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Best Nootropics For Social Anxiety

Written by Erik Levi, FNTP — Updated on June 5, 2021

OVERVIEW:

  • Social anxiety is a part of everyone’s life, although for some much more than others

  • Some nootropics have anecdotally been able to lower discomfort in social settings

  • Certain nootropics may be able to provide some “social lubrication” without the negative effects of alcohol

Pretty much everyone feels a little bit nervous in social settings from time to time.

First dates, parties where you don’t really know anyone, lunch meetings with a big potential client, these are all situations where it’s natural to feel some anxiety.

However, social anxiety is a spectrum, and some people have a harder time feeling comfortable socializing than others.

Some people may try to avoid certain settings, or even leaving their house altogether. Severe cases of social anxiety usually require therapy and counseling to treat.

best nootropics for social anxiety, nootropics for treating anxiety
Everyone feels nervous in social settings from time to time.

Luckily, no matter where you may fall on this spectrum, there are some over the counter supplements that may ease the internal pressure when you are around others.

Read More: Why You Should Never Buy Nootropics From Amazon

What Are The Best Nootropics for Social Anxiety - Quick Answers

Blood Sugar BreakthroughStabilizes and promotes healthy blood sugar levelsLearn More
MagnesiumInvolved in Hundreds of Biochemical Reactions in Your BodyLearn More
Reishi
A staple in Eastern medicineLearn More
Lion's Mane
Powerful medicinal mushroom for brain healthLearn More
Mind Lab ProThe Nootropic MultivitaminLearn More
Qualia MindMost advanced fully-loaded formula
Learn More
L-theanineThe all-natural "chill pill"Learn More
AniracetamOne of the most popular nootropics for focus and moodLearn More
PhenibutExtremely powerful anti-anxiety drug developed by the Soviet space agencyLearn More
AshwagandhaA legal over-the-counter version on ModafinilLearn More
Rhodiola RoseaAncient herbal performance enhancerLearn More

Nootropics For Socializing

nootropic alternatives to drinking and drugs for social anxiety, nootropics for anxiety, nootropics for socializing
There are alternatives to alcohol that may also loosen you up a little

The first thing that comes to mind when people think about easing their social anxiety is alcohol.

And, while it certainly may work for some people, there are obvious health downsides to drinking until you feel confident.

We can say pretty definitively that cocktails are NOT nootropic (even though they may feel that way!).

Fortunately, the supplements on this list have proven benefits when it comes to lowering anxiety and enjoying the company of others.

And, you won’t wake up with a headache the morning after.

Read More: Mind Lab Pro vs Qualia Mind- Which Nootropic Stack Is Best For You

Best Nootropics For Social Anxiety

1. Blood Sugar Breakthrough

Stabilizes and promotes healthy blood sugar levels

Blood Sugar Breakthrough is a unique formula with plenty of beneficial ingredients which promote physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

In addition to regulating blood sugar levels in prediabetic and diabetic patients, Blood Sugar Breakthrough Formula also optimizes brain health by relieving symptoms of mood disorders, anxiety and depression.

The goodness of ingredients such as biotin, cinnamon extract and dihydroberberine modulates the neuro-sensory pathways in the central nervous system which increases calmness and eases social anxiety.1David O. Kennedy, B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review, Nutrients. 2016 2Reyhaneh Sohrabi , Nasim Pazgoohan , Hasan Rezaei Seresht , Bahareh Amin, Repeated systemic administration of the cinnamon essential oil possesses anti-anxiety and anti-depressant activities in mice, Iran J Basic Med Sci. 20173Jie Fan, Kun Zhang, Yang Jin, Bingjini Li, Shuohui Gao, Jiaming Zhu,and Ranji Cui, Pharmacological effects of berberine on mood disorders, J Cell Mol Med. 2019


2. Magnesium

Magnesium for Studying

Involved in Hundreds of Biochemical Reactions in Your Body

Research suggests that magnesium may potentially have an anxiolytic effect since it acts as a neuroprotective agent and helps to attenuate the symptoms of anxiety and depression.4Neil Bernard Boyle, Clare Lawton, and Louise Dye, The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress—A Systematic Review, Nutrients. 2017

In addition to its role in the management of symptoms of anxiety and depression, magnesium has also shown to have mood-stabilizing effects.5Shaheen E Lakhan , Karen F Vieira, Nutritional and herbal supplements for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders: systematic review, Nutr J. 2010

Adequate intake of magnesium can ease nervous tension, regulate mood swings, reduce irritability, and decrease anxiety. Evidence suggests that there may be strong positive effects of magnesium on subjective anxiety outcomes, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety.6Ewa Poleszak , Bernadeta Szewczyk, Ewa Kedzierska, Piotr Wlaź, Andrzej Pilc, Gabriel Nowak, Antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like activity of magnesium in mice, Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004

Magnesium Breakthrough formulation comprises various forms of absorbable magnesium. It also encapsulates magnesium glycinate which is recommended to individuals with symptoms of social anxiety and depression.


