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Best Nootropics for Anxiety

Anxiety is an important part of human physiology and in many ways is what keeps us from living an accident prone disastrous lifestyle. A natural way of our body telling us we are in a potentially dangerous or harmful situation anxiety is a necessary response that promotes longevity in human life. With all that said; anxiety is often associated with stress and is generally seen in a negative light in most circles. The true villain here is “over-anxiety” and the body’s physical response which can include an increase in perspiration and heartbeat.  If we were anxiety free all the time we would be much more likely to engage in dangerous and potentially life threatening activities that would greatly hamper our life expectancy. So, why am I telling you all of this and how can we use nootropics to curb intense anxiety that may constrain our lives?

Nootropics are often used to enhance memory and improve cognitive function but they have also been shown to have anti-anxiety and stress reducing properties. Specifically there are certain nootropics that when taking in conjunction work synergistically to achieve this desired effect. There are a number of nootropics available that can alleviate anxiety and in many cases a trial and error method of experimentation may be required to find the optimal solution for your needs.

Nootropics for Anxiety

In this analysis of anti-anxiety nootropics we will take a look at a few different nootropic options including theanine, GABA, 5-htp, bacopa, and rhodiola. Theanine is the only nootropic that has the ability to simultaneously increase serotonin and GABA levels, both of which are associated with lowering anxiety levels. Alternatively direct GABA supplementation is more effective in raising GABA levels and 5-htp or bacopa can be more effective in raising serotonin levels. So, if you are looking for a one and done solution theanine seems to be your best option. Rhodiola is one of the only nootropics that specifically halts the breakdown of serotonin in the brain and has shown a significant effectiveness in research, therefore I suggest supplementing with rhodiola in addition to other nootropics in most cases. A combination of rhodiola and either 5-htp (a naturally occurring anti-anxiety and stress reducing amino acid) or bacopa (an herb that has shown to increase serotonin in the brain) is recommended for the best anti-anxiety results with nootropics.

While this recommended combination/stack has shown to be effective and is a good starting point, the topic of nootropics is notorious for being uncharted territory and should be approached with that in mind. This means that one should always pay attention to your body’s individual response and conduct personal research on a supplement or supplements before consuming them.

Nootropic supplementation can be an exciting and often very effective method of attaining your desired results in your personal health related goals. Always pay attention to your products packaging and label information for dosing guidelines and it is recommended you consult a doctor before implementing nootropics in to your daily routine.

Sources

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12467378

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11498727

Nootropic Showdown: 5-HTP vs L-Theanine

So you’re on a budget.  You want to keep up with your nootropic regimen but you also want to pay your rent.  What’s a person to do?  Simple – figure out which supplement to keep and which supplement to kick until you have some surplus cash.  For this article, we’ll take a look at two of the most commonly used nootropics, 5-HTP and L-Theanine, and give you a point by point breakdown of the pros and cons.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to establish a definitive victor so that you don’t have to play the guessing game when it comes to purchase time.

So What Are the Benefits of 5-HTP?

5-HTP is an over-the-counter health supplement touted as a way to boost mood and anxiety, and to promote an overall feeling of wellness.  5-HTP works by directly affecting the central nervous system – it crosses the blood-brain barrier – thus stimulating the production of Serotonin.  Serotonin is released at times of relaxation and happiness, so when additional serotonin is released, feelings of sadness and anxiety are reduced.

5-HTP has been extensively studied in double-blind placebo-controlled experiments.  These experiments consistently show 5-HTP’s effectiveness at improving mood and reducing and anxiety.  However, no major studies have been done, and thus additional research would be beneficial.

There are no known major side-effects, though some users report feelings of nausea at higher doses, and some studies indicate that there could be rare cases of serious side-effects, though this is presently inconclusive.  Generally, dosing is at around 50mg-200mg per day, depending on user sensitivity.

What Are the Benefits of L-Theanine?

L-Theanine is an amino acid commonly found in green tea.  For years, scientists have hypothesized that L-Theanine is beneficial to the body in numerous ways, and recently several studies were done that support this hypothesis.  L-Theanine works by crossing the blood-brain barrier and affecting GABA receptors, as well as spiking the production of dopamine.  Both of these effects have been shown to reduce anxiety, reduce physical stress, brighten moods, and increase cognition.  Can’t get much better than that, right?

Even more impressive than the previous effects is that L-Theanine strengthens the illness-fighting ability of T-cells, and overall boosts the body’s immune system.  So not only will you be more relaxed and a faster thinker, you’ll also be healthier.

There are no side-effects at all – a study done on lab rats showed that even at excessively high doses of L-Theanine, there are no adverse effects.  Dosing ranges from 20mg to 300mg per day, once again depending on a person’s sensitivity.

5-HTP and L-Theanine Review

Now that you know the facts, which should you pick?  Both 5-HTP and L-Theanine reduce anxiety and boost mood.  However, L-Theanine also boosts the immune system, and shows no indications of having any side-effects at all.  The lack of immune-boosting capabilities for 5-HTP, as well as the slim chance of an adverse reaction from 5-HTP gives L-Theanine the slight edge in this competition.  So if your budget is tight but you still want that boost to your brain, go with L-Theanine and save 5-HTP for another day.

5-HTP for Weight Loss and Better Sleep

Awhile back, I heard about the world of lucid dreaming, and started getting very curious as to how I could consistently obtain lucid dreams. Lucid dreaming on its own can be an enormously powerful tool, though it can be incredibly hard to achieve. The first step to lucid dreaming is being able to remember your dreams.

My friend told me about 5-HTP and said that it made his dreams really vivid, and also helped him fall asleep. This was before I started taking melatonin, so I ordered some and tried it, and started to really like it. One potentially positive side effect is loss of appetite. I noticed I hardly needed to eat the next day (similar to many nootropics) and I felt fine. I didn’t remember my dreams however, but later learned that the ability to recall dreams is related to recall memory (which 5-HTP isn’t for).

I continued taking 5-HTP for sleep (slept soundly, all night), and the weight loss was a nice treat as well. I learned later that in some countries, 5-HTP is used to help alleviate symptoms of depression. The reason this stuff can make you happy, sleep better, and lose weight is because it’s a precursor to serotonin in the brain (though most serotonin ends up in the gastrointestinal tract).

But before you buy some and start taking it every night, you should be aware of some of the problems with 5-HTP as well. Because it increases serotonin in the body, it is possible for your body to adapt to this. Another thing to be conscious of is something known as serotonin syndrome. This is when too much serotonin gets into and stays in the brain and could be fatal, so proper dosing is vital.

I’ve personally stopped taking 5-HTP because I have melatonin for sleep, I’m trying to gain weight, and depression isn’t an issue for me. It’s still a powerful tool, that when used responsibly, could be a great addition to your supplement stack.