Nootropics – The Ultimate Guide
In this article we are going to give you an overview of Nootropics or as it’s also commonly called smart drugs. You can’t discuss Nootropics without also mentioning cognitive and memory enhancement, so we shall give information on these topics too.
Science believes that the human mind has almost LIMITLESS cognitive power. We as human beings are truly not using the full power and potential of are brain. Many people study hard and some try mental training to improve the abilities of there brain.
However not everyone has the time or inclination to do this. This is where brain enhancing supplements come in. This is the fastest way to improve one’s brainpower.
The success you achieve with smart drugs depends on the correct use and being responsible. There are right and wrong ways to use these supplements. We hope by reading this article you will learn the right and safe way. This will also be the best way to boost your brainpower.
The information provided has been kept as simple and concise as possible so you can have a good overview of Nootropics without being bogged down in details. If, however you want to learn more we have many articles that go more in-depth.
What are Nootropics?
Table of Contents
- 1 What are Nootropics?
- 1.1 Cognitive Enhancement & Nootropics
- 1.2 How do Nootropics Work?
- 1.3 What Is A Good Nootropic?
- 1.4 Best Places to Purchase Nootropics
- 1.5 Understanding How Smart Drugs Work
- 1.6 Brain Boosting Supplements
- 1.7 Nootropics Can Be Separated Into 7 Categories:
- 1.8 Natural Nootropics
- 1.9 Racetams
- 1.10 Choline
- 1.11 Peptides
- 1.12 Nootropic Vitamins
- 1.13 Ampakines
- 1.14 Smart Drugs
- 1.15 History of Nootropics
- 1.16 Science of Nootropics
- 1.17 Dopaminic and Serotonic System
- 1.18 Cholinergic System
- 1.19 Health Benefits of Nootropics
- 1.20 What Make’s A Smart Drugs
- 1.21 Selecting The Right Cognitive That Is Best for You
- 1.22 Side Effects from Nootropics
- 1.23 Conclusion
The power of our brain determines how successful and effective we are in many aspects of our lives.
Its probable fair to say that the greater your brainpower the further you will go professional in your life. Increasing your minds power may not make happier but it’s wise to say it will also make you richer.
The natural intelligence of your brain is NOT the only measure of brainpower. The cognitive functions also play a major role in determining the measure of brainpower. Cognitive functions are made possible by neuronal networks. Each part of the brain has a specific network.
For example the memory is mainly in the temporal lobe and frontal lobe. For each cognitive skill the brain has a neuronal network.
- Motor skills
- Spatial Processing
- Problem solving
- Decision making
- Working Memory
As you may know realise its possible to increase the measure of your brainpower by enhancing your cognitive abilities. This is where the new science of Nootropics makes its intro. Many people have different names, for example memory enhancers, neuron-enhancers, mental power boosters to name but a few. However to make things simple and for technical reasons we will keep to the term “ Nootropics “ mostly.
Cognitive Enhancement & Nootropics
Nootropics have the ability to boost your memory, focus and enhance your cognitive abilities. This in turn can give you a better life. A nootropic that can do this is most wanted. But not all nootropic drugs work with equal efficiency. The various nootropics work in different way’s and with varying levels of effectiveness.
So if your new to the world of nootropics it can be hard figuring out the good from the bad drugs. Therefore, I created this guide to help you discover and learn the most important factors to consider. This is a fast changing industry, which has the capacity to change the world. Don’t get left behind, knowledge is power.
Many nootropic companies would have you believe that their stack is the best and you will get that limitless mind. The sleek adverts promise a super-human. This guide will cut though the BULL SHIT and provide you with the info you need to find and use these smart drugs effectively.
This article will help answer your questions and concerns. We will give you a overview of nootropics and introduced you to the fascinating smart world. Where as you will discover a great deal is possible.
So Exactly What Are Nootropics?
Lets start at the beginning. Nootropics are gaining popularity and the industry has increased massively in recent times. Media stories of how Silicon Valley geeks are boosting their brain power.
