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Best Nootropics for Creativity

March 24, 2022

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Even for artists, being creative is not always simple. However, the best nootropics for creativity provide inspiration for everyone. Creativity is a multifaceted process that involves several parts of the brain.

In a nutshell, the best nootropics for creativity are L-theanine, organic bacopa monnieri leaf extract, uridine, taurine, organic ginkgo biloba leaf extract, and organic lion’s mane mushroom extract. These nootropics are bioavailable in their purest forms in MAXIMUM MIND. Read on to find out how and why.

We’ll explore what motivates creative brain processes, what stifles creativity, and how certain nootropics may assist anyone in entering a more productive creative zone.

“The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”
— Edwin Land

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WHAT ARE NOOTROPICS?

“The only difference between the master and the novice is that the master has failed more times than the novice has tried.”
―Stephen McCranie

First things first, what are nootropics? Corneliu Giurgea, a Romanian neuroscientist, coined the term nootropic (pronounced new-tropic) in 1972. He believed that smart drugs should be invented and made widely available for the purpose of enhancing the general population’s brain health and increasing human intelligence.

According to Dr Giurgea’s findings, nootropics enhance cognition, memory, alertness, concentration, creativity, and attention. They became known as cognitive enhancers, substances that amplify the way the brain’s many cognitive functions operate and how we process information.

Simply put, cognitive enhancers (or nootropics or smart drugs) are prescription or off-the-counter drugs or supplements that enhance cognition. Some nootropics contribute to brain health while others can be quite dangerous.

Since Marco’s Grounds only works with safe and natural compounds in their purest forms, for most of our discussions we will restrain ourselves to natural nootropics that increase cognition safely.

 


What is Creativity?

“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.”
—Jack London

Creativity is the process of changing preconceived notions, perceptions, and experiences into new concepts, products, solutions, and art, among other things. Studies in National Endowment for the Arts assert that It occurs when several areas of the brain communicate with one another to integrate previous experiences, thoughts, and perceptions with new ones [1].

Contrary to popular belief, creativity is not confined to one hemisphere of the brain. Rather than that, it entails a variety of distinct neuronal connections from nearly every section of the brain. As a result, the best nootropics for creativity may promote the development of different brain pathways.

You might be shocked to realize how critical memory is for creative thinking.

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Memory’s Role in Creativity

“An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.”
— Niels Bohr

Memory is a critical cognitive skill that contributes significantly to the creative process. After all, innovation is the synthesis of novel and established concepts. If we are unable to recall anything, how can we combine fresh and old thoughts to create new ones?

According to psychologists in an article found in The Marginalian, the finest innovators possess a “strong and selective memory” [2]. Thus, if we wish to foster creativity inside ourselves, we need to ensure that our memory functions well. This involves enhancing our capacity for memory processing, storage, and retrieval.

Indeed, there are two distinct types of memories that are encoded and stored in the brain for retrieval in the future:

  • Declarative memories
  • Nondeclarative memories

They are related to creativity in the following ways.

Declarative a.k.a. Explicit Memory

One study in The Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology describes declarative memory as the memory responsible for encoding and storing conscious information, events, and dates. As a result, when we recite George Washington’s name in response to a question about the first president, it comes from our declarative memory [3].

Strengthening the declarative memory may help us better encode, store, and retrieve information, dates, and events consciously. This, in turn, may enable us to generate more unique ideas at a faster rate by providing us with additional information to work with.

Nondeclarative, a.k.a. Implicit Memory

The nondeclarative memory is responsible for encoding, storing, and retrieving subconscious knowledge such as how to do activities. For instance, it is where we retain information such as how to operate a car or ride a bicycle.

When we have sufficient experience performing specific things, we develop the ability to perform them without thinking. Thus, according to one study in Consciousness and cognition, the quality of our nondeclarative memory may be related to our capacity to enter a state of creative flow. A state we can quickly master and make our daily habits [4].

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Creativity and Flow State

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
—Maya Angelou

According to research found in Frontiers in Psychology, flow is a state of relaxed but focused and competent attention associated with theta and alpha brain waves [5]. It occurs when we become entirely absorbed in a gratifying work or activity, to the point that we lose track of time.

When our skill levels meet our task objectives, we enter the flow state. For instance, have you ever been driving a car and realized you hadn’t been paying attention for an extended period of time? Perhaps time slipped you by unnoticed?

Looking for the best nootropics for flow states, click here?

