Nootropics, also known as smart drugs, cognitive enhancers, attention drugs or even “miracle drugs”, are a class of chemical substances, either natural or man-made, that offer amazing benefits to the human brain. Nootropics have been proven to be effective in everything from boosting memory and improving concentration to supporting cognitive functions and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. From common individuals to professionals, nootropics have a wide audience with every type of person using some form or combination of nootropics. This guide will give you all the information you need to start enhancing your health, well-being and mental strength through the use of nootropics.
What Are Nootropics?
The term “nootropic” was first proposed by the Romanian psychologist and chemist, Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea in 1972 to describe certain attention-enhancing drugs. This particular term, “nootropics” is derived from the Greek terms “nous” meaning “mind” and “trepein” meaning “bending or turning.” Thus, nootropics came to be defined as smart drugs or cognitive enhancers which take the form of drugs, supplements, minerals, vitamins and other substances which are taken to improve the functioning of the brain, especially in the areas of memory, creativity, and motivation. According to Dr. Giurgea, for a substance or element to be termed a “nootropic” or “smart drug” it has to possess all of these qualities:
- Enhancing a person’s overall memory and ability to learn.
- Helping the human brain function even under disruptive conditions such as hypoxia (low oxygen) and electroconvulsive shock.
- Protecting the human brain from chemical and physical assaults, such as anticholinergic drugs and barbiturates.
- Increases the overall efficacy of a person’s neuronal firing control mechanisms in the cortical and subcortical regions of the brain.
- Possess very few or even no side effects as well as being virtually non-toxic.
Types of Nootropics
It is very important to make the right choice while making decisions about human health as one wrong step can lead to innumerable problems. and when it comes to deciding what supplements to take, it is very important to research from scratch what should be done and how. It is also important to have realistic expectations. Nootropics are not a substitute for hard work, not used as a replacement for sleep, in the long run, cannot turn a person into a giant healthy hunk and consists of side effects as well. They neither make anyone genius overnight nor have the same results on everyone.
Nootropics come in many different types. But they can be broadly categorized into few families. Such as:
- Racetam Family: The Racetam family which is the mother of all the families. These are generally used in medicines by the pharmaceutical companies whereas this family is not approved in the U.S for the use of medicines. The most common side effects of this are dizziness and asthenia.
- Eugoric Stimulants: Another type is known as Eugeroic Stimulants. These are smart drugs and does not produce significant spikes in the blood and heart rates.
- Cholinergic Family: Another type is called Cholinergic:- These are a precursor to acetylcholine which acts as neurotransmitters for the memory function of human body. These supplements basically provide choline that helps in boosting brain functions.
- Vitamins & Omega 3s: Vitamins, nutrients, and omega 3s are generally ignored, but they are also important to boost human energy, memory and have mild positive effects on mental health as well such as stress and mood swings.
How To Take Nootropics
To fully realize the benefits of nootropics how you take them is just as important as what your take. When researching nootropics for yourself or others keep these things in mind:
- Slow Paced Dosage: Starting with a small dosage and slowly increasing it overtime is the preferred method Many people start taking nootropics as soon as they learn about them that they increase cognitive functions and this leads to excessive and quick consumption of nootropics that result in major side effects. It is recommended that there is no need to take high doses of nootropics. the balanced dosage of nootropics with balanced amount of diet will suffice.
- Clearly Defined Goals: Before the consumption of nootropics, one has to clearly define its objectives of consuming it because many people mix the idea of cognitive enhancer to other objectives as well. If a student needs this for memory boosting and improving brain function whereas a depressed person needs it to reduce stress, anxiety and improve sleeping patterns. The objectives will set the dosage for every individual consuming nootropic.
- Quality of the Product: It is very important to investigate about the thing that we are ingesting because that will have direct effects on our health. For this, it is important to know that which nootropics are approved by FDA and which are unapproved. It is very important to know that the drug we are consuming is of high quality and is approved by the related health authorities and those companies are regulated by the high authorities. Research can be done on internet and via inquiring from third parties such as other people consuming the same drug.
- Consider Stacking: Stacking means taking more than one nootropic to get the desired results. Basically, nootropics work better when taken with other nootropic as well because the advantages increase and side effects decrease. It is important to make your own stacks such as if two similar family nootropics are taken, it will not be that beneficial than other different combinations of nootropics. But at the same time, taking so many stacks of nootropics can cause adverse effects to the health as well.
Nootropics for Memory
Most people are initially drawn to nootropics for memory boosting effects. The nootropics in the racetam family are the most well-known for their memory enhancing effects but there are many others that are powerful as well. The best nootropics for memory include:
- Acorus Calamus
- Bacopa Monnieri
- Celastrus Paniculatus
- Choline Citrate
- Choline Bitartrate
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Huperzine A
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom
- Rhodiola Rosea
These nootropics can be used individually or stacked (combined) to achieve the desired memory enhancing effects.
Nootropics for Attention and Focus
Another common reason people begin using nootropics is to increase focus and as attention enhancing drugs. Regardless of how smart a person is, if they can’t stay focused on the task at hand or if their attention is constantly wondering then they won’t be able to meet their full potential. The best nootropics for attention and the best nootropics for focus fall into the same categories and include:
- Gotu Kola
- L-Tyrosine (and NALT)
- Mucuna Pruriens
- PEA (Phenylethylamine)
- Rhodiola Rosea
Nootropics for Mood and Depression
No matter how young, healthy or intelligent you may be, if you are suffering from depression or poor moods it has negative effects on your memory and cognitive functions. In time, poor mood and depression will also begin to affect your physical health. The list of the best nootropics for mood and the best nootropics for depression include:
- Fish Oil
- St. Johns Wart
Nootropics for Anti-Aging and Longevity
The sharpness and health of your mind and body changes with age and with these changes come life threating and life altering conditions. The use of certain nootropic drugs helps to stave off the consequences of age and to ensure a longer, healthier lifespan. The best nootropic drugs for anti-aging and longevity include:
- Alpha GPC
- Alpha Lipoic Acid
- Fish Oil
- Green and white tea
- NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine)
- R-Lipoic Acid,
- Turmeric (Curcumin)
Nootropics for Anxiety
Anxiety can be a severely debilitating condition both mentally and physically. Fortunately, nootropics for anxiety are available. Anxiety can affect your cognitive functions, attention span, memory and physical health. Reducing stress and anxiety is a critical step to meeting your full potential and to living a long, healthy and fulfilling life. The best nootropics for anxiety include:
- Rhodiola Rosea
- Saint John’s Wort
Nootropics for Sleep, Recovery, and Dream Enhancement
Sleep and dreaming is one of the most important functions our body experiences. While we sleep the brain experiences neurogenesis (brain growth and recovery). Proper sleep cycles, which include dreams, is absolutely vital to a health a productive mind. The most recommended nootropics for sleep, recovery, and dream enhancement:
- Magnesium Aspartate
- Mucuna Pruriens
- Saint John’s Wort
- Valerian Root
While nootropics are generally viewed as “smart drugs” that are used to enhance cognitive functions there are many benefits to be gained from these “miracle drugs”. The question is never if nootropics are right for you but rather which nootropics are right for you. Do your research, set your realistic goals and get started on the path to a better and healthier you both mentally and physically.