Problems Focusing? You’re Not Alone
The ability to focus is something that many of us struggle with. There are a lot of different factors involved in cultivating focus which include attention, interest, motivation, and discipline. Sometimes, even the best among us struggle with this problem and find themselves inexplicably unable to work on their tasks. This problem is becoming increasingly common due to our relationship with technology and social media, and many people seek a reliable solution.
Nootropics are a viable option to this predicament. The best nootropics for focus tend to share the classical traits of a nootropic substance – improved attention, increased brain activity, and heightened mental stimulation. While drugs such as adderall can help improve focus, they are not sustainable long-term due to their addictive qualities and significant side effects. Nootropics can improve focus and concentration in a purely cognitive manner which allows for a very clean and reliable effect that is not seen in typical stimulants.
While the nootropics on this list are quite different from one another in terms of their pharmacological profile, they can be used for very similar purposes. Most of these substances are so effective that they can be used by themselves. However, some people respond better to some substances better than others, so it may be worthwhile to try different things at different times to see which works best for you.
List of the Best Nootropics For Focus
Noopept is a peptide (linked chain of amino acids) that has been developed and promoted as a nootropic. It is quite cheap, requires very low doses, and is safe and reliable when used appropriately. It is typically used for its brain-boosting potential that confers both acute and long-term benefits.
Noopept increases brain activity, improves memory and attention, and even reduces anxiety to some degree. It can be a very effective nootropic for improving focus and concentration.
Phenylpiracetam is a potent stimulant nootropic that is used for its clean and effective stimulatory effects. The use of phenylpiracetam is characterized by improved attention and focus, improved memory, and increased mental and physical energy levels.
Phenylpiracetam is non-addictive and very safe to use, however it does lose its effectiveness when taken frequently. It is best used on an as-needed basis. When used strategically, phenylpiracetam is one of the best nootropics for focusing that is currently available today.
Oxiracetam is a nootropic in the racetam class of drugs that appears to outshine piracetam and aniracetam in some regards. While it is not a stimulant strictly speaking, it does provide a subtle cognitive boost. Anecdotally, some have described it as a milder form of phenylpiracetam.
Oxiracetam is unique among the racetams and nootropics in general due to its ability cause long-term potentiation, which is a strengthening of the synapses in the brain based on recent activity.
Overall oxiracetam is excellent for improving focus and cognitive performance and does so in a way that is quite unlike typical stimulants.
Caffeine + Theanine is a potent combo that is quite popular among the nootropic community. Theanine is a remarkable nootropic on its own that improves cognition and reduces anxiety. When theaine is paired with caffeine, the two substances are synergistic – an effect that is greater than the sum of the parts.
This combo is effective because theanine enhances some of the cognitive effects of caffeine while also taking the edge off and reducing irritability and anxiety. It can promote zen-like focus and allow you to work on tasks very efficiently.
Kratom is an herb native to southeast Asian countries that is used for a variety of purposes. While it is not typically talked about for its ability to improve focus, it may be one of most promising qualities. Certain strains of kratom can greatly enhance productivity by reliably improving focus and concentration.
Kratom is most commonly known for producing opiate-like effects in the body, but this effect is actually very mild compared to traditional opiates. Kratom is unique due to its ability to raise levels of norepinephrine in the brain, which is heavily involved in focus and concentration.
Tyrosine is an amino acid that is used to synthesize dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline (epinephrine). It is found naturally in many foods, though it competes for absorption with other amino acids and therefore is commonly supplemented to ensure sufficient levels of dopamine in the brain.
Tyrosine is especially effective when used in situations where dopamine is expected to get depleted, such as intensive exercise or long periods of cognitively demanding work. While it will not raise dopamine levels beyond their normal threshold, it will ensure sufficient quantities are present. Since dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline are so heavily involved in attention, tyrosine is one of the best nootropic for focusing.
Acetylcarnitine, also referred to as ALCAR, is the acetylated form of the amino acid carnitine. Carnitine is heavily involved in energy production in the body and supports the mitochrondria by providing long-chain fatty acids to burn for energy.
In this acetylated form, it provides further nootropic benefits that include increased focus and enhanced cognitive performance. ALCAR also provides acetylcholine to the brain, the primary neurotransmitter responsible for memory and attention.
Some nootropics on this list can be taken every day while others are best taken sparingly. There are different reasons for this, but it is a pharmacological fact that many drugs lose their effectiveness when taken repeatedly. When taken daily, modafinil can cause sleep problems, phenylpiracetam loses effectiveness, and kratom can become a crutch and addiction.
Oxiracetam, noopept, and theanine + caffeine are subject to similar problems, though to a much lesser extent. They can be taken multiple days a week and still be effective, though eventually the effects will begin to diminish if no moderation is used.
ALCAR and tyrosine are unique in their ability to provide subtle but real benefits that do not lose effectiveness over time. They can be taken daily without side-effects or complications.
Modafinil, Phenylpiracetam, Kratom: Best used once or twice a week, in a scheduled rotation (ie phenylpiracetam week one, kratom week two, then restart).
Oxiracetam, Noopept, and Caffeine + Theanine: Best used sparingly, but can be used daily if needed. If taken daily, I would recommend taking them one month on, one month off.
ALCAR and Tyrosine: Best used daily over the long-term.
Where to Purchase Nootropics
All the nootropics mentioned in this post and more can be purchased at Nootropics Depot.
I recommend Nootropics Depot because they have been around for a long time and have maintained a solid reputation. They have excellent quality control metrics: they do in-house testing as well as independent 3rd-party testing, and they have certificates of analysis available for all of their products.