What are the best nootropics for anxiety?
This is an extremely common question we get asked on our best brain supplements page, and a welcome one at that; it is encouraging to see more people turning to natural anti-anxiety supplements rather than going straight to pharmaceuticals.
Natural nootropics can indeed make a meaningful difference to your stress and anxiety levels.
Some plants have a long history of use as anxiolytics (anxiety suppressors) in traditional medicine or popular culture. But whole herbs and plants – whether ground into a paste or drunk as tea – can only ever have so much of an impact on your physiology.
Modern biotechnological advances have, however, opened up a whole new world of possibilities for people looking to enhance their performance and augment their physiology. Today, there are lots of high-spec, extremely potent natural nootropic products capable of simultaneously reducing stress and promoting focus, memory, and mental clarity.
The only problem is finding which substances work in reality. Many supplement manufacturers promote products which promise rapid relief from stress and anxiety. More often than not, these supplements are full of cheap, ineffective herb powders and potentially brain-draining sedatives. Only a small number of high-end, professional nootropic stacks offer genuine stress and anxiety relief without side effects and without hindering cognitive performance.
In this article, we’re going to go through the most effective natural supplements for anxiety. We’ll then list the best nootropic stacks for anxiety currently on the market. If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section at the end!
Best nootropics for anxiety
Here is a list of the best natural nootropics for stress and anxiety:
- Rhodiola rosea
Ashwagandha is one of the nootropics with a long history of use in traditional medicine, specifically Ayurverdic medicine from India. People have used ashwagandha for centuries as a sleep aid, an anti-anxiety medication, and as a libido booster. We now know that ashwagandha is actually effective in all of these use-cases.
Ashwagandha works by reducing cortisol levels. Cortisol is your body’s stress hormone; it is released when you feel you are in danger, but if you are chronically stressed, your cortisol levels can be chronically elevated. This leads to high blood pressure, fat gain, muscle atrophy, and chronic fatigue – the worst symptoms of chronic stress and anxiety. Studies show that ashwagandha consumption acutely lowers cortisol levels, which in turn lifts the symptoms of acute stress and anxiety.
Rhodiola rosea is what we call an adaptogen. This means it helps to make you less prone to physical and emotional stress. In other words, it makes you more resilient and resistant to the feelings of acute stress and anxiety.
Some recent research has found that rhodiola rosea consumption also mildly stimulates the release of serotonin and dopamine. This could also be part of the explanation as to why rhodiola rosea helps with anxiety. In any case, experience has proven that rhodiola rosea is an extremely reliable and effective nootropic for suppressing anxiety.
Tyrosine is an incredible natural nootropic and one particularly useful when you are facing a particularly stressful and grueling period of work or study. We recommend Tyrosine for any students, traders, programmers, or business professionals who need to burn the midnight oil and keep a lid on stress while remaining focused.
Tyrosine is a precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is your “reward” for completing tasks; it creates sensations of satisfaction, pleasure, and accomplishment, while simultaneously driving you to keep going to experience more dopamine. This is why studies have found Tyrosine improves performance in memory tests among people who are placed in intensely distracting or unpleasant situations: extreme cold, sleep deprivation, acute stress, etc. If you want to minimize anxiety while maximizing cognitive performance, Tyrosine is a must.
Nicotine is usually associated with tobacco, but this nootropic is actually found in smaller amounts in lots of common plants, such as potatoes or eggplants. While it is often assumed that nicotine is in itself dangerous, it is actually a relatively safe drug to use when isolated from tobacco (which is probably the most ridiculously harmful drug you can do).
Nicotine is extremely powerful. Just a few milligrams is enough to instantly sharpen your focus, increase alertness, boost motivation, and calm the nerves. Nicotine works by releasing norepinephrine. This is the body’s “fight or flight” neurotransmitter, although it doesn’t have the same physical effects as cortisol. Norepinephrine makes you mentally prepared for survival scenarios. It enhances every aspect of cognition that might be relevant to survival; reaction times, focus, alertness, decision making, etc. It also acts as an anxiolytic; nicotine triggers the release of dopamine which, as in the case of Tyrosine, reduces anxiety and improves mood.
Magnesium is often overlooked as a supplement because of its ‘basic’ nature. As a simple mineral, many people assume that it cannot possibly have a sizable physiological or mental effect. But it can and does!
Magnesium works by reducing electrical activity in the nervous system. This systemic action makes it a comprehensive anxiolytic.In simple terms, magnesium reduces the amount of electrical activity passing between your neurons. This suppresses the kind of frantic thinking that characterizes panic. The same mechanism makes it a muscle relaxant, which again helps temper the sensation of tension which accompany anxiety, stress and panic attacks.
Most people are generally quite low on magnesium since modern diets contain so few nuts, fresh green vegetables, seeds, and seafood. We recommend everybody supplements with magnesium from time to time to ensure your blood pressure remains in a healthy range and that your sleep is of high quality. If you’re looking to reduce anxiety, then a magnesium supplement should be your first port of call.
Social anxiety is not a completely distinct phenomenon to generalized anxiety, although the exact experience of it can be very distinct.
Social anxiety is characterized by anxiety brought about by social interaction, or even the anticipation of social interaction.
The same nootropics which help you cope with anxiety will help you with social anxiety, as the mechanisms of action will work in both scenarios.
Using a nootropic which calms the mind, reduces cortisol, promotes focus, and aids with verbal fluency will help you regardless of whether you have performance anxiety, generalized anxiety, or social anxiety.
The best nootropic stack for anxiety
The list above contains the most effective nootropics for anxiety in existence. Each substance has substantial, robust scientific backing from clinical trials, and all of them have excellent safety profiles.
But for those of you who don’t want to source individual ingredients yourself, what is the best pre-made nootropic for anxiety on the market right now?
Mind Lab Pro
Mind Lab Pro is truly an exceptional nootropic. It combines several different nootropics which enhance cognitive performance in different ways. Together, they cover learning, focus, memory, and brain health. On top of that, Mind Lab pro delivers a comprehensive stress and anxiety-suppressing matrix of ingredients. It includes Tyrosine, Rhodiola rosea, and Theanine. Taken together, these nootropics quickly and effectively reduce the mental and physical feelings of stress and anxiety while promoting good cognitive performance. Read our detailed review of Mind Lab Pro.