The Best Nootropics for Anxiety, Stress and Depression

Find out how nootropic supplements can help lower stress and anxiety.

7 Minute ReadFeature by Jess Lacey

28.08.21 (Updated 17.01.22)

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health issues, according to several recent studies. One recent study found that 1 in 5 Americans suffer from some kind of anxiety, and the NHS found out that 5% of British citizens are affected by a generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).

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What is anxiety and how does it affect us?

Anxiety is characterised by an intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear that can be completely debilitating in severe cases. You need to watch out for signs of anxiety as much as you can, as its long-term effects can be damaging to the overall health of the body.

Prolonged anxiety and/or depression affects adrenal glands and the amygdala, which becomes larger. As a result higher amounts of stress hormones are released into the body. Cortisol, the most common stress hormone, increases sugar levels in the blood, while adrenaline increases the heart rate and elevates blood pressure.

Anxiety also weakens the connections between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which may hinder the brain from thinking rationally. Anxiety disorders attack the amygdala, which becomes larger and hyperactive, sending stress messages to the PFC more regularly. The PFC ensures you respond to dangerous situations rationally, so if it is not alerted efficiently by the amygdala, it may lead to irrational thoughts and erratic behaviour.

Can nootropics really help to relieve anxiety?

Nootropics, sometimes referred to as smart drugs, are natural compounds that can improve cognitive function and brain health in otherwise healthy people. Nootropics are growing in popularity as our world becomes ever more competitive and everyone is looking for an edge.

Nootropics are generally taken in supplement form and can be used to improve a whole spectrum of facets of wellbeing, including memory, mood, focus, creativity, motivation and concentration. Nootropics are often taken for their stress relieving properties and can be combined together for better results; the LYMA Supplement contains a powerful, proven and safe nootropics stack to support a healthy brain and relieve some of the symptoms associated with anxiety.

Nootropics really come into their own in reducing stress and anxiety. If you sense that stress, anxiety or depression are getting the better of you, then consider taking nootropics for stress relief and anxiety management.

There are many types of nootropics that are said to help maintain healthy mental and psychological functions out there, such as:

  1. Cognizin
  2. Ashwagandha
  3. Affron
  4. L-Theanine
  5. Gotu Kola
  6. Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi)
  7. Ginseng
  8. Sage
  9. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)
  10. Lemon Balm

NB: We have only included the top 3 supplements of this list to the LYMA formula as those have been patented and proven in dozens of peer-reviewed studies.

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What nootropic supplements can best support the body to beat anxiety?

We have shortlisted below our favourite, most proven in clinical trials, nootropics i.e. the ones that have been backed up by science.

Cognizin® is the leading nootropic and brain health nutrient

Citicoline has the same molecule structure as CDP-choline, a nucleotide that is composed of choline, cytosine, ribose, and pyrophosphate and that is an essential component of the central nervous system. The molecule supports mental energy, cognitive health and activates the biosynthesis of structural phospholipids in the neuronal membranes, thereby increasing cerebral metabolism and acting on the levels of various neurotransmitters.

Unfortunately, a US study has shown that only 8% of Americans manage to get the right amount of choline through nutrition alone, and the body is unable to produce it naturally.

Scientists are reaching a consensus that supplementing with citicoline has beneficial long-term effects on health. Cognizin® is a clinically tested and patented form of citicoline that has been peer-reviewed, and proven to have some positive effects on health by researchers.

According to several studies, a daily oral dose of 250 mg of the dietary supplement is optimal to support the brain’s health which is what we at LYMA have gone for to complete our cutting-edge all-in-one Supplement formula.

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Ashwagandha exhibits nootropic-like properties.

Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic adaptogen with recognised and potent anti-stress and anti-anxiety properties. It is also considered by scientists to show nootropic-like effects. The root extract has been used in Eastern medicinal practices for millennia, and is gaining ground in the West as a go-to for curing and preventing mood disorders, sleep problems and inflammatory conditions.

Ashwagandha has GABA-mimicking effects on the brain, calming nervous activity and helping the brain to slow down and relax when necessary. Ashwagandha supports the formation of dendrites and axons that facilitate neurotransmission and nervous communication. Ashwagandha also regulates the body’s stress hormone cortisol, and research shows it can help with several subsets of mental health including depression, anxiety, and insomnia as well as somatic and social dysfunction.

Daily supplementation has been linked with reduced blood adrenaline levels, slower heart rate, fewer instances of stress-related illness, and a reduced likelihood of suffering adrenal fatigue or burnout. 88% of people who supplemented with a clinical daily dose of 600mg of ashwagandha reported a reduction in anxiety over a six week period.

LYMA’s formula contains a patented and highly bioavailable form of ashwagandha: KSM-66® Ashwagandha is the world’s number one adaptogen and one of the most effective nootropics for mood, stress and anxiety (such as performance anxiety or social anxiety.) KSM-66® Ashwagandha is a full-spectrum root extract and retains all the natural constituents of the herb in their original balance. Routine supplementation has been clinically proven to enhance cognition and elevate mood when taken consistently over a period of time.

Ashwagandha is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that supports both brain protection and cellular repair.

3 capsules on pier near water

Can affron make an ancient nootropic work for you?

Saffron has been celebrated in the ayurvedic and Persian medical traditions for millennia as helpful for mood and sleep quality. While you can of course eat saffron, and there are generic saffron extract supplements available on the market, none of these modes of consuming saffron have the pre-clinical studies to support their efficacy, bioavailability and effects the way affron® does.

At LYMA, we use 28mg of affron® as one of our Supplement's ingredients: it's not only a standardised and unique extract of saffron, but is also backed up by peer-reviewed and clinical evidence. In studies carried out on people taking affron®, it's been shown to positively affect sleep and mood, just as the doctors of antiquity suggested. It has also been suggested as an effective counter for the side effects of anti-depressants, including the suppression of libido.

Can the nootropic L-theanine help the brain with anxiety?

L-theanine is an amino acid that can actually be found in tea leaves. L-theanine can also be found in some varieties of mushrooms and in savoury umami foods such as Japanese broths. L-theanine promotes relaxation and facilitates stress relief by altering the make-up of the brain.

It gets to work in a couple of ways. Similarly to ashwagandha, L-theanine elevates levels of GABA (a neurotransmitter responsible for reducing neuronal excitability), as well as the emotion-regulating neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

L-theanine also enhances alpha brain waves, the electromagnetic brain waves that are associated with experiencing a feeling of ‘wakeful relaxation.’ Alpha brain waves kick in when you’re meditating, doing something creative, or allowing yourself to indulge in the magic of daydreaming.

If you suffer with insomnia, L-theanine could help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. Research has shown that L-theanine can help to promote the relaxation necessary for a good night’s sleep.

However, there are some common side effects in ingesting L-theanine through nutrition (tea essentially) such as nausea, mood swings and irritability or stomach pain. Make sure you speak to your doctor before considering buying supplements.

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Nootropics can help to support a whole host of areas of physical and mental wellbeing and can be taken either preventatively or as a cure for a number of ailments and health complaints. Nootropics are a great addition to your supplement regime at any age, but become all the more vital as you get older. Nootropics can play an important and integral role in reducing symptoms associated with the menopause, for example.

Here are some testimonials of LYMA customers who have managed to reduce their anxiety:

LYMA’s formula contains patented ingredients that are clinically-proven to support the brain and body during times of stress. Supplementing daily with LYMA can lead to improved mood, a more positive outlook and a sense of thriving - not merely surviving - through business and uncertainty. We understand that times are anxious and stress is rife, and we believe that you deserve nothing better than to feel your best. That’s where LYMA comes in.

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