The film Limitless have bought the potential of smart drugs to the masses. But, the level of knowledge from the general public is virtually zero. Hence, this guide will start with a basic intro about what exactly a nootropic is.
Lets put this in simple terms a nootropic is a supplement/drug that helps the brain do its job better. The nootropic boosts the brains cognitive capabilities. Furthermore, some smart drugs can also increase confidence, motivation, boost memory and your overall brain power. These are some of the amazing benefits you can get from the right nootropic.
A smart Romanian named “Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea” first corned the word nootropic. Combining the Latin terms: nous(mind) and trepein(to bend). The word nootropic was born, but I’m not sure I agree with the mind-bending meaning given to smart drugs. I would of thought “mind increasing” explains it more concisely . There is also some confusion about the exact meaning of the Latin words.
How do Nootropics Work?
Smart drug’s work by enhancing the substances in the brain without adding substantially to it. The drugs to put it simply just enhance the neurochemical s present in the brain. This then boosts the functionality of many chemicals and nutrients in our brains. Which in turn increases the minds functions in specific parts. For example creativity and memory.
One of the defining principals of nootropics is that it should have no side effects and cause no harm to your brain. This safety first principle means that in comparison to many supplements. Nootropics are classed as relatively safe and in most cases have no side-effects. In fact most nootropics work by enhancing chemicals in the brain not adding too them.
This is the beauty of smart drugs, instead of trying to change the brains system. It simple works with the already chemicals present in our brain. When I say simple and works I’m not explaining the full workings of nootropics or the brain. Because even the scientists that work on nootropics don’t fully understand their workings. Also the full workings of the mind is not understood even by the best scientists in the world.
What Is A Good Nootropic?
The classification of a drug as a nootropic has to met some rules. While there are no absolute definitive qualifications for a nootropic. If it meets most of the characteristics(1) below then it can be put into the nootrpic class of drugs.
- Give you learning and memory.
- Help with the resistance of learned behaviours/memories to conditions which disrupt them.
- Protect the brain against against many physical /chemical injuries.
- Increase the efficacy of cortical and sub-cortical control mechanisms.
- Lack the usual pharmacology of many other psychotropic drugs.
As dissuaded earlier science does not understand everything concerned with nootropics. So even if a drug does not meet all the rules it can still be placed in the nootropic class.
Best Places to Purchase Nootropics
Nootropic supplements are available online from hundreds of distributors. But what you need to know is supplements are not regulated. Thus, the only way to be sure what your getting is by buying from a reputable source. It’s a buyer’s market so do your research and checkout the reviews.
These supplements come mainly in the form of pills or powder. So you take your choice, which ever suits you best.
Understanding How Smart Drugs Work
While no one understands the detailed working of nootropics. It’s nevertheless important to have a overall knowledge of the basics. This could help you save a lot of money and time and also get the most out of the pills you buy. Just by reading the information in this guide and on this sit, you will save in the long run. Knowledge is your power.
With so much to take in initially it may seem you need nootropics before you start. However you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the basic workings. The section below should help you learn the basic functioning of nootropics and your brain.
Brain Boosting Supplements
Nootropic effects very depending on the individual. We are all unique and a dosage that effects one person may have no effect on the other. There are many factors involved in this. As you understand nootropics you will come to know these factors better.
One thing that all nootropics have is the ability to increase the neurotransmitters working in the brain. They increase the number and functioning power of the brains neurotransmitters. As an analogy, it’s like adding fuel to a fire. It burns longer and has bigger flames. The cognitive fire in your brain boosts its processing power and increases its functionality.
Additionally most nootropics help increase the brains blood flow. More blood flow equals more oxygen which in turn powers the brain faster. The “vasodilator” effect.
Nootropics Can Be Separated Into 7 Categories:
So what are Nootropics? Simply, Nootropics are chemical compounds that can enhance cognitive functions. These compounds should also be able to be used long term with low or no side effects.
