“Good Ideas Come From Bad Ideas, but Only if There Are Enough of Them.”
— Seth Godin
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.”
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.
The Mental Energy Crisis
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
— Warren Buffett
If we drink a lot of coffee or other energy drinks, we’re in the midst of a terrible, pervasive mental energy crisis. In this case, two, three, or a hundred cups of coffee a day won’t do the trick.
There is no doubt that stimulants work. For a quick burst of energy, a cup of coffee is just what you need at times. It can also help people who have been diagnosed with cognitive problems by their doctor to take prescribed stimulant pills and other smart drugs. Yet, energy-boosting nootropics might be better than simply taking stimulants.
To get long-term and sustainable energy that will help you perform well in terms of your mental performance and health and well-being as well as mood, memory, motivation, focus, and creativity, you’ll need an energy strategy that:
- enhances the brain’s metabolic pathways to promote clean, natural energy.
- avoids the post-excitement crash that comes with stimulants.
- doesn’t make you feel drowsy.
- is safe and without side effects
- boosts brain performance and brain health without putting people at risk.
This nootropics for energy support guide will demonstrate the metabolic pathways that produce brain energy, the cognitive risks of low brain energy levels, and the natural and best nootropics to boost energy for increased brain power and limited oxidative stress.
The Energy Costs of Thinking
“Among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile, and a grateful heart.”
― Zig Ziglar
Compared to other body parts, the brain uses a lot of energy. In fact, even though the brain only makes up about 2% of the total body weight, it uses about 20% of the body’s energy. As a matter of fact, the brain is the most energy-consuming part of the body, as seen in research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America .
There are two good reasons for the energy expenditure of the brain.
Body Management: Infinite numbers of neurochemical signaling, receiving, and processing reactions happen all the time in the body’s neural network. The brain calculates and controls these reactions at all times.
Brain Maintenance: The brain has to work harder to make new neural tissue over time. This includes neurogenesis, the process of creating new brain cells. It takes a lot of energy to do this.
At times, the body’s energy supply doesn’t meet the brain’s ideal metabolic level. A study in the International Journal of Alzheimer’s disease asserts that when the body doesn’t have enough energy, cognitive performance decreases greatly. Consequently, the risk of age-related cognitive problems increases .
Running on Empty: Brain Fog and Mental Fatigue
“If you have everything under control, you’re not moving fast enough.”
— Mario Andretti
Glucose, oxygen, fatty acids, amino acids, proteins, and water are all examples of brain fuel.
Any natural ingredients that power the body’s metabolism also power the brain. And the brain’s capacity to operate drops precipitously when the body’s natural resources — glucose, water, oxygen, etc. — are depleted.
The brain’s cognitive capacities are also threatened by not providing the appropriate brain downtime (e.g., sleep) to repair and sort itself out.
There are two possible repercussions of a brain’s inability to use its energy efficiently:
Brain Fog: As a catch-all expression, “brain fog” refers to any drop in attention, cognitive clarity, or general thinking that occurs as a result of stress.
Brain Fatigue: Fatigue of the brain is a side effect of exhaustion in general. Chronic weariness and long-term low energy may develop, even if the individual rests.
The insufficient metabolic conditions can lead to all the symptoms of poor energy in the brain, such as failures in judgment, poor memory, and motivation, and abruptly derailed thoughts (“what am I supposed to be searching for?”).
A study in The Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging found that cognitive impairment, traditionally associated with the elderly, appears to impact students and professionals in their twenties and thirties who are used to getting by on less than the recommended amount of sleep each night .
Improved sleep and diet are, of course, the most remarkable ways to boost your brain’s energy levels. You’ll feel more rested and energized when you get up in the morning.
Yet, it’s also prudent to use a well-balanced stack and the best nootropics to boost energy to keep your brain running at peak efficiency at all times and to experience increased levels of mental clarity, vitality, and productivity.
How Nootropics Energize the Brain
“It’s no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”
― Lewis Carroll
Many well-known natural ingredients may affect the brain’s energy budget via biochemical mechanisms, both direct and indirect. Our focus in this article will be on natural nootropics, which have the advantage of providing immediate cognitive benefits without the crash and side effects associated with synthetic stimulants.
These all-natural cognitive boosters may do the following things:
Optimizing Mitochondrial Efficiency
Mitochondria, commonly known as the “Powerhouses of the Cell,” is a bean-shaped organelle producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s primary energy source for physical performance and mental energy.
