Best Supplements for Socialization

supplements for socialization
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Improve your sociability to take your life to places you never imagined possible. Social skills affect relationships, careers, and quality of life. Interactions can be broken down into two steps: the introduction and the follow-through. The introduction is crucial to making the right first impression. 

Breaking the ice can be the most challenging feat. Social apprehension only exacerbates the difficulty. The follow through is of equal importance. Landing a job or making a new friend is dependent on your ability to display the best version of you. Conversation is simple. Mastering conversation takes practice.

Breaking The Ice

Research suggests that apprehension and being in a bad mood are the two most common factors that hinder sociability. [1] Apprehension can create an insurmountable barrier standing between you and talking to others. Being in a bad mood from failing an exam, for example, also has a negative impact on sociability. [1, 2]  

Apprehension and boredom are on opposite ends of the spectrum, yet both inhibit sociability. The Yerkes-Dodson law makes this concept easier to digest. Two scientists from the early 1900's investigated the effects of arousal on cognition. This phenomenon is now known as the Yerkes-Dodson Law. Arousal (stimulation) has a bell-curve association with cognitive performance. The balance between over-stimulation and under-stimulation is where the optimal state of mind resides. [3] Low levels of stimulation are often the result of boredom, fatigue, or sadness. [3] Excess stimulation can be internally induced by anger, or externally induced from too much coffee.   Being at either end of the bell curve makes it difficult to break the social barrier.  [3]  

Mood

Caffeine can help overcome under-stimulation and generally alleviate boredom.  The downside is that some individuals experience immediate apprehension due to caffeine sensitivity. Supplements that increase dopamine and serotonin levels can boost arousal without traditional stimulants. [4] Both neurotransmitters also tend to provide a comforting mood boost. [4]

Mucuna Pruriens

Mucuna Pruriens can turn that frown upside down by increasing dopamine and serotonin. [5, 6]  Mucuna Pruriens, also known as Dopa Mucana, converts to dopamine and noradrenaline. [7] Its rich L-DOPA content and high bioavailability synergistically optimize its efficacy. [7] Mood and levels of catecholamines, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, generally have a linear correlation. [4] Furthering its application to sociability, Mucuna Pruriens may decrease cortisol secretion to help combat stress. [6] Serotonin levels can also increase following supplementation; however, this benefit is likely due to the catecholamine systems interacting with the 5-HT system. [5, 4]

5-HTP

One of the best ways to boost serotonin is supplementing with 5-HTP. [8] The body can synthesize 5-HTP via the conversion of tryptophan; however, supplementing with 5-HTP is optimal for those wishing to boost serotonin with maximum efficacy. [9] 5-HTP passes the blood-brain barrier with ease. [9] The sole fate of 5-HTP is serotonin. Tryptophan, on the other hand, is either converted to 5-HTP or niacin. [9] Many users report feeling talkative and an increase in sense of well-being after supplementation.

Calm Your Nerves

Going to a job interview feeling like your heart is trying to beat through your chest while your mind runs is stressful and can be embarrassing. Overstimulation resulting from physical experiences, such as skydiving, affects cognition the same way as feelings of anxiety and anger. [3] Consuming excessive stimulants can lead to over-stimulation causing apprehensive thoughts. Either way, overstimulation often results in impaired attention, memory, and decision-making. [2] It's important to understand the root of the cause on an individual basis. For example, if social situations induce feelings of insecurity, which are followed by uneasiness, taking your attention elsewhere can help alleviate issues. However, supplements can make it easier to get in the appropriate state of mind.

L-Theanine

Tea is the warm cup of happiness that puts internal calamity on pause. L-Theanine is the amino acid responsible for tea's relaxation properties. L-Theanine’s anxiolytic benefits reduce the physical and hormonal effects of stress. [10]

Research suggests that apprehension causes cognitive background noise. [11] That background noise is not only distracting, but it can enhance apprehensive feelings. L-Theanine can reduce the mental white noise to make it easier to focus. It does so by increasing brain activity in the pre-frontal cortex. [11]

Bacopa Monnieri

L-Theanine can reduce stress-induced depletion of neurotransmitters; however, Bacopa Monnieri is unique in the anxiolytic class. Stress tends to decrease serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Neurotransmitter levels in the hippocampus and cortex regions are particularly sensitive to stress. [12] Bacopa Monnieri helps support neurotransmitter balance in times when stress cannot be avoided. [12] Put simply, Bacopa Monnieri is perfect for times where cognition is crucial and stress runs high.

Bacopa Monnieri also possesses powerful nootropic properties. [13] Bacopa supplementation results in significant improvements in working memory. Additional improvements in visual information processing, learning speed, memory capacity, mood, and vitality are common when supplementing with Bacopa Monnieri. [13, 14, 15].

Optimizing Conversations: The Most Interesting Man in the World

People with a wide range of interests, a clever sense of humor, and subtle displays of strong intellectual capacity are generally more liked by others. [1] Starting a conversation with someone is the first step to improving sociability. The second step is mastering the conversation that follows the introduction. It is what leaves lasting impressions, it can make or break relationships, and opens doors to job opportunities.

Leaving a positive impression takes practice. Thankfully, if you aren't the best conversationalist, social acuity can improve with some practice and diligence. Improving attention span, working memory, multitasking, and holistic thinking should be emphasized on the quest to become more sociable. Each of these is vital to improving sociability. If one area is lacking, the others will fall behind as well. [16] Strengthening cognitive weaknesses leads to cognitive greatness.

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) handles the aforementioned cognitive functions. [17, 16]  The PFC is the key to cognitive capacity and human mentation. [16] Attempting to understand others activates and necessitates the PFC. [17] The prefrontal cortex is also responsible for the majority of executive functions. [16] Executive functions, also known as cognitive control, guide one’s thoughts, actions, and emotions. [16] Improving executive functions compliments efforts to mitigate apprehension or improving your mood by fixing the problem at its root. Increasing PFC activity can help achieve cognitive balance and destroy social barriers before they are formed. The following supplements can improve PFC activity.

