
In this open-label study of schoolchildren taking Bacopa, researchers found the nootropic supplement to improve cognitive function.
To get specific, researchers reported a 78% reduction in learning issues and 67% reduction in impulsive behavior. Researchers concluded Bacopa monnieri appeared to be effective in easing some symptoms associated with ADHD, including symptoms related to focus.
This B vitamin complex may assist with focus and general cognitive function through various brain pathways.
One of the most important involves reducing blood homocysteine levels, which may help to improve cerebral circulation.
Robust blood flow to the brain is associated with healthy cognitive performance, as well as with longer-range brain health.
B-Vitamins also help with brain chemicals, including those involved with focus and cognition, such as the conversion of L-tyrosine to L-DOPA.
Mind Lab Pro® has upgraded its Universal Nootropic™ design with the inclusion of vitamins B6, B9, and B12 as NutriGenesis™.
More on Mind Lab Pro® Vitamin B6 - Associated with support for brain chemicals including serotonin, GABA, norepinephrine. High-dose B6 has been linked to anti-stress benefits, mood balance and memory support in some human clinical research trials.
More on Mind Lab Pro® Vitamin B9 - Crucial B-vitamin in the fight against out-of-range homocysteine levels; low levels of B9 associated with brain fog. Vitamin B9 is also associated with neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin and norephinephrine.
More on Mind Lab Pro® Vitamin B12 - Most famous for cell energy, but B12 has other stronger benefits including helping to form the fatty myelin sheaths that surround and protect nerve cells; low B12 levels are associated with age-related cognitive decline
Why Mind Lab Pro® is Best for Focus
There are a lot of nootropic supplements, brain pill products and smart drugs on the market today that claim to help with focus, but Mind Lab Pro® is by far the best. Why?
Mind Lab Pro® enhances focus across multiple neural pathways.
Whereas other supplements may boost cognitive function in one or two ways, Mind Lab Pro® does so in practically ALL ways. Because it is designed to support the brain and nervous system in a versatile and near-complete way.
That means Mind Lab Pro® doesn't just boost focus. It helps to improve overall brain health, working to improve mental function across several different pathways.
You can unlock your brain’s true power with Mind Lab Pro®… far more than just focus, it's one supplement that helps brain function in many different ways:
Mind Lab Pro® helps to boost brain function by uniting 11 best-in-class cognitive enhancers, including the nootropics for focus we've discussed in this article, into ONE Universal Nootropic™ formula:
Cognizin® Citicoline: Best overall nootropic found in dietary supplements for brain energy + brain regeneration. Super choline: Shown to improve concentration, memory, attention, verbal ability
Sharp-PS® Green: Best memory nootropic and a “good fat” for brain health...this brain pill uses it as a Sunflower-sourced form shown to improve working memory and bust mental fatigue
Bacopa Monnieri (24% bacosides, 9 bioactives): Best herbal nootropic for learning and higher-order cognitive functions. Great for students; shown to quell stress and improve memory and new knowledge retention
Rhodiola Rosea Root (3% rosavins, 1% salidrosides): Best nootropic for mental fortitude and mind-body performance. Traditional adaptogen herb prized by Russian Olympians; shown to boost energy, focus, stress resistance; also busts brain fog and helps reduce mental fatigue
Suntheanine® L-Theanine: Best nootropic for wakeful relaxation and creativity; great with coffee. Shown to increase Alpha brain waves for clarity, creativity and focus; unique calming effect enhances mental alertness without sedation
Lion’s Mane Mushroom (full-spectrum extract): Best nootropic mushroom for mental clarity and brain regeneration. Boosts Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) for long-range brain health; shown to help mood and memory
Ajipure® L-Tyrosine: Best nootropic for sharp cognitive health under stress, multitasking & fatigue: Natural amino acid building block for neurotransmitters; helps restore and maintain what you need to perform
Maritime Pine Bark (95% proanthocyanidins): Best antioxidant nootropic: Dozens of brain-boosting actives in 1 ingredient. Protects and nourishes brain for focus, attention & mental processing; also helps raise brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
NutriGenesis® B6, B9 and B12: Best brain-optimizing B-vitamins in clean-cultured, high absorption form. B-vitamin essentials for robust cerebral blood flow, brain chemical balance and overall brain health
The NutriGenesis® vitamins in Mind Lab Pro® are made with a patented nutritional technology that produces highly bioavailable vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
NutriGenesis® nutrients are produced via a unique lab process that "grows" vitamins and minerals in a whole-food matrix.
The process is clean, eco-friendly and nature-identical -- meeting the lifestyle demands of many health-conscious consumers in 2023.
Mind Lab Pro® Result = 100% Brainpower™: A high-performance cognitive state where your brain fires on all cylinders and dynamically adapts to many different functions, demands and activities.
High-quality nootropics for focus and more:
If you want to improve cognitive function, boost memory, sharpen focus and more it's best to keep your nootropic stack as clean as possible.
But unfortunately, there are a lot of cheap, dirty brain stacks on the market today.