When we ingrain subconscious, non-declarative memories deeply enough into our brains via experience, we develop an intuitive ability to retrieve them. This is the way the flow state operates.

The flow state is a well-established common denominator of creative works when it comes to creativity, which is why it is so important. A fun fact is that being in a flow state can be achieved for anyone using the best nootropics for creativity, such as MAXIMUM MIND.

Divergent thinking is another shared characteristic that is inextricably tied to the flow state. We’ll explain their relationship in further detail below.

Divergent vs. Convergent Thinking

Divergent and convergent thinking are two distinct ways of thinking individuals employ while generating ideas.

Divergent thinking is the process of developing ideas in an ad hoc, disorderly fashion.

Consider brainstorming as an example of diverse thinking. Indeed, several professionals employ divergent thinking tests to assess creativity.

Convergent thinking is how we integrate disparate concepts into a logical, orderly structure.

A study in Frontiers in Psychology showed that convergent and divergent thinking are more prevalent in the flow state [6]. Thus, we might hypothesize that different thinking patterns function in concert to assist us in developing new ideas when in the flow state.

We’ll explore the brain activities involved with flow state and creativity in further detail below.

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How Does the Brain Foster Creativity?

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” 
— Albert Einstein

The creative process has not always been confined to the brain. This is because creativity is a process of trial and error in which diverse cerebral pathways are connected to develop new ideas. As a result, establishing consistency is challenging.

However, one of the most recent research in the journal of NeuroImage on creativity from a neurological and genetic perspective discovered that “creativity is characterized by strong top-down regulation vs. poor bottom-up processes.” [7]

So, what is the difference between top-down and bottom-up processing? In essence, they are two distinct brain processes that regulate perception to promote creative performance.

Top-Down Processing

Top-down processing entails analyzing something based on what we already know about it. In other words, it occurs when our mental processes are swayed by preconceived notions based on prior experiences.

For instance, authors who ignore errors when editing their work may be afflicted by top-down procedures. The brain ends up filling in the gaps based on prior knowledge, which leaves the potential for mistakes.
In this way, top-down processing may impair our capacity for innovative problem-solving.

In contrast to the findings cited above, one study in PloS one indicates that creative achievement is actually related to poor top-down processing and cognitive flexibility. [8]

Bottom-Up Processing

Bottom-up processing entails encoding and storing external stimuli in our memory without the aid of preconceptions. It occurs when our immediate observation of novel stimuli affects our cognitive awareness rather than the other way around.

Bottom-up processing enables us to examine details about objects we are unaware of. Its purpose is to assist us in comprehending novel inputs to make a “response decision.” This reaction choice may very well result in developing a novel creative idea or undertaking.

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GABA, Glutamate, and Creativity

“Perfect is the enemy of good”
― Voltaire

The battle between the brain neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA regulates our usage of bottom-up and top-down processes. GABA and glutamate are inhibitory neurotransmitters that regulate the activity of the neurons to which they bind, as described in a study found in the Metabolic Brain Disease journal. [9]

For instance, they may assist learning and memory by balancing brain chemicals such as acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin. Additionally, they can act as a buffer for the stress hormone cortisol, which may help alleviate anxiety and tension while increasing attention for creativity.

Dopamine and Creativity

According to one study, the neurotransmitter dopamine may affect brain creativity-related activities [8]. In other words, we may be able to facilitate access to creativity by manipulating dopamine production. Thus, it may be worthwhile to do experiments with smart drugs that modulate this brain chemical in other words with the best nootropics for creativity. Additionally, dopamine aids in the maintenance of motivation, which is critical for the creative process and eventual creative endeavors.

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Acetylcholine and Creativity

Acetylcholine is a brain molecule that may aid in the simpler encoding of memories to facilitate storage and retrieval. Thus, the best nootropics for creativity may enhance our capacity to reference and mix new and old thoughts to do creative tasks while increasing acetylcholine.

Alpha Waves and Creativity

Alpha wave activity is one of the most reliable markers of creativity in the brain.

For instance, one research in NeuroImage comparing improvisational dancers to professional dancers discovered a “relationship between EEG alpha wave activity and creative thinking” among improvisational dancers. [10]

Another study in NeuroImage confirms that alpha waves have been proven to rise when we generate innovative thoughts. It might be related to our conscious focus shifting from outward to inside. Alpha waves, in other words, are related to imagination and reflection, both of which appear to be essential for creativity. [11]

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Can Anyone be Creative?

