6 Nootropic Supplements That Don’t Involve Taking Adderall

6 Nootropic Supplements That Don’t Involve Taking Adderall

Not all "study drugs" involve addictive, prescription pills.

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I get it – college is stressful. You've only got 24 hours in the day and you have to find time for classes, studying and work while still trying to maintain a healthy social or dating life.

There just aren't enough hours in the day, so many college students turn to Adderall or other prescription medications to keep them awake.

Why are these prescription meds so popular among college students and what alternatives can you try that aren't as harmful?

Why Are College Students Turning to Adderall?

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When prescribed by a doctor, Adderall is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. This prescription stimulant helps to reduce the symptoms of ADHD in individuals who actually live with the condition.

In people without ADHD, taking Adderall is like drinking a lot of coffee – if there is no hyperactivity to control, Adderall is simply a stimulant which makes it a popular study drug.

Upwards of three-quarters of prescription stimulant drug users are using it for academic purposes - to help them focus or stay awake longer so they can study. While it might work in the short term, studies have shown that stimulants like Adderall don't actually make you more productive.

Not only will it not make you more productive, it can even make you less productive, and make it more difficult to focus on the things that you actually need to focus on – which for college students would include studying. Staying awake on stimulants means that you aren't getting enough sleep – and that can make it hard to focus.

If Adderall is a bad idea for productivity, is there any alternative? Here are some non-prescription nootropic supplements for brain health.

1. Fish Oils

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Omega 3 Fatty Acids are found in fish oil and are part of a healthy diet. Making sure you have enough of these fish oils in your diet can help you improve your heart health, but that's not all these fatty acids can do.

Many studies have shown that one of these acids, DHA, actually makes up around 25 percent of the total fat of your brain, and 90 percent of omega-3 fatty acids found in your brain cells. Getting enough of these, either in your diet or via supplements, has been shown to improve memory and reaction times.

If you're not a fan of fish like salmon or other fatty fish that are rich in DHA, consider adding some fish oil or omega-3 supplements to your diet.

2. Gingko Biloba

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Its name might sound funny, but gingko biloba has been used as part of Asian medicine for centuries. In recent years, this herb has been shown to improve brain health by improving the blood flow in smaller blood vessels.

It might even be useful as a complementary treatment for Alzheimer's disease. In the short term, taking gingko can help with mental ability mood and alertness – making it the perfect nootropic supplement for college students.

3. Resveratrol

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Usually found in red and blue fruits, resveratrol is an antioxidant that has been shown to improve memory in small human studies and in multiple animal studies.

If you're not a fan of fruit salad, don't worry – this antioxidant can also be found in red wine and dark chocolate, so enjoy those in moderation!

4. Lutein and Zeaxanthin

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These two might be a bit more difficult to get your hands on, at least for now. Thankfully, they can be found in things like corn, eggs and leafy greens. Lutein and zeaxanthin have both been shown to increase brain health and performance in double-blind placebo human studies.

We don't generally get enough of these in our diet though – most people only get about two milligrams of each of these materials. While that is enough for zeaxanthin, it's recommended that you get at least 10 mg of lutein in daily.

5. Vitamin E

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You usually see Vitamin E in skin care products, but recent studies have shown that it can also help improve brain health.

Make sure you're getting enough Vitamin E in your diet – either through the foods you eat or supplements that you can take. It won't be an instant fix but over time it can help improve your focus and help you make the most of the time you do spend studying.

6. Caffeine

Photo by Tyler Nix

This is a stimulant you're probably fairly familiar with already. It's found in teas, coffees and chocolates naturally and can also be added to a variety of other foods and drinks.

It works by stimulating both the brain and the central nervous system and studies have shown that caffeine can help improve brain function, reaction times and memory in addition to making you feel more energized.

Don't take too much caffeine though – between 200 and 400 mg a day is considered safe. Depending on the coffee you drink, that can be one cup or eight.

Even if you're stressing over your class load, your homework or your upcoming finals, you don't need to resort to using Adderall or other prescription stimulants to get the job done.

There are plenty of non-prescription nootropic supplements that can help just as much without all the nasty side effects.

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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My Love-Hate Relationship with Starbucks

This is my oh so wonderful experience at Starbucks during the week of midterms.

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When I usually go to Starbucks, I typically get the same type of drinks: carmel macchiato, chai tea latte, chestnut praline chai tea latte (which sadly is only a holiday drink), or a shaken black tea lemonade with light ice. However, sometimes a person just gets bored drinking the same three drinks over and over, so I thought, "Hey! lets get out of our comfort zone here pal and try something new." So I did I walked my tired stressed out self to Starbucks 10 minutes before my next class and ordered a tall cinnamon shortbread latte, I mean the description and other peoples comments about it made it sound super good.


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As I was waiting for my drink I noticed that one of the baristas was having some issues with some type of syrup, but I thought that they would refill it and then add what they need, and that one probably wasn't even mine. When they did that, I saw them get a new jug of syrup and I went back onto my phone and to try and plan how I was going to get through this midterms week.

Quick info about midterms: everyone is dead, and everyone is stressed. Us college students literally live off of caffeine during midterms week. If you're lucky like me you are at school from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., so the caffeine is really needed.


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Now soon after I saw the new jug come, my name was called. I grabbed my drink and walked like the walking zombie I was to my next class. I went in for my first drink I was so excited to have this sweet taste of vanilla, cinnamon and coffee...but what I got was the opposite. It literally tasted like a very burnt somewhat coffee and cinnamon edible without the marijuana affects, or for the non-edible people, a very bad tasting cookie that was missing all the sugar. I was not a happy camper one bit, but I was going to drink it anyway because I payed $4 for this coffee. I struggled drinking this during my writing class because it tasted terrible, but then out of no where I got this hit of sweet — I was drinking the sweet vanilla and the sweet cinnamon part of my drink minus the majority of the coffee since I was 3/4 done with the drink. I was seriously crying on the inside because I didn't get to enjoy this drink the way I needed.


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Then the realization hit me: 1. They probably didn't add in the missing parts of the syrup once it got refilled since they suddenly got busy. 2. They did not stir that drink one bit because all the syrup was literally at the bottom of the cup. If they did these, then the problem wouldn't have happened.

This is not the first time this has happened to me having all the syrup at the bottom of the cup at a Starbucks. Its not like I am able to swish it around myself because it is full to the top and I don't want hot coffee poured or splashed on my hand. Also, most people are on-the-go while they are drinking their coffee or doing other things. I have only had this issue at Starbucks and never at any other place have I had this issue like Anthem Coffee.


So can Starbucks just agree to always mix their drinks? So that the zombie college kids during midterms have good coffee to keep them alive?


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