Nootropics are gaining leverage in today's busy world as everyone searches for a natural solution to brain fog and fatigue. Luckily, if you've landed on nootropics, you're on track to research-proven cognitive enhancement. Nootropic tea is a great way to take full advantage of nootropic compounds, which are said to enhance brain function, memory, focus, energy, and more.
Follow us as we dive into the potential benefits of nootropic tea, how you can brew some up for yourself, and the potential risks you may encounter along the way. With a bit of background knowledge, you can reap the potential advantages of these brain-boosting compounds in one delicious daily cup.
Table of Contents
Brewing nootropics into tea is a great way to create a diverse, potent dose of these brain boosting compounds.
Different nootropic compounds have different benefits, so you can stack them together to create a dose that uniquely meets your needs.
Buying a premade nootropic tea takes the guesswork out of extraction and dosing.
What are Nootropics?
Before delving into the specifics of nootropics tea, let's briefly understand what nootropics are. Nootropics, also known as "smart drugs" or "cognitive enhancers," are substances that have the potential to improve cognitive function, memory, creativity, motivation, and overall brain health. They can include natural compounds, such as herbs and botanicals, as well as synthetic substances.
Nootropics work by influencing various neurotransmitters, enzymes, and receptors in the brain. Some common mechanisms of action include increasing blood flow to the brain, modulating neurotransmitter levels, promoting neuroplasticity, and reducing oxidative stress. These actions can lead to improved cognitive performance, enhanced memory, and better mental clarity.
So, needless to say, nootropics are becoming incredibly popular among creatives, professionals, athletes, parents, and anyone who would benefit from a little added brain power. Nootropic tea is the perfect way to reap those benefits.
What is Nootropic Tea?
Teas are historically medicinal. Almost every natural medicinal compound was originally taken as a tea. Why? Because brewing something in water is an extraordinarily simple and effective way to extract its active compounds.
Tea made from nootropic foods is no different. (Though, nowadays, many people opt for a premade nootropic tea supplement, which we will discuss more below.) Nootropic tea is easy to make, effortless to ingest, and offers increased bioavailability and significant benefits.
Benefits of Nootropics Tea
So, what are the actual benefits of nootropic tea?
Unfortunately, this is where it gets tricky. The benefits you will experience depend on the specific nootropic compounds you ingest. That means that different nootropic tea blends will have different benefits. This offers an amazing opportunity to fine tune and diversify your nootropic experience, though.
Let's discuss the most prominent benefits and the most common nootropic compounds behind them:
One of the primary benefits of nootropics tea is its potential to enhance cognitive function. Certain herbs and botanicals used in nootropics tea have been traditionally associated with improved mental performance. Some of the most popular nootropics for general cognitive enhancement include:
Ginkgo Biloba: Ginkgo biloba has been found to increase blood flow to the brain, supporting better cognitive function and memory recall.
Cordyceps: Cordyceps may also help to increase ATP production, which supports cellular energy use, and enhance blood flow to the brain to increase energy output and processing speeds. Cordyceps’ benefits are expansive, though it is most frequently regarded as the "athletes nootropic" because of its significant impact on athletic performance.
- Bacopa Monnieri: Bacopa monnieri, has demonstrated positive effects on cognitive function, including enhancements to memory and attention.
Increased Focus and Concentration
Nootropics tea can also help improve focus and concentration. Here are the most popular nootropics compounds for enhancing focus:
Caffeine: Caffeine is a perfect example of a nootropic that enhances focus, and the caffeine content in various contents in certain teas, such as green tea or yerba mate, can provide an energy boost and enhance alertness.
L-Theanine: L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves, has been shown to promote relaxation without inducing drowsiness. This is thought to increase focus, especially when paired with caffeine, and especially in those who experience anxiety when using caffeine.
In fact, there's a duality between caffeine and L-Theanine that shouldn't be ignored. You can learn more by reading “How Much L-Theanine Should I Take With Coffee?”
Alpha-GPC: Although alpha-GPC is heavily regarded as a memory-boosting supplement (and is even approved to treat dementia in some countries), it belongs right next to caffeine on this list of focus-enhancers, too.
In fact, one study comparing the impact of caffeine and alpha-GPC found that alpha-GPC supplementation was associated with an 18% overall increase in the performance speed of young adults carrying out various physical and mental tasks.
Neuroprotection and Neuroplasticity
Nootropics tea can also offer potential neuroprotective effects, and various nootropic compounds may improve neuroplasticity, which can help the brain heal. More specifically, certain compounds found in tea, such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), have been shown to protect neurons from damage and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
Some nootropics with similar effects include:
Lion’s Mane Mushroom: According to one study found, Lion’s Mane extract may encourage the growth of new nerve cells and may stimulate faster healing within the nervous system by stimulating the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF).
Another study confirmed these effects–Lion’s mane was capable of increasing nervous system repair in rats with nerve damage compared to control subjects.
Turmeric: Some evidence suggests that curcumin may even help to stimulate the growth of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is vital for the production of new neurons. By doing so, curcumin may strengthen neural connections and improve neuroplasticity.
One study found that curcumin promoted neuroplasticity in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of elderly mice. These areas of the brain are involved in memory and learning. The study concluded that the mice experienced an increase in learning ability and memory capacity after taking curcumin.
Many nootropics teas contain herbs rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants help protect brain cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals, potentially reducing the risk of cognitive decline and improving overall brain health.
