It happens to the best of us: We're at work or school with a to-do list that seems miles long, and for some reason, we can't concentrate. While you can make some changes to increase productivity quickly—like hide your phone, avoid social media, put some headphones on, change locations, whichever productivity hack works for you—there are also some supplements that can help, too. Some vitamins and minerals out there are known to clear your mind, boost your energy, and improve your concentration.
We rounded up some well-reviewed options for you below—but as always, check with your doctor before you buy them to see if they're right for you, and read the labels carefully.
We've written about the benefits of nootropics before. One expert told us nootropics have "cognitive benefits, including faster reaction time, feeling more alert, improving memory, and decreasing mental fatigue and fog." Along with discussing with your doctor if nootropics are right for you, you should be aware that those with high blood pressure might want to be extra cautious since nootropics increase circulation.
This brain booster is an Amazon's Choice and can help reduce that mental fog you might be experiencing. One reviewer wrote, "I went on these supplements a couple of weeks back when I realized that my new baby, my stressful job, and my overall demeaning experience with life was starting to wear out my mind bit by bit. I took nootropic products (three different kinds) to try to combat my tired and often directionless train of thought. Out of all three medicines, this one has had the best and most pronounced effect. I can finally think straight instead of the months of running into a brick wall."
Who What Wear Assistant Editor Anna LaPlaca recently raved about Moon Juice's Brain Dust when we asked her about her productivity tips. "A scoop of Brain Dust in my morning coffee gives me laser-focus energy that lasts well after my caffeine hit has faded away. The combination of adaptogens is specifically designed to combat stress and promote focus, and I can attest that it does both!"
Omega-3 fatty acids have been known to help improve learning and memory function. These supplements are sourced from wild Alaskan pollock and are supposed to support brain, hair, skin, and heart health.
Hum is one of our favorite supplement brands—some of our editors love the brand's Hair Sweet Hair Growth gummies. This particular option is said to improve energy and focus and help with stress release. It's recommended to take two capsules daily with food. One reviewer wrote, "At nearly 39, with two children, full-time school and work with days that start at 5:30 a.m. and can last til 11 p.m., I need energy. I have felt more alert, better focus and concentration and steady energy throughout the day."
When asked about her productivity tips, Who What Wear Assistant Beauty Editor Erin Jahns told us about The Nue Co.'s Nootro-Focus supplements. "It's made a huge impact on my productivity and mood. I love that there isn't any caffeine in the formula so I avoid extra jitters since I'm already dealing with that from my morning cup of coffee. I keep this jar of capsules handy at all times stowed in my gym bag. The ingredients, according to the brand, are clinically proven to increase neurotransmitter activity and fuel the brain while simultaneously boosting memory, attention, and focus. I've definitely felt the difference and can't stop talking about it," she said.
These gummies are made with ginseng, Alpha-GPC (a choline that is said to help the brain), and B vitamins, and are supposed to promote concentration. It's recommended to take two of these when you need an extra boost to focus.
It's recommended to mix this supplement into water and consume about 15 to 30 minutes before you start a project or do something that requires concentration. One reviewer wrote, "I tend to have a hard time feeling really awake and able to focus. This helps me stay alert and focused. I add one scoop to my Gatorade in the morning to help keep me awake and focused. It seems like the perfect cocktail of sustaining my alertness and I'm definitely more productive for most of the day."
Another nootropics option, Via Wellness's concentration supplements are said to improve your focus, concentration, mood, memory, and energy.
Bulletproof's popular MCT oil is said to improve cognitive performance and give you more energy, in addition to helping you curb your cravings and burn more calories. Add it to your smoothies, shakes, and coffee.
Some research shows that magnesium can boost brain power and can help relieve stress. If you think about it, when you're more relaxed, you're able to focus and concentrate on the task at hand and increase your productivity with the right mindset. For this particular supplement, it's recommended to take one tablet daily with a meal.
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.