Exercise found to rapidly trigger nootropic effect in younger adults

Using supplements, dieting protocols, special sleeping schedules and more in an effort to boost one's cognitive abilities is a major trend at the moment. These efforts largely revolve around taking various substances, some lesser-known than others, but that may be overkill for some people — at least if they're still under the age of 36. According to a new study, exercise in younger adults can rapidly boost one's ability to learn.

'Nootropics' refer to a variety of supplements and other compounds and chemicals that may help improve cognitive abilities, including enhancing memory and learning, through a variety of mechanisms. Some substances, such as CBD, may work by decreasing inflammation and increasing blood flow in key regions of the brain, for example, while other substances have less research to back up claims made about them.

Regardless, supplements and other nootropics are often quite expensive, leading those who are interested in a brain boost to other, cheaper alternatives. Adjusting and refining one's diet remains a popular method, but perhaps under-appreciated is one that is entirely free: getting exercise on a regular basis.

According to a new analysis of existing studies recently published in Translational Sports Medicine, adults ages 18 to 35 may experience increases in memory and learning ability after a single workout, the varieties of which included things like riding a bicycle, walking, and running.

Based on 13 studies on the topic that were reviewed as part of this latest study, increases in these two aspects of cognition, as well as attention and concentration, were found to improve for up to two hours after 1 hour or less of exercise. The 'catch?' This exercise had to be high intensity, meaning a casual stroll or gentle trot won't help.