By Rebeka Bergin

The Best Nootropic Smart Drug for Entrepreneurs is Nutrition

By Rebeka Bergin


For an entrepreneur, the most important tool is a fully functioning brain. This should be easy since we all come with a brain built in to our system, but sometimes they just don’t function as optimally as we’d like them to. Sometimes they need a little boost, and for some this means seeking out aid in the form of nootropics.

What are Nootropics?

Both nootropics and smart drugs are supplements taken to enhance cognitive function, but many have the misconception that they’re the same thing. In fact, true nootropics have no negative side effects and do no damage to your neuronal structure. Smart drugs, on the other hand, come with side effects such as irritability, mood swings, stress, anxiety, and adverse reactions to appetite and sleep (think Bradley Cooper in Limitless). They can also be addictive and do long-term damage to your health.

While nootropics may work for some entrepreneurs, and other individuals that need all the brain boost they can muster (students, for example!), are they really an ideal choice? Although there are more and more nootropic supplements emerging onto the market, there’s another natural way to boost mental performance that doesn’t require breaking the bank or taking supplements.

Good old-fashioned nutrition!


Eating for Mental Performance

Many ancient cultures, our ancestors, and those that don’t have easy access to pharmaceuticals still manage(d) to stay healthy in both body and mind by using food as medicine. Nutrition is an easy, natural and inexpensive way to keep the brain sharp and performing at its peak.

Here are some essential foods and nutrients that should be included in every entrepreneur’s diet.



Choline needs to be eaten in order to produce a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter in the nervous system is essential for concentration, memory and focus. It plays a key role in our ability to store short-term memories. The biggest source of choline is found in eggs because the yolk contains lecithin (in which choline is found).

Choline can also be consumed through organ meats (such as liver), milk, and whole wheat foods. An egg for breakfast could be the only nootropic you need for a working brain in the morning. Be careful not to eat too many though — they contain high levels of cholesterol.


Protein is made up of amino acids, which then make up neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine (the feel-awesome hormones). These hormones lead us to feel happy, stress-free, and with an enhanced sense of mental clarity — all of which contribute to high energy levels.

Protein can be found in lean meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products and eggs ⏤ essentially anything that is (or comes from) an animal.


Antioxidants are our first line of defense against free radicals (molecules missing an electron as a result of oxidization, stress, smoke, ultraviolet rays, processed food; basically anything bad). Free radicals attack our cells, aging our bodies and our brains, leading to immune system damage, heart problems, Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia and cancer… among other illnesses.

Antioxidants can be found in fruits and vegetables such as avocado, onions, spinach, broccoli, bell peppers, apples, and of course berries, where antioxidants are in abundance. Including these foods in your diet will significantly enhance your memory, thinking and learning, keeping your entrepreneurial mind stronger, for longer.

Omega–3 Fatty Acids


Omega–3 fatty acids are essential to your health, and since we can’t produce them naturally we have to obtain our sources of these healthy fats from food. DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) are the 3 main omegas needed in our diet. DHA and EPA can mainly be found in oily fish, while ALA is found in nuts, vegetable oils, animal fats, flaxseed and leafy, green vegetables.

DHA is especially crucial for the structure and development of the brain and may also slow down the brain’s aging process in later life. Be sure to include oily fish in your diet rather than taking fish oil supplements ⏤ natural sources are always more beneficial.


B-Vitamins such as folic acid, riboflavin, niacin and B12 collaborate to perform numerous bodily functions, including the release of energy the body gets from carbs, protein and fats. These essential vitamins have been found to reduce tiredness and fatigue, two things that plague a busy entrepreneur on a stressful day.

B-Vitamins can actually be found in a wide variety of foods, including beans and legumes, leafy greens, potatoes, bananas, seafood, fish, milk, yogurt and meat.


Brains are the most overworked organ in the body; it’s so important to make sure that it’s in good health. When the brain is starved of the nutrients that it needs, it can’t achieve at its best, and for those entrepreneurs that always need their thinking caps on, nootropics seem like a godsend, but this only puts a band-aid over the issue.

Having a healthy, balanced diet ⏤ full of brain foods ⏤ is the best and easiest “nootropic” an entrepreneur can have, and it’s also one that if adopted, will always keep your brain strong, young and sharp for years to come.