“Success is something you attract by the person you become.”
— Jim Rohn

Anyone may be creative in various facets of their lives with the correct mentality and cognitive assistance of the best nootropics for creativity. One strategy to boost creativity is to identify and avoid the factors that inhibit it.

What Hinders Creativity?

Numerous cognitive risk factors have been shown to impair creativity. The following is a list of habits and brain functions that may be impeding your creative potential.

Concentrating on a Single Correct Response or Technique

Concentrating exclusively on one conventional solution or problem-solving strategy may potentially stifle creative potential.

Creativity entails maintaining an open mind to make new connections. As a result, a limited perspective might prevent the brain from exploring novel routes and evaluating novel ideas.

The Expert Trap

Similarly, the expert trap refers to a mindset that we may adopt as managers, parents, or in any other capacity that requires us to act as “experts.” Once we get sufficient expertise performing specific tasks in a particular manner, we become ensnared in our habits. As a result, we leave little opportunity for creative thought in that field, believing that “we already know everything.”

When we attain the status of “experts,” we tend to close down, shifting away from exploratory, open-minded thinking.

Creative thinkers must avoid the Expert Trap, as close-mindedness is a direct inhibitor to innovation.

Stress

Additionally, stress can impair creativity. When we are worried, the stress hormone cortisol might impair our ability to concentrate and recall required memories for original thought. Thus, modulating our cortisol response and fostering calm may aid creative inquiry.

The best nootropics for creativity can considerably mitigate stress—however, certain physical activities such as going easy on coffee and many more instant stress relievers can also help.

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MAXIMUM MIND as the Best Nootropics for Creativity

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
— Thomas Edison

If you’ve exhausted all other possibilities and cannot develop fresh ideas, you may need to think beyond the box: Nootropic supplements for brain health and performance might help.

The best nootropics for creativity such as MAXIMUM MIND improve various brain pathways for optimum mental performance, providing broad-spectrum support for the complex cognitive activities that underpin creative thinking.

These nootropics can aid in stress reduction, cognitive enhancement, memory enhancement, relaxation, and focus, hence increasing your access to creative ideas.

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L-Theanine

L-theanine is a well-known amino acid that stimulates alpha brain wave activity in creative persons. For instance, it may enable us to remain calm but concentrated for extended periods of time during strenuous activities. As such, it may be quite beneficial to one’s creativity.

L-theanine is present in both green and black tea and is one of the most extensively studied nootropics available. Indeed, monks have consumed it for thousands of years to help them relax and concentrate in preparation for optimal meditation.

Additionally, research in the Journal of herbal pharmacotherapy indicates that L-theanine can help calm excitable brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin by boosting inhibitory neurotransmitters such as GABA. [12]

According to another research found in Alternative and Complementary Therapies, GABA inhibits excitatory neurons and may help lessen responses to stress hormones. [13]

Finally, L-theanine may help alleviate tension and promote concentrated relaxation, therefore assisting painters, musicians, authors, and other artists and professionals in producing unique creations.

Due to its alpha brainwave properties and its serene focus effect, L-theanine comes naturally on top of the list of the best nootropics for creativity.

Read more about L-theanine on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive.

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Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa monnieri is an adaptogen plant used in Ayurveda that may aid with creativity. It is sometimes called Brahmi after Lord Brahma, a Hindu creator God.

One study in Psychopharmacology further asserts that bacopa is known to include bacosides, which are chemical compounds that aid with memory, learning, and other higher-order cognitive processes associated with creativity. [14]

These advantages are due to the bacosides support of acetylcholine, stress mediation, and other positive brain activities.

Bacopa monnieri is one of the best nootropics for creativity, especially for its ability to also aid in retaining new knowledge by producers such as designers, photographers, authors, and musicians. This is advantageous because the more knowledge we retain, the more combinations of ideas we have.

For its learning and memory benefits, bacopa is naturally one of the best nootropics for creativity.

Read more about bacopa on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or find out more about the benefits of bacopa here.

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Uridine

Uridine monophosphate, one of the best nootropics for creativity, is produced in the liver and then distributed throughout the body. Dietary uridine is found in many foods. The majority of uridine acquired from food is then absorbed during digestion; therefore, supplementation may be necessary for many of uridine’s unique activities and benefits, notably those linked to cognition.

