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5 Brain-Boosting Nootropic Supplements | Doug Kalman Ph.D.

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Supplements don’t just benefit your body, they can also help you get your brain in the game. Start with these five nootropic supplements.
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The name may sound a bit quirky, but nootropics are supplements designed to optimize mental performance. We’re not just talking about the energy and motivation you can get from stimulants like caffeine, although that can help, too. Some nootropics also may improve reaction time, mental focus, cognitive function, and neuromuscular communication.

While nootropics are sometimes called “smart drugs,” that’s a bit of a misnomer, since nootropics don’t increase your intelligence per se. They just help your nervous system work better. “Smart drugs” also doesn’t take into account the physical effects nootropics can have.

When you take a nootropic supplement, you might not feel it working physically. It doesn’t give you a tingle. But nootropics can support the mind-body connection, the mind-muscle connection, and athletic performance alike. Here are five supplements worth trying for brain function.

1. Nitrosigine
What it is: Nitrosigine is a form of the amino acid arginine.

What it does: Research with athletes has found that this nootropic can enhance the ability to complete mentally difficult tasks. If you’re playing a sport and you’re able to execute your strategy cleaner and faster, you’re improving your game. In addition to improving mental performance, nitrosigine has physical benefits, too.

Ideal dose: 1.5 grams. Supplements often contain 500 milligrams-1.5 grams of nitrosigine.

2. Cognizin
What it is: Cognizin is a form of citicoline, which is turned into acetylcholine.

What it does: This nootropic supplement can help your nerves function efficiently. If you can enhance how fast your nerve impulses fire, you can enhance reaction time, mental focus, and cognitive function.

Ideal dose: 200-1000 milligrams

3. Caffeine And L-Theanine
What it is: Caffeine is a stimulant; L-theanine has a relaxation effect.

What it does: L-theanine is used with caffeine to enhance cognition while lessening the potential jittery side effects of taking caffeine on its own. This nootropic combination allows your body and brain to be more relaxed while simultaneously promoting a quicker reaction time, enhanced pain threshold, and the ability to do more work. It can help you feel more focused and waste less energy while achieving your goals.

Ideal dose:

Caffeine: 100-200 milligrams

L-theanine: 50-250 milligrams

4. Theacrine
What it is: Theacrine is an alkaloid. It can act as a stimulant, without having over-stimulatory side effects.

What it does: This nootropic can improve your reaction time and ability to multitask. It can be combined with caffeine, nitrosigine, or cognizin. These supplements don’t interfere with its function, and studies show it even has a synergistic relationship with caffeine.

Ideal dose: 125-200 milligrams

5. Vitamin B12 And Iron
What it is: Vitamin B12 and iron are micronutrients found in meat. They’re not technically nootropics, but having adequate levels of these nutrients in your body can help brain function similarly to nootropics. Being vegetarian or vegan increases risk of deficiency in these micronutrients, and lifting or playing sports on top of that can make a deficiency worse. Since your body needs B12 and iron, they’re unlikely to create side effects unless you take too much.

What it does: These nootropic-like nutrients are important for the nervous system. They improve communication between the nervous system and the muscular system—the mind-body connection.

Ideal dose:

Vitamin B12: 2.4 micrograms*

Iron: 8 milligrams for men, 18 milligrams for women*

Nootropics are only one piece of the puzzle. Want to learn more about how nutrition can improve your overall performance and physique? Check out our Bodybuilding.com All Access course, Foundations of Fitness Nutrition, co-hosted by the author, Douglas Kalman Ph.D., RD.

*Recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for supplements can vary based on age, gender, pregnancy, and lactation. For more information, check out the National Institutes of Health’s vitamin and mineral fact sheets.

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110 thoughts on “5 Brain-Boosting Nootropic Supplements | Doug Kalman Ph.D.

