The health of our brain is incredibly important when it comes to the health of our system more generally.
Optimizing brain health, however, is no easy task given how many strategies are available. Some individuals can get overwhelmed by all the options available to them.
One approach to brain health is to take stimulants, which can boost cognitive performance, increase energy and focus, and can cause mild euphoria. Stimulants can be separated into natural stimulants and unnatural stimulants.
Unnatural stimulants are those that are made synthetically in a lab. Natural stimulants, on the other hand, are those that are sourced more directly from nature.
The word “natural” is somewhat ambiguous in this sense, as technically everything on the planet is from nature. Natural stimulants tend to have fewer components than unnatural stimulants. They are usually less refined than their unnatural counterparts.
In this article, we discuss 10 of the best natural stimulants for brain health. In each section, we discuss the stimulant we have selected and note any advice for using it. We also discuss any relevant drawbacks.
Some Notes Before We Begin
It’s important to note that when selecting these 10 natural stimulants, we analyzed a combination of their effects, addiction potential, versatility, and accessibility. Many more natural stimulants exist than we could discuss here, though we think these 10 are the most effective at improving brain health.
Additionally, brain health is another one of those ambiguous terms that can alienate some readers. Throughout this article, we consider brain health to consist of maximizing the usage of your brain’s strengths. It’s one of those things that’s obvious when you have it as well as when you don’t have it but measuring it precisely can be difficult.
Sex – Natural Stimulant For Brain Health
Sex is sometimes neglected as a natural stimulant because it doesn’t take the form of a traditional drug that you ingest.
But this neglect is obviously absurd once you realize the exchange of fluids that happens during sex. When having sex, you are certainly taking in foreign compounds that have brain-altering effects.
In this sense, sex is one of the most powerful natural stimulants on the planet. In fact, there might not be another natural stimulant more powerful than sex.
If your brain doesn’t feel primed for creativity after having an orgasm, then you might need to find another partner. There’s a reason why so much art has concerned romantic love throughout history, and it’s because sex naturally stimulates our creativity.
Sex can function as an anti-depressant, and we all know how bad depression is for brain health. Sex can act as an antidote to hopelessness in this regard, pulling someone from rock bottom and giving them a purpose and identity.
The main drawback to using sex as a natural stimulant is the risk of transmitting sexually transmitted diseases as well as the possibility of unwanted pregnancy.
You should take every measure to minimize the potential of these things. This will make your sexual experience as health-promoting as possible.
Exercise – Natural Stimulant for Brain Health
Exercise is another natural stimulant that is profoundly healthy for your brain.
Exercise has been known to reduce insulin resistance, inflammation, and depression in addition to stimulating the release of growth factors. Growth factors help regulate neurogenesis, which refers to the creation of new brain cells.
Many people looking for natural stimulants ignore exercise because it entails short-term physical suffering. But, even this interpretation is accurate, for suffering is not the same thing as pain. More seasoned exercisers are able to develop this distinction over time, which allows them to reap the benefits of exercising without ever experiencing any negatives.
In this sense, exercise has very little downside, especially if you conceptualize it specifically. The only potential drawback is if you push yourself too far, as this could result in many health complications.
Figs – Natural Stimulant For Brain Health
Nothing stimulates us quite like a good piece of fruit, especially when its local, sweet, tree-ripened and in season.
Figs are like nature’s candy, yet without the usual crash of traditional candies loaded with preservatives, refined sugars, and fatty syrups.
Figs can be eaten raw from the tree and are low in both fat and calories. They are also high in potassium, manganese, and Vitamin B-6, which all support the health of our neurons.
Manganese, in particular, is crucial for brain health because it protects your brain from glutamate. If glutamate accumulates in our brain, it can be toxic, though a small amount is necessary for promoting brain activity. Manganese helps regulate this balance.
Furthermore, even though figs are usually only available for several months out of the year, many stores carry dried figs which have similar nutrition. This allows you to eat figs all year long and reap their many benefits.
Bananas – Natural Stimulant For Brain Health
Bananas are one of the best foods for brain health due to their long history of usage. This means they are instantly recognized by the body when consumed, as the body has grown accustomed to eating bananas for millions of years. This translates to quicker digestion.
Digestion is an incredibly taxing process that requires much of the brains attention when actively taking place. This prevents the brain from performing other critical processes needed to maintain its health.
It’s especially important to optimize your digestion before you go to bed, as any digestive processes that take place while you sleep will not only be inefficient but will also impact the quality of your sleep.
Our brain health is directly related to the quality of our sleep, so any food that promotes a good quality sleep is also healthy for the brain. Bananas do this because they are so easily digestible.
Furthermore, bananas are just simply tasty. Like figs, eating them can induce significant pleasure, which is ultimately good for brain health.
