Misplaced your mask? Forgotten the name of an actor you like? Can’t find your keys? It could be the past years’ stress, sleepless nights, and multitasking that are catching up with you. All this stuff can make you feel a little foggy headed and forgetful. Research consistently shows that eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting a good nights sleep are some of the best ways to keep your brain sharp, but several products claim to goose your memory. Here’s the rundown.
What are they? App-based puzzles, memory games, and other mental challenges. There isn’t much independent research showing that these games have long-term benefits. You might become much better at crossword puzzles but that doesn’t mean you’re going to remember to feed the dog or where you parked your car. But it can’t hurt right? they are fun and keep your brain active – but – the low tech activities like reading do the same.
Something to try? Peak or Elevate. These are free with in app purchases.
Caffeine and drinks or pills
Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee, green and black tea, and supplements. The research isn’t definitive, but coffee and tea appear to have some benefits from memory. A review of the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study found that those who consume the most caffeine are less likely to develop cognitive impairment than those drank the least.
Caffeine can be taken in the form of supplements which often also contain ingredients such as amino acids that can offset the caffeine jitters.
Should you try? Sure. But consult with your doctor before taking any supplements. And if you’re consuming caffeine do it early in the day as studies suggest that deep sleep is vital to protecting the brain against the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Brand to try? Gaia Herbs Green Tea capsules or Nootropic Chocolates.
Brain Stimulating Wearables
I have to admit I did not know this was a thing.
What are they? Headbands are forehead patches that deliver pulses via an electromagnetic coil or electrical current.
What do we know based on research? That there is some evidence that this sort of stimulation can improve age-related memory loss when administered by researchers or doctors. But it’s unclear whether consumers will get the same results with devices they could use at home.
Should you try it? Save your money. Instead set a reminder on your phone or watch to take more steps, or go for a run, as we all know aerobic exercise has been shown to build new brain cells in at all tests and increased blood flow to the brain.