Natural/herbal Nootropics are compounds which are derived form plants hence the name. If the plant compound has the ability to enhance cognitive functions then it will be considered a Nootropic. The supplements in this category are amongst the safest available. However the potency level is less than Nootropics in other categories. The potency level can be offset somewhat by stacking a number of these natural supplements together. The most useful natural Nootropic in this category is Ginkgo Biloba.
Racetam Nootropics all work with acetycholine. This is a natural receptor in the brain that helps with the cognitive functions like concentration, learning and recall. There are 20 types of racetams under this category. The most popular and useful are Aniracetam, Oxiracetam and Piracetam.
Choline compounds in this section are used by combining or stacking up with racetams from the previous category. Choline is a very important nootropic because it has the ability to boost cognitive functions. Its mainly used in combination with other supplements particular racetams.
Its a important component in building Nootropic stacks. Choline works by enhancing the effects of other Nootropics. It’s a precursor to acetylcholine in biochemistry terms it would be part of the metabolic pathway.
Peptide Nootropics are noted for there very high level of potency. For instance a derivative of peptide can be up-to 1000 times more powerful than Racetams. In fact peptides are so Strong that only small doses are recommend. Peptides have a range of brain boosting abilities including: memory, learning, reflexes, logical thinking, perception. The most widely available Peptides on the market today is noopept.
B-Vitamins and derivatives of Vitamin B offer many Nootropic benefits. The B-Vitamins work by fighting body and brain fatigue. Each B-Vitamin offers different benefits. Therefore it’s possible to have a general boost by simply taking a B-complex supplement.
Another effect of these vitamins is there ability to change mood. As a example Thiamine and Sulbutiamine which are derivatives of Vitamin B. Are well known mood enhances which have been used by people suffering depression.
Ampakines are the next-generation of Nootropics. Only recently developed. They work by boosting the learning capacity of the brain. In particularly Ampakines enhance the glutamatergic AMPA receptor in the brain. The glutamatergic receptor plays a Strong role in neuroplasticity of the brain.
Boosting neuroplasticity in the human brain helps you increase your capacity for learning. Ampakines are also being researched for the treatment of a number of conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and ADHD.
Nootropics and smart drugs are often referred to as one and the same. This is not the case, smart drugs are differentiated by the addition of having stimulating properties. The idea is simple if you can eliminate the problems of sleepiness and fatigue.
It then becomes easier to concentrate on cognitive enhancement. Unfortunately because many smart drugs have derivatives of amphetamine they have become regulated. Examples of these are Modafinil and Adrafinil.
History of Nootropics
The first real steps towards mind enhancing supplements occurred in the 1960s. When Dr. Timothy Leary and Dr. Richard Alpert conducted a number of experiments ( Harvard Psilocybin Project ) with psychedelic drugs.
The aim of these experiments was to find therapeutic uses for psychedelic drugs. Dr. Timothy Leary believed
that the drugs could alter the minds behaviour in a beneficial way.
unfortunately for Leary and Alpert they were ahead of there time and got the sack for their controversial experiment.
It was also at this time that Piracetam was discovered. However it wasn’t till the 1970s that major research was carried out on it’s uses. Piracetam was then added to a new category of Nootropics.
In this period the first use of the term Nootropics (meaning, mind bending/mind directing “nous” and “trepein“) was coined by Dr. Corneliu Giurgea from Romania. He basically made the Nootropic rule book:
Science of Nootropics
I’m not going to give you a scientific lecture on how Nootropics work. Because the truth is that the best scientist on the plant don’t fully understand how their work. However there have been hundreds of clinical studies with patients. That have proven Nootropics work.
So in simplistic terms Nootropics work by increasing the efficiency of the brains neuron-network. This network passes messages between itself, the neurotransmitter sends the message and the receptor receives it. Nootropics generally help speed up these messages.
The brain is made up of many neuron-network systems. The main systems we are concerned with are the most important for cognitive function. Namely:
The precise mechanism of how Nootropics work is still not fully understood. As an example, after over 50 years have passed since the discovery of the piracetam. Yet, after more than 400 scientific studies we still don’t know how it works(2).
