Best Supplements For Better Focus, According to Dietitians
Whether you find yourself having trouble keeping your mind on a task at work or struggle to stay engaged when you're participating in your favorite leisure activities, practically everyone has found themselves wishing they were more focused from time to time. (And it might not be your fault—you could also look to these 7 Foods That Kill Your Focus.)
Fortunately, you don't need to completely revamp your daily habits to enjoy better attention and productivity.
With the help of registered dietitians, we've rounded up the best supplements for better focus, so read on to discover which ones you may want to add to your regular routine. And for more great additions to your supplement routine, check out the Best Supplements To Buy at Costco, Say Experts.
Frequently used as a supplement for increased energy, experts say that B12 also has major benefits when it comes to your focus.
"Low vitamin B12 concentrations may be associated with decreased cognition," says Melissa Nieves, LND, RD, MPH, founder of Fad Free Nutrition, citing a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
"Vitamin B12 deficiency may be especially present in older adults, therefore compounding the problem, and this population may benefit from supplementation," Nieves adds, noting that B12 is her "favorite supplement" for enhanced focus. And for more genius ways to boost your concentration, check out these 18 Foods to Increase Your Productivity While Working From Home.
Already widely used as a supplement for cardiovascular health, fish oil can be a game-changer for individuals looking to improve their focus, too.
Kristin Gillespie, MS, RD, LD, CNSC, an advisor for Exercise with Style, says that she recommends fish oil to anyone struggling to focus throughout the day. "Fish oil supplements contain a blend of omega-3 fatty acids, which help promote brain health. DHA, a form of omega-3 fatty acid, is found prevalently in the brain cells and plays a vital role in overall brain function," she explains.
If you're looking to boost your mood and your focus in one fell swoop, adding some probiotics to your regular routine might just be the easiest way to do so.
"One benefit that is rarely highlighted is the link between the gut and brain which is improved through probiotic use," says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, a registered dietitian with Balance One Supplements.
"The gut contains beneficial bacteria known as the microbiota, which plays a key role in maintaining health in both the body and mind. These health benefits include mental health as well…Researchers have found that a direct line of communication exists between the brain and your enteric nervous system: this is what they call the gut-brain axis. This line of communication works both ways, linking the emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal function."
In fact, a 2021 study published in The Journals of Gerontology found that, among a group of adults aged 65 or above, those who received probiotic supplementation for 12 weeks had increased mental flexibility and reduced stress—both of which can affect focus—compared to those provided a placebo.
Adding some green tea supplements to your regular routine is a simple way to improve your focus in a hurry.
"Green tea has an incredible resume when it comes to its health benefits, but one overlooked constituent is L-theanine, the most abundant non-protein amino acid found in green tea. This special amino acid helps with relaxation, especially during stressful conditions where focus can be impaired," says Luciana Godoi, MS, RD, LDN, a dietitian with Athletic Greens.
"EGCG (also called catechins), a special constituent in green tea, combined with L-theanine, can help support the mind and modulate stress under high-pressure situations, facilitating focus and attention," Godoi adds.
Also known as "winter cherry," ashwagandha is known to both improve relaxation and boost focus.
"We know that under stressful conditions, our ability to focus can be impaired. The biologically active compounds, like alkaloids and withanolides, present in the roots of ashwagandha are responsible for the beneficial properties of ashwagandha. This herb facilitates your body's stress response, and can calm the mind and support focus in moments of high stress," explains Godoi.
For more great additions to your stress-fighting routine, check out the Best Supplements To Take When Stressed, According to Dietitians, and for the latest healthy living tips sent to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!
Read this next:
- The #1 Best Supplement to Take at Bedtime, Says Dietitian
- Surprising Side Effects of Not Taking Vitamin D Supplements, Says Dietitian
- Best Supplements for Reducing Inflammation, Say Dietitians