Teas that are rich in antioxidants and may also have nootropic benefits include:
- Green tea
Read “Nootropics in Food” to learn more about foods that may work well to create your own nootropic tea brews.
How to Brew Your Own Nootropics Tea
Now that you understand the potential benefits of nootropics tea, let's explore how you can brew your own at home. Follow these steps to create a delightful and brain-boosting cup of nootropics tea:
1. Choose a base tea
Start by selecting a tea variety that suits your taste preferences and desired effects. Green tea, black tea, white tea, or herbal teas like chamomile or rooibos can serve as a good foundation for your nootropics blend.
2. Select your nootropic herbs
Research and choose herbs that align with your cognitive goals. Some popular nootropic herbs include cordyceps, lion’s mane, ginkgo biloba, bacopa monnieri, alpha-GPC, rhodiola rosea, and others. You can use a single herb or create a blend of different herbs based on their individual properties.
Combining nootropics is called “stacking” and nootropic stacks are the most popular form of nootropic supplements available.
3. Gather your ingredients and supplies
Once you have chosen your base tea and nootropic herbs, gather the necessary ingredients. You will also need a teapot or a tea infuser, boiling water, and a cup or mug.
4. Prepare the tea blend
Mix your chosen base tea and desired herbs in the desired proportions. You can start with a teaspoon of tea leaves and a half teaspoon of dried herbs per cup of water, adjusting the quantities based on your taste preferences.
5. Boil the water
Heat the water to the appropriate temperature for your chosen tea variety. Different teas have different temperature requirements, so refer to the specific instructions for your selected tea.
6. Steep the tea
Place the tea blend in the teapot or tea infuser and pour the hot water over it. Allow it to steep for the recommended time, usually between 3 to 5 minutes. Adjust the steeping time based on your taste preferences and the strength of the herbs.
7. Strain and enjoy
After the steeping time, remove the tea leaves and herbs from the water. You can strain the tea into a cup or mug using a tea strainer or remove the infuser from your teapot. Sit back, relax, and savor the flavors and potential cognitive benefits of your homemade nootropics tea.
Is Nootropic Tea Safe? Side Effects to Consider
While nootropics teas can offer various benefits, it's important to consider a few safety precautions. Some nootropics may be linked to unwanted side effects, drug interactions, or allergic reactions.
For instance, many medicinal mushrooms may be dangerous for those with a mushroom allergy. Other nootropic substances may interact with certain prescriptions, like anti-depressants, blood thinners, or medications used to treat diabetes.
Consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or are currently taking medications, before you start using nootropic supplements.
Always start with low doses and increase your dosage slowly. Taking a small dose of nootropic tea can help you understand your body’s response to the formula before going all in. This way you can gauge your individual tolerance and observe any potential side effects.
Brewing Your Own vs Buying Nootropic Tea Online
Nootropics teas can be a delightful and natural way to enhance cognitive function, memory, and focus. By brewing your own nootropics tea, you have the freedom to customize the blend based on your preferences and goals, but there are a couple of caveats:
First, it can be difficult to obtain high quality nootropic compounds. When sourcing them yourself, you’ll have to carefully examine the quality of every individual ingredient.
Plus, not all compounds are suitable for a simple hot water extraction. You have to understand the extraction process necessary to remove and activate the bioactive compounds in every nootropic food or herb you choose. If you’re willing to put in this footwork, brewing your own nootropic tea is a perfect option.
If you prefer convenience, you’ll be happy to know that nootropic teas are becoming more popular, so you may be able to find a premade blend that fits your needs online. Our Lucid Matcha and Chai, for instance, contains the following compounds and is prepared by simply adding it to hot water:
- Cordyceps (Endurance)
- Lion’s Mane (Cognition)
- Maitake (Immunity)
- Tremella (Anti-Aging)
- Alpha-GPC (Cognition)
- L-Theanine (Lowering Stress)
- BCAA (Muscular Energy)
- L-Tyrosine (Mood)
- Ginkgo Biloba (Neurogenesis)
For an ultra convenient, instant dose of nootropics that you can serve hot or cold, check out one of our three flavor varieties:
- “Efficacy of Standardized Extract of Bacopa monnieri (Bacognize®) on Cognitive Functions of Medical Students: A Six-Week, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5075615/#:~:text=Bacopa%20significantly%20improved%20speed%20of,after%2012%20weeks%20of%20administration.
- “The effects of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, caffeine or placebo on markers of mood, cognitive function, power, speed, and agility” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4595381/
- “Lion's Mane, Hericium erinaceus and Tiger Milk, Lignosus rhinocerotis (Higher Basidiomycetes) Medicinal Mushrooms Stimulate Neurite Outgrowth in Dissociated Cells of Brain, Spinal Cord, and Retina: An In Vitro Study”https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26853959/
- “Peripheral Nerve Regeneration Following Crush Injury to Rat Peroneal Nerve by Aqueous Extract of Medicinal Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae)” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3176599/
- “Curcumin induces cortico-hippocampal neuronal reshaping and memory improvements in aged mice” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0891061822000217?casa_token=Ic9jPZM0iCwAAAAA:v3X4JFvVyl1HB0JGVmezmRCzX9-lqSgpVwiXFTu6bH1JEotexQWRwuWFydntN2RBFWyCMQUr