With Mind Lab Pro, you never have to worry about that. Mind Lab Pro is:
A Clean, Premium-Quality Stim-Free Nootropic Stack
Safe, well-tolerated, science-backed ingredients
Caffeine-free mental energy; no crashes or jitters
Formulated for peak cognition with no side effects
Vegan-friendly; also certified Kosher and Halal
No neurotoxic artificial colors or preservatives
No GMOs, no soy, no allergens, gluten-free
Third-party verified as fresh, pure & potent
No proprietary blends; all dosages shown
Even Mind Lab Pro® capsules are healthy!
Mind Lab Pro® is delivered in NutriCaps®: 100% vegan capsules that are made from pullulan (naturally fermented tapioca) and infused with prebiotics for digestive comfort.
Bonus Nootropic for Focus: Omega-3
Mind Lab Pro® is the one nootropic stack that supplies the most nutrients for supporting focus. But that doesn't mean it supplies ALL the nutrients for focus. It is missing one of the most promising. Namely, Omega-3 fatty acids.
Known as "good fats," the Omega-3 fatty acids support human health in many ways, including benefits for the cardiovascular system, joints, vision, and yes, cognition... including focus.
Researchers have suggested Omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce symptoms of people with ADHD.
Of course, poor focus is a hallmark symptom of ADHD, which may indicate that Omega-3 fatty acids might help with focus issues, too.
The best Omega-3 supplement for ADHD and focus issues
Performance Lab® Omega-3 is the top essential fatty acid supplement that you can take to support focus and cognitive wellness, along with a host of other benefits.
Performance Lab® Omega-3 uses life’s™OMEGA algal oil: A clean, easy-to-absorb and eco-friendly form of Omega-3s that is made from DHA-rich algae.
Because it is from algae, it spares the fish population (unlike fish oil Omega-3 supplements). Algae are also clean-farmed, sustainable and ethical -- so these Omega-3s are good for health and good for the planet.
Performance Lab® Omega-3 also uses a clean delivery form called NutriGels®.
These carrageenan-free softgels deliver DHA+EPA Omega-3 benefits without the inflammatory concerns associated with carrageenan (or any other additives, for that matter). NutriGels® are softgels made from pullulan and tapioca.
Designed for Performance
Optimizes cell membranes for whole-body performance*
Supports healthy cardiovascular performance*
2:1 DHA to EPA ratio associated with balanced immune function*
Promotes brain, eye and nervous system health*
Nourishes brain performance and promotes all-round cognitive enhancement*
Plays a role in muscle protein synthesis and post-workout recovery*
Helps brain with age-related cognitive decline and cognitive impairments*
life’s™OMEGA: Superior algae-sourced alternative to fish oil
Easy to take: No fishy smell, fishy aftertaste or gastric distress
Algal oil in NutriGels®: Vegan-friendly, carageenan-free softgels
Ultraclean: No mercury, heavy metals, PCBs, or toxic contaminants associated with fish oil
Omega-3 builds healthy cell foundation for focus, immune, cardiovascular and much more.
It can also be stacked other Performance Lab® supplements to unlock peak performance in additional ways.
Mind Lab Pro® supplies some of the best nootropics for focus in premium natural forms, without synthetic "smart drugs" or potential side effects.
Mind Lab Pro®'s unique stack of brain boosting nootropic supplements provide quick relief for an attention span spread thin, promoting focus safely and naturally.
The Mind Lab Pro® Universal Nootropic™ design calls for a different, more effective approach towards better concentration, one that contributes towards both short- and long-term mental function.
Optimizing the brain's natural pathways to better focus is just one way that Mind Lab Pro® unleashes 100% Brainpower™.
It's easy to lose focus in modern life that pulls your attention in every direction. Supplementing Mind Lab Pro® helps enhance cognitive performance, keeping your mind focused and your eye on the prize.
Adding in Omega-3 fatty acids by Performance Lab stacks on another level of support for mental clarity and overall brain health.
If you want to maintain sharpness through day-to-day brain fog, age related mental decline, stress or some other cause, you've got more options today than ever before.
Taking a natural brain pill like Mind Lab Pro® is one easy step that can yield impressive focus results. But why stop there?
Consider lifestyle changes to sharpen your focus, as well.
For example, prioritizing sleep can massively impact your daytime attentional performance. Taking a high-quality sleep supplement may help.
Suboptimal intake of some vitamins and minerals can negatively impact mood and mental performance, including focus. For this reason, a multivitamin supplement is also advisable as a foundation for sharp cognitive function.
Caffeine crashes can be devastating for focus. But you don't have to necessarily give it up.
Consider taking a precision-dosed caffeine supplement that allows you to fine-tune your caffeine intake. As a bonus, it's got L-Theanine, which has been shown to enhance caffeine focus benefits while reducing caffeine side effect drawbacks.
No matter what approach you take to improving your focus, the natural strategies outlined in this article can help you along the way to success.
Attention, concentration, focus -- all can be reclaimed with the right nourishment and practices, on your way to a peak-performing brain that helps to unlock your full potential.