Metabolic activities such as cognitive function, muscle activity, and more are all dependent on the breakdown of essential foods by mitochondria. This process is known as catabolism. Being able to sustain healthy cells and the mitochondria factors to stay functioning strong is sure to boost your energy.
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, transport raw mitochondrial material, and keep membranes intact, all of which contribute to preserving mitochondrial efficiency and production.
Enhancing Neurotransmitter Status
Energized cognition is not the result of the activity of every neurotransmitter in the brain. There are neurotransmitters in the brain that can counteract excitatory neurotransmitters, such as GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). The argument may be made that even these “sleep-time” brain chemicals can be optimized by nootropics, which would lead to improved total brain energy, as a rested body is an invigorated body.
Maximum Mind is the best nootropic with only natural ingredients to boost energy because it comprises 16 clinically studied ingredients that optimize excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmissions and other cognitive supports at all hours of the day and night.
Bolstering Stress Resistance
Stress has a detrimental effect on numerous bodily systems, including the brain. It keeps us awake at night, and we feel its effects throughout the day. Activation of “fight-or-flight” neural circuits, a byproduct of stress-induced hypertension, is one explanation for this phenomenon.
The oxidative stress reaction can effectively short-circuit the body’s metabolic pathways if engaged too frequently, resulting in weariness and metabolic disorders.
Many cognitive processes, including concentration, focus, and memory retention, can be boosted by stress resistance.
Supporting Blood Flow to the Brain
As a bio-pathway that may raise brain energy, increasing cerebral circulation is another option.
Brain cells “burn” oxygen and glucose for energy when adequate blood flow to the brain is present. An under-energized brain may benefit from nootropics that enhance these bio-pathways thus enabling greater energy expenditure.
Additionally, a well-balanced nootropic stack can provide long-lasting mental performance and acuity while positively benefiting the brain.
Maximum Mind as the Best Nootropics to Boost Energy
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
Citicoline outperforms other brain boosters and forms of choline sources by providing two nootropic compounds in one. As opposed to other nootropic choline donors, such as alpha GPC, citicoline does slightly more for brain power by supplying both:
Choline – a precursor nutrient to the cell membrane phospholipid phosphatidylcholine and the memory-enhancing neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Cytidine – a precursor compound to uridine, a nucleotide base associated with increased energy and synaptic plasticity, according to research found in The Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging .
Researchers in Clinical Interventions in Aging also showed that whereas standard choline supplements may improve acetylcholine status, effectively improving cognitive measures related to memory retention and learning, citicoline does this while also enhancing the brain’s energy capacity via uridine . Thus, making supplementation of alpha GPC, citicoline and uridine together like in Maximum Mind extremely beneficial.
Citicoline’s combined boost of choline output and synaptic plasticity results in enhanced brainpower and improved brain-building activity.
In another clinical study in Clinical Interventions in Aging on the administration of Cognizin® citicoline, healthy men and women who received citicoline for six weeks were exposed to MRS testing to determine the nootropic’s effect on phosphate metabolites and other energy-related chemical compounds .
Another study’s results in NMR in Biomedicine revealed that citicoline supplementation appeared to significantly enhance mental clarity and energy, boosting brain cells’ ATP energy production by 13.6% .
In addition to optimizing the function of brain cells’ mitochondria, citicoline may enhance neural connectivity and metabolic production for better brain brainpower, smoother cognition, and healthier overall brain function.
As perhaps the best single nootropic overall, citicoline is always a smart choice for brain supplements – regardless of your mental clarity and energy levels and it comes with minor negative effects.
Maximum Mind formulation contains the most potent form of citicoline available on the market known under the trademark Cognizin®.
Note: there’s an effective dose of citicoline as Cognizin® in each dose of Maximum Mind.
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT)
In high-stress, high-activity environments, L-tyrosine depletes rapidly which in turn depletes the brain’s supply of excitatory, stimulating brain chemicals.
The brain uses catecholamines like there’s no tomorrow when the body is under stress. L-tyrosine, an amino acid, is then used by the brain to produce additional catecholamines when catecholamines are depleted.
This helps to explain why supplementing with N-acetyl-L-tyrosine (the more bioavailable version of L-tyrosine) is so effective while you’re under stress.
