Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on
August 22, 2021
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on:

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Drinks to Improve Brain Function

“What can I drink for brain fog” is one of the most common questions we come across. See, there is no one-size-fits-all answer here, so we listed our top 10 recommended drinks that will help you fight brain fog symptoms, improve your brain function, and get rid of brain fog.

Experts on brain health say how different foods can either help or hinder brain function. And if you’ve read our other post “Does Drinking Water Help With Brain Fog?” You know how water quality and dehydration impacts our brain health.

But, what about other drinks?

The gut-brain connection is pretty complex. Experts consider the gut to be our “second brain.” This is because of how it’s environment impacts our mental health. There are a lot of factors that affect our mental health based on what we put in our gut.

The goal is to support the gut micro-biome with lots of “good bacteria”. This keeps our brain happy and healthy. There is a variety of drinks that help our digestive system and brain strong and balanced.

Here are a few of them for you to try…

1. Green Tea

Some say that green tea has a positive effect on memory and cognitive function, as well as mood. Green tea has a hefty dose of an amino acid called, L-Theanine.

Our body used this amino acid for focus, while helping reduce anxiety and stress. Green Tea is also high in antioxidant properties. This helps to protect the brain from free radicals. Especially against age related mental decline. L-Theanine combined with caffeine makes for an epic cognitive pick me up!

While green tea does contain caffeine, it has less than coffee. An 8 oz. cup of green tea has 29 grams of caffeine, while an 8 oz. cup of coffee has a whopping 96 grams! Green Tea is a great option if you’re cutting down on caffeine but still wanting that extra mental charge!

Note: Make sure to opt for *organic* Green Tea. Loose leaf is best to avoid the chemicals found in bleached tea bags.

2. Detox Smoothie

Detox smoothies may sound unrelated to brain health but it’s quite the opposite. There is evidence suggesting that when we flush toxins out from the liver, it can also “flush away” brain fogA clean and happy liver is a very important! It keeps our body and blood clean so our brain can function at it’s best.

Detox smoothies support mental alertness by many different ways.

  1. Fiber! We need fiber to feed the healthy bacteria in our gut. Also called, probiotics. Eating more fiber can help regulate the “gut-brain axis”. 
  2. its a great way to get a lot of nutrients in the body at one time. This is a great way to give your brain a boost!
  3. Readily available nutrients: Smoothies are easily digested. When we eat foods that our body doesn’t have to work so hard to process, we save energy. In turn we actually absorb more nutrients from our food.

What you need to know before making a detox smoothie:

  1. How to sweeten your detox smoothie: Use 2 – 3 Tbsp of, raw honey, pure maple syrup, or blackstrap molasses. You can also sweeten with a frozen banana. You want just enough to knock the bitterness off the veggies without making it a sweet drink.
  2. What liquid to use in a detox smoothie: If you don’t want to use purified water, make sure to use unsweetened nut milks. Coconut water and nut milks like, almond and macadamia milk are great options. Avoid processed sugar like cane sugar because of its inflammatory attributes.
  3. Buy organic produce: It’s not helpful to the body to eat produce covered in pesticides. When cleaning our body out, you need clean foods as your tool to do that with. You will taste and feel the difference!
  4. What veggies and fruit to use in your detox smoothie: Focus on super foods to get the most out of your detox smoothie! 

Here are the best ingredients to boost your brainpower!

  • spinach
  • kale
  • celery
  • fresh parsley
  • fresh peppermint
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • mango
  • pineapple
  • green apples

3. Mushroom Coffee

Mushrooms Coffee might seem new but it’s been around for centuries. In WWll soldiers used medicinal mushrooms in place of coffee. This gave the soldiers a much needed mental boost and added health benefits.

What Is Mushroom Coffee?

Mushroom coffee may sound weird or even gross. But it’s probably not what you’d expect it to be.

Mushroom coffee is blend of medicinal mushrooms and coffee that has been ground into a fine powder. You would make a cup of mushroom coffee just like you’d make a cup of hot tea.

Medicinal mushrooms have so much to offer. For centuries people in Asian countries use them daily for their wealth of benefits.