  1. ► Shop Nootropic Supplements:
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    1. How much is the nootropic

  2. Caffeine and weed also great

  3. Cheers to Mike Ehrmantraut having a PhD!

    1. First thought that came into my head🤣

    2. From breaking bad? Lol

  4. Most likely these things are only supported by weak evidence. Sorry.

  5. This dud having a PhD gives me hope honestly…

  6. I love your presentation on the topics you share. I could listen to them whenever time allows me to.

  7. Ok so this was a good overview of things to look into but I need to know the exact molecular interactions in the brain specific to serotonin and dopamine processes because of my specific form of adhd and all those joys along side with my already heightened cognitive processing of both analytical and abstract thought. Does anyone have any suggestions on resources for more in depth molecular reactions for these and how to calculate theoretical processes of multiple forms of these alkaloid and amino acids. I’ve only just begun the journey of acquiring knowledge and understanding in this field and am already fully enthralled with it all.

  8. L theanine I read a medical study that participants were given 3g a day and showed cognitive improvements. The problem with all these nootropics & supplements is a standard dose.

    1. And also that they never study the participants diet, psychological disorders based on physiology like adhd, ASD, or even high cholesterol in the family background to set either as close of a base line as possible or how all those things play in effect. I hate lazy researchers!!!!

  9. Does he moonlight as a Jon Stewart impersonator? Hello tall Jon Stewart

  10. Am i watching young Mike from Better call saul and Breaking bad??

  11. missed bacopa bud

  12. Great thank you .

  13. does crack work 😉

  14. ashwagandha for best mental clarity

    1. OGBluemoon really?

  15. Here’s a respectful comment. If this product is so good and does all the things it said it does, Why aren’t the Democratic all over this? They would be drowning Joe Biden with it by pouring it down his throat. God knows HE NEEDS IT BAD.

  16. I get this supplement called Neural Renew from Amazon. Its a really solid stack and its only like $5 for a month. Dont ask me how its so cheap but I love it

    1. You posted this same spam on every nootropics video I’ve watched.

    2. i looked it up . it’s meth

    3. No thanks

  17. Is there a supplement that include all the 5 or some of the 5 supplements recommanded? Thank you

    1. Tom Hohman it’s also best to make sure they provide a printed copy of federal certification for purity and the processes for either abstraction or synthesis because of you synthesis the same alkaloid but under two different processes they can have highly diverse metabolic break downs based on strength of molecular bonds which can lead to a mess of unwanted problems and effects. I’m still learning about how to calculate probable outcomes of interactions but highly recommend researching all that for yourself as well. The health effects of molecules we put in our brains can easily become physically dangerous very quickly for example the difference of LSA and LSD is staggering but their build ups are very similar. Be careful and do so much research your head spins please! Harm reduction in key!!!!

    2. Even if there was I’d recommend buying them individually as usually the blends not only don’t have the therapeutic dose but the price is super inflated.

  18. Vry good suggestions 👍

  19. Speculative and weak scientific foundation.

  20. U can just buy this online? Any of them

  21. Wondering why Lions Mane was not included..

  22. microdosing psychedelics?

  23. 00:39 Nitrosigine
    1:42 Cognizin
    2:54 Caffeine + Theanine
    4:00 Theacrine
    4:55 B12 + Iron

    But its very important that you listen to how he breaks it down, that way you can see which one better suits you!

    1. ty

    2. nooflow

    3. Caffeine+Theanine is the best

    4. Thanks

  24. Great now i can finaly achieve challenger

  25. What about alpha gpc?

    1. best alpha gpc stack is nooflow

  26. Loved your video! But which one is the best then??

    1. Yeah it’s really a trial by fire processes because everyone’s biochemistry and physiology vary from one individual to the next and physiological deficiencies like adhd, autism, or chronic depression also play huge roles on what molecules do to individuals.

    2. look each is best according to your need. you have to try which one suits you best

  27. Hi I am Doctor Kalman and I have been asked to read this script to add credibility to this video

    1. go on ‘doctor’

  28. Hi, what do you think about taurine?!

    1. Do you mean Kyle blood?

    2. taurine???? never heard about this but let me hope it is a good supplement though

  29. Hope you have had a nice week so far and I hopefully you all achieve your dreams

  30. coffee…. nectar from the gods LOL this dipshit knows nothing about the gods 😉

  31. Caffeine and L-theanine, green tea.

  32. “Caffeine is a nectar from the gods”

    1. No wonder its white and sticky

  33. Fish oil is the best brain supplement imo

    1. 2nd time I’ve heard fish oil this week.