The nootropic may also aid in regular, healthy settings, but it really shines when things get tough and your energy reserves are low or your stress levels are high.
Two studies by researchers in Physiology & Behavior and Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior believe that L-tyrosine can help people cope better with various stressful situations by enhancing cognition and mental function [8, 9].
A single clinical trial, however, stands out when it comes to brainpower: L-Tyrosine improves cognitive performance throughout long periods of sleep deprivation.
Participants in this placebo-controlled clinical investigation stayed up for a full 24 hours to complete different activities and mood evaluations. L-tyrosine was given to half of the subjects, while a placebo was given to the other half. By the conclusion of the research, people who took L-tyrosine showed substantial gains in cognitive function that had previously been affected by sleep deprivation.
“Tyrosine may prove effective in counteracting performance decreases during bouts of intense activity mixed with sleep deprivation,” the researchers in Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance concluded .
As a nootropic supplement, L-tyrosine has the potential to help those who have a heavy workload finish that last assignment, set, or exam.
In its advanced form (N-acetyl L-tyrosine), L-Tyrosine is particularly important. It is perfect for both increasing mental clarity and energy during stressful situations and “recharging the battery” during periods of low mental energy. Therefore L-tyrosine is one of the best nootropics to boost energy.
Note: there’s an effective dose of L-tyrosine as N-acetyl L-tyrosine in in each dose of Maximum Mind.
Organic Monnieri Bacopa Monnieri Leaf Extract
Bacopa monnieri, an herb from Ayurvedic medicine that has been demonstrated in animal studies to raise acetylcholine levels while boosting cerebral blood flow by 29%, is a straight-up mental performance booster with specific key benefits for boosting brain energy, as seen in research published in the European Journal of Neuroscience and Phytotherapy Research [11, 12].
Unlike prescription drugs that induce a calm and serene state, bacopa is a natural nootropic that doesn’t interfere with memory or cause symptoms of poor memory. In fact, it enhances it.
Additionally, bacopa monnieri aids the muscles and body in using glucose as an energy source. This helps prevent hyperglycemia, a situation marked by an abnormally high glucose level in the blood.
According to experts in a clinical study published in Neuropsychopharmacology , the better learning, memory retention (both short-term memory and long-term memory), response speeds, and reduction in the rate at which we lose new knowledge offered by the bacosides in bacopa are unquestionably advantageous for your brain training programs.
As such, bacopa is one of the best nootropics to boost energy and brain health.
Note: there’s an effective dose of organic bacopa monnieri leaf extract at 50% minimum bacosides, in each dose of Maximum Mind.
To achieve a state of stimulated alertness and relaxation at the same time, amino acid L-theanine nootropics boost alpha brain waves, which are among other things responsible for states of focused and serene attention like during flow states.
The amino acid L-theanine is a natural nootropic that may be the antidote to stimulants in terms of providing an energy boost from a nootropic. Instead of stimulating the nervous system as coffee does, L-theanine promotes relaxation by increasing the occurrence of the alpha brain waves. What happens? A condition of mental attentiveness that is clean, calm, and enthusiastic.
Caffeine’s jittery side effects can be reduced by L-theanine, which also helps to maintain the unfocused energy provided by the natural stimulant effect of caffeine for better energy and focus-enhancing properties.
When used with stimulants, L-theanine appears to enhance their effectiveness while providing a complementing advantage for pure, non-stimulating mental vigor.
Consequently, L-theanine is one of the best nootropics to boost energy and has very limited adverse effects.
Note: there’s an effective dose of L-theanine from organic green tea leaf extract in each dose of Maximum Mind.
In terms of pharmacological action, glycerophosphocholine (sometimes referred to as alpha-glycerophosphocholine, alpha GPC) is a natural nootropic found in a broad variety of foods that are similarly high in choline. However, it appears to be more active at higher doses.
One of the best nootropics to boost energy is Alpha GPC, particularly when paired with uridine and citicoline. Choline prodrug, alpha GPC, is widely distributed around the body since it is the most effective method of transporting the nutrients from the food to the body when taken orally.
Research in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition indicates that learning and memory (both short-term memory and long-term memory) are aided by releasing the neurotransmitter acetylcholine when alpha GPC is administered. Athletes’ increased endurance performance and growth hormone secretion can be achieved by supplementing alpha GPC as well. 
