Nowadays, millions of people all over the world are enjoying the cognitive benefits of Nootropics, experiencing an increase in focus, memory, and wakefulness legally, safely, and with minimal side effects.
However, if you are new to these nutraceuticals and compounds, it can be difficult to know where to start. Between the placebo effect, marketing claims, and the fact that most Nootropics are incredibly under-researched, how do you know which compounds actually work?
In this guide, we will help you find the mental edge you’ve been looking for.
- 1 What Are Nootropics?
- 2 How Do Nootropics Work?
- 3 Which Are the Best Supplements?
- 4 Nootropics Safety and Side Effects
What Are Nootropics?
Nootropics, also known as smart drugs, memory enhancers, neuro-enhancers, cognitive enhancers, and intelligence enhancers, are a class of nutraceuticals, natural compounds and dietary supplements that provide users with benefits to cognitive function.
There are different kinds of Nootropics that range from synthetic compounds created in lab environments to a large number of herbal and natural supplements. Actually, most of the best supplements you will find on the market today come from some kind of natural plant source. For example, Caffeine is a nootropic, as well as Ginko Biloba, Ginseng, Green Tea, Iodine, Melatonin, St. John’s Wort, Theanine, and Tyrosine.
Those names sound familiar, right? Think about that list and what you happen to already know about those supplements. They all have to do with mood enhancement, cognitive development, stress relief, memory improvement, and many other cognitive characteristics.
There are many other supplements that may not be as familiar to you, but also offer similar qualities to people who want to improve their mental abilities. If you are not familiar, but you think you have room for improvement in the cognitive performance arena, there is a long list of Nootropic supplements that you may want to think about trying. Each one promises different results, therefore think about which areas of your cognitive performance that you need to improve and then start searching for the best supplements for those characteristics.
How Do Nootropics Work?
Most of the Nootropics work by increasing the production of various neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that can affect mood, sleep, concentration, and can have adverse effects when they’re out of balance. The higher presence of these balanced neurotransmitters, the neurons in your brain work more efficiently and productively.
When used regularly, Nootropic supplements are able to improve concentration, boost memory, motivation and other cognitive skills, without any of the nasty side effects associated with brain stimulants (think jitters, energy crashes, anxiety, teeth grinding…)
While some Nootropic supplements can start to produce the expected results right away after the first dose, others can take longer for benefits to be observed. This will depend on the pharmacokinetics of the substance used and its mechanism of action, so you should be prepared to take them on a regular basis for weeks.
In most cases, it will take some time before you start reaping the benefits of these supplements. They will improve your cognitive skills and abilities so that you can take a good look at other aspects of your health and figure out what else needs improvement.
Which Are the Best Supplements?
The answer to this question is going to be different for everyone. Some people want the best Nootropic for an anxiety problem, other are looking for the best supplement for their mood, while some may want to find a combination for motivation.
Taking the time and effort when investigating Nootropics does pay off. Nootropics can be a very positive way of treating cognitive problems and improving your general well-being. However, to get the most out them you really need to know what your goals are concerning Nootropics. That is to say, you need to know what you want to achieve with them.
Think about which parts of your mental capabilities need improvement and then find the supplement that will aid in increasing your abilities in that category. You can take several together to greatly increase the results that you are seeking, but it is suggested that you start with only one or two and then add other supplements one at a time to evaluate their performance for you.
Best Supplements for Academic Enhancement
Do you want to improve your performance in academic matters? When finals come around, you need to be at your best. But even if you eat right, get your rest, and take detailed notes, it still might not be enough. Whether you’re writing papers, prepping for exams, or actually taking the test, any advantage in cognitive ability could be the edge you need to stay at the top of the class.
If you are looking for a safe way to increase that performance in college or school, then the best option for you (initially at least) is Piracetam. This popular substance has helped millions of students improve their academic performance, and has also had a very positive effect on grades. It is commonly used to treat degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, as well as genetic conditions such as Down Syndrome and Dyslexia.
Another substance that students use regularly too is Choline. This one is commonly recommended for use with Piracetam, as it is very effective at curing the headaches that Piracetam use can sometimes bring.
Best Supplements for Mental Health
Are you suffering from depression? This is a problem for a lot of people, and if left unchecked can quite easily damage a life permanently. There are numerous Nootropic substances available that can help with moods and depression in general. Unlike many other traditional depression drugs available on the market, these substances are very safe to use and have few side effects.
- Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, has been proven to have a huge impact on depression and stress symptoms. In addition, it has also been shown to positively affect the levels of cholesterol in the user’s body. Its effect on anxiety and depression can only be achieved if larger doses than normal are taken, and that’s why Niacin is best taken as a dietary supplement.
- Lemon balm is a natural substance that has been shown to help alleviate the symptoms of depression and stress. There are no known side effects, though there have been some extremely rare allergic reactions reported. It is most commonly consumed as a tea, with the leaves being crushed before pouring boiling water over them. Besides the effect on the mental health of the users, lemon balm is also said to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
Best Supplements for Aging
Another field in which Nootropic s are finding particular success is that of aging. Many of the effects of aging, such as memory issues and cognitive difficulties, can be relieved with the use of Nootropics. Many of them are now being recommended by doctors who want to help their patients manage the strains of aging.
Piracetam, Choline and Hydergine in particular have been shown to have some positive effect on people who are undergoing the aging process. These are believed to fight the general degradation of the brain that occurs as people age.
Best Supplements for Focus and Attention
Does your focus start to flag after a few hours of work or studying? Do you become easily distracted or sometimes find it difficult to maintain attention? To be at your productive best, you’ve got to defuse distractions, keep focus on the task at hand, and fight off the ADD symptoms we all feel occasionally. Fortunately, some Nootropics show serious benefit to attention. If you’re looking to make the most out of your day, you can try one of these:
- Noopept: A derivative of the Racetam family of smart drugs, Noopept is a very effective compound that delivers several boosts at once by promoting fluidity in cellular membranes and optimizing your acetylcholine receptors. With proven impact on short-term memory and a noticeable effect on anxiety and clarity, this neuroprotective compound has been shown to increase your productivity, enhance the fluidity of your conversation, and sharpen your focus for hours. Side effects are minimal, though individuals taking blood-thinning medications should consult their doctor first.
- L-Theanine: While L-Theanine could be considered a “beginner’s” Nootropic, anyone can benefit from the reduced anxiety and improved focus that comes with combining this green tea component with Caffeine. With virtually no side effects, and millions of devoted users, L-Theanine might just be the missing piece in your morning routine.
Best Supplements for Improving Memory
Intelligence is extremely difficult to measure, but one metric has to be the strength of your short-term memory. Being able to recall names, figures, and facts not only helps you solve problems, but adds efficiency to studying and fluidity to your conversation. Many compounds claim to boost your memory, but research and user reports indicate that the most effective are:
- Sunifiram: Similar in structure and function to Piracetam, Sunifiram is one of the best Nootropics available for getting motivated and staying sharp, and has also shown to be effective at reducing the effects of induced amnesia. Like Noopept, Sunifiram promotes efficient processing of Acetylcholine, promoting enhancements to short-term and working memory.
- PRL-8-147: This compound may be one of the most powerful smart drugs ever developed. Trials in humans show notable improvements in word recollection tests relative to placebo, and users rave about its benefit to short-term memory. With that sharper recall, it becomes easier to focus on the task at hand, because you spend less time trying to remember facts or pick up where you left off.
Best Supplements for Enhancing Wakefulness
If you’re like just about everyone else in the world, you probably use Caffeine —whether in soda, coffee, or tea— to provide you with a reliable energy boost. However, it turns out that there are compounds that are significantly more effective at waking you up without the undesirable mid-morning coffee crash. Get your rest, eat your veggies, and try one of these powerful compounds:
- Acetyl-L-carnitine or ALCAR: This compound exists naturally in the body and is important in the mitochondrial processes that make your body —and your brain— work. Supplementing with ALCAR means your cells can generate energy more efficiently, resulting in an overall improvement to cognitive ability by reducing fatigue without the stimulatory effects of caffeine.
- Sulbutiamine: This fat-soluble derivative of thiamine has shown measurable positive benefit on fatigue while improving mood overall and granting benefits to short term memory in some users. It also helps to protect your brain by reducing oxygen and glucose deprivation, which can lead to cellular death.
Nootropics Safety and Side Effects
Nootropic compounds or supplements are generally safe to use and most of them will not produce adverse side effects even with long-term use, but caution is always advised.
These substances are commonly made up of ingredients from plants or are purified components or extracts of them. Most Nootropics have few (if any) drug interactions, and should not complicate any existing health condition.
Anyway, you should always read the instructions carefully and pay close attention to the side effects and dosage recommendations for each substance you’re considering adding to your stack. If you still have any queries, you should consult your health care provider.
Remember: it is your responsibility to use Nootropics safely.
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