  • Eric Bell

    I am a huge fan of nootropics and supplements in general. I agree that for many people a healthy diet will greatly improve life. It will improve mental clarity, energy levels, and overall feeling. I also think that unless we are obsessed with eating clean and researching, supplements are of great benefit. I find it hard to believe that the average programmer (or human) invests a great deal into eating properly, so I believe supplements are extremely useful. I also recommend getting blood work done to see if you have any deficiencies. Supplements could be a life changer if you do.

    Personally, I use Alpha Brain, and find it works great for me. I know people who it doesn’t do much for also, but I notice a significant difference. The first time I noticed it was playing the guitar. I was able to play a loop several times that I previously was unable to play through even once. Still that is where I find Alpha Brain the most noticeable, but I believe it assists with programming as well.

    • Thanks for the great comment, it’s really interesting to hear a first hand account of how nootropics have enhanced a person’s mental clarity. I totally agree, some supplements are fantastic and also a really great alternative way of getting nutrients, especially if you’re not a fan of certain foods. For example, I hate the taste of green tea so it’s great that I can get most of the benefits by taking a supplement!

  • In my mind, right eating is very IMPORTANT for your good mood, for your life and for your beaty! I know, that Omega3 is one of the main additive for humans development!

    • You are right, nutrition is important for every part of us as humans. While I was doing a course in nutrition one of the most fascinating things I learned was the fact our brains are as developed as they are and humans are so well evolved because our ancestors had these fatty acids in their diets by eating the brains of other animals (lions actually).

  • Joseph Kerns

    Umm…fish oil is natural since it’s from fish, right?!? Personally, there isn’t a seafood dish that I even remotely enjoy eating without glopping on tons of bad fat (sauces/cheese/etc), so fish oil is quite beneficial. I would say that eating fish is preferable to fish oil supplements, though, if you enjoy the taste.

    • Rasmus Schultz

      Depends on your definition of “natural”, I guess – fish oil is naturally occurring in fish (duh) but isn’t naturally consumed without the actual fish, and not in the concentration of pure fish oil extract. I tend to believe that most healthy foods are healthy because of their composition – I think that eating any isolated extract of a food just means you’re missing out on other important parts of the food. I’m fairly convinced that eating whole foods is better. Just my opinion though, I’m no expert :-)

      • Plus, eating whole foods is better for your mental clarity, it makes you *feel* healthier.

  • sincarne

    “Be careful not to eat too many though — they contain high levels of cholesterol.”

    Pretty sure this is a dated recommendation. Even the dietician in my cardiac rehab programme says not to worry about eggs. Cholesterol in food has little to no impact on blood cholesterol.

    • Leo H

      This is correct. In the 80s and 90s, they said not to eat too many eggs because it was high in cholesterol. But in the 2000s, scientists learned more about the role of HDL (good cholesterol) in our bodies, namely, the positive effects it has such as removing and transporting fat molecules from cells. And of course, eggs are high in HDL and low in LDL (bad cholesterol), so they are now considered by many to be a superfood.

      That being said though, too much of anything is bad for you, even amazingly good things. But with superfoods like eggs, it would take an enormous amount for it start to have adverse affects on your body. If you’re ever in doubt, speak to any physician or nutritionist whom you visit regularly as they’d be able to give you the best advice based on your body and family history.

      • Actually, too much HDL can result in inflammation of the blood vessels near the heart, although the science surrounding cholesterol is still sketchy at best. Like you said, too much of anything is bad for you.

  • Adrian

    I found this link in a Nootropics group on facebook. I’ve worked in some incubators and a professional coach that does some BioHacking. I must say I kinda freaked out when I saw this Nootropics group on facebook.
    Nootropics, WTF. Example: Some people are spending cash, to get pills to get more focus, (and often they want the focus to potentially earn more cash). It’s like the entrepreneurs that spend 100hours a week cause they value freedom and so they don’t have to work 40hrs a week for someone else. Or entrepreneurs that will spend months reading books on NLP or Personal Development rather than just seeing a coach or doing a course. Good nutrional advice, good emotional intelligence advice, all you need!
    Thank you for this blog Rebeka.

Get the latest in Entrepreneur, once a week, for free.