    2. Seth Fernandez Dude he wrote that a year ago lol

    3. Please expand on this. Like ima go research the piss out of the chemical processes of this before you reply but I would still welcome your personal reasoning for this.

  34. is this good for exams period?

    1. exam period/// perhabs when you have exam phobia or otherwise your own medical complications

    2. Yes, it helps focus, memory and concentration.

  35. All about sell supplement ..
    Brainwash 😑
    Nothing alse.

    1. everything else needed is provided only if you search for individual strain separately

  36. Can I give them to 15 years old Taekwondo player?

    1. Talk it over with the individuals primary physician and also get input from other physicians and psychologists as well as holistic medical practitioners. Be careful molecules can either be safe for physical very dangerous just by one atom being in a different position. For example the difference between LSD and LSA the former is completely physically harmless but can cause psychological harm and the latter can be fatal and the wrong dose or reactions with an individual’s biochemistry

    2. well personally I don not advocate that. but it is recomendable also try it and see the results .

  37. but can they make my cok bigger

    1. no way,that’s a misconception

    2. Your BBC 😂

  38. What alpha GPC and huperzine?

    1. for that combo, check out Nooflow

    2. (alpha)= ‘ if I honestly asked ,,,,, what’s your general understanding of that term

  39. Other words. We don’t really have a clue if some of this stuff damages the brain

    1. We can calculate possible chemical reactions and breakdowns and how the resulting molecules interact with our biochemistry and overall physiology

    2. They’re nooptropics, the whole point is that they’re meant to boost brain function with minimal if any side effects.

  40. Avocados and salmon tend to be high in omega 3 fats which boosts neurogenesis

    1. hahahah try also natural FISH OIL

  41. After caffeine+theanine… I have ability to complete mentally hard tasks like 2 + 1

    1. wonder the effects on heart and baroreceptors

    2. after caffeine with anything I’m getting panic attacks

    3. 2 + 2 is 4, minus 1 that’s *3*

    4. 3

    5. Really plz tell

  42. You all know that there are no brain boosting supplements besides placebo, right?
    Listen to doctors who actually don’t want to sell you something.

    1. placebo/??? never tried that before,, need one sample via email,,, [[[[ anonloadke@gmail.com]]]

    2. Sometimes people need hope.. if the placebo gets them up and doing healthy activity.. why not

  43. So, is there a supplement out there that combines all of these?

    1. Not realy something possibly comprising all the stated supplements.. earlier I pointed out that each strain is individually unique..

    2. Pre workout

    3. Not every one but there are products that contain a few of these together.

  44. Where can we get these “studies”?

    1. Google scholar! not journal articles, but studies by professionals in the field

    2. @annonym surfer that’s why we should research by ourself and don’t take everything on video as truth

    3. @Sharon _ms Right, because claiming something and then saying it’s based on research and not actually mentioning even the name of the research, is not shady at all.

    4. Studying by yourself i guess. Doing reaserch

  45. Should of made a list of supplements that contain all this

    1. Nooooo buy individually

    2. Best stacks I know of are Qualia (waaaay too expensive) and Nooflow.

    3. @cozIsezSo LOL that type of pill will have you solving mysteries lol

    4. @cozIsezSo i have not yet tried them but iv been looking at SoulJuiceSups…. not sure how promising they are but reading there ingredients/nutrition they seem pretty good

    5. Sims Star you ever heard what happens to people who take sleeping pills and fight past the urge to sleep? Power boost, that’s what. Maybe you’d get the same result

  46. spare us the bro science explanation. just say the name of the supplement and which food contains it.

    1. But he didn’t even explain the scientific reason and interactions in depth….

    2. Bro science? He offered real biochemistry evidence.

    3. Not all these supplements can be found in food, so that would have been a waste.

    4. But hes JISN brah

  47. All these said,which foods contain ?
    Also mention!

    1. @Devin Foley You seem to know so list the products yourself!

    2. Not all of these can be found in food.

  48. Awsm 🙌🏻

  49. Ummm ok i guess.

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