Best Drink for Focus and Concentration
We are all aware that what we eat impacts our health and well-being in countless ways, but few of us actually go out of our way to consume specific kinds of foods or beverages to bring about a certain health outcome.
Almost all of us strive to maintain a “healthy” diet, but outside of bodybuilders maximizing their protein intake and endurance athletes filling up on carbs before a big race, very few people actually try to augment specific aspects of their quality of life through their diets.
This is partly because many assume that they are not lacking or deficient in any way so as to need some kind of natural remedy to put things back in balance.
However, research indicates otherwise.
According to science, the vast majority of us are incredibly deficient in focus and concentration. Our hectic modern lifestyles and countless distractions, digital and otherwise, undoubtedly contribute to that problem.
This is why today, we are going to take a look at some select superfoods, and in particular superdrinks, that are not just amazingly beneficial to your well-being but can in particular work to free up some space in your mind and bring back some of that mental energy and concentration.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Best Drink for Mental Focus
When you think about how to improve concentration naturally using healthy, organic foods, probably the first thing that’ll come to your mind is caffeine and any of the many products derived from it.
It’s true: caffeinated beverages are some of the most popular drinks for mental focus used worldwide. From overworked students to their teachers, from early risers to night owls – nearly everyone has at some point gone for the quintessential cup of coffee to fix a little lack of energy.
Caffeine for sure is one of the most effective brain boosters in the world, being capable of invigorating concentration levels like very few other natural foods can.
Of course, with such great power, come a few side effects – coffee enthusiasts know these too well. Every boost in concentration and productivity is immediately followed by a slump or crash of fogginess. This makes timing your doses a skill that deserves lots and lots of practice in the long term.
Caffeine can also cause jitteriness or physical anxiety in many people. Again, with highly-caffeinated options such as energy drinks, this can be an issue.
Most public health organizations set a hard limit of 400mg of caffeine per day as the absolute maximum that the average adult should not exceed if they don’t want to suffer from serious side effects.
But thankfully, we have plenty of variety to choose from across the caffeine spectrum! You can carefully gauge your caffeine intake by choosing an appropriate beverage for you based on its potency.
This can range from light teas all the way up to guaraná-based soft drinks, which can often be many times more powerful than a regular cup of espresso.
But what is behind the way in which caffeine helps us stay focused?
By itself, caffeine is hardly unique. A nervous stimulant, it belongs to a class of substances known as natural nootropics.
Nootropics are, in simple terms, organic foods that can enhance our mental functioning in some way. Nootropics can help us think more clearly or rid of us stress, for instance.
Let’s take a look at some more examples of nootropics for concentration!
Best Drinks for Focus
So, what are the best nootropic-based drinks for consistent, razor-sharp focus? And can you get any better than caffeine, without the inherent side effects?
Turns out, it’s not all coffee. Especially in recent years, countless people have taken to alternative nootropic drinks for nourishing a healthy and well-focused mind.
For example, kombucha has seen a meteoric rise in popularity in many parts of the world, and for good reason!
A fermented tea-based beverage containing both moderate levels of caffeine as well as alcohol and tea leaf extract (usually green tea), kombucha is not just incredibly yummy and healthy, but it also really ramps up your mental energy, allowing you to focus on important work much more easily.
Energy drinks are another recent source of widespread attention among those looking to maximize their mental resources.
Sure, those flashy cans and the multi-billion dollar industry behind them have graced store shelves for many decades by now, but a renewed interest for something punchier than regular old coffee has driven a new desire for these kinds of drinks.
As it turns out, energy drinks actually do offer quite a lot of potential – as long as you are smart enough to use them well, and in moderation.
Being among the most potent caffeinated products, energy drinks can make a night-and-day difference in your mental ability to store, retrieve, and handle large amounts of information. They can also markedly improve mental acuity, focus, and concentration, especially over the short term.
Still, it’s easy to go overboard. Many in the health and fitness community prefer low-caffeine energy drinks– that is, those with not much more than 50 to 75 grams of caffeine per serving. This gives you far more of a kick than a cup of espresso would, but not so much that you’d be endangering your health in any major way.
Another added bonus of going for those cans with slightly less caffeine in them is that they tend to have proportionally much less sugar, too! While sugar does also somewhat boost your energy levels in the short term, its long-term health risks far outweigh that minor advantage.
But you don’t need caffeine at all just to benefit from increased energy levels, improved productivity, and a sharper mind.
For example, veggie spritzers are a wonderful DIY-friendly way of getting both a daily health food fix and keeping your brain operating at peak efficiency. Just take some carbonated water, add in some leafy greens, and there you go! For even stronger effects, you can add roots like ginseng, or powerful citrus fruits like lemon.
Tea to Help Concentration
If you asked Confucius what to do about a lack of concentration and cognitive strength, he would probably (among other things) recommend his favorite tea.
For millennia, tea has played a huge role in countless societies both ancient and contemporary. Its effectiveness, taste, and flexibility have probably made it the most widely consumed nootropic in human history.
For those who don’t crave super-high caffeine counts, tea remains an excellent nootropic aid for concentration. Some variations, like matcha green tea, can approach the kind of caffeine levels you’d normally see in filtered coffee.
Others, such as white tea, are incredibly light on caffeine, providing an incredibly smooth effect that comes with practically no coming-down crash or jitters whatsoever.
What’s more, tea is an incredibly healthy choice of daily drink as well for numerous reasons. Tea leaves contain several beneficial compounds that strengthen the immune system, improve our physical and mental functioning, and help you recover from illnesses or injuries!
What to Eat to Be Productive
It’s not just drinks either. There are plenty of healthy food choices that can help you improve your mental acuity in the long term.
The aforementioned healthy veggies can and should of course feature in your diet more heavily than just in the odd self-made drink or smoothie. Especially broccoli, spinach, carrots, salads, nuts, and seeds should be near the top of your list.
Maca root is another healthy veggie that has been gaining some traction of late, being endorsed by plenty of A-list celebrities and fitness influencers. Maca is known to increase energy levels and engage the immune system, making it an excellent complement to your existing diet and fitness routine!
Other roots, chiefly ginseng, turmeric, and yerba, are also known for their significant adaptogenic and nootropic effects.
Besides boosting brain power, all of these healthy veggies supply your body with a truckload of vitamins, healthy minerals, and fiber.
Fruit-based drinks are also capable of boosting brain power – sometimes even more so than some of the more popular options out there.
For example, juices rich in berries and citrus fruits have been shown time and time again to contribute significantly to mental energy levels, short-term memory, and concentration. In particular, look out for blueberries and citrus fruits like apples and lemons – those are the real powerhouses!
Another often-overlooked option is nootropic mushrooms. Occupying a unique space distinct from both the animal kingdom and that of plants, mushrooms are not just biologically distinctive – they are also nutritionally one-of-a-kind.
There are plenty of mushroom species, such as the venerable lion’s mane, that have been linked to proven neurological health benefits. These include improved concentration, memory function, and cognitive ability.
Mushrooms have even been used as an experimental treatment for degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s due to their ability to fortify and strengthen the brain!
Others, for example, the cordyceps mushroom, enjoy immense popularity as athletic supplements because of their potent, yet caffeine-free metabolism-boosting properties.
Incorporating mushrooms into your diet doesn’t need to involve swapping out salmon for shiitake on your next dinner plate. For better flavor and a more pleasant experience, consider, for instance, making your own mushroom tea or using a potent mushroom powder extract!