A Guide to Productivity in 2020: Supplements and Nootropics
Supplements and Productivity
As Americans become more health conscious the tools for achieving healthier lifestyles evolve as well. One of the primary drives in the search for healthier is greater productivity–whether in personal life or professional life–because who doesn’t want to get more done during our limited time on this Earth. This is likely the at least part of the picture in understanding the widespread use of supplements. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that around 52% of Americans have taken at least one dietary supplement the day of the survey. While similar studies indicate that around 77% of American adults take supplements as part of a routine.
One of the developments that has gained most traction in this regard is the development of supplements specifically designed to improve brain productivity through targeting brain functionality. This brand of supplement has coined the term nootropics.
In this article, we will take a look at the most promising supplements and nootropics to consider when pursuing higher levels of functionality. We will also cover some of the health concerns which are a crucial part of the conversation, as well as what to expect in terms of financial commitment–since like any health trend, daily supplement use can tack up to quite the expense.
What are Nootropics?
Nootropics are a specific subset of supplements with a specific purpose. While the name isn’t the easiest it comes from the greek word meaning mind change. Depending on who you talk to nootropics have a varying reputation. Reports indicate that newly developed nootropics are largely unmonitored by the FDA, and thus undergo less scrutiny in identifying potential health concerns. This was especially true in the early days of nootropics, which were originally created by chemistry students who sought DIY supplement options that might be more potent, more effective, and less expensive than traditional supplement options.
This reputation as one can imagine is bad for business. Thus there are few standout projects in nootropics which seem to seriously prioritize the adopted best practices of similar markets. Such companies test their products thoroughly, employ peer-reviewed research, and offer excellent guarantees. This is responsible for the growth that is projected to bring the global nootropics market to $60 million by 2024.
Nootropics: What Do They Do?
Anyone who has seen the 2011 movie Limitless with Bradley Cooper will understand the de facto goal of nootropics. These supplements are designed specifically to erase brain fog, increase energy levels and cognitive efficiency, as well as improve other metrics of mental functionality such as memory, creativity, and flexibility. Brain health was reported to be a market valued at $2.3 billion back in 2015 with recent estimates projecting a jump to $11.6 billion by 2024.
In other words, investors and entrepreneurs are taking notice of this market are investing in innovation and development accordingly. Some of America’s most famous personalities swear by the use of nootropics. From MMA fighters to politicians and popstars, these individuals swear that nootropics help them operate at the level of productivity that their status requires. While the issue of the designer nootropic is another topic entirely, for the most part you can find many of these same nootropics online for a reasonable price.
The Quick Guide to Using Supplements to Hack Productivity
- The First Step: Identify Your Needs and Goals
The great thing about supplements is that their very design supports one’s freedom to target their individual needs and wants–in both health and productivity. What works for one person might not be the same regimen that works for another. Another important distinction is to separate your wants from your needs and goals. Everyone wants to be smarter, healthier, and better looking, but unfortunately the main limiter on how much your body can handle is your kidneys. Too many supplements can overburden, and even present a risk for chronic disease–more on that later.
The fact remains that to make the best use of supplements, you need to understand where in your life and in your health you have room to improve. If you already function at high levels of productivity in your office job, maybe you need to focus more on supporting bodily health while sitting all day with little exercise. Conversely, if you are always on the move, you might need something to help you stay focused.
When self-knowledge is lacking do not hesitate to consult your doctor–that is of course if they believe in the use of supplements. If not you can always seek out an herbalist or nutritionist who can direct you towards the supplements that will best help you reach your goals.
- The Second Step: Choose Your Strategy
Once you have identified your individual needs and you have set your goals, the next step is to set your strategy. Are you relying on supplementation to replace crucial components of healthy living such as sufficient sleep or 3 healthy meals daily? If this is the case, it’s important to note the relevance of the name itself. Supplements are named so because they are meant to supplement healthy living and are not designed to replace it. If you attempt this you will at best get unreliable results and at worse experience negative outcomes. Thus to make proper use of supplements, it is crucial to employ effort in bringing other areas of living up to the standard of health sought after.