As such, alpha GPC comes naturally to the top of our list of the best nootropics to boost energy and brain function.
Note: there’s an effective dose of alpha GPC at 99% purity in each dose of Maximum Mind.
Antioxidant-rich plants like this one can help treat a wide range of diseases and prevent even more. Because of its similarity to Pycnogenol, it’s easy to get your hands on and has a comparable yet enhanced effect.
Ginkgo is a natural nootropic that increases blood flow to the brain among other benefits, and the blood-brain barrier is penetrated, both of which are advantageous for brain function.
Ginkgo becomes even more effective when combined in a formulation with taurine and other nootropics. Taurine increases the cell penetration of the nootropic compounds while being a nootropic itself too. Ginkgo increases the blood-brain barrier penetration of the same and increases blood circulation. Thus these two display multiplicative beneficial effects.
This provides sharpness and vibrancy to your mind, which will allow your energy level to be boosted to communicate effectively better and with greater variety in your vocabulary.
The dietary supplement that is ginkgo biloba extract has also been shown to improve stem cell health in a number of brain regions. This makes ginkgo one of the best nootropics to boost energy, as it allows the brainpower to be remarkably increased and, sequentially, impact your overall daily life.
Note: there’s an effective dose of organic gingko biloba leaf extract at 24% glycosides 6% terpene lactones in each dose of Maximum Mind.
Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract
The lion’s mane mushroom is well-known for its ability to support the NGF (nerve growth factor). NGF, in turn, promotes synaptic plasticity — the process by which neurons in the brain connect and rearrange in response to new information.
This mushroom contains high levels of beta-glucans, which are compounds found in fungal cell walls. It’s also rich in lectins, proteins, lipids (fatty acids), hericenones, erinacines, and terpenoids . These are all things human brains need for optimal performance.
Lion’s mane contains several nootropic ingredients, including β-glucans, which are responsible for many of its health benefits such as fatigue reduction, increased cognitive functions, inflammation reduction, improved gastrointestinal health, and immune health .
Constant physical fatigue is a constant struggle. Research has shown the health benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms for reducing physical and mental fatigue .
A clinical study performed showed that mice that consumed lion‘s mane mushroom had significantly lower levels of physical and mental fatigue indicators including blood lactate, serum urea nitrogen (BUN), and malondialdehye (MDA) than mice who did not consume lion‘s manes mushrooms. This study has shown that lion’s mane may promote anti-fatigue activity and improve brain energy. The same clinical study also showed that the lion’s mane mushroom increased tissue glycogen, energy storage, as well as antioxidant activity .
In this aspect, lion’s mane stacks particularly well with citicoline and alpha GPC; combined, these three nootropic ingredients provide the raw ingredients, signaling components, and energy necessary to develop new brain circuits ready to fire energy in your life with little to no adverse effects.
Note: there’s an effective dose of organic lion’s mane full-spectrum fruiting body at 40% minimum beta-glucans, in each dose of Maximum Mind.
Methylated B6 and B12 Vitamins
Cellular energy generation in the brain relies on a sufficient supply of B vitamins.
Both directly and indirectly, B vitamins appear to help brain energy metabolism.
Direct energy support for the brain: vitamin B12 is a necessary nutrient for cellular energy metabolism. Because the brain uses 20% of the body’s energy, this feature is obviously extremely important in brain cells as well.
Support for indirect brain energy: Vitamins B5, B6, B9, and B12 work synergistically to control homocysteine metabolism. Using these four Bs helps control a risk factor for artery integrity and circulation difficulties, indirectly promoting blood flow to the brain, linked to mental energy and optimal cognitive function. The four B vitamins are fundamental for brain health and energy, yet most people wouldn’t think of them as nootropic ingredients. This is wrong. Advanced people never skip the basics.
Methylated B vitamins as a dietary supplement provide a noticeable boost of mental vigor. When choosing a B vitamin complex, it is important to look for methylation as this increases the bioavailability of the vitamins. B vitamins are essential for maintaining good brain function and should be included in every high-quality nootropic product.
Note: there’s an effective dose of methylated vitamin B5, B6, B9 and B12 in each dose of Maximum Mind.
At this point, we’d like to mention the tremendous effect vitamin D supplementation has on general life outlook and energy levels.
As such, it came naturally to us to incorporate vitamin D in our best-in-class pharmaceutical-grade cognitive and mind-enhancing complex: Maximum Mind.