As a result of its extraordinary properties, uridine supplements have been shown to pass through the blood-brain barrier easily. The brain then converts uridine to CDP choline. CDP is used to make choline, phosphatidylcholine, and acetylcholine. To improve one’s focus, reaction time, and other cognitive functions. We need these neurotransmitters to enhance the cognitive processes set up for creativity. 

The more uridine in the brain, the more CDP choline is generated, which protects and strengthens growing synapses and assists in their development.  

For this reason, uridine comes naturally at the top of the list of the best nootropics for creativity.Read more about uridine on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or find out more about the benefits of uridine here.

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Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract

Lion’s mane mushrooms (Hericium Erinaceus) are globular-shaped white fungi with long, shaggy spines. They can be consumed or taken as supplements. According to research, they may provide a variety of health advantages, including decreased inflammation and enhanced cognitive and cardiovascular health.

In Asia, these mushrooms are used both for culinary and medicinal purposes. Supplements containing lion’s mane extract are available at health food stores, and both the fungus and its extracts appear to be good for health.

One of the benefits of organic lion’s mane mushroom extract is that it promotes energy without stimulating it, which is critical for anyone looking to improve their creativity. It might be challenging to think clearly when you are weary. Fortunately, the lion’s mane is anti-fatigue, enhances physical vitality, and does not cause the jitters or crashes associated with caffeinated beverages.

Additionally, as reported in the Journal Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin [15], beta-glucans from the lion’s mane mushroom aid the brain in producing Nerve Growth Factors (NGF), a neurotrophic growth factor responsible for the production of new neurons. Nerve growth factor (NGF) serves various biological functions, including preventing neuronal death and encouraging neurite outgrowth, and is required for the maintenance and organization of neurons. 

Lion’s mane extract is a natural brainpower booster with neuroprotective properties with the capacity to stimulate the immune system, produce antioxidants, and many more. 

Thus, we can confidently conclude that the lion’s mane mushroom’s memory-enhancing and energy-boosting capabilities, together with its neuron-regenerating properties, make it one of the best nootropics for creativity to include in your daily regimen. 

Read more about lion’s mane on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or find more about the benefits of lion’s mane here.

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Taurine

There are a host of taurine benefits, many of which stem from its antioxidant properties. 

Taurine is an amino acid important in several of the body’s metabolic processes. Taurine is found naturally in meat, fish, dairy products and human milk, and it’s also available as a dietary supplement.

For mood, taurine can be a powerful drug as well. Studies suggest taurine activates GABA and glycine receptors, which provide an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effect. Taurine also plays a role in memory formation and learning ability as well [16]. Several studies have found that taurine increased long-term potentiation, synaptic activity, and memory formation. 

A study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism found that taurine not only supports short-term memory but also mitigates mood fluctuations which can be beneficial to keep on track of work, regardless of external events [17]. Taurine has also been found in human tests to eliminate waste products that contribute to fatigue. 

For all these reasons, taurine is one of the best nootropics for creativity.

Read more about taurine on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive.

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Organic Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract

A variety of ailments can be alleviated with the help of this antioxidant-rich plant. Even with its many benefits, it’s still a quite underrated nootropic.

Ginkgo enhances blood flow to the brain and passes the blood-brain barrier. This is beneficial for mental energy and clarity which are crucial for creative thinking.

With ginkgo, you’ll be able to think more clearly and benefit from deeper chains of thought due to the increased brain sharpness and mental vitality it provides. Further, flow states of creation rely on optimal blood flow to the brain. Hence, the importance of ginkgo in this topic.

Research published in the Journal of Neural Regeneration Research shows that ginkgo biloba administration enhances stem cell health across many brain areas [18]. Naturally, this is a huge benefit.

Despite being used for centuries, ginkgo is still in its early stages of research when considering its benefits on brain health. Therefore, it’s likely that there are benefits we don’t even know of yet.

Ginkgo comes naturally among the best nootropics for creativity for its mental clarity and blood flow enhancing capacities.

Read more on ginkgo biloba on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive.

Conclusion

“You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.”
— George Lorimer

This article has covered the fundamentals of what creativity is, who can benefit from creativity, our memories’ role and how it affects creativity, the best nootropics for creativity, and many more. Most importantly, we compared creativity and flow states. With all this said, you are right on track to your creative destination. 

