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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.

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Table of Contents

What Are Nootropics?

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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:

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Types of Nootropics

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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:

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How To Take Nootropics

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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:

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Nootropics for Memory

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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:

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  1. Acorus Calamus
  2. Bacopa Monnieri
  3. Boron
  4. Celastrus Paniculatus
  5. Centrophenoxine
  6. Choline Citrate
  7. Choline Bitartrate
  8. Fasoracetam
  9. Glycine
  10. Ginkgo Biloba
  11. Huperzine A
  12. Idebenone
  13. L-Methylfolate
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  1. Lion’s Mane Mushroom
  2. Methylcobalamin
  3. Noopept
  4. Oxiracetam
  5. Phenylpiracetam
  6. Phosphatidylserine
  7. Priacetam
  8. Pramiracetam
  9. Picmilon
  10. PRL-8-53
  11. Rhodiola Rosea
  12. Uridine
  13. Vinpocetine
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These nootropics can be used individually or stacked (combined) to achieve the desired memory enhancing effects.

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Nootropics for Attention and Focus

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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:

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  1. Adrafinil
  2. Armodafinil
  3. Ashwagandha
  4. Boron
  5. Caffeine
  6. Ephedrine
  7. Fasoracetam
  8. Ginseng
  9. Gotu Kola
  10. L-Dopa
  11. L-Tyrosine (and NALT)
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  1. Modafinil
  2. Mucuna Pruriens
  3. Noopept
  4. Oxiracetam
  5. PEA (Phenylethylamine)
  6. Pramiracetam
  7. Phenylpiracetam
  8. Pyritinol
  9. Rhodiola Rosea
  10. Sulbutiamine
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Nootropics for Mood and Depression

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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:

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  1. 5-HTP
  2. Centrophenoxine
  3. Fasoracetam
  4. Fish Oil
  5. L-Lysine
  6. L-Tryptophan
  7. Lithium
  8. Phosphatidylserine
  9. SAM-e,
  10. St. Johns Wart
  11. Uridine
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Nootropics for Anti-Aging and Longevity

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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:

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  1. Alpha GPC
  2. Alpha Lipoic Acid
  3. Carnosine
  4. Centrophenoxine
  5. Fish Oil
  6. Green and white tea
  7. Hydergine
  8. Idebenone
  9. Lithium
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  1. Multivitamins
  2. NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine)
  3. Phosphatidylserine
  4. R-Lipoic Acid,
  5. Turmeric (Curcumin)
  6. Uridine,
  7. Vinpocetine
  8. Zinc
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Nootropics for Anxiety

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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:

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  1. Aniracetam
  2. Ashwagandha
  3. GABA
  4. L-Lysine
  5. L-Theanine
  6. Phenibut
  7. Phosphatidylserine
  8. Picamilon
  9. Rhodiola Rosea
  10. Saint John’s Wort
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Nootropics for Sleep, Recovery, and Dream Enhancement

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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:

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  1. Arginine
  2. Ashwagandha
  3. Bacopa
  4. Citrulline
  5. GABA
  6. Glycine
  7. L-Tryptophan
  8. Magnesium Aspartate
  9. Melatonin
  10. Mucuna Pruriens
  11. Phenibut
  12. Picamilon
  13. Saint John’s Wort
  14. Valerian Root
  15. Zinc
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Conclusion

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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.

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