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Mood, Focus, Cognition and Sleep 

One of the fastest growing group of supplements are those that are proven to help us psychologically. There's a huge market for these supplements aimed at anyone, from athletes pumping up and focusing before an intense workout, to students writing essays long into the night the day before a deadline. They've got a name: Nootropics. 

 

Brain Working Cognition

Fun fact: The 2011 movie "limitless" inspired many to enhance their cognitive abilities with supplementation, causing a minor industry boom. 

 

No matter the desired effect, we've got you covered for the top performing and research backed "neuro-enhancing" supplements, from 5-HTP to Acetyl L Carnitine to Caffeine. 

 

1) Acetyl L Carnitine or ALCAR is popular in the brain-hacking world thanks to lots of scientific studies and individual reports concluding that it helps cognition, along with typical sports supplement features such as increasing strength when taken pre-workout (1), boosting testosterone (2), and even burning fat (3).

ACLAR is seriously diverse, here's our Top research backed benefits for the supplement;

1) Research shows that older men and women who took ALCAR daily saw a significant boost to their physical & mental energy levels, as well as better overall cognitive ability. (4)

2) This piece of research concluded that "Treatment with Carnitine significantly decreased the attention problems and aggressive behaviour in boys with ADHD" (5)

3) Another found that the supplement showed beneficial effect to adults who struggle with mental fatigue. (6) 

4) And here's one we think you'll like if you're partial to a few pints on the weekend! ALCAR increases glutathione, your body’s master antioxidant, and is proven to improve hangovers. Not only this, but ALCAR decreases the damage your brain cells take after a night of drinking as well. (7) 

 

Drinks Behind the Bar

ALCAR has as many different benefits as bottles behind the bar... but it still won't save you from dancing on the bar after too many shots. 

 

This is one of those supplements that’s worth trying for yourself, to see if you notice the benefits. We don't think you'll be disappointed. 

Why not try Peak Supps Acetyl L Carnitine Powder, on Sale now from £5.45 with Free UK Delivery.  

 

2) 5HTP is now, in 2018, a well known cognitive enhancer that can be found in pretty much any high street health store.

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a compound made naturally in the body, and is extracted for supplementation from the African plant Griffonia Simplicifolia. 5-HTP is created as a by-product of the amino acid L-tryptophan. Our bodies don’t make L-tryptophan naturally, we absorb this essential amino acid from the foods we eat. It became popular after some research surfaced linking 5HTP to serotonin production, therefore linking it to depression and anxiety. Most scientific explanations for chronic or acute depression involves failure of the brain to produce or retain enough of the "feel good" chemical, Serotonin, so some help to do so would be very beneficial for depressed individuals. 

 

Sleeping 5HTP

So, does 5HTP really cure or even alleviate depression? 

 

Although in simple terms, 5HTP is found to increase levels of serotonin and therefore may alleviate symptoms of low serotonin, most Doctors do not recommend 5HTP alone in treatment of chronic depression.

However, some research studies have found it to be partially effective at treating depression.

The main take home benefit of 5HTP is that it can help to regulate circadian rhythms, the underlying rhythms that our bodies follow in order to wake us up at night and send us to sleep at night. It does this by encouraging the production of melatonin, the chemical compound which aids in sending us to sleep when it gets dark and waking us up when it gets light. 

One study (8) showed that a combination of 5-HTP and GABA significantly reduced the time it took to fall asleep, increased sleep duration and improved sleep quality. (8) It seems that 5-HTP's potential is best unlocked when combined with other compounds, but it's effects are still heralded by many in the natural supplementation crowd. 

Why not try Peak Supps 5 HTP tablets? 

 

 3) Caffeine 

Your morning Coffee can help you feel less tired and increase your energy levels 

That’s because it contains a famous psycho-stimulant called Caffeine, the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. (10)

 

Coffee On Table

 

In the brain, caffeine blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine.

When this happens, the amount of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine increases, leading to enhanced firing of neurons (11).

Studies show that coffee improves various aspects of brain function, including memory, mood, energy levels, reaction times and general mental function (12).

If that wasn't enough, studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in their later years. (28

Although Coffee remains the traditional way to get a dose of Caffeine, with Peak Supps Caffeine Tablets, you can get the effects anytime, anywhere at a fraction of the cost. 

4. CBD

We're really excited about the seemingly never-ending list of cognitive benefits that research is constantly uncovering around CBD. 

CBD is proven to help with:

1. Seasonal Affective Disorder 

If you notice that you become slugglish, down, or downright depressed in the winter months, you may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or aptly named SAD for short. 