While the conundrum of the muse may never be resolved comprehensively (the trade-off between focus and creativity), MAXIMUM MIND‘s whole brain-boosting formulation will help inspire, power, and maintain creativity in a wide variety of people – from creative problem solvers in business to singers, authors, and artists.

Why not experience the benefits of the best nootropics for creativity in their purest form along with other clinically studied compounds for increasing brain performance and health with MAXIMUM MIND?
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MAXIMUM MIND

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Literature

  1. How Creativity Works in the Brain. National Endowment for the Arts. July 2015.

  2. Popova, M. (2018, April 15). Pioneering Psycholinguist Vera John-Steiner on How Creativity Works. The Marginalian.

  3. Riedel, W. J., & Blokland, A. (2015). Declarative memory. Handbook of experimental pharmacology, 228, 215–236.

  4. Dietrich A. (2004). Neurocognitive mechanisms underlying the experience of flow. Consciousness and cognition, 13(4), 746–761.

  5. Katahira K e al. EEG Correlates of the Flow State: A Combination of Increased Frontal Theta and Moderate Frontocentral Alpha Rhythm in the Mental Arithmetic Task. Front. Psychol. 2018 Mar.

  6. Doyle CL. Creative Flow as a Unique Cognitive Process. Front Psychol. 2017; 8: 1348.

  7. Lui, Z et al. Neural and genetic determinants of creativity. Neuroimage. 2018 Mar 5. PII: S1053-8119(18)30174-5.

  8. Zabelina, D. L., Colzato, L., Beeman, M., & Hommel, B. (2016). Dopamine and the Creative Mind: Individual Differences in Creativity Are Predicted by Interactions between Dopamine Genes DAT and COMT. PloS one, 11(1), e0146768.

  9. Wu C and Sun D. GABA receptors in brain development, function, and injury. Metab Brain Dis. 2015 Apr; 30(2): 367–379.

  10. Fink, A., Graif, B., & Neubauer, A. C. (2009). Brain correlates underlying creative thinking: EEG alpha activity in professional vs. novice dancers. NeuroImage, 46(3), 854–862.

  11. Fink, A., Graif, B., & Neubauer, A. C. (2009). Brain correlates underlying creative thinking: EEG alpha activity in professional vs. novice dancers. NeuroImage, 46(3), 854–862.

  12. Nathan, P. J., Lu, K., Gray, M., & Oliver, C. (2006). The neuropharmacology of L-theanine(N-ethyl-L-glutamine): a possible neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agent. Journal of herbal pharmacotherapy, 6(2), 21–30.

  13. Mason R. L-Theanine Boosts Alpha Waves, Promotes Alert Relaxation. Alternative and Complementary Therapies. April 2001: 91-92.

  14. Stough C et al. The chronic effects of Bacopa Monniera (Brahmi) extract on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2001 Aug;156(4):481-4.

  15. Mori K et al. Nerve growth factor-inducing activity of Hericium Erinaceus in 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells. Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Sep;31(9):1727-32.

  16. Caletti, G., Almeida, F. B., Agnes, G., Nin, M. S., Barros, H. M. T., & Gomez, R. (2015). Antidepressant dose of taurine increases mRNA expression of GABAA receptor α2 subunit and BDNF in the hippocampus. Behavioural Brain Research, 283, 11-15.

  17. Zhang, C. G., & Kim, S. J. (2007). Taurine induces anti-anxiety by activating strychnine-sensitive glycine receptor in vivo. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 51(4), 379-386.

  18. Wang, J., Chen, W., & Wang, Y. (2013). A ginkgo Biloba extract promotes the proliferation of endogenous neural stem cells in vascular dementia rats: neural regeneration research, 8(18), 1655.

About the Author

DISCLAIMER

The materials and information provided in this post, document and/or any other communication (“Communication”) from Marco’s Grounds LLC. or any related entity or person (collectively “Marco’s Grounds”) are strictly for informational purposes only and are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a qualified medical professional. Some of the concepts presented herein may be theoretical.

References to any non-Marco’s Grounds entity, product, service, person or source of information in this or any other Communication should not be considered an endorsement, either direct or implied, by the host, presenter or distributor of the Communication. The host(s), presenter(s) and/or distributor(s) of this Communication are not responsible for the content of any non-Marco’s Grounds internet pages referenced in the Communication. Marco’s Grounds is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information or services you chose to follow without consulting a qualified medical professional. Before starting any new diet and/or exercise program, always be sure to check with your qualified medical professional.

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