3. Reishi

A staple in Eastern medicine

Reishi mushroom has been used to maintain homeostatic balance since ancient times.

This mushroom is found to have calming effects on the central nervous system and help the anxious mind rest and relax.7Huihui Wu, Shanshan Tang, Zhaoqin Huang, Qian Zhou, Ping Zhang, Zuohong Chen, Hepatoprotective Effects and Mechanisms of Action of Triterpenoids from Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (Agaricomycetes) on α-Amanitin-Induced Liver Injury in Mice, Int J Med Mushrooms. 2016

It is also used to promote deep restful sleep which is necessary for recovery and neurotransmitter balance.8Emmanuelle Bostock, Kenneth Kirkby, Michael Garry, Bruce Taylor, and Jason A. Hawrelak, Mania Associated With Herbal Medicines, Other Than Cannabis: A Systematic Review and Quality Assessment of Case Reports, Front Psychiatry. 2018

Reishi mushroom's ability to calm the mind and body make it a great nootropic for social anxiety.9Pengjiao Zeng, Zhihua Guo, Xuan Zeng, Cui Hao, Yiran Zhang, Meng Zhang, Yong Liu, Hui Li, Juan Li, Lijuan Zhang, Chemical, biochemical, preclinical and clinical studies of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide as an approved drug for treating myopathy and other diseases in China, JCMM. 2018

Freshcap Mushrooms provide the highest percentage of beta glucans and fruiting body nutrients, making this mushroom product my preferred choice for Reishi.


4. Lion's Mane

Powerful medicinal mushroom for brain health

Lion's Mane mushroom's ability to promote the formation of nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor is crucial in stabilizing nerves and boosting self esteem.10Sun Ryu , Hyoun Geun Kim , Joo Youn Kim , Seong Yun Kim , Kyung-Ok Cho, Hericium erinaceus Extract Reduces Anxiety and Depressive Behaviors by Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis in the Adult Mouse Brain, J Med Food. 2018

These 2 factors ultimately boost neurogenesis and neuroplasticity while enhancing cognitive blood flow, oxygen delivery, and lowering inflammation which are all important in mitigating social anxiety.11Pit Shan Chong, Man-Lung Fung, Kah Hui Wong, and Lee Wei Lim, Therapeutic Potential of Hericium erinaceus for Depressive Disorder, Int J Mol Sci. 202012Fiona Limanaqi, Francesca Biagioni, Carla Letizia Busceti, Maico Polzella, Cinzia Fabrizi, and Francesco Fornai, Potential Antidepressant Effects of Scutellaria baicalensis, Hericium erinaceus and Rhodiola rosea, Antioxidants (Basel). 2020

Lion's Mane cognitive benefits will help you feel comfortable during parties, walk with confidence into a crowded bar and get over your social anxiety that keeps you from making new friends or meeting new people.

Freshcap Mushrooms provide the highest percentage of beta glucans and fruiting body nutrients, making this mushroom product my preferred choice for Lion's Mane.


5. Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro For Social Anxiety

The Nootropic Multivitamin

  • Mind Lab Pro is a very potent nootropic formula for combating social anxiety.
  • Its 11 cognitive-enhancing ingredients work synergistically to boost overall cognitive function, so you feel more social and positive. 
  • You also get the added benefit of calming adaptogens and B-vitamins to calm stress and anxiety. 
  • The supplements themselves are 3rd party tested and free of excess fillers and toxic ingredients. 
  • I love this stack for nootropic newbies and experienced nootropic users alike.

6. Qualia Mind

Qualia Mind For Social Anxiety

Most advanced fully-loaded formula

  • Combating Social Anxiety is a top feature of Qualia Mind.
  • This advanced formula provides several ingredients that boost dopamine pathways while increasing cellular and mental energy, which helps you feel more social.
  • You also get B-vitamins, vitamins C, and D3 co-factors to optimize neurotransmitter synthesis.
  • Caffeine and non-caffeinated versions are available. 

Special Offer: 50% Off First Bottle, use code  15INSAVINGS  at Checkout For Additional 15% Off


7. L-theanine

L-Theanine for Social Anxiety

The all-natural "chill pill"

L-theanine (r-glutamylethylamide) is a unique type of amino acid that is clinically proven to induce a calm state of mind, relieve stress, raise mood, and improve focus. All the things that can help when you are meeting new people!

This nootropic comes from the tea plant, and it pairs extremely well with caffeine.

It is famous for taking the edge off the caffeine buzz, providing long-lasting, jitter-free energy.

L-theanine quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier and raises your levels of GABA, serotonin, and dopamine.