- The Third Step: Pick Your Supplement
- 10 Most Popular Supplements for Improving Productivity
- Melatonin: Used to improve sleep quality and combat sleep disorders.
- Calcium: Used to improve bone strength and reduce the stress of physical activities on the skeletal system.
- Vitamin D3: Used by indoor workers to help compensate for the lack of a natural presence of vitamin D3, which is produced when the body is exposed to sunlight. A lack of vitamin D can cause mental fogginess and an inability to concentrate.
- Milk Thistle: Used to help facilitate healthy liver functionality. It also offers antioxidant properties. Both of which can help to battle low-energy levels, particularly sluggishness related to blood sugar, hydration, and food intake.
- 5HTP: This supplement functions as a precursor to serotonin, and thus functions as a mood stabilizer. Many individuals use this supplement to help manage their moods through long demanding work days.
- Ginger: Used to facilitate increased metabolism functionality, and is linked to both higher levels of energy and higher levels of testosterone in men.
- Garlic: Used as an antioxidant to help the body filter blood and remove waste from the body. Associated with increased focus and energy levels.
- Magnesium: Over half of Americans are magnesium deficient, which can lead to brain fog and an inability to focus.
- B Vitamins: These improve alertness by improving the energy-transfer of cellular processes through boost mitochondrial function.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Often referred to as the holy grail of supplements, these fatty acids facilitate functionality of many of the body’s most crucial systems such as sight, the heart, and liver. Deficiency is thought to be related to the rise of ADHD.
CBD – Perhaps the Most Promising Supplement
CBD which is the abbreviation for cannabidiol is a cannabinoid derived from the industrial hemp plant. This plant is devoid of the THC levels that are associated with “getting high” and the marijuana plant. Industrial hemp is also federally legal since the passing of the Farm Bill. Despite this you might never have heard CBD referred to as a supplement, and that is because of the confusing legal tensions which dissuade businesses from using that term.
But CBD contains all the features of a dietary supplement, and functions as one of the best of them. Through interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system CBD helps the body release certain enzymes, which differ according to whatever is keeping the body from homeostasis. This makes it a kind of super supplement capable of adapting to the unique needs of an individual’s body. Lower doses of CBD are associated with increased focus and higher energy levels, while higher doses are reported to have the effect of a sedative.
Another characteristic of CBD that makes it a tremendously valuable tool in pursuing productivity is that it comes in a wide range of products–from sublingual drops to flavored gummies or topical creams.
- The Fourth Step: Consult Your Physician
In choosing your supplements it is important to address the complexity of the human body as a symptom. Not only is every person different, but the way in which they break down and process certain supplements is different as well. But perhaps most importantly, studies from the National Institute of Health indicate that there is a massive potential for drug interactions–both between different supplements and with other forms of medications. So while your doctor may not be the most helpful in directing you towards the best supplements, they must be consulted to make sure what you choose to take does not adversely affect your body.
Kidney Health: The Final Piece of the Puzzle
Research indicates that 1 in 7 individuals suffers from kidney dysfunction or worse, full-blown kidney disease while 1 in 3 Americans is at risk. The kidneys are what act as the body’s filtration system and so they bear most of the brunt from a heavy supplement load. Supplements and medications are cited as a catalyst for acute kidney damage. Thus it is crucial that in our pursuit of productivity we do not neglect our kidney health. Luckily many companies have targeted this looming epidemic, and offer convenient options for testing kidney functionality. Ethos Biosciences develops laboratory testing technology for the early detection of a nephrin, a protein-indicator of kidney dysfunction. As the final step of this guide, it is recommended that if you choose to make use of supplements and nootropics that you aso commit to testing your kidney functionality annually. If not part of your yearly physical, you can easily make use of the options available from the comfort of your home.