When we talk about lack of focus the first question to ask is, why is it missing? Aside from a clinical diagnosis of ADD or ADHD, the most common causes I see in my practice are:
- Blood sugar imbalance
- Poor sleep quantity or quality
- Nutrient Deficiencies
- Food and Chemical sensitivities
Note that a lack of focus is not a deficiency of pharmaceutical stimulants or caffeine.
It helps to have a functional medicine practitioner guide you and perform lab tests that can narrow down the cause. If you choose to investigate on your own, start with removing refined sugar and processed grains as you increase your intake of a variety of vegetables, moderate the amount of protein and healthy fats. Be sure to get 8-9 hours of good sleep and the following supplements which you may not be getting through diet or you may not be absorbing properly or fully. A healthy, physician-guided detox helps remove the more common toxins in our environment and diet. Stressed out adrenal glands love a good detox. A detox may also help with headaches and GI issues as well as focus.
B complex. B vitamins in a B complex will help with stress, fatigue, and the nervous system. Used in almost every biochemical process, B vitamins are essential to the body’s optimal function. Without a healthy digestive system, absorbing B vitamins can be difficult and deficiencies can occur. I recommend this one or this one.
Zinc. You are probably familiar with zinc to aid in colds and flu. Zinc is also used in the metabolism of neurotransmitters. I recommend this one.
I don’t recommend caffeine, but it does work as a neuro-stimulant and, if used cautiously and infrequently, can assist with focus on tests and presentations. A phytonutrient-rich green coffee bean extract has been shown in various studies to help with focus.
Guarana extract and L-theanine can be used for cognitive performance. They enhance alertness and focus especially when combined with caffeine more than caffeine alone. Other herbs like Huperzine A from Chinese club moss, Rhodiola rosea and Bacopa monnieri can also help with memory, stress and focus. You can find the combination in this supplement by Cognitune.
By taking on some good healthy habits, you can resolve a loss of focus or even foggy brain. You will find the supplements mentioned in this post on my website, HERE.