Did you know that nootropics can help you lose weight? You might be thinking, ‘Wait, how can that be? I thought nootropics work only on your brain. How can improving cognitive function help me lose weight?’
The answer to that question is weight loss is a mental as well as a physical game. This is why apps like Noom can be effective because they address the underlying mental and psychological issues that can hinder your ability to lose weight. So yes, nootropics can help you lose weight by improving certain cognitive functions involved with weight loss.
But how exactly does it work? This article will first explain the connection between specific brain functions and weight loss. Next, we will dive into how nootropics can work to positively influence these cognitive functions. Lastly, we will make specific recommendations on products which contain nootropics that are key for losing weight.
Have I got your attention? Great. Let’s get started.
Nootropics and Weight Loss
Nootropics can help you lose weight by boosting mental performance in areas involved with following through on the things you need to do to reach your goals. One thing that is especially important when it comes to losing weight is exercise.
Lack of exercise has been linked to many chronic diseases including obesity. In order to get yourself to exercise and exercise effectively enough to lose weight, you focus and motivation. And you need these consistently.
How often have you committed to something at first but then lost the focus and motivation to continue working towards that goal? This may very well be due to not having enough of one of these factors.
These building blocks of success originate in your brain. That is why they can be influenced by nootropics.
Having sufficient levels of focus and motivation not only helps you stick to your exercise routine; it can also help you stick to a diet. And the great thing about all of this is it is all part of a sustainable cycle.
Once you have enough focus and motivation, you will be much more likely to stick to your diet and exercise routine. Once you are taking action, you will start to see results, which will then motivate you even more to keep going. In addition, diet and exercise themselves, have been linked to increased levels of the critical components of success.
Now that we’ve discussed the connection between nootropics and losing weight, let’s talk about some of the brain mechanisms that have an impact on focus and motivation including specific nootropics that help to fuel these processes.
Mechanisms Nootropics Use to Improve Focus and Motivation
The mechanisms used by nootropics in this section all have to deal with what are called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters, which are chemicals used to transmit signals within the brain, are critical for the proper function of the brain. The main ingredients of the nootropics we recommend later on are relevant because they have an impact on the levels of key neurotransmitters involved with focus and motivation. These neurotransmitters are dopamine, acetylcholine, and serotonin.
One key aspect of motivation is dopamine and the role it plays in the “Reward Pathway”. The release of dopamine motivates us to engage in both positive and negative behaviors. A couple examples of positive behaviors are knocking an item off your to-do list or reaching a goal. Examples of negative behaviors, on the other hand, include eating something delicious even if it is unhealthy or even consuming drugs and alcohol. The key concept here is no dopamine, no motivation.
This idea especially comes into play when brain activity and stress levels are high as these deplete the brain’s dopamine reserves. Thus, in order to maintain motivation during these times, dopamine reserves must be replenished. In addition, we are more likely to engage in negative behaviors when dopamine levels are low. Enter nootropics.
Probably the nootropic known most widely to fuel dopamine levels in the brain is an amino acid by the name of L-Tyrosine. L-Tyrosine is important because it serves as a precursor for processes involved with the synthesis of dopamine. This nootropics is especially helpful when dopamine reserves are low which is usually the result of sustained periods of elevated brain activity and stress. During those times, L-Tyrosine can help pick up the slack and provide the fuel necessary to keep you motivated.
L-Tyrosine is known to play a role in maintaining healthy levels of catecholamines. The other catecholamines, in addition to dopamine, are adrenaline and norepinephrine. Together, these three chemicals help regulate motivation levels in humans. As for form, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine is the most widely preferred supplement to boost levels of L-Tyrosine in the brain.
Whereas, L-Tyrosine is a precursor for dopamine synthesis, Citicoline and B6 are cofactors in the same process. Besides these, Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR), and L-Theanine may also boost dopamine levels, however, the mechanisms by which they may accomplish this, are still unknown.
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter whose role in and impact on brain function has been extensively studied. Neuroscientists have determined that this neurotransmitter plays a key role in brain circuits and neurotransmission which are vital for focus and memory.
Some supplements that increase levels of Acetylcholine in the brain are Citicoline, ALCAR, and Bacopa Monnieri, and Huperzine A. Whereas Citicoline and ALCAR are precursors for Acetylcholine synthesis, Bacopa Monnieri acts by inhibiting the enzyme which functions to break down Acetylcholine.