Focus

Energy boosting supplements are generally preferred for improving attention span and focus. The Yerkes-Dodson Law applies heavily here. Too little stimulation decreases attentiveness and inhibits memory formation. Meanwhile, overstimulation results in inattentiveness and decreased cognition. [18]

ALCAR

Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is a good alternative for individuals that don't respond well to caffeine. ALCAR is not a traditional stimulant, yet it can provide a nice boost in energy. Studies show ALCAR supplementation correlates with improved attention span. [19] This powerhouse of an amino acid can balance neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine in particular. [20] By modulating catecholamines ALCAR can also improve logic, short-term memory, and long-term memory. [20, 21]

Caffeine + L-Theanine (or Focus3d)

Caffeine is common for those looking to improve focus. Taking caffeine alongside L-Theanine helps alleviate the jitters and anxiousness associated with caffeine. On its own, caffeine can improve alertness and attention span. L-Theanine can improve memory. [22, 23] Combining the two can allow one to reap the benefits of both while also improving the speed and accuracy of mental performance. [22] Focus3d capsules take this combination a step further with additional caffeine sources.

Mental Agility and Multi-Tasking

Juggling multiple thought processes can take conversational abilities to the next level. Being able to listen and comprehend what the other person is saying while applying that information into a lattice of relevant information requires an impressive quick wit. Add thinking of what to say next while also reading between the lines, and it's easy to see why some people get social apprehension. Several nootropics may make the process easier.

Oxiracetam

Improved verbal comprehension is the first step in maximizing multi-tasking in a social setting. Improving verbal learning efficacy allows more cognitive capacity for the other cognitive functions. Research indicates oxiracetam can improve verbal learning as well as verbal fluency. [24, 25]  In addition to minimizing the tip-of-the-tongue feeling, oxiracetam can increase long-term memory formation and recall. [26] Oxiracetam modulates AMPA receptors which are responsible for memory formation. [27] Many regard it as the most powerful AMPA modulator in the racetam family. [26]

Piracetam

Many individuals use Piracetam, the original racetam, for its short-term memory benefits.  [28] Similar to oxiracetam, piracetam can boost memory formation and recall by modulating AMPA receptors. [27] One study observing participants in a social setting found that piracetam supplementation reduced apprehension without causing sedation. [29] For many, piracetam induces the elusive state of calm focus.

Holistic Thinking

Connecting the dots to paint a portrait improves conversational abilities and verbal fluidity. Enhancing holistic thinking eliminates the need to grasp for words. Research shows that people have a positive correlation with others that have a wide range of interests. [1] Holistic thinking is one of the keys to becoming a master conversationalist.

Aniracetam

Aniracetam is best known for its positive effects on holistic thinking. As previously mentioned, connecting ideas via a mental sketchpad occurs in the prefrontal cortex. [16] Aniracetam modulates the release of dopamine and serotonin in the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus, and the amygdala. [30] Similar to other racetams, aniracetam can modulate AMPA receptors. [27] Its potential to modulate NMDA receptors synergistically improves the ability to pull and form memories. [30] By modulating dopamine and serotonin, aniracetam can boost mood as well. [31]

Phenylpiracetam

Mental agility and holistic thinking go hand-in-hand. Phenylpiracetam modulates PFC activity, heightening mental agility. [32] Research shows that Phenylpiracetam supplementation can improve every area of cognitive performance by up to 12%, making it one of the most powerful nootropics. [33] Attention span, working memory, and problem-solving show the greatest improvements following phenylpiracetam supplementation. [32] Some individuals develop a tolerance after using phenylpiracetam several days in a row. Others keep phenylpiracetam in their daily nootropic stack and notice zero tolerance-related issues. If you are one of the former individuals, then phenylpiracetam may be better suited for exams and job interviews.  

Sources

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3783401 
  2. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cne.920180503/abstract
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4647862/
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2904493/
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15478206
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18955292
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18973898
  8. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/5hydroxytryptophan-5htp
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18445233
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23458739
  11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17272967
  12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17321089
  13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11498727
  14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18611150
  15. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21046986
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8941956
  17. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC137574/
  18. Lupien, S. J., et al. "The Effects of Stress and Stress Hormones on Human Cognition: Implications for the Field of Brain and Cognition." Brain and Cognition 65.3 (2007): 209-37. Web.
  19. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12213433
  20. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1944900
  21. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2178869
  22. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18681988
  23. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21303262
  24. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1414239
  25. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2521069
  26. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ddr.430020506/abstract
  27. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1372342
  28. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/826948
  29. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/95599
  30. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11597608
  31. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11959085
  32. Malykh, Andrei G., and M. Reza Sadaie. "Piracetam and Piracetam-Like Drugs: From Basic Science to Novel Clinical Applications to CNS Disorders." Drugs 70.3 (2010): 287-312. Web.
  33. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18646385

Disclaimer

Statements found within have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These dietary supplement products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult a physician if you are unsure about taking a new supplement. Do not take this supplement if you are under 18, if you are pregnant, nursing, or have any cardiovascular issues.

Scientific studies cited are not conclusive and have limitations, due to of their closed environment nature. Referenced studies will not necessarily determine your experience with a supplement, since there are many unaccounted variables, which fall outside the scope of the studies.

The reviews contained within are the opinions of contributors and are not necessarily the views or opinions of Powder City. These reviews should not be taken as fact or recommendation, and are only opinions of products that the contributors may have or may have not used. Powder City makes no warranty, implied or expressed, to the accuracy of information provided by these reviews.