This Study (14) suggest that CBD reduces anxiety & depression in SAD and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas, effecting wakefulness and circadian rhythms. 

2. Anxiety 

Cannabidiol oil has become an increasingly popular treatment of anxiety and sleep issues, and has been shown to be an effective natural alternative to pharmaceutical medications.

The main finding from this study (15) is that CBD oil can be an effective compound to reduce anxiety and insomnia secondary for even PTSD Sufferers. 

The calming effects are sure to help the anxiety sufferer to drift off into a peaceful sleep. 

3. Mood Disorders 

Authors of a 2016 study (16) wrote that “CBD could represent a novel fast antidepressant drug, via enhancing both serotonergic and glutamate cortical signaling through a 5-HT1A receptor-dependent mechanism.”

Maybe it's time to give CBD a go if you've tried Antidepressants or Anti-Anxiety medications but want to switch to a natural and research-backed alternative.

CBD is popping up in bath bombs, massage oils, and even lattes in local coffee shops... but what better way to use CBD than concentrated oil, for any use? 

At Peak Supps CBD, we stock certified CBD Oil in three different concentration strengths. Most of the studies outlined above use high concentrations of CBD; we stock 1500mg strength CBD Oil, with free delivery nationwide.

Or, why not start out with our Medium (1000mg) or Low (500mg) concentration oils? We are currenctly offering 5% off all CBD orders when you sign up to our CBD newsletter. 

 

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References

 1) Jacobs, P., & Goldstein, E. (2009). Glycine propionyl-L-carnitine produces enhanced anaerobic work capacity with reduced lactate accumulation in resistance trained males. Journal Of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition6(1), 9. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-6-9

2) KRAEMER, W., & SPIERING, B. (2006). Androgenic Responses to Resistance Exercise. Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise38(7), 1288-1296. doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000227314.85728.35

3) Wall, B., & Stephens, F. (2011). Chronic oral ingestion ofl-carnitine and carbohydrate increases muscle carnitine content and alters muscle fuel metabolism during exercise in humans. The Journal Of Physiology589(4), 963-973. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.201343

4) Malaguarnera, M., & Gargante, M. (2008). Acetyl l-carnitine (ALC) treatment in elderly patients with fatigue. Archives Of Gerontology And Geriatrics46(2), 181-190. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2007.03.012

5) Van Oudheusden, L., & Scholte, H. (2002). Efficacy of carnitine in the treatment of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes And Essential Fatty Acids67(1), 33-38. doi: 10.1054/plef.2002.0378

6) Vermeulen, R., & Scholte, H. (2004). Exploratory Open Label, Randomized Study of Acetyl- and Propionylcarnitine in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Psychosomatic Medicine66(2), 276-282. doi: 10.1097/01.psy.0000116249.60477.e9

7) Haorah, J., & Floreani, N. (2011). Stabilization of superoxide dismutase by acetyl-l-carnitine in human brain endothelium during alcohol exposure: Novel protective approach. Free Radical Biology And Medicine51(8), 1601-1609. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2011.06.020

8) Shell, W., & Bullias, D. (2010). A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of an Amino Acid Preparation on Timing and Quality of Sleep. American Journal Of Therapeutics17(2), 133-139. doi: 10.1097/mjt.0b013e31819e9eab

9) Smith, A., & Brockman, P. (1993). Investigation of the Effects of Coffee on Alertness and Performance during the Day and Night. Neuropsychobiology27(4), 217-223. doi: 10.1159/000118984

10) James, J. E. (1997). Behavioral medicine & health psychology, Vol. 2. Understanding caffeine: A biobehavioral analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA, US: Sage Publications, Inc.

11) Fredholm, B. (1995). Adenosine, Adenosine Receptors and the Actions of Caffeine. Pharmacology & Toxicology76(2), 93-101. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0773.1995.tb00111.x

12) Ruxton, C. (2008). The impact of caffeine on mood, cognitive function, performance and hydration: a review of benefits and risks. Nutrition Bulletin33(1), 15-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-3010.2007.00665.x

13) Maia, L., & de Mendonca, A. (2002). Does caffeine intake protect from Alzheimer's disease?. European Journal Of Neurology9(4), 377-382. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-1331.2002.00421.x

14) Crippa, J., Derenusson, G., et al. (2010). Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 25(1), pp.121-130.

15) Shannon, S. (2016). Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. The Permanente Journal.

16) Linge, R. and Jiménez-Sánchez, L. (2016). Cannabidiol induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission: role of 5-HT1A receptors. Neuropharmacology, 103, pp.16-26

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