A widely known alternative to Citicoline is L-Alpha Glycerylphosphorycholine, more commonly known as Alpha GPC. While Citicoline is a derivative of Choline, Choline is a byproduct of a process that breaks down Alpha GPC. Alpha GPC is 40% Choline by weight, while Citicoline is 18.5%.
However, some argue that Citicoline is a better nootropic for several reasons. The first is it also contains Cytidine which is converted to Uridine by the body. Uridine intensifies the release of Acetylcholine and supports the release of dopamine which is important for motivation. Uridine also promotes the generation of new neurons and synapses.
The second reason to choose Citicoline over Alpha GPC is it stacks amazingly well with other nootropics and can actually amplify their effects. In addition, Citicoline impacts the sympathetic nervous system which means it can make you more alert and give you higher levels of mental energy.
Alpha GPC, on the other hand, affects the parasympathetic nervous system so it has a more calming effect. Alpha GPC can also increase dopamine levels. As mentioned earlier, one advantage of Alpha GPC is it contains more Choline per molecule. Another advantage of Alpha GPC over Citicoline is it can increase growth hormone secretion which can help with burning fat.
Overall, when it comes to Choline supplementation, Citicoline and Alpha GPC are the most effective forms of the supplement available. While each has some distinct advantages, it ultimately boils down to personal preference. It is worth mentioning that different people will respond to the same supplement differently. This means that it might be a good idea to experiment and find what works best for you. Keep in mind though, that it may take a month or two to experience the full effect of these nootropics. So don’t give up hope if you don’t notice any results right away.
The final neurotransmitter we will discuss is Serotonin. Serotonin is widely recognized a neurotransmitter which plays a key role in regulating our mood including feelings of well-being or happiness. For this reason, Serotonin may have a significant impact on motivation, which as we mentioned earlier, can help immensely with weight loss.
The supplements we have mentioned so far can all have an impact on Serotonin levels. Citicoline and Alpha GPC can both serve as a cofactor in the process responsible for the synthesis of Serotonin. B6 is also a cofactor in the process that converts L-Tryptophan and 5-HTP to Serotonin. ALCAR, L-Theanine, and Bacopa Monnieri can also increase levels of Serotonin in the brain, however, the mechanisms by which they achieve this are unknown.
Impact of Stress on Weight Loss
One other item worth mentioning is the impact that stress can have on weight loss. Stress can cause a decrease in focus and motivation. Stress can also cause higher than normal cortisol levels which can cause an unwanted buildup of belly fat.
In addition, stress can have an impact on our eating habits and desire to exercise. Prolonged periods of stress are known to cause cravings for unhealthy foods as well as lethargy which are not good conditions for weight loss. Clearly, stress is counterproductive to weight loss.
Luckily, nootropics as well as adaptogens can help to reduce the impact of stress. What is the difference between nootropics and adaptogens you ask? Adaptogens are specific plants that protect the brain against the damage caused by stress. Nootropics, on the other hand, are compounds and drugs that enhance cognitive performance.
Lion’s Mane, as a nootropic, has been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress. As for adaptogens, Rhodiola Rosea, is one that is well known to help counteract the effects caused by stress.
Alpha Brain Waves
Alpha brain waves are associated with the feeling of being alert but relaxed at the same time. L-Theanine, an amino acid found in Green Tea, is well known for producing these and can counter feelings of stress and anxiety to increase motivation. It is Theanine that balances the jitters from caffeine and enhances ones focus for sustained periods of time.
The final ingredient which is common to the nootropics recommended in this article for weight loss is Phosphatidylserine (PS) which is classified as a phospholipid. Phospholipids are fatty substances. PS, specifically, is one of the components of brain cell membranes that plays a role in messaging. For that reason, PS is quite important for optimal brain function. Studies show that PS can improve focus, memory, and motivation.
Now that you are familiar with some nootropics and adaptogens which can help maximize weight loss results, let’s dive into products that contain the key ingredients mentioned above.
