Nootropics have been used for centuries as cures in traditional medicines across the globe and they are still used for the same reasons even today. Thanks to the latest scientific achievements we are able to pinpoint the exact benefits of nootropics. Today we are going to give you a list of the best nootropics for motivation.
It can be a struggle to get motivated for certain things in life. Motivation is the key element for becoming better at what we do, both in our professional and private lives, but for those with busy schedules the struggle with their inner drive becomes real. This is where nootropics for motivation come in.
By increasing dopamine levels, these nootropics will improve motivation. Stay with us if you want to learn more about the connection between dopamine, nootropics and motivation, and find out what the best nootropics for motivation are.
Motivation and Dopamine
Beside possessing the skills and knowledge, motivation plays a vital role in the process of reaching our goals. Some nootropics have the power to lift you up and help you reach every milestone you have planned in the future. More importantly, the majority of nootropics for motivation also pack a serious kick when it comes to boosting your learning capabilities and your cognitive skills.
It all boils down to the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is a molecule with a catecholamine structure. If you are running low on dopamine the chances are that you are feeling down and unable to make a move. When you have normal Dopamine levels, you will probably feel ambitious and ready to dive into any task.
While dopamine was at the main point of interest within the neuroscientist community for a while, there is still a dose of controversy surrounding this neurotransmitter.
Our brain uses dopamine to reinforce repeated behaviour. This process is known as the pleasure pathway or the reward pathway. The name reflects the pleasure that we feel after the dopamine is released in neural synapses.
If there is enough dopamine and dopamine receptors in our brain, we are more likely to engage in productive activities. This mechanism is how dopamine affects motivation.
Unlike synthetic drugs, nootropics help our dopaminergic and metabolic pathways in a completely natural way. Besides, nootropics excell where most drugs do not – the don’t come with long-term side effects, nor do they cause addiction. Here are the best nootropics to spark your motivation.
L-Theanine is one of the most powerful nootropics available on the market today. It is a naturally occurring part of green tea. If you regularly consume green tea, and you feel relaxed with a dose of a kick to your cognition, it is because of L-Theanine.
This set of benefits is only achievable through natural products. In fact, L-Theanine is unique because it is the only substance able to provide relaxation, while at the same time boosting attention, motivation and enhancing focus. This why you will probably see it advertised as a nootropic able to promote relaxation without sedation.
The neuropharmacology of L-Theanine is rather complex and would require a lot of space to address it here, but if you want to know your chemistry you can expand your mind here. The bottom is this – L-Theanine increases brain dopamine, GABA levels and serotonin. It boosts learning capabilities and memory.
When it comes to its anxiolytic effects, L-Theanine was the subject of many studies. This one establishes a clear connection between this substance and relaxation. The subjects were assessed by the tranquil-troubled subscale of the VAMS.
While anxiety can motivate certain people to stay on top of their tasks, for the majority it is a huge motivation killer. If you have high baseline anxiety, L-Theanine can help you overcome it and stay focused on being productive while your motivation levels are high.
In fact, this study confirms that L-Theanine works very fast and that subjects exhibited an increase in alpha brain waves only 30 minutes after they were given L-Theanine.
L-Theanine also promotes healthy sleep, which is very important in terms of replenishing your energy so that you can use it to spark your motivation. This study confirms that L-Theanine significantly improves sleep efficiency in subjects who suffer from ADHD. It is only logical to assume that it bears even more powerful benefits for those who have no problem with ADHD.
Rhodiola Rosea is a herb that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. It was also very popular in Scandinavian countries. This herb is known for its positive effects on cognitive and physical vitality. The main target of Rhodiola Rosea is stress. In fact, it reduces fatigue in stressful scenarios, both acute and chronic ones.
This powerful adaptogen completely negates the effects of stress, enabling you to stay motivated even in the most requiring and stressful events. Its chemical pathway provides the same effect as L-Tyrosine, but it starts working on the opposite side of the spectrum. Instead of promoting synthesis of dopamine, it regulates the activity of cortisol, the stress hormone, also known as the motivation killer.
Fatigue can slowly downgrade motivation over time. Rhodiola Rosea can prevent fatigue induced by work-related stress. In this study subjects exposed to stressful work conditions took 200mg of Rhodiola extract twice daily for 5 weeks.
The results – significantly reduced fatigue and dysfunction. The study also established a link between Rhodiola Rosea supplementation and improvements in work and social skills.
This nootropic can be quite useful for students during the exam period. Due to the high stress levels, the ability to learn and stay motivated during this period can suffer. This study shows that even small doses of Rhodiola Rosea bear improvements to neuromotor fitness, which students of arts, architecture and similar study fields will definitely find interesting.
Furthermore, students in the same study had higher exam scores (up to 8.4%), and reduced levels of fatigue.
The effects of Rhodiola Rosea supplementation can be felt only a couple of hours after ingestion. This study establishes the timeline of Rhodiola effects. In fact, only 2 hours after ingestion subjects reported reduced fatigue and improved well-being. The capacity for mental work was significantly increased too.
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid. Beside noradrenaline, our bodies also use it to produce dopamine. L-Tyrosine supplementation provides more building blocks for dopamine, making it easier for our cells to produce it and maintain stable levels of dopamine during stressful events, i.e. those that might seriously affect our motivation.
Do you know what happens to our bodies when we push ourselves to the limits every day? There is a Tyrosine burnout. This study confirms that our mental performance, including motivation, suffers when we are working hard and are exposed to stress because our bodies deplete Tyrosine, which causes extremely low levels of dopamine.
Now, when it comes to L-Tyrosine supplementation, the most potent variant of this molecule is N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, or, simply, NALT. This the active form of L-Tyrosine which our body can use right after we take it to produce more dopamine.
L-Tyrosine supplementation may prove extremely useful if you are working in extreme and stressful conditions. In other words, L-Tyrosine will keep you going until you complete all of your tasks. In this study, the effects of L-Tyrosine on military personnel working in extreme conditions were astonishing. A 100 mg per kg dose of L-Tyrosine results in a significant improvement of cognitive function and mood.
The perception of stress can also affect our levels of motivation and L-Tyrosine can help by reducing our subjective perception of stress. The subjects of this study reported that they were under a lot less stress after L-Tyrosine supplementation was introduced, even though the stress levels and the number of tasks remained the same.
Vitamins B6 and B12
Last, but not least, we come to the B-Vitamins, more specifically Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and Vitamin B12 (cobalamin), i.e. the vitamins that play an essential role in catecholamine synthesis. This means that they affect our motivation levels and overall mood. These vitamins are quite often found in nootropic stacks designed to boost memory, cognitive powers, motivation and mood.
This neurochemistry report states the importance of regular vitamin B6 and B12 supplementation. In fact, they promote conversion of L-DOPA to dopamine, and 5-HTP and Tryptophan to serotonin. Since the levels of vitamin B in our bodies tend to decrease as we grow older, it is important to maintain regular vitamin B complex supplementation.
This study examined the effects of vitamin B12. The subjects were persons with lacunar stroke. Regular B12 supplementation resulted in significantly increased verbal learning. Another study established the connection between vitamin B12 and its ability to slow down the rate of neurodegeneration.
These direct benefits of B vitamins are just a part of the whole picture. Let us remind you once again that the brain needs these vitamins because they play a crucial role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters directly linked with motivation and mood.
These are the four nootropics that pack the power to boost your motivation levels. As you can see, each one of these plays an important and unique role in dopamine metabolism. If you take a look at some of the most popular motivation nootropic stacks, you will find at least one of these nootropics as a basic ingredient.