The afternoon slump. That mood we all get around 3 or 4 o’clock. Symptoms include droopy eyelids, a heavy head, and the feeling that the day just won’t ever end. This afternoon fatigue makes it hard for us to be productive and alert, whether we are sitting at a desk, working around the house, or running around the city trying to complete errands. But where does this feeling come from? For many of us, afternoon fatigue and drowsiness comes from a combination of lack of sleep and a crash, after the caffeine ingested in a morning coffee wears off. While a good night’s sleep can help fix both of those problems, there are also tons of supplements on the market that can help you focus and avoid those afternoon struggles. These supplements also help maintain brain strength and cerebral activity in the long-term. Here are five we think work really well.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, is a fundamental part of the cerebral cortex. DHA is an essential part of the infrastructure that helps the brain complete necessary functions like process memories, analyze decisions, and think creatively. A DHA supplement is important, as some studies have shown that nearly 70% of the population is omega-3 deficient.
This amino acid is important for many crucial brain functions. ALC is a potent antioxidant, which helps prevent inflammation in the brain and can also prevent free-radical build up in your cerebral cortex, which can help delay certain aspects of aging. ALC helps your brain focus more, improve the speed at which you remember things, and help you analyze decisions more effectively. ALC has also been shown to help provide relief to those suffering from depression.
This supplement is derived from the Ginkgo tree, which is native to parts of East Asia, and is now grown all over the world. This supplement has been taken for centuries as an herbal remedy and as a cure to a whole host of diseases. In terms of mental function, Ginkgo has been shown to help increase blood flow in the brain. This increased blood flow increases your brain’s access to oxygen, which helps improve memory and cognitive ability.
Ashwagandha is an Indian herb that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Ashwagandha is used to help the body deal with stressors and improve concentration. This herb also contains chemicals which have been shown to contain properties that decrease inflammation and help strengthen your immune system. Consider adding this supplement to your routine if you have had trouble concentrating due to stress in your life.
Another East-Asian herb, ginseng helps boost concentration. Ginseng is a popular ingredient in many energy drinks and supplement mixes, as it helps boost focus and concentration. Ginseng can also help lower blood sugar, which helps our bodies remain alert and ready to tackle whatever the day throws at us. Try ginseng in your tea or as a nutritional supplement to see how it can improve those afternoons that seem to drag on forever.
If you’re not ready to take on the world of supplements on your own, WellPath offers a free consultation to determine your customized nutritional solution. Learn more here.
About Michael Weinberg
Michael Weinberg is a writer on The Path Editorial Team. He is a graduate of Tufts University. He is interested in how nutrition affects athletic performance and competes in triathlons and obstacle runs.