“You can either experience the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The choice is yours.”
– Jim Rohn
Now you have learned the best nootropics to boost energy: citicoline, N-acetyl L-tyrosine (NALT), L-theanine, alpha GPC, ginkgo biloba, organic lion’s mane mushroom extract, and methylated B6 and B12 Vitamins.
These nootropic ingredients give you a clean, peak-performing mind-state. As such 100% brain power is achieved with the help of Maximum Mind nootropics to boost energy.
100% brain energy from Maximum Mind is distinct mental energy that’s very different from coffee. It’s a clean, natural, thrilling mental energy that makes you feel as if your brain is blazing on all cylinders. In addition, the premium nootropic stack in Maximum Mind helps keep that boost in mental energy going using only the highest-quality, non-stimulant natural ingredients.
Maximum Mind’s formulation improves the whole brain, not just the body. It doesn’t matter what kind of person you are or how active your lifestyle is; Maximum Mind supports a supercharged, maximal performing brain.
Why not experience the benefits of the best nootropics to boost energy in their purest form along with other clinically studied compounds for increasing brain performance and health with Maximum Mind as a universal nootropic?
- Raichle ME, Gusnard DA. Appraising the brain’s energy budget. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2002 Aug 6; 99(16): 10237-10239.
- Mancuso, M., Calsolaro, V., Orsucci, D., Carlesi, C., Choub, A., Piazza, S., & Siciliano, G. (2009). Mitochondria, cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. International Journal of Alzheimer’s disease, 2009, 951548.
- Hershner SD, Chervin RD. Causes and consequences of sleepiness among college students. Nat Sci Sleep. 2014; 6: 73-84.
- Wurtman RJ et al. Synapse formation is enhanced by oral administration of uridine and DHA, the circulating precursors of brain phosphatides. J Nutr Health Aging. 2009 Mar; 13(3): 189-97.
- Fioravanti M, Buckley AE. Citicoline (Cognizin) in the treatment of cognitive impairment. Clin Interv Aging. 2006 Sep; 1(3): 247-51.
- Fioravanti, M., & Buckley, A. E. (2006). Citicoline (Cognizin) in the treatment of cognitive impairment. Clinical interventions in aging, 1(3), 247–251.
- Silveri MM et al. Citicoline enhances frontal lobe bioenergetics as measured by phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy. NMR Biomed. 2008 Nov; 21(10): 1066-75.
- Mahoney CR et al. Tyrosine supplementation mitigates working memory decrements during cold exposure. Physiol Behav. 2007 Nov 23; 92(4): 575-82. Epub 2007 May 22
- Thomas JR et al. Tyrosine improves working memory in a multitasking environment. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1999 Nov; 64(3): 495-500.
- Neri DF et al. The effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance during extended wakefulness. Aviat Space Environ Med. 1995 Apr; 66(4): 313-9.
- Tomas Ros, Moniek AM Munneke, Diane Ruge, John H Gruzelier, and John C. Rothwell. Endogenous control of waking brain rhythms induces synaptic plasticity in humans. European Journal of Neuroscience, 2010; 31 (4): 770
- Kamkaew N. Scholfield N. Ingkaninan K. Taepavarapruk N. Chootip K. Bacopa monnieri increases cerebral blood flow in rats independent of blood pressure. Phytother Res. 2013;27:135–138.
- Roodenrys S, et al. Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2002 Aug;27(2):279-81
- Ziegenfuss, T., Landis, J., Hofheins, J. (2008). Acute supplementation with Alpha-Glycerylphosphorylcholine augments growth hormone response to and peak force production during resistance exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 5(Suppl 1): P15.
- Khan, M. A., Tania, M., Liu, R., & Rahman, M. M. (2013). Hericium erinaceus: An edible mushroom with medicinal values. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 10(1). doi:10.1515/jcim-2013-0001
- Liu, J., Du, C., Wang, Y., & Yu, Z. (2014). Anti-fatigue activities of polysaccharides extracted from Hericium erinaceus. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 9(2), 483-487. doi:10.3892/etm.2014.2139
- Brandalise, F., Cesaroni, V., Gregori, A., Repetti, M., Romano, C., Orrù, G., . . . Rossi, P. (2017). Dietary Supplementation ofHericium erinaceusIncreases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2017, 1-13. doi:10.1155/2017/3864340