Even though this product is the most affordable, it actually contains more of the nootropic ingredients discussed in this article than either of the products recommended below. With a whopping 600mg of Alpha GPC, you can expect it to substantially improve your focus and motivation which should lead to better weight loss results. Another differentiator is it contains higher doses of Bacopa Monnieri and Huperzine-A than the other products reviewed in this article. Overall, if you are looking for nootropics to help you achieve your weight loss goals, this product is a great starting point.
- Vitamin B6 – 2.5mg
- Vitamin B12 – 100mcg
- Alpha GPC – 600mg
- Lion’s Mane Extract – 500mg
- Centrophenoxine – 300mg
- Bacopa Monnieri – 200mg
- N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine – 175mg
- Phosphatidylserine – 100mg
- Ginkgo Biloba Extract – 100mg
- L-Theanine – 100mg
- Rhodiola Rosea Extract – 50mg
- Taurine – 25mg
- Huperzine – A – 250mcg
- Contains nine of the ingredients discussed in this article.
- Contains higher doses of Alpha GPC, Bacopa Monnieri, and Huperzine-A than its competitors.
- Quite affordable.
- Some individuals may prefer Citicoline to Alpha GPC.
Mind Lab Pro is distinct from other brands in the way the company backs its products with science. This product is very well-rounded and contains many of the ingredients shown to improve cognitive function which can help with weight loss. Universal Nootropic matches the doses of Lion’s Mane, L-Tyrosine, PS, L-Theanine, and Rhodiola Rosea contained in our first recommended product. However, probably the biggest differentiator of this product is the fact that it contains 250mg of Citicoline in the form of Cognizin. Cognizin is a branded and patented form of Citicoline that is tested for purity and has been used in several studies supporting its effectiveness. If you have more room in your budget and prefer Citicoline to Alpha GPC, this is the right product for you.
- Vitamin B6 – 2.5mg
- Vitamin B9 – 100mcg
- Vitamin B12 – 7.5mcg
- Citicoline – 250mg
- Bacopa Monnieri – 150mg
- Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom – 500mg
- Phosphatidylserine – 100mg
- N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine – 175mg
- L-Theanine – 100mg
- Rhodiola Rosea – 50mg
- Maritime Pine Bark Extract – 75mg
- Contains eight of the ingredients discussed in this article
- Contains Cognizin, a premium and patented form of Citicoline, which has been proven effective in studies.
- Mind Lab Pro is a well-known brand in the nootropics industry.
- Does not contain Huperzine-A.
The Genius Brand is well-known in the nootropics industry. They have a line of products that boost focus, concentration, and overall cognitive function. Genius Consciousness is a powder that will boost your focus and memory. The major differentiator of Genius Consciousness is the inclusion of ALCAR which causes increased energy and Acetylcholine levels. In addition, this product contains twice as much Lion’s Mane as the other products listed in this article. The main disadvantage is it does not contain Bacopa Monnieri, L-Theanine, or Rhodiola Rosea.
- ALCAR HCl – 1000mg
- Lion’s Mane Powder – 1000mg
- Alpha GPC – 300mg
- L-Tyrosine – 500mg
- Methyliberine – 50mg
- Caffeine – 100mg
- Phosphatidylserine – 50mg
- Coffea Arabica Extract – 100mg
- Astragin – 50mg
- Huperzine-A – 100mcg
- Contains a higher dose of Lion’s Mane than its competitors.
- Contains ALCAR, which is lacking in its competitors.
- Contains Astragin for higher absorption rates.
- Does not contain Bacopa Monnieri, L-Theanine, or Rhodiola Rosea.
- Contains 15 servings instead of 30.
As nootropics become more popular, you will find many claiming to improve brain function, enhance intelligence, fight memory loss, and anxiety. Like with any drug, you need to be cautious about what you consume because of side effects.
Our list consists of smart drugs that contain natural ingredients which minimize side effects. But we would like to reiterate that you should consult your physician before taking any type of nootropics for anxiety. Yes, they are available over-the-counter and without prescriptions but some contents in these drugs can result in brain chemical imbalance especially if you already take medication for certain health conditions.
To avoid any issues resulting from consuming the drug, it is better to consult your doctor beforehand. Be sure to also check out our other smart drug reviews like the one for the best for brain functioning. One last tip for buying nootropics. Always opt for products that list the ingredients and doses out. Avoid proprietary blends as it is more difficult to evaluate the doses of each ingredient for those.