Chaga is a mushroom good for brain fog! It contains antioxidants and minerals that help to cleanse the blood. Chaga also helps the brain because of it’s antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.

Another common medicinal mushroom is, Lions Mane. It is surprisingly packed with  a lot of protein which helps brain function. Lions Mane also great for memory because is contains L-theanine and choline. This helps your brain work better by forming acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is one of the most important neurotransmitters in our body.

4. Yerba Mate

Indigenous tribes have consumed Yerba Mate tea for centuries. It has similar properties to Green Tea but has something special. This special component is, Theobormine. Theobromine is like the amino acid, L-Theanine. Except Theobromine gives an energy boost without a jittery feeling.

Yerba mate is also spectacular for the brain because of its, ability to make the brain produce dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure and motivation. Because of this it’s common in energy drinks here in the U.S.

5. Herbal Teas

Herbal teas can be invigorating or relaxing depending on the type of herb you’re drinking. Many herbs promote circulation to the brain, aiding in concentration and energy.

Ginger Tea

Ginger root has been a part of Chinese medicine for centuries. It is believed to target the body’s energy pathways. While also packed with antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties that promote blood flow. This increase is incredibly helpful to the brain.

A study published by Herbal Medicine found that ginger helps to increase the secretion of adrenal catecholamines (6).  Pick up fresh ginger root next time you’re at the store and start reaping these amazing benefits for your brain!

Rosemary Tea

Rosemary is a pretty common herb in the culinary world, but did you know how amazing it is for your brain? Scientist have found that rosemary is exceptionally good for our brain!

Rosemary contains something called, carnosic acid. This ingredient fights free radicals in the brain. While also protecting the brain from again and promoting blood flow. All in all, rosemary is a great option for cognitive enhancement.

6. Blueberry Juice

Blueberries are common super food! They are rich in a compound called, polyphenol, while having a high amount of antioxidants. This is what gives blueberries their dark rich blue color.

A study conducted on 400 people who consumed blueberry juice had interesting results. Many people experienced a positive effect with their short and long term memory. Blueberries are also low in sugar making them a great option for your brain health!

7. Green Juices

Green juice is way more than a trend among celebrities and fitness enthusiasts. So whats the BIG deal? A green juice is more beneficial than just eating a plate of broccoli, or green beans.

But why?

When you juice your veggies, the fiber is removed. Although fiber is an essential dietary need, digesting fiber takes time and effort. With the fiber removed it easier for your body to absorb nutrients from the vegetation without the work.

The harder our body has to work for vital nutrients, the less we’re actually able to absorb. We need high amounts of vitamins to feed our brain and repair cellular damage. A fresh pressed juice is the perfect way to go! Give a green juice a try for a few days and feel the difference in your mental health!

8. Lemon Water

Lemon water may sound too simple to make a big difference, but you’d be surprised. It has amazing health affects on your brain! You’ve probably heard drinking warm lemon water on an empty stomach helps digestion. But have you heard of the other amazing benefits? Lemons contain high levels of potassium.

Potassium is a mineral that helps carry oxygen to the brain. The more oxygen you get to reach your brain, the better! Lemons also have a high amount of vitamin C and this essential nutrient helps your body absorb iron.

Iron is important in DNA synthesis and transporting oxygen to the brain. While clean water vital to life and hydrating on it’s own, adding fresh squeezed lemon takes it to a different level!

Drink an 8 oz glass of warm lemon water to your morning routine and feel the difference it makes for your brain.

9. Beet Juice

Beet juice is great for the brain because of it’s high levels of folate. Folate is a B vitamin that helps your body create new cells. This also means repairing brain cells and improving mental performance! It also helps your body make new red blood cells, which is important for oxygen transport.

Beet juice can be found in most grocery stores, or you can go to a juicer and have them blend it up for you! The color of beet juice might not appeal to everyone but the benefits are definitely worth it!

10. Carrot Juice

Carrot juice also has amazing benefits for the brain due to its beta carotene content. Beta-carotene protects the brain from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the process of damage caused by free radicals.

Carrots also have high levels of vitamins like, C and a wide variety of vitamin B’s that our brains love! All these essential nutrients are great for your brain!

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