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15 January 2020
Loss of pleasure, loss of motivation, and not having enough focus or concentration to get things done can all be dopamine deficiency symptoms, as can the characteristic “slowness” of many people with depression.
While most pharmaceutical drugs designed to increase dopamine are associated with significant and serious adverse effects, scientists have discovered and clinically tested a number of natural dopamine supplements that can safely increase dopamine levels within the brain and are generally without side effects.
Natural and integrative physicians have been successfully using these ingredients to help patients with depression, anxiety, low motivation, and other low dopamine symptoms.
I suggest you get your sleep, exercise, nutrition, and mindfulness right before experimenting with nootropics. Getting into the habit of practicing CBT is also a great way to rid yourself of anxiousness.
Sure, it is crucial to have a vision/purpose with emotional meaning every time your mind inevitably arrives at the question: what is the meaning of all this pain?
If you don’t, you’ll find it hard to stay motivated. But that thought and that emotional connection of yours is purely biochemical. It can be intense and motivating, giving you zero psychological need to escape into pleasure through palatable foods, watching TV or other hedonistic counterproductive behaviors.
On the other hand, you won’t have strong motivation every day if your body is working against you, it will not produce the feelings and thoughts that are useful for your goal.
For example, if you don’t sleep enough, you will probably end up lethargic, regardless of your vision and the mental representation you have of its realization.
The absence of lethargy and fatigue is crucial for steady high levels of energy and motivation. In my opinion, nootropics should be used to enhance your motivation and performance, not to create it in the first place.
With that said, nootropics can be a useful tool for getting out of a rut. If you’re super-lethargic and haven’t felt motivated in a long time, one way to get out of your situation could be to get yourself into a biochemical state which provides for motivation and energy. In this state, in turn, you can set processes and habits in motion that will change your life way more potently than the short term effects of the nootropic you consumed.
Nootropics are not a quick-fix for any problem, but they can give you a short term or long term performance boost for a specific purpose, such as motivation and energy.
Another couple of examples of areas of your life that can be optimized with nootropics are social interactions and mindfulness. Nootropics can be a tool on your journey for a better life, but there is no magic pill to solve all your problems, at least not yet.
While our understanding of how to optimize our cognitive performance continues to evolve, we can reap the benefits of past experimentation in the field. Based on my experiences and scientific studies, here are the best nootropics for motivation and energy.
1. Rhodiola Rosea
Science: Rhodiola reduces fatigue and depression while increasing cognition and subjective well-being. It is also neuroprotective and improves the function of the immune system. My assessment is that Rhodiola Rosea has no risk for addiction and that there’s only a low risk for side-effects.
Science: Cordyceps may improve aerobic exercise performance, as well as symptoms of depression, and pain. There is also some evidence for improved functioning of immune system, kidney, heart, and liver after Cordyceps use.
In a study on 57 healthy older people who used 1–3 g of (Cs-4) Cordyceps extract, the following was concluded: These findings support the belief, long held in China, that Cordyceps synesis has the potential to improve exercise capacity and resistance to fatigue.
Science: Caffeine improves attention, alertness, focus, mood, energy levels, anaerobic exercise capacity, aerobic exercise capacity, and wakefulness. Nearly all of us have tried it, and as the stimulant it is, it definitely has potential as a motivation-enhancer and energy-booster.
My assessment is that Caffeine has a medium level risk for addiction and that there’s a medium level risk for side-effects. (Anxiousness, jitteriness, stress, insomnia, etc.) I believe Caffeine has the highest risk profile of the nootropics mentioned in this article.
Science: Acetyl-L-Carnitine, also known as ALCAR, is an antidepressant. It boosts energy levels and reduces fatigue. Mitochondrial, metabolic, neuronal, and general health benefits have also been observed in studies.
I constantly have great levels of energy and motivation. I believe that’s primarily thanks to me prioritizing my sleep, mindfulness, exercise, and nutrition.
Getting these areas of your life right is much more important than using nootropics right.
If you want to start using nootropics, but want to keep the risks extremely low, check out My Top 3 Nootropic Interventions, they will provide for great motivation and energy if used right.