Spinach – Natural Stimulant For Brain Health
Spinach is extremely high in minerals like iron and calcium, which contribute to brain health. Furthermore, it’s high in chlorophyll, which helps bring oxygen to the brain.
This makes spinach ideal for anyone that experiences frequent headaches, nausea, or dizziness. These undesirable symptoms can disrupt our normal patterns of thinking and lead to poor decision making and lack of productivity.
Spinach is also extremely low in calories yet very amenable to eating in large supplies. Many people put half a pound spinach in their morning smoothie for added nutrition.
Green Tea – Natural Stimulant for Brain Health
Green tea has been lauded for ages for its stimulating properties. This is because it contains caffeine, which is a central nervous system stimulant.
Another constituent of green tea is theanine, which increases serotonin, dopamine, and GABA levels in the brain. These are neurotransmitters that regulate our mood, learning, and memory.
Furthermore, theanine is known to have psychoactive properties, making green tea amenable for enhancing creativity. Many artists prefer green tea over coffee because they find it gentler and more sustainable in addition to promoting deeper levels of thought.
Coffee – Natural Stimulant For Brain Health
No list of natural stimulants would be complete without mentioning coffee.
Most people swear by their morning cup of joe. Many people can hardly function throughout the day without a cup of coffee. This should give you an indication of how stimulating it is but also its potential for abuse.
Coffee naturally contains caffeine, which is why users feel stimulated when they drink it.
It’s important to note that coffee is slightly acidic. You should make sure to eat alkaline foods throughout the day if you are reliant upon coffee as a natural stimulant.
Cannabis – Natural Stimulant For Brain Health
Cannabis is a controversial drug because it affects users so differently.
Some users claim they feel stimulated and more productive when they are high on cannabis. Other users claim cannabis makes them sleepy and tired, unable to think clearly.
These discrepancies may be due to users taking different strains of cannabis. Sativa strains of cannabis are known for their energizing qualities. Indica strains of cannabis are known more for their calming and pain-relieving properties. There are also many hybrid strains of cannabis that give users a mixture of these symptoms.
If you’re interested in experimenting with cannabis as a natural stimulant for brain health, then we recommend starting off with a sativa strain.
Furthermore, we recommend consuming cannabis in a way that avoids inhaling its smoke, as this is bad for your lungs and thus brain health.
One healthy way for to consume cannabis is to make cannabis butter out of the dried leaves and then make food from the butter. In order to achieve the effects of cannabis, all you have to do is eat the food. These edibles might take longer to affect you but they can also last longer, making them perfect for someone who needs consistent energy throughout the day.
Kratom – Natural Stimulant For Brain Health
Even though Kratom has a rich history of usage, it has only been recently re-discovered by many westerners bent on optimizing their cognitive performance.
Kratom is a tropical tree that is in the same family as coffee. Yet, its’ effects are noticeably different. Some strains of Kratom can give you a burst of energy while others can be pain reliving and relaxing. Also, the energy that kratom does give you has been described as more stable than the energy given to you by coffee.
The main drawback associated with kratom is abuse. Some users report building up a tolerance to the drug, which can make it expensive over a period of time. Beyond the hit to your savings, building up a tolerance to kratom could also lead to you seeking more dangerous, unnatural stimulants like Adderall or Meth.
Ashwaghandha – Natural Stimulant For Brain Health
Ashwaghandha is highly revered in the east yet almost unheard of in the west.
It has been a part of Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years due to its status as an adaptogenic herb. These are plants which promote homeostasis, helping to return us back to a state of health and wellbeing.
Ashwaghandha is one of the best natural stimulants for brain health because it requires so little in order to feel a noticeable effect. Most users benefit from taking half a teaspoon of the herb in dried powder form. This is enough to energize you for several hours.
Alternatively, many people like to make tea out of ashwaghandha. This is perfect for the winter when a hot beverage is desired.
Unlike coffee, ashwaghandha does not give you jitters. This makes it ideal for sensitive individuals who stay away from caffeine due to its negative side effects.
Our Final Thoughts On Natural Stimulants
We think the 10 natural stimulants on this list promote brain health and lead to increased levels of happiness and well-being.
We tend to think that any drug containing caffeine is addictive, even green tea. Since we don’t think addiction or dependency support brain health, we advise people against incorporating these substances into their life even though they can be energizing.
Instead, we advise that users focus on stimulants that can be more sustainably used. Figs, bananas, and spinach are good examples of these. Really, any fruit or vegetable is going to stimulate you without giving you negative side effects.
In this sense, if you really want to focus on brain health, the best approach is to make alterations to your diet. Sure, taking kratom or ashwaghandha might give you an extra boost in the short-term. But, for permanent energy and health, you need to make permanent changes. This entails changing the kinds of calories you consume.
Whatever you end up doing, make sure you’re happy with your decision. There’s no point adopting some an approach to health if you’re not fully behind it.