I add a tablespoon of MCT oil to my coffee every morning, cook my meals with generous amounts of turmeric (I'm after the curcumin), and own a supplement cabinet full of acronyms. Fish is on my dinner plate at least once a week because I appreciate a nice, thick, cerebral cortex. So yes, you can say that I am in love with my brain.
There are a bunch of vitamins, antioxidants, nutraceuticals, and herbal supplements out there all claiming to give me a younger brain, a sharper brain, an efficient brain and above all else, provide me with top-notch protection from scary things like Alzheimer's disease and age-related cognitive decline and deterioration- and you bet I'm right back there with every other hopeful, riding shot-gun on the Brain-wagon.
The latest in brain development is more commercial than innovative, with companies inspired by films like Limitless and Lucy producing tentative nootropic cocktails that are more fuss than function. Oh, and I've tried my fair share- Brain Alert, Focus Factor, Brain Reload- and lately, Alpha Levo IQ. I'm not gonna lie, the marketing is right on (I personally wouldn't mind being "alpha"), but the formula is what makes a supplement like this live up to its hype.
Alpha Levo IQ combines two of the best-selling (and researched) cognitive-enhancing herbs on the planet, ginkgo biloba and panax ginseng. It contains other things I'll go over in a bit, but let me tell you why these two make a power couple you want to third-wheel.
Ginkgo biloba and panax ginseng have been used for centuries to promote vitality and longevity in traditional Chinese medicine. The herbs have slowly gained popularity in the west as brain supplements after a slew of studies a decade ago unveiled real scientific grounds for their utility for brain health and protection.
Together, ginkgo and panax make a cogno-phillic combo that tackle what I would call the "soft" (exhaustion, mood depletion, stress, etc.) and "hard" (age-related deterioration, poor circulation, cognitive decline, etc.) functions of the brain. This is very effective because you're not only getting the long-term benefits, but also an immediate mental "clearing"- suddenly, you feel like the fogginess is gone, your focus is activated, and your mental stamina is up and running.
If you don't have any experience using nootropic supplements, let me tell you that most of them are like that whatever's-in-the-pantry casserole, whereby companies simply combine what's been tagged as "brain boosting" into a semblance of something legit-looking. Alpha Levo is also a cocktail of nootropic herbs, but an efficient one- just look at the ingredients!
Not only is "Ginkgo Biloba" fun to say, it's the celebrity brain herb ever since its use was linked to an improvement in the symptoms of Alzheimer's. As a matter of fact, gingko is just as effective as a cognition-enhancing medication known as Aricept in improving attention span and memory.
I will say that any new research doesn't have such strong ties to Alzheimer's, but for my personal needs, the herb is exactly the right potency. I don't have any history of mental illness, so I'm more concerned with keeping my mind sharp as it ages and since ginkgo's proved itself again and again in the memory department, I get from it what I need.
I bet your workout sucks when you get four hours of sleep the night before and haven't watched your diet in a while. Mine too, but more concerning are the "brain farts" and "mind blocks" that are the result of exhaustion.
Panax Ginseng is an adaptogen. This means that it helps your brain adapt to stressful situations, which not only will banish the brain fog, but also improve your mood and give you a much-needed boost in energy.
Vincopetine is more than just another fancy ingredient to pronounce. Vincopetine is a natural alkaloid derived synthetically from Vincamine, another nootropic drug used to treat epilepsy and aid in stroke recovery. The compound itself comes from the periwinkle!
Vincopetine is a cerebrovasodilator, which is just a fancy way of saying that it makes the circulation in your brain operate efficiently, resulting in an optimal distribution of brain nutrients and protection against brain damage.
Oh and there's more: Vincopetine also helps remove waste from your brain- which is something you've probably never thought about, but like every part of your body, the brain can become intoxicated by its own functions.
Finally, there's Huperzine. This compound is a natural alkaloid and is recommended for brain health because it increases neuroplasticity. You want your brain to be flexible, to be resilient, especially as you age.
Huperzine also amps up your cholinergic system, which is to say that it makes acetylcholine stick around longer. When acetylcholine is doing its rounds, your brain responds by enhancing memory formation, improving reasoning, motivation, and focus, and increasing your ability to learn.
I've tried enough nootropics, nutraceuticals, super foods and supplements to know that some things just make you feel better about your intentions. Most of them don't make that much of a difference or work so slowly, you give up on them altogether.
I tried Alpha Levo for about two weeks before I realized I was feeling way more energized and clear-headed than I had in a while. Now I can't actually see what's going on in my brain, but I know how I feel and it's a feeling I want to share with everyone.
Do I feel like Limitless? Not necessarily, but I do feel capable.