The best supplements for thinking smarter, faster, better
Keeping your mind in tip-top shape goes beyond drinking lots of water and listening to soft music.
These brain supplements won’t make you a genius overnight—but they might give you the mental edge you need to conquer speed-reading. Omega-3s are vital to brain function, and they’ve even been shown to improve neural performance. In one study, those who took a supplement rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)—a type of omega-3 fatty acid—displayed quicker reaction times. EPA is found mainly in fish, but algae-derived omega-3 supplements are a fab plant-based alternative. Magnesium has been shown to enhance memory, learning ability and overall brain plasticity. The research is preliminary, but these results are promising. To up your magnesium intake—most Americans don’t get enough—eat more almonds, spinach, black beans and brown rice. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and key nutrient for Alzheimer’s prevention. It tastes great in curries, of course, but you’ll want to choose supplement forms for higher potency. Vitamin B12 is essential for protecting and preserving the brain, especially as we age. Since vitamin B12 is found mostly in animal products—think fish, cheese and eggs—most vegans and vegetarians should fortify their diets with a brain-benefiting B12 supplement. Caffeine can provide a surge of energy and even rev up your short-term memory—big surprise, right? If you drink coffee, do so in moderation (one to two cups per day). If tea is your thing, get a mild caffeine boost from black, oolong or green tea.