These are all neurotransmitters associated with general well-being and can mean feeling a lot more comfortable in your own skin while you’re interacting with others.13Pradeep J. Nathan, et al. The Neuropharmacology of L-Theanine(N-Ethyl-L-Glutamine), Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy. 2006

It can also lower levels of glutamate, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter. If your glutamate gets too high, though, this can cause anxiety.14Yamada T, et al. Effects of theanine, r-glutamylethylamide, on neurotransmitter release and its relationship with glutamic acid neurotransmission, Nutr Neurosci. 2005

L-theanine can also lower cortisol and blood pressure, which can spike in social settings if you have anxiety.15Yoto A, Motoki M, Murao S, Yokogoshi H. Effects of L-theanine or caffeine intake on changes in blood pressure under physical and psychological stresses, J Physiol Anthropol. 2012

All in all, these actions work together to smooth out the nerves you might feel around others. And, it goes great with coffee!


8. Aniracetam

Aniracetam for Social Anxiety

One of the most popular nootropics for focus and mood

Aniracetam is one of the most popular nootropics out there. Like other racetams, it can be taken for its powerful effects on memory and cognition.

But it is especially useful for people looking for a boost in sociability.

Aniracetam has a unique ability to potentially boost verbal ability and flow.

Many people who take it report that conversations go more easily, and they do not struggle to express themselves as much.

Keep in mind that all of the reports are purely anecdotal and that there has not been any actual research into these effects.

However, there are enough positive testimonials out there that we think it may be worth looking into yourself.


9. Phenibut

Phenibut for social anxiety

Extremely powerful anti-anxiety drug developed by the Soviet space agency

Phenibut is a synthetic nootropic substance that was developed by the Russian space program to quell the nerves of cosmonauts during spacewalks without impairing their motor skills.

It is a very powerful anti-anxiety medication that can help you relax during social situations. It is still used in Russia as a clinical treatment for anxiety.16Lapin I. Phenibut (beta-phenyl-GABA): a tranquilizer and nootropic drug, CNS Drug Rev. 2001

It works by boosting levels of GABA in your brain, creating a sense of calm, even euphoria in high doses.

Keep in mind that GABA is also the neurotransmitter that alcohol works on, which is why some people find the effects similar.

Many people report that they feel loosened up the way they would feel after a few strong drinks, but (here’s the important part) without the intoxication.

This can make it an invaluable aid for navigating stressful social situations without getting sloshed.

However, unlike the other nootropics on this list, phenibut does have a dark side. It can be addictive, and you may feel some unpleasant side-effects at large doses.

The addiction and withdrawals associated with phenibut can actually be VERY nasty.

If you choose to use phenibut for your social anxiety, you should only use it a few times a month so that you don’t develop tolerance or dependence.

But, if you use it responsibly, phenibut can be great for freeing yourself from anxiety on a night out without relying on alcohol.


10. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha for Social Anxiety

A legal over-the-counter version on Modafinil

Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogenic herb with thousands of years of history behind it.

Cultures in Southeast Asia have been using it for anxiety, stress, stamina, libido, and overall health for a very long time.

Modern science is starting to confirm ashwagandha is effective in treating a variety of conditions.

For social anxiety sufferers, ashwagandha can be a godsend. It is proven to lower the stress hormone cortisol.

Social situations can often trigger the fight-or-flight response in people with social anxiety, spiking cortisol levels.

This can cause racing thoughts, higher blood pressure, and feelings of discomfort.

Fortunately, ashwagandha can keep these levels in check, reducing the feelings of anxiety as you go about socializing.17Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults, Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 18Andrade C, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the anxiolytic efficacy ff an ethanolic extract of withania somnifera., Indian J Psychiatry. 2000

We particularly like the chilled-out effects of ashwagandha at the end of the day. It can really help take the edge off a stressful day and promote better sleep.

Most people see the full effects of ashwagandha after about a month of daily use.


11. Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea for Social Anxiety

Ancient herbal performance enhancer

Rhodiola is another adaptogenic herb with a long history as an anti-anxiety treatment. Like ashwagandha, it lowers cortisol and stress levels.19Edwards D, Heufelder A, Zimmermann A. Therapeutic effects and safety of Rhodiola rosea extract WS® 1375 in subjects with life-stress symptoms--results of an open-label study, Phytother Res. 2012

However, most people find Rhodiola more stimulating as opposed to relaxing. This can make it better for day-time social anxiety relief.

Like ashwagandha, it may take a few weeks before you start noticing the effects.


Wrapping Up

Is there a Nootropic you like to use to ease your social anxiety? Let us know in the comments!

About the author:

Erik Levi, FNTP

Erik Levi is a co-founder of HolisticNootropics.com and a certified holistic nutritional therapy practitioner.

As an NTP Erik takes a nutrition first approach to health. He has worked with many different people to help them use nutrition to optimize their quality of life.

Erik believes that mental health is a physiological process and cognitive enhancement is not something that can be achieved by just taking some pills with good Amazon reviews.

Instead, true cognitive enhancement comes with the right balance of nutrients, movement, and gratitude. Erik continues to stay up to date with the most current nootropic and holistic health research and promises to deliver the best solutions possible.

You can check out his personal health blog/podcast/YouTube Channel all under the name Holistic A-Hole.

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