Today’s working patterns have a lot going for them compared to the traditional 9-to-5. These days, far fewer of us have to spend hours each day behind the wheel or crammed onto public transport on our daily commute, and we can dovetail our home and work commitments with ease. It makes it possible to take the dog for a walk and still attend management meetings, take client calls and get our monthly reports in on time.
But it also means we tend to work longer hours and sometimes need to be focused and alert at hours when previous generations would have had their feet up in front of the TV. Sometimes, it’s just as important to be focused in our leisure pursuits as it is at work. For example, research has found that around two-thirds of Australian adults play video games. And these days, games can be deadly serious, particularly when it comes to those adult-oriented ones where there is real money involved. AustralianCasinoClub is an advocate for only gambling at online casinos when you’re at the top of your game. “We have seen many players lose their shirt because they were not in the correct frame of mind to be playing for real money.”
The takeaway is clear. Being able to focus and concentrate even when the body and mind are getting weary is more vital today than it has ever been. There’s no need to reach for stimulants like caffeine, sugar and nicotine, however. Here is a look at some vitamins that have been shown to naturally support memory and brain function. Give them a try; they can certainly do no harm!
A study in Scientific American associated vitamin D deficiency with reduced cognitive function. The vitamin activates certain neurotransmitters in the brain and stimulates nerve growth. Salmon, egg yolks and beef liver are among the best natural sources of Vitamin D, or alternatively, you can purchase vitamin D-3 tablets in health stores and pharmacies.
Here’s another vitamin that has been evaluated at length in a number of clinical studies. Researchers found strong correlations between vitamin B-12 levels and learning abilities. In serious cases, deficiency can also result in anemia. If you’ve got a lot on your plate, make sure you’re well stocked with this vitamin and you’ll find it less of an ordeal to mentally process and prioritize. This vitamin is also present in beef liver and salmon, as well as dairy products and certain breakfast cereals — take a look at the packaging, as those that are fortified with vitamin B-12 usually shout about it!
This amino acid helps the body perform numerous important functions. As a neurotransmitter, it is vital in keeping memory and concentration working as they should. The version found in food is called L-glutamine, and there are plenty of sources. Protein-rich meats are the best, but tofu, spinach and lentils also have it in abundance.
Strictly speaking, this is a micronutrient as opposed to a vitamin. But it’s worthy of inclusion here as it has been shown to work wonders on maintaining memory and aiding powers of concentration in adults. It also plays an important role in supporting liver function. It is present in most meat, fish and dairy products. But if you follow a vegan diet, there’s no need to reach for the supplements, as you can also find it in many beans and green vegetables like broccoli
Again, this is not a vitamin in the strict sense, but rather, an herbal supplement. However, it’s probably the one that is most commonly recommended for what is often termed “brain fog.” Unlike so many herbs that have only vague anecdotal claims to support them, this one is backed up by good amounts of serious clinical research and it’s been shown time and again to improve focus and concentration. It’s even been found to have some positive impacts on those living with conditions like dyslexia and ADD. Researchers believe the key to its effectiveness is its anti-inflammatory properties, which help to lower oxidative stress and boost circulation. It comes from the ginkgo tree and can be bought in liquid form online or from health food stores.
Carnitine is another amino acid that is naturally produced by the body and is essential for some fundamental body functions. However, it is easily depleted, especially when you exercise hard or are running low on energy. ALCAR is a supplement you can take to boost Carnitine content, and while research on its exact impact on mental functions is limited, it is understood to support brain health in general and concentration in particular. One of the most intriguing studies involving ALCAR to date has been on its use in helping to reverse brain damage among former NFL players.
A little extra help
The 21st century has brought new opportunities for flexibility in the way we lead our lives, but also far more complexity. Many of us are seldom truly “off duty” from work, and even our leisure pursuits involve more thinking and mental stimulation than was the case in years past. Looking after our psychological well-being is just as important as taking care of ourselves physiologically, and the vitamins and supplements looked at above provide a way to do just that.