Don’t let this get you down, just because we don’t understand the mechanism of how it works. Doesn’t mean it don’t work. The workings of the brain are not fully understood but we know it works.
Dopaminic and Serotonic System
These two systems are your feel GOOD hormones. Giving you feelings of happiness and pleasure. The systems also make it possible for you to experience other feelings like, inspiration, motivation, relaxation and other similar feelings. It’s believed that boosting these systems also helps with your cognitive functions.
The cholinergic system is based on the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This transmitter is responsible for functions such as memory, learning and decision making. Cholines are often used with or stack-up with Racetams to achieve brain enhancing results. This combination speeds up the messages or synaptic process.
Health Benefits of Nootropics
Nootropics are not just for us duds looking to achieve more and get a head start. They also have health benefits beyond wanting to be limitless. Medical researchers have been studying the therapeutic uses of smart drugs for over 10 years. Now some nootropics are being used to treat Alzheimer’s, dementia and ADHD.
More research is also being carried out on a number of age and brain related illnesses.
The health benefits of these drugs for treating brain and age related problems should come as no surprise. As this is what nootropics are designed to do. Strengthen memory, increase concentration and boost focus.
The health benefits are not only available to people with health issues. They are also for you and me and just think if it can help someone with dementia. Imagine the power it could give you. If you already have a big-brain you could end up with a massive one. However in all seriousness it could also stave off the onset of these age related diseases.
Below you will find a list of some of the health benefits from using nootropics. Not all of these benefits have been scientifically proven. However many nootropic users have reported the below benefits.
The Benefits from Nootropics:
- Greater Productivity
- Improved Sleep
- Helps Depression
- Mood improvement
- Levelling your Emotions
- Coordination improvement Mind/Body
- Greater Brain Protection
- Safe To Take
- Broader Vocabulary
- Increased Blood Circulation For Brain
- Stress Relife
As discussed before, not all users will experience the full spectrum of health benefits. We are all different after all, but you will gain some of these benefits. Further by experimenting with different nootropics, dosage and brand. You will achieve more desired benefits.
Whatever your own effects are. Nootropics have been scientifically proven to work. There’s also many experienced users and testimonials that certify the benefits. The nootropics industry also continues to grow rapidly.
What Make’s A Smart Drugs
The the most communally used nootropics belong to the racetam family. The two most popular of these racetams are aniracetam and piracetam. These racetams are the base of many stacks. In the coming chapters you will also learn about the 7 categories of nootropics.
One of these categories contains what we call natural-nootropics. This category contains B-vitamin. Which can improve your cognitive functions and can also be used with other nootropics. Studies also show that Omega-3 is a useful natural-nootropic that can be used along side other nootropics. Furthermore green tea and ginseng contain nootropic properties.
Selecting The Right Cognitive That Is Best for You
There’s a lot of popular smart drugs on the market and it can be hard to know where to start. My advice is to start with the most popular less powerful racetams. However before you even do that you can start with a simple learner stack.
This comprise’s of coffee and L-theanine.
If you didn’t know coffee is a great nootropic and when combined with L-theanine it takes away the shakes. L-theanine neutralizes the bad effects of coffee while enthusing the good.
Always do your research and experiment to find out what suits you best and what benefits you the most.
Side Effects from Nootropics
Nootropics are natural and as such their mostly non-toxic. As a result most people never experience any adverse reactions. However you are unique and when you put anything in your body even a natural substance. There’s always a possible negative reaction. So always do your due diligence and when starting on a new drug. Start with the lowest dose.
Potential Side Effects from Taking Nootropics
Headaches and nausea are the most common side effects. Followed by the much rarer reported allergic reactions. This list is pretty small, which show just how safe most nootropics are. But always do your research when taking a new drug.
Our greatest asset is the mind so make the most of your amazing brain. I hope by reading this guide you now have a overall understanding of Nootropics. Remember always